Short-lived Non-SWG pool

dws3

Member
Dec 21, 2019
22
Dallas, TX
Less than 7 months ago, I resurfaced my SWG pool and was convinced I would be happier with a non-SWG pool. Almost everyone I've interacted with at TFP told me SWG was a better option, but I was convinced otherwise. I was wrong.

Never having owned a non-SWG in Texas (only in upstate NY), I had no idea how much chlorine this pool would demand once the weather heated up. I originally thought I was going to use chlorine tabs, until I realized that 1) the tabs I thought did not contain CYA do, in fact, contain CYA, because there is no such thing as a 3-inch tab that does not contain CYA, and 2) the volume of tabs I would go through would send my CYA levels through the roof. When that happened and I had to drain thousands of gallons out of the pool to bring the CYA level down, I switched to 10% liquid chlorine. But the volume of chlorine I was adding was ridiculous. So I quickly realized I was not going to be happy and had a Jandy TruClear system installed and connected to my iAqualink controller.

I've only had it two weeks, but I am very happy with it. I was already running salt at about 2000 ppm for the "feel" of it, so added about 280 lbs more salt. But no more gallons and gallons of chlorine each week. BUT - and this was one of my major complaints about a SWG in the first place - I've already seen the acid demand increase, from about 5 ounces per day (average), so about 13 ounces per day (average). This may change as I get more time to track acid demand post-SWG-install, but that's how it looks right now.

I realize that acid demand is higher in the first 6-12 months of a new surface, but it seems to be increasing instead of decreasing, and my previous SWG experience was that acid demand always stayed high. Is there any easy way to reduce this high acid demand, or is that just the way it is?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,978
Laughlin, NV
What is your TA? The SWCG itself does not appreciably effect pH. The fact you are not using trichlor, which is very acidic, does make it seem like you are adding more acid.

Do you use the PoolMath app? It allows you to store your test data, calculate your chemical needs, and you can share your data logs with the forum. Really helps us help you.

With your size pool, the Truclear is pretty low in chlorine generation. So be aware you need to run it a lot of hours at a high % generation.
 

HeyEng

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
Nov 7, 2018
567
Oklahoma City, OK
I just jumped on the SWG bandwagon myself. I initially wasn't too excited about spending $1K (and more!) on a SWG when I could buy 10% bleach for about $2 a gallon. However, COVID has made finding the cheap bleach difficult and being in a pretty hot area of the country...my chlorine use was/is pretty high. I haven't had it long enough to say, "YES!!! DO THIS!!! NO OTHER CHOICE!!!" but I am already relaxing knowing that my liquid chlorine use will go down A LOT.
 

Dtkokay

Well-known member
Dec 31, 2019
320
Houston, Texas
What is your TA? The SWCG itself does not appreciably effect pH. The fact you are not using trichlor, which is very acidic, does make it seem like you are adding more acid.

Do you use the PoolMath app? It allows you to store your test data, calculate your chemical needs, and you can share your data logs with the forum. Really helps us help you.

With your size pool, the Truclear is pretty low in chlorine generation. So be aware you need to run it a lot of hours at a high % generation.
Is there a preferable TA level to keep the pH from rising? I’ve had my SWCG running for maybe a month now and noticed a faster pH rise compared to when I was using only liquid chlorine. I’ve been keeping my TA in the 80-90 range, but maybe that’s too high?
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
268
Flower Mound, TX
Pool Size
25500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I’ve had my pool with SWCG for 13 years and have just learned to live with adding a small amount of acid each week, but not as much as you are having to add. Small price to pay for otherwise “zero” maintenance. I tried everything I could find on this forum (which is outstanding!), including the borate treatment and trying different TA levels, within the acceptable range of course. I had no success in stopping the PH drift. I recall doing research that pointed to the SWCG as a likely source of the PH increase, as I believe there is aeration introduced by the cell. Seems to hold true, as my PH doesn’t rise as quickly during the winter months when the cell is either off or on a very low %.
 

dws3

Member
Dec 21, 2019
22
Dallas, TX
What is your TA? The SWCG itself does not appreciably effect pH. The fact you are not using trichlor, which is very acidic, does make it seem like you are adding more acid.

Do you use the PoolMath app? It allows you to store your test data, calculate your chemical needs, and you can share your data logs with the forum. Really helps us help you.

With your size pool, the Truclear is pretty low in chlorine generation. So be aware you need to run it a lot of hours at a high % generation.
Hi Marty, yes I use the Poolmath app, but I'm not sure how to share my logs. My most recent log is:
FC: 3.6
CC: 0.2
pH: 7.8
TA: 80
CH: 290
CVA: 50
Salt: 3400
Temp: 91
CSI: 0.04

I've added baking soda twice in the last 10 days - 167 oz total - due to TA decrease, caused by the 192 oz of MA I've added over the last two weeks. pH was 8.0 yesterday, added 32 oz MA, and it's 7.8 today, so I'm adding another 23 oz MA. Soon my TA will drop and I'll have to add more baking soda, and the cycle will continue.

I know the TruClear is on the small side, but I wanted something compatible with my iAqualink, and this model is supposed to be more reliable than the Jandy AquaPure. I'm running my VSP at 1750 rpm for 12 hours a day in this heat, and have had no problem maintaining FC while operating the TruClear at 60%. In fact, before the heat wave, I had actually turned it down as low as 45% because my FC was rising. I raised it in 5% increments and got to 60% yesterday, and my FC increased from 3.2 yesterday to 3.6 today, so I may put it back to 55%.

How do I share my logs? Just post a screen capture? Or is there a more eloquent way?
 

revitup

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Nov 30, 2019
369
Pawleys Island, SC
I never, and I do mean never, have had to add MA to our SWG pool since the first couple of months after I discovered TFP. I have had about a gallon and a half sitting in the pool box forever and I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of it.
Edit: Never, other than the process to reduce TA.
 
Last edited:

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,978
Laughlin, NV
Hi Marty, yes I use the Poolmath app, but I'm not sure how to share my logs. My most recent log is:
In the app, go to Setup (gear icon). Go to Sharing. Turn on the Link from ..... The logs will then show up by clicking on your Member name.

Get off the TA/pH hamster wheel. Let your TA fall to 50 ppm if necessary to stabilize pH. Only lower pH from 8 to 7.6. Are you running the waterfall very often? Minimize that, it causes aeration which drives up pH.

Your CYA should be raised to 70-80 ppm to stabilize your FC loss. Maintain your FC based on CYA using FC/CYA Chart
 

Jeff J.

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2019
223
Staten Island NY
Thanks - I’ll give that a try. And you’re right about my tap water, which has a TA of 180.
When you get all the levels right, I think you should consider borates. I put them in to 50, and my PH has basically stayed at 7.8, occasionally drifting to 7.6 or 8.0, since May. I don't have an SWG, though. Oh, and the water looks and feels great.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,426
OV, CA
Get off the TA/pH hamster wheel.
+1 Sage advice. Don't chase the TA.. it will equilibriate with your pH when it gets in range. Every few years I find the right balance and my pH hovers around 7.8 without having to add hardly any MA. Otherwise its just a fact of life with a SWG in the family.
 

dws3

Member
Dec 21, 2019
22
Dallas, TX
TA/pH hamster wheel...that's a great description of where I'm at. Great advice. I'll start heading that way. I thought the idea was to keep TA in the higher end to stabilize pH, and also of the belief that 7.8 was at the high end of the range and it was "better" to have it closer tp 7.5. So I've been trying to push them both in the opposite direction of where they want to be. And yet, my CSI is in a happy place most of the time, so I guess I need to keep focusing on that.

I run the waterfall for 5 minutes a day just to keep the lines fresh. I could easily cut that down to a minute a day (it's on auto), but that's probably not a big contributor.

Thanks for all the good advice. I'll update as things improve.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,846
NY
The best thing I ever did was get so frustrated trying to lower my PH all the time that I gave up. Once I let it be it settled in and stayed put. This was by dumb luck before TFP. Having fresh plaster may give you some extra rise for a while, but it will slow down eventually.

Also be happy that you switched and didn't like it. It didnt cost you a thing, and now you know for sure which way works for you. Otherwise you would wonder forever. I did some things that didn't work out either, but the peace of mind from knowing is priceless.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,426
OV, CA
I run the waterfall for 5 minutes a day just to keep the lines fresh. I could easily cut that down to a minute a day (it's on auto), but that's probably not a big contributor.
I run my waterfall once a week. that seems to be enough to keep it flushed out when the pool is in a state of TFP... If I have a bunch of swimmers it will tend to hide organics.. but by the same token, those swimmers want the waterfall turned on.
 

dws3

Member
Dec 21, 2019
22
Dallas, TX
The best thing I ever did was get so frustrated trying to lower my PH all the time that I gave up. Once I let it be it settled in and stayed put. This was by dumb luck before TFP. Having fresh plaster may give you some extra rise for a while, but it will slow down eventually.

Also be happy that you switched and didn't like it. It didnt cost you a thing, and now you know for sure which way works for you. Otherwise you would wonder forever. I did some things that didn't work out either, but the peace of mind from knowing is priceless.
It cost me $350 for the inline chlorinator and check valve with installation. Anybody need a CMP inline chlorinator? Just pay for shipping and it's yours! :) But you're right, I've had both SWG and Non-SWG in the same environment, so now I know which works better for me.
 
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