Pentair Salt water chlorine generator question.

a wild 1

Platinum Supporter
Nov 18, 2014
30
0
Surprise (Phoenix) Az.
#1
Our pool was finished and filled Oct.6 and I was told we should not put in salt for the generator for a month. Nov. 6 I started trying to contact the Startup specialist, who I paid to do the startup, in order to get the salt system started. I finally contacted him and he told me to put the salt in and start the system and call if there was a problem. After 7x40lb bags it said zero salt. I started trying to contact him again. I had the water checked by (L....... ) pool supply and they showed 2300ppm salt. I added another bag of salt and today I was able to contact him again (finally) and he had me press the filter button on the panel and I told him that the green flow light was lit on the generator. He said the generator is bad and he will contact the warranty person for our area and have him replace it. It seems like a mighty abbreviated testing for such a complicated system to me. Am I missing something?

BTW I did order the recommended water testing system and awaiting its arrival on Friday.
Once I am able to test and balance everything I am planning on putting those twenty mules in my pool..LOL
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 3, 2011
12,647
1
#2
You paid someone to do a startup and all they have done is to give you a few brief instructions without ever actually showing up? I wouldn't have any confidence in them.

I would suggest contacting someone qualified who is willing to show up.
 

a wild 1

Platinum Supporter
Nov 18, 2014
30
0
Surprise (Phoenix) Az.
#3
You paid someone to do a startup and all they have done is to give you a few brief instructions without ever actually showing up? I wouldn't have any confidence in them.

I would suggest contacting someone qualified who is willing to show up.
I am sorry I seem to have given the wrong impression. I guess my irritation with the situation was coming through.
The "startup guy" came out and cut the pipes to length for the popups and set them up, installed them after the pool was filled. installed the valve system for the popups, installed the electronic control unit for the entire system including the WiFi controls, installed the blower for the spa, installed the remote controlled valves, and the temp sensor as well as doing the first water test and explaining the very basics of caring for the pool until the salt system could be set up. He appears to be very experienced and knowledgeable (reportedly over 25 years in the business) but kinda hard to get in contact with sometimes. He tells me his phone took a dirt nap and he has now received his new one.
Surprisingly every one of the subcontractors I hired was very professional and quite good at their crafts. I actually stood and watched the excavator the entire 3.5 hours it took to dig the hole. After he was finished I complemented him and told him he is an artist with that trackhoe. His answer was "When you dig pools and only pools two to four pools a day for 24 years you better get good at it."
Thanks for your comment.
John
 

JasonLion

LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
37,879
5
Silver Spring, MD
#4
What specific brand/model of SWG do you have?

Salt reading zero can be something as simple as the cable between the cell and the power unit not being properly connected, or it can indicate a more serious problem.

Most SWGs won't work when the salt level is that low, especially if the water is fairly cold.
 

a wild 1

Platinum Supporter
Nov 18, 2014
30
0
Surprise (Phoenix) Az.
#5
It went from 0 to 2300 with 7 bags of salt and I have since added another bag. The man from the company that handles the warranty will be here in an hour or so. We will see. It is a Pentair unit but I am not sure of the model.. I will look at it and post that information.
BTW I looked at the test kit they sent me with the equipment and it expired 6/2014. I guess that is why the Ph test is red/pink instead of purple. The chlorine test was a vivid yellow when the pool store said it was 7 and was slightly less vivid but still darker than the highest comparator when they said it was 2.
Thanks for everything and I will keep you informed of outcome.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#6
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

Have you started using PoolMath yet? You have added 320 pounds (8 bags) of salt to a 19,000 gallon pool/spa ... that will only raise the salt level by about 2000ppm. You probably need to add another 6 bags.

To be clear, only 8 bags have been added correct?
 

a wild 1

Platinum Supporter
Nov 18, 2014
30
0
Surprise (Phoenix) Az.
#7
Okay I did something wrong with the posting... it disappeared.. anyway.. The guy from the Pentair warranty company came over and found that the SWG was not enabled on the smart touch pane. He enabled it and it is now reading the same as his meter did. 2300. I called the startup guy and he said he enabled it from his computer and he does not know why it did not show enabled at the control panel.
Yes I have been practicing with the Pool Math. I am afraid to do anything until I get the proper testing equipment so I KNOW what I am doing. The plans say the pool is 18000 gallons and the spa is 1800 but I think it is smaller than that in real life. Much easier to wait and avoid over medicating.
I had put in 6 bags of salt ( I broadcast it across the top of the water a cup at a time) to start off and now have put in 10 bags so I will wait until it has completely incorporated before adding more. I am sure it needs several bags more but rather safe than sorry. I have no system in place to drain water from the pool (septic system) so I am leery of doing anything that may require it.
I see you have a solar heating system, please tell me about it. I was discouraged from getting one and also discouraged from a heat pump. Since it is complete people are telling me they love both...????@@@!!!
Thanks,
John Wild
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#8
No real need to add the salt that slowly. I just dump it from the bag as I walk around the pool and then a quick brushing and it is dissolved. Also, I used solar salt which is a good bit cheaper than the "pool" salt ... plain salt is salt.

I bought my solar panels used off of Craigslist from a guy up there in PHX. If you are at all handy (and depending on your roof), a DIY setup is MUCH cheaper that having one installed. Although you take on the risk of problems with no warranty.
 

jagger2005

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 6, 2014
450
0
San Antonio, TX
#9
jblizzle,

for a solar pool heater does the DC current produced by the panels go directly to a "heater device" that is in the pool plumbing? How much does the heater cost? Maybe I will convert my solar panels for electricity over to my pool. Wife would love that!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#10
jblizzle,

for a solar pool heater does the DC current produced by the panels go directly to a "heater device" that is in the pool plumbing? How much does the heater cost? Maybe I will convert my solar panels for electricity over to my pool. Wife would love that!
Solar pool heaters are just large black panels of plastic tubes that you pump water through. They are not photo-voltaic. If you want to discuss further, please start your own thread.
 

a wild 1

Platinum Supporter
Nov 18, 2014
30
0
Surprise (Phoenix) Az.
#11
Jason,
Yea I later learned the easier way to put the salt in, that is why I mentioned my previous method. I thought you would enjoy the visual of me putting in 280lbs of salt in the pool a cup at a time. LOL I figured better safe than sorry.

What do you all think of doing the phosphate testing? I am of the opinion that the consensus is that it is useless. The warranty guy recommended it highly. He volunteered the information without me even mentioning it. He said that high levels can cause all the other tests to be erroneous. I did ask about borax and he asked if I thought I needed to clean the pool since it looks so good now. He did not appear to know anything about using borax. I just made a joke about having to clean it after I got the 20 mule team out of the water.
thanks again.
John
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 19, 2010
41,193
4
Tucson, AZ
#13
Phosphates are irrelevant. Lot's of threads on the subject if you just search "phosphates".
And they will not affect any other chemistry levels.

You will hopefully soon realize that the "experts" in the pool industry seem to know very little about chemistry. Likely because they get most of their information from the chemical companies looking to sell stuff.
 

a wild 1

Platinum Supporter
Nov 18, 2014
30
0
Surprise (Phoenix) Az.
#14
I ran across many posts without searching related to phosphates. Personally I know next to nothing about chemistry. It didn't take me long to learn that the "experts" and those who obviously should be experts disagree on a majority of the chemistry of pool care. I know when two people in the same store use the same equipment two consecutive days and come up with widely differing results something is not right. I have been monitoring this board for a little while and have read hundreds of posts. It seems to be the only place where answers are essentially consistent and fall within the realm of common sense.
I must confess there was some tongue in cheek with the phosphate question. I figured his lack of knowledge about borax kinda told me he may be a little knowledge challenged on other points also. Oh well he seems to have gotten my SWG working anyway. We will see.
thanks again.
 

chem geek

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
2
San Rafael, CA USA
#15
It seems to be the only place where answers are essentially consistent and fall within the realm of common sense.
Actually, we follow the actual science (chemistry and physics) wherever it leads and validate with observation from many pools, even if the result is inconsistent with common sense. A few things about pool water chemistry are counter-intuitive.