Startup SWG chlorinator salt for new pool

FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
just a side question i been using a skimmer sock in the basket to get the fine stuff, i find the sock needs to be changed at least once a week, but today when i checked i lifted basket out and the fine soil or dust was so thick inside the sock that the water stayed in the sock basket as i lifted it out, it very slowly drained out thru the sock but i was surprized how much it was clogged after just one week or maybe less
so i am now thinking that's obviously making the pump work harder to draw water thru skimmer, thru the sock when its near change time, what do u guys recommend, use and change often or don't bother let the filter do the work ?
my filter is a new waterco with the glass beads i was just trying to limit the waste getting into filter....
 

mgtfp

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2020
492
Melbourne, Australia
When there's lots of stuff going through the skimmer, I change my skimmer sock daily, especially during pollen season. I usually have two socks going, so I can just swap them. Then I turn the dirty one inside out to get the bigger debris out and hang it up to dry. Once dry, I just shake it out and it's ready for the next swap.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
I didn't include pump speed in my recap about SWG% and runtime. Like runtime, pump speed is subject to what you're trying to get done. During swim season, my pump's runtime and RPM are governed by my solar panels: they need X amount of hours and Y amount or RPM to heat my pool most efficiently. That RPM and pump schedule is also enough for the SWG, so solar is "incharge." During the fringe-seasons, I dial the pump schedule way down, to about 6 hours per day. 2 hours of that is for vacuuming, which has it's own RPM requirement. I don't run SWG during that time. The other four hours is all about the SWG. So I up the SWG % and dial down the RPM to just enough for the SWG. I found that RPM setting by reducing the RPMs until the SWG complained (stopped producing), and then added 100RPM to that to give me a little wiggle room. So that comes to 1500RPM. I've heard of some being able to go down to 1200, just depends on your plumbing. My pool stays filtered well enough at that schedule and RPM, so for those seasons my SWG is "in charge."

Point was: you reduce pump runtime and RPM down to the minimum for the task at hand (whatever is "in charge"). For me, that changes throughout the day and throughout the year. Sometimes it is solar that is governing the pump schedule and speed, other times it is the vacuum, and sometimes it's the SWG. For others' pools, it may be just the SWG, others need more pump runtime and RPMs to get the skimming or filtering their pool needs. Every pool is different. There is no formula.

Start with the lowest pump runtime and RPM you can get away with (for the least energy consumption) and only increase pump speed and runtime as needed. That'll give you the best electricity bill and the least wear and tear possible.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
Regarding the skimmer sock, you definitely don't want to let it get clogged like that. So like most everything else, your pool is telling you what it needs. Yours is telling you to check and clean the sock way more often. I don't have that kind of sediment or pollen, so no sock for me. But if I did, I'd definitely use one. I'd rather change a sock than clog up my filter. I like mgtfp's MO of alternating socks.

The other consideration (and another plus for the sock), is the organics element. Any organics in the water is going to cost you chlorine consumption. We think about the leaves and the bugs in the pool, but forget about the skimmer basket. Sure, the pool might be clean from the vac and skimmer, but where did the crud go? If it's trapped in the skimmer basket or sock, or the pump basket, that's great for the pool, but that gunk is still consuming chlorine! And if it gets past either basket, and ends up in the filter, it's consuming chlorine in there, too!

So the more you can do to keep the filter and both baskets clear of organics, the less chlorine you'll use (liquid or SWG). The skimmer sock is a great way to keep stuff out of the pump basket and filter. Cleaning the skimmer and pump baskets often is the best way to keep the "hidden organics" out of the water. Same for the filter. I try to clear the leaves and bugs out of my baskets every day. I get critters once in a while, usually dead in the skimmer, so that's the other reason I check every day. Talk about chlorine consumption...
 
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FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
I change my skimmer sock daily,
wow daily i thought u all were going to tell me don't bother with a sock, ok so i will continue to use but keep a closer eye on when changing is needed, i dont have any trees nearby or near enough to drop anything into pool, so it just sediment of some kind, i am kinda surprized as pool looks clean very little grass floating if any on surface ( small patch of grass near pool ) i didnt expect sock top clog so fast....onto it......thanks
 

FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
Start with the lowest pump runtime and RPM
ok my pump has a button that says Eco it runs at 1900, i remember a post long ago i think it was yours not sure , anyway it said most people run around 1800 so i set mine a bit lower than the preset eco to the 1800, i will see how much lower i can go , i asked Watermaid what flow the RP9 SWG needs he said 100lpm minimum , i have a flow metre installed so i can easy check today what LPM flow i am at now, and then lower if it all runs ok...onto it

i dont have solar, and heat pump has its own pump, so i am not tied to anything else, and don't have a pool vacuum at this point, i been vacuuming myself once a week, as its just 6 x 4 it don't take long, and i am wanting to get everything sorted before i do buy a robotic cleaner, 1 headache at a time, i might not even bother with robotic, but i do see most if not everyone has one so i guess i will get one eventually.....
 
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mgtfp

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2020
492
Melbourne, Australia
i am kinda surprized as pool looks clean very little grass floating if any on surface ( small patch of grass near pool ) i didnt expect sock top clog so fast
Yep, the amount of gunk in the sock is just astonishing, and shows that the socks make sense.

I check my skimmer each day anyway for little frogs we sometimes get in the pool, prefer to get them out while still alive. And then there are the spiders... We get trap doors here and they can survive a long time under water. Nasty looking critters:


Reason enough for me not to mess with the skimmer in the dark.

Found a funnel web once in a friend's pool in Sydney. Quite OCD since then about checking the pool for critters before going in...
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
Wasn't me (about the 1800), and I don't know anything about eco mode. But it sounds like you get the gist.

I had mentioned adding a bit of RPM (or flow) to the minimum number the SWG will work at, so that if flow decreases your SWG doesn't shut down on you. A prime cause for the reduced flow is a dirty filter (or skimmer sock), and it sounds like you have the conditions for that to happen. If you set your flow to the 100lpm minimum while the filter and sock are clean, as either gets dirty, the flow will decrease and the SWG will eventually shut down because of that. Murphy's Law (or the oz equivalent) dictates that will happen on the first day of your week away on vacation, so you'll come back to a green pool! So leave a little safety margin.
 
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FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
question on robotic cleaners, i been manually vacuuming and scrubbing probably average once a week as pool is just 6 x 4 its not a big job, but i noticed a stain on bottom of pool near the drain valve , looked like a rust colour stain, i scrubbed for ages and it still showed a faint spot, but days later its gone, but yesterday i see 2 new stains about coin size, scrubbed, but still see faint marks, but they also might fade hopefully
i don't have many leaves to deal with but i do get the odd leaf or 2 and grass from my lawn beside pool coping, maybe the stains are from a leaf / grass sitting on bottom of pool as i only vacuum once a week at most
i do get a fair bit of grass in pool after kids have been running around from grass to pool, but i figure a leaf is more likely to stain than grass, but don't know really what caused the stains
anyway thinking i might buy a cleaner and i am told robotic is the way to go, can i ask any suggestions on the best one to buy ? thanks
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
Regarding the stains, I had just a few of those. On my bench. Black, small. I couldn't scrub them off. Then after a few days they just disappeared. I assumed the chlorine just did it's thing and eventual ate through the organics...

The best defense against leaves and their stains on the bottom is to never let them get there. That's what skimming is all about. You optimize skimming by adjusting pump RPM, runtime and return eyeballs to create a nice rotating whirlpool affect that routes floating leaves by the skimmers where they get sucked in. You can float ping pong balls on the surface on a calm day (no wind) to see if your pool water is rotating properly. You adjust all the eyeballs so they push the water around in a circle. The up/down angle can make a difference too, to get the surface moving. But it's a delicate balance. If the current from the returns is rippling the surface, even if that's best for the movement, that can also cause your pH to rise.

It's just a matter of playing around with the three adjustments (RPM, runtime and returns) to find the sweet spot.
 
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Homebrewale

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2020
310
Apex, NC
Still others (this is my camp) likes the idea of a very long runtime, with a low SWG output, so that the pool gets dosed throughout the entire day, instead of for just a short part of the day. The theory being: that maintains a more constant FC all day, which technically means you could run FC a little lower.
My main reason for long runtimes is not even dosing through the day but it is for the pump to run at lower RPMs to reduce electricity costs for the pump.
 
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FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
adjust all the eyeballs so they push the water around in a circle.
i have 2 returns at one end, skimmer at opposite end, at this point both returns are pointing straight towards skimmer, my pool surface gets clean within minutes when i turn pump on, i dont seem to have any issue getting surface leaves into skimmer, and thats with pump now turned down to 1600 rpm
though i get what your saying make a circle pattern, but not sure how to do this with 2 returns at one end
but it seems to surface clean ok now, so i assume leave it alone, here's a pic of pool, the blanket has been on since Thursday night its Saturday morning here now and as u can see not a leaf in sight,
i really don't get many leaves, but do see the odd one on bottom of pool, as pump runs and skims during day for 6 hours then i guess it only takes 1 leaf when pump is off that sinks to bottom and could stain
u can see those leafy trees growing on the left side from neighbours fence that's the only possible leaves i can get, but so far i don't see much dropping from there, i am thinking maybe i just keep manually vacuuming for now as i wonder if robotic cleaner is really needed
are these robotic cleaners needed for the scrubbing action they do? i just dont know if i really need a robotic as my leaf issue is really minor
 

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FIESTA62

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
171
BEACON HILL 2100 NSW
lighter colour finishes
my pool is pebble Tec ..Marina blue, fine white pebbles with blue mirror chips, so yes its a light colour and going to show stains more easy, i didn't think much about light colour pebbles might stain easy when i chose the pebble Crete as i didn't think i would have stains , but now realise one leaf sitting on bottom overnight might be all it takes...
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
Yah, the whirlpool is just one way of doing it. If you're getting good skimming, "leaf" it alone! 🍃 If the stains are few, and they're resolving on their own, then maybe there's nothing to do. Friends with that neighbor? Ask him if he'll let you trim those little trees just below the fence. Maybe in exchange for letting his family hang out at the pool. Have him over a few times. Mention the leaves. If he's cool he'll volunteer. Problem solved.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
7,216
Central California
I did have one other type of stain similar to what you describe, but it didn't resolve itself. On the bottom, shallow end. I thought it looked like rust. And I freaked because I thought that meant the rebar was too close to the plaster. I called the contractor and he came out and dove in and fixed it. He said it happens sometimes. I missed what he did, but my guess was that it was some sort of metal or iron flake in the original pebble mix. He probably dug it out, maybe he patched the resulting hole, maybe not. I can't remember where it was to check. But it hasn't come back.