Pentair IC40 at 100% Output

iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
Moved from here.
Sorry for the thread revival, but want to clarify on Super Chlorination vs 100% output. Are you guys saying that they're the same-same? Meaning that running the IC-40 at 100% wears it out faster?

I understand the lifetime hours of usage, but does 100% setting heat up the cell to the point that it wears out faster than the lifetime hours? Or is this simply a matter of reaching lifetime hours faster?

I'd like to run the IC-40 at 100% output on occasion when the pool has heavy use, but I don't let my chlorine levels fall enough to require adding liquid chlorination.

I've had an IC-40 since 2018 and have not yet hit 20% usage so I'm not worried about burning through lifetime hours, as the IC-40 will likely need to be replaced before it hits ~10K hrs of usage.
 
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mknauss

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TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,434
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Running the cell at 100% output does not put undo strain on the cell. It simply uses the generation-hours up quicker.
 

iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
Thanks; that's what I thought.
Since I have a cover on my pool, I don't have the chlorine loss that pools experience during the day. I leave the cover on except when it's in use. However, on those summer days with the cover off, a lot of the pool's chlorine gets consumed. Not enough to turn the pool cloudy, but enough chlorine depletion that I've run the SWG output at 100% on occasion.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
44,434
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK -- wondered how you had so few hours in three years. I cover ours in the spring (now to Memorial Day) and again in Sept - October to retain the heat.
 

iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
I haven't checked lifetime usage in a few months, but last time I checked, I didn't have any lights illuminate for lifetime usage.
With the autocover, I normally run my IC-40 at ~20% and only run the pump a couple of hours a day when not in use. While 2 hours a day sounds low, it keeps the pool clean due to it being covered.
I run the pump all of the time whenever the pool is used (right now, I've got a couple of nieces visiting so the pool is being used daily).
I usually bump up the SWG output to ~35% when I have bathers in the pool, but I was out of town for a few days when they got here so I didn't have a chance to monitor the chlorine and pH levels. Now that I'm home, I saw the chlorine level was on the low side of normal so I bumped up the setting to 100% until it gets back to a higher chlorine level.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,273
NY
Hey jetzzz !! I used my boost mode many times for convenience. The cell itself should cost you about $800 and last about 10k hours. For ease of discussion let’s just estimate that it costs 8 cents per hour. If you would normally run it for 5 hours but used super chlorinate instead, you used up 19 more hours, or $1.52. Many times I wanted a slow boost, like the day before a party. If I manually ran it at 100%, I know me and I’d forget to turn it off. Boost mode turned itself off giving me one less thing to do while preparing for the party. Or the storm. Or whatever it was that made me busy. Plus the liquid chlorine to make the same boost would have cost a lot of or even slightly more than the $1.52 in ‘wasted’ cell life.

If i used it 50 times I would never be able to realize the cell died 25 days early (6.5 years later) due to my usual 12 hour run time.

Some folks sleep better at night having worked to squeeze every last minute of life out of the cell. And that’s ok too. But you bought it to make life easier and not still have to manually treat the pool. As long as you aren’t critically low or need an immediate boost for something else, feel free to use the cell.
 

iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
Hopefully you follow the Recommended Levels

I do for the most part.
I don't run the CYA as high as TFP recommends since I have an autocover and Pentair recommends 30-50, while TFP recommends 70-80. I have it at 50-60 and use a couple of pucks a year to keep it there.
I try to keep the FC level at ~5.
My job keeps me on the road 3-5 days at a time so I have the biggest problem managing pH levels. I have to get it in the low 7s when I leave and it's usually in the high 7s when I return, as SWGs raise the pH faster than non-SWG pools.
 

iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
Hey jetzzz !! I used my boost mode many times for convenience. The cell itself should cost you about $800 and last about 10k hours. For ease of discussion let’s just estimate that it costs 8 cents per hour. If you would normally run it for 5 hours but used super chlorinate instead, you used up 19 more hours, or $1.52. Many times I wanted a slow boost, like the day before a party. If I manually ran it at 100%, I know me and I’d forget to turn it off. Boost mode turned itself off giving me one less thing to do while preparing for the party. Or the storm. Or whatever it was that made me busy. Plus the liquid chlorine to make the same boost would have cost a lot of or even slightly more than the $1.52 in ‘wasted’ cell life.

If i used it 50 times I would never be able to realize the cell died 25 days early (6.5 years later) due to my usual 12 hour run time.

Some folks sleep better at night having worked to squeeze every last minute of life out of the cell. And that’s ok too. But you bought it to make life easier and not still have to manually treat the pool. As long as you aren’t critically low or need an immediate boost for something else, feel free to use the cell.

Thanks for the perspective. I haven't had to use the boost mode yet, but it's only because I haven't had any problems with very low chlorine levels.

And I expect my IC-40 to be replaced well before it hits 10K hours of use.

I switched to a salt water pool so I wouldn't have to worry about keeping proper chlorine levels and using a bunch of liquid chlorine to do so (I have used pucks sparingly due to their CYA content). I'm still having to haul around some muriatic jugs, but I've gone with the double strength 20 baume from lowes (klean strip or Jasco for outdoor cleaning/concrete prep) instead of the pool muriatic acid, which is 10 baume. That saves me a bit of hauling around jugs, but the pool consumes a lot of muriatic acid.
 
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iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
Well, my pool is consuming ~3x more muriatic acid than comparable non-SWG pools I've had in the past. And I've read several articles that indicate a SWG pool consumes more muriatic acid than a comparable non-SWG pool so I'm not alone in this observation. During my first year, I thought it was due to the pool curing, but after 3 years, I would think that the pool is cured.

I notice a faster pH rise when I turn up the SWG's output.

Liquid chlorine is essentially pH neutral so there should not be a rise in pH when adding chlorine. However, the chemical process used by SWGs to produce chlorine does cause the pH to rise.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
44,434
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
By non-SWCG pool are you referencing a pool chlorinated with Trichlor? Trichlor is very acidic.
 

Jimrahbe

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LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,159
Bedford, TX
fly,

If you were using tablets in your old pool that is the reason.. Tablets have acid and force pH lower just like adding MA,

Most SWCG pools like to run at 7.8.. there is nothing wrong with 7.8.. If it like it there, just let it stay there.. I only have to add a little acid every week and a half or two weeks.

What is your TA??

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
I used liquid chlorine in previous pools, but am aware that pucks have a pH of ~3 so on those occasions that I used pucks to keep CYA in proper range, I noticed a decrease in muriatic acid demand.

I keep my TA in the 70-80 range and have 40-50 range on borates.

My muriatic acid consumption is more than a gallon of 20 baume every month. It runs around 2 gallons per month in the summer when I have a higher output level on the SWG.


Edit: I'd be happy if my pH would stay at 7.8. I've had it climb higher than 8 if I didn't dump a half gallon of 20 baume in the pool when it got to that level. I tried reducing my muriatic acid use at one point, but the pH kept climbing. In fact, when I return home, I usually have to add 1/2 gallon of 20 baume to get the pH back down to low 7s. And sometimes follow that up with another 1/4 gallon the next day. I don't use cups of muriatic acid in my pool anymore; I'd be adding several cups daily.
 
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iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
Does this mean that you add baking soda?

If yes, how much and how often?

What do you keep the CSI at?

How often do you brush the pool?
No, I don't add baking soda. I haven't had to tweak the TA.
I don't check the CSI very often; it's not been an issue.
I brush my pool every few weeks. More in summer, less in winter. It's covered and I have never had any algae issues nor any buildup on the sides/bottom of the pool.

Would brushing my pool more often would result in less muriatic acid usage? I've never heard of that before. Not sure of the relationship with muriatic acid usage or were you going in a different direction with that question?
I know I should brush my pool every week, but I don't. It's my bad; I know I should do it more often.
I also use a few ounces of SeaKlear a couple of times a year to keep the phosphate level near zero. The IC-40 manual states that phosphates should be kept below 125 ppb and there are several threads on pool forums where SWGs stopped working due to high phosphate levels.
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
11,273
NY
I run the pump all of the time whenever the pool is used (right now, I've got a couple of nieces visiting so the pool is being used daily).
Normally the added pump runtime of a SWG leads to hours of more aeration and that will raise the PH while the SWG takes the blame. In your case you are hardly running the pump unlike JimR and myself who ran 24/7.

And if you previously ran the pump full time with swimmers like you do now, that is an even wash. So you got me 🤷‍♂️
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,264
Maintain the CSI between -0.3 and 0.0 to reduce the reactivity of the plaster.

Brushing helps keep the plaster in good condition and prevents scale buildup, which can increase acid demand.

Keep the TA closer to 60 and the pH at about 7.8.

What is the TA of the fill water and how much fill water is added per month?
 

iflyjetzzz

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2011
108
Las Vegas, NV
James, thanks for the advice. I will try to brush it more often. No guarantees on my part as I've brushed it often in the past with no impact on MA usage.
I don't have any plaster issues. I've been monitoring my entire pool fairly closely and know almost every inch of the pool's surface pretty well, as I spent a lot of money on it 3 years ago. It was not an insignificant sum for me and more than what we paid for both of our cars. I spend a decent amount of time in the pool when I'm home so it's not suffering from neglect.

My pH moves quite a bit even when the pool is not in use. I previously tried to allow the pool to 'maintain' a pH in the high 7s (I've read the advice about keeping a salt water pool's pH in the high 7s and allow the pool to seek it's natural balance... this advice indicates that high pH is normal with SWG pools) , but invariably, I'd find the pool's pH needing more than a gallon of 20 baume after returning home from a 5 day trip to get the pH back down to the 7s.. Keeping 7.8 is not possible; my pH rises too rapidly. I watch my pool chemistry closely and test it daily when I'm home. I've had my water checked several times a year at pool stores which verify my daily tests so there's no problem with my testing methods.

Thanks to everyone for all of the inputs, but I'm not sure how this morphed into a thread on analyzing my pool. I simply asked a question on another thread, where this was broken off from, where I asked a question about Super Chlorinate vs 100% output. Another poster seemed to indicate that using the Super Chlorinate function was about the same as using 100% chlorinator output (from what I've read, Super Chlorinate raises the SWG temperature higher than 100% and wears out a SWG faster) which did not match my understanding of the Super Chlorinate function.

As far as my personal pool chemistry goes, I consume a considerable amount of muriatic acid, as many SWG pools do. This is a well documented characteristic with SWG pools, including more than a few threads on this forum. Chem Geek had several threads on this forum which are more than 10 years old that indicate SWG pools have a more rapid pH rise than non-SWG pool. The pool has not experienced any algae issues in the 3 years that I've had it so I can only assume that I must be doing something correctly.

Bottom line: thanks for all of the suggestions but my pool is fine. This breakoff thread grew to much more than my simple question warranted.
 
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