Startup SWG chlorinator salt for new pool

FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
That all sounds odd: both your description of what's going on, and their explanation for it. Sounds defective to me, but I know nothing about that brand.

Mine has similar lights for output percentage, but they don't change during normal operation. They are always on, to whatever setting I've set. They represent the settings and so I would not expect them to change at all, unless I change the setting. I also have a "Cell" light that tells me when the SWG is actually producing chlorine. When in standby mode, the Cell light is off. I also have low salt and low temp indicators.

If your percentage lights indicate something other than the percentage setting, then that should be explained in the manual. Otherwise, it's fair to assume something is wrong with the unit.
i tested salt it was 2600, watermaid says unit needs 3000 minimum so seems that is the issue with it not holding the 75% output and lights flickering down to 50 or less output, i put salt in and hopefully its all good now, last time i tested was about 4 weeks or more ago and i got 3200, i just assumed it would last longer and if i needed more salt the low salt light would come on, but watermaid said they were getting complaints that the low salt warning was coming on too early so they reset it to not come on as soon, but i would think 2600 is soon enough, anyway hopefully issue is sorted now.... i learnt more today
 

JJ_Tex

Bronze Supporter
Jul 17, 2019
1,735
Prosper, TX (DFW)
What they said about the salt levels, but it also sounds like you have other things going on like the lights flickering and it not keeping the correct %.

Your salt level does not change the % output. Your unit should simply test for salt and water flow when it powers on, and as long as it is happy with both of those it should stay at the % you have it set.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FIESTA62

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
What they said about the salt levels, but it also sounds like you have other things going on like the lights flickering and it not keeping the correct %.

Your salt level does not change the % output. Your unit should simply test for salt and water flow when it powers on, and as long as it is happy with both of those it should stay at the % you have it set.
Just what I was thinking...
 
  • Like
Reactions: FIESTA62

mgtfp

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2020
492
Melbourne, Australia
wow 12 hours pump time seems a lot, i am running only 6 hours at slow 1600rpm and pool looks sparkling,
Before I had my VS pump, I used to run my pump for as short as possible. But I get so much pollen, bugs, leaves and dirt blown into my pool, that the surface always looked dirty. Now, I'm running my VS pump throughout the day, and the pool always looks clean, and my SWG is down to 25% to 50%. There are many on the forum here that run their pump for 24/7.

i think in the end i will try a robotic,
If that's in your budget, I would definitely recommend that. They seem to do a much better job, and your pump speed and runtime is not determined by the needs of a suction cleaner. A suction cleaner does the job (my one does), but there is always this "maybe I should have..." In the back of your mind. And a lot of fiddling to get the hose length right, the pump speed, etc. When leaving the cleaner in the pool, you always have find an arrangement for the hose where it doesn't bother swimmers too much, when taking it out, you also have to find a good spot for the hose. If you leave the hose curled up in the sun, the hose will remain curled up, and the cleaner will just stay in one spot in the pool under a big tangle of hose (the curling effect doesn't affect a manual vacuum, but it makes a suction cleaner unusable). Many reasons for a robot. The only reason I see against one is the price tag.

but something i noticed yesterday there are tiny bubbles coming from the return, i have never noticed that before i am sure there wasn't any bubbles before, they are very tiny bubbles, i guess air is getting into the system from somewhere , is this normal and no issue ?
As others have already pointed out, the SWG creates hydrogen gas. What could also happen, depending on the plumbing, is that at low speed the pump doesn't manage to blow the gas all the way to the outlets, that gas accumulates somewhere in the pipe system (a bend, a high point, etc). Once enough has accumulated, it startes coming out the returns bit by bit. That could explain why you see the bubbles only sometimes. Does your pump have a prime function where it runs on full speed each time it turns on? That should blow any gas out of the system.

Another thing that I noticed is that when my suction cleaner (connected to skimmer via vac plate) is running and it gets to the surface and sucks a big gulp of air in, that this air accumulates in the skimmer (under the vac plate), and gets slowly blown through the system, adding bigger bubbles to the finer hydrogen bubbles coming out of the returns. Same thing with the manual vacuum when sucking in air.

BUT i have noticed something yesterday inspected just to see all is running ok and only the 50 light was on and it was flickering, i watched for a few minutes then the 75 came on, all good, this sounds like a cycle you mention maybe ? but i called watermaid they made no mention of it go thru a cycle
My SWG also has 8 lights that show the desired setting. The display will then show the actual chlorine production. If that value is lower than the desired setting, it indicates either that the salt is too low - the Aussie SWGs seem to be different in that regards to the US ones, my SWG also has a low salt light, but that is absolutely useless, it's permanently on once the water temperature is below about 22°C or below about 50% chlorine production, but the chlorine production is absolutely fine. Or that there is too much calcium built up on the plates, or that the cell is worn out (highly unlikely with your brand new setup) or otherwise damaged.
I'd say step one is to make sure that there is the right amount of salt in the pool and no calcium scale on the plates. Once that is ruled out, you should probably make a warranty claim.

You might have just not noticed the bubbles before. If you have your SWG setting anywhere less that 100%, then for X minutes the SWG will be producing chlorine and hydrogen, and for Y minutes it will produce neither, cycling back and forth, on and off, for the duration of its runtime. How often that cycle happens varies by brand. So even while the SWG is powered on, sometimes you'll see the tiny bubbles, and sometimes you won't. That is expected behavior.
Many Aussie SWGs (not sure about the Watermaid) work differently, and adjust the chlorine production not via a duty cycle, but by adjusting the voltage at the plates.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FIESTA62

FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
the Aussie SWGs seem to be different in that regards to the US ones,
hi thanks for the great info, i think from what watermaid tells me the low salt light is set to go off when salt is really really low so its probably useless as it didnt go off at 2600 and thats too low, when i seen the 50 light flickering i am assuming its struggling to lock on at 50 because its not seeing enough salt, it locked on eventually then after another minute the 75 lit up, the watermaid guy was straight onto it, he seemed confident its just low salt, but i will be watching closely to see it it stays on 75%

my pool looks clean too me on just 6 hours run time, water seems as clear as u could want, i did put another bag of salt in last night and when i brushed it in i could see the cloud of dust on the bottom i stirred up with the broom, so it needs a vaccuum but if i did not brush you wouldn't notice, but thats where i think its going to be the robotiic cleaner to make sure it really is spotless, i dont seem to get much leaves or whatever in pool so i am assuming i could drop the robotic in once or twice a week at most and it should be looking fine

my waterco pump starts up full speed for a minute or 2 then slows to the 1600 i set it at, i realize the manual vac might grab air if i lifted above pool water level or when i connect hose let air in, but i am very care to keep hand over end of hose when connecting to skimmer to keep air out, and i have not vacuumed for over 1 week now so i would assume any air from vacuuming is gone by now, i am going to turn cell off and just run just pump to see if i get bubbles this should confirm if its the hydrogen or not .....thanks
 
  • Like
Reactions: mgtfp

FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
What Marty said. How did you go from 3200 to 2600? Did you exchange a bunch of water? Has it been raining like crazy? How are you testing salt?
i tested salt 6 weeks ago to 3200, i am using the "clear choice labs" test kit for salt which here in OZ is regarded as the best , although the guy from watermaid swcg's said take water to pool shop to get salt tested, anyway i tested yesterday with my kit 3 times just to be sure and get 2600, we have had a bit of rain but nothing crazy, kids splashing so topped up pool maybe twice but nothing over the top, anyway i put another bag of salt in yesterday i guess its best to wait a few days for salt to fully circulate into water before i test again, the unit needs 3000 to 4000 ppm but another member here said keep it around 3200 as above that you can taste salt, so i will retest and head for around 3200 ppm
 
  • Like
Reactions: markayash

FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
Has it been raining like crazy
hi, oh and i did backwash twice yesterday 1 minute each time the rinsed twice then topped up pool again, i know 1 minute each time is short but the pump really pushes a ton of water out fast, the clear view glass clears no problem, then i tested salt later in the day and got the 2600 reading
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
Sounds like you have a good salt kit, so maybe it was just user error that got you the 3200. I was just double checking that you weren't relying on the SWG for a salt reading ('cause they're notoriously bad at that) or test strips (which are even worse).
 
  • Like
Reactions: FIESTA62

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
hi, oh and i did backwash twice yesterday 1 minute each time the rinsed twice then topped up pool again, i know 1 minute each time is short but the pump really pushes a ton of water out fast, the clear view glass clears no problem, then i tested salt later in the day and got the 2600 reading
Any way that water leaves the pool (other than evaporation) impacts the salt level. With a good kit you can keep an eye on it and adjust accordingly. Over time you'll get a sense of whether your pool loses salt or gains salt. They you can strategize accordingly. Losing salt is better, as it's easy and cheap to add it. Getting rid of excess salt means draining down the pool some amount, which is more trouble.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FIESTA62

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
All cleaning systems have their pros and cons. Suction-side vac had the least cons for me and my pool. My list of robot cons is longer than just "price tag."

Regarding a suction vac crawling out of the pool, that's a symptom of too high a flow rate. Dial back the RPMs a bit until it stops doing that. My vac came with a flow gauge, plus my plumbing has it's own flow meter, so between the two I use them to fine-tune my vac's performance. It changes some throughout the year, as my filter becomes dirty (I only have to clean it once a year). My FlowVis keeps me apprised of how the water is flowing, so I can easily maintain the efficiency and the performance of my vac and my solar panels by just tweaking the RPMs a bit to compensate for the dirty filter. Then after my "spring cleaning" of the filter, I dial the RPMs back down, and repeat the process...
 
  • Like
Reactions: mgtfp and FIESTA62

FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
Sounds like you have a good salt kit, so maybe it was just user error that got you the 3200. I was just double checking that you weren't relying on the SWG for a salt reading ('cause they're notoriously bad at that) or test strips (which are even worse).
probably user error on the 3200 test, i did only put 4 bags of salt in at startup ( 176 pounds) originally into the 10000 gallon pool, put another in yesterday....thanks
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dirk

mgtfp

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2020
492
Melbourne, Australia
Regarding a suction vac crawling out of the pool, that's a symptom of too high a flow rate. Dial back the RPMs a bit until it stops doing that. My vac came with a flow gauge, plus my plumbing has it's own flow meter, so between the two I use them to fine-tune my vac's performance.
Normally it is well tuned in and it doesn't reach the surface. But sometimes leaves (I get a lot of them, neighbour's Eucalyptus drops leaves all year round) get stuck in that flow adjuster valve resulting in too much suction at the cleaner. It's usually not a problem, just wanted to give an example for air ending up in the system.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dirk

FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
Normally it is well tuned in and it doesn't reach the surface. But sometimes leaves (I get a lot of them, neighbour's Eucalyptus drops leaves all year round) get stuck in that flow adjuster valve resulting in too much suction at the cleaner. It's usually not a problem, just wanted to give an example for air ending up in the system.
yep i get it, i am doing some research now on robotic cleaners, ultimately i just want to drop it in no hoses to worry, dont need pump on , that sounds like the go, but reviews and talk is these robotics can be unreliable and costly repairs so i want to choose wisely....
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dirk