SWG/BBB limbo

BruceInCola

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 9, 2013
39
Columbia, SC
I have been happily using the BBB method for a couple of months now on a pool that came with a house we moved into in Jan.

We did a pool inspection before buying the house, and the guy noticed that there was a SWCG installed. Of course in January, hard to tell if it was working or not, but I did notice that there were what I assume to be chlorine tabs in the skimmer, which lead me to think:
1. the SWCG was not working, or the cel was bad, and they just didn't fix it, deciding to opt for regular bleach
2. Since the house was vacant for several months, perhaps any pool service they hired decided not to fool with it, or didn't know about it, and just used tablets.

Anyhow, so now that the water is above 80º, and all three of my kids have pretty sensitive skin, I wanted to get the SWCG working. I followed the instructions in the book provided, measured the salt content with the taylor kit, and dumped in the amount that said was required. Ran the pump for more than 24 hours, and did the built-in test on the generator. Would not go above 35%.

I did the muriatic acid cleaning per the instructions, and now the salt reading will not go above 25%. I will note it took a LOT longer than the 10 minutes that the instructions said it would, for the acid to stop fizzing, and in fact there was still a little residue left even after I soaked it for 40 minutes or so. I guess it's possible I damaged it by leaving it in too long?

Considering that pool school indicated (and other threads I have read here) that CYA needs to be much higher for SW pools, AND considering I just replaced 70-80% of the water in my pool to lower the insanely high CYA levels that the previous owners left, I am...hesitant to raise my CYA even more (currently at 50) lest the cel in my SWCG is bad, or the whole unit is shot, since I would just revert back to BBB (at least temporarily).

So the question is: should I risk it and boost my CYA to the proper levels for a SW pool, in the hopes that that will allow the SWCG to work properly? Maybe more importantly, how can I know if just the cel is shot, or if replacing the whole system is in order?

Thanks
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
I would not boost the CYA until you confirm the the SWG is actually functioning.
You should be able to measure a higher FC level coming out of the return jet than in the bulk of the pool.

Most pool stores can test the cell to see if it is bad. What model do you have?
 

BruceInCola

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 9, 2013
39
Columbia, SC
jblizzle said:
I would not boost the CYA until you confirm the the SWG is actually functioning.
You should be able to measure a higher FC level coming out of the return jet than in the bulk of the pool.

Most pool stores can test the cell to see if it is bad. What model do you have?
Thanks - it's an Aquacomfort Comfort-Chlor model (not the current one on their site though). I will take it to one of the local stores.

I do find it slightly amusing that as part of their marketing, AquaComfort on their site says "never deal with dangerous chlorine again!" or something to that effect. But based on what I read in Pool School, you will now be dealing with muriatic acid MUCH more than you would with a BBB pool, to keep your PH under control. That stuff is 20x more toxic/dangerous than bleach, no?

I know when I crack open a bottle, it starts smoking like a mad scientist's beaker! :D

I do see that the same manufacturer lists a "Perfect PH" module for the system that I assume is some kind of muriatic acid dispenser...constantly tests your ph and releases acid when needed. I wonder how well that works?
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
In most pools it is possible to balance you levels so you don't have to add acid hardly at all. I haven't added any acid in over two years. The only real exception is when you have high TA fill water, which will mean adding acid constantly.