SWG has never seemed to work right, last summer was the worst.

DaveBinWL

Member
Sep 7, 2013
20
White Lake, Michigan
Hello! Thanks for checking this out and trying to offer some help!

My system has a IntelliChlor IC40 40,000 Cell. Since we opened the pool in 2014 I've had issues with it keeping enough chlorine in the pool. The first four seasons it seemed to do well until about half way through. At the midway point I start experiencing more and more algae, when I test it almost always reads zero chlorine. Last season it just didn't seem to be working from the start... I had to switch to Chlorine tabs for most the summer.

I clean the cell the way I'm supposed to, have done it a few times the last couple of years. All the lights read green and good to go. I'm not sure what my next steps should be? Is there a way to test it's functionality or at what capacity it's running at?

I'm probably doing something wrong but I don't know. Thanks in advance for the input!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
How do you test your pool water chemistry? Do you follow the FC/CYA Chart based on your CYA?

Your SWCG would need to run 12-15 hours each day at 100% setting to create the chlorine you need each day during swim season. Did you run it that way?
 

DaveBinWL

Member
Sep 7, 2013
20
White Lake, Michigan
There's a local store that uses a chemistry type setup, not strips. It's pretty elaborate. So I've been trusting them to my test the chemistry and get it right. I'm guessing I should learn my own stuff at this point though.

I probably don't run it that long. Honestly, I probably ran it at 60%-80% for the first few years, 2 years ago may have been the first I ran it at 100%... but even then it was only 10am-8pm.

Thanks for the info, that should definitely help this summer. I appreciate your time!
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,494
Evans, Georgia
If you're not actively testing your pool yourself, you have no idea when exactly your pool FC is bottoming out. Could one of the kids be peeing in the pool (which eats up FC) or is your FC too low considering normal daily loss to the sun??

We need a full set of test results to know where to begin to determine the problem. With a GOOD test kit of your own (either the K-2006C or the TF-100 <my preferred kit>, found at www.tftestkits.net or www.poolsupplyworld.com )
FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA

Can you do this for us and let us help you find the problem??

Maddie :flower:
 
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DaveBinWL

Member
Sep 7, 2013
20
White Lake, Michigan
Thanks for looking into this with me. I can get this done. I had one of those test kits when we first built the pool but got frustrated with all the info, discovered the above mentioned store and took the lazy way out. You're right though, I need to understand my own pool. I'm ordering the kit today and will get the results posted as soon as I can.

Thank you!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,373
Bedford, TX
Dave,

Unfortunately, most pool owners do not fully understand how their salt system works, and are often told it is a "Set and Forget" system, which it is not.. 😕

Some things you need to understand..

A salt cell has no brain.. It only does what you tell it to do. You are the cell's brain. You need to routinely test your pool water and then tell the cell to either produce more or less chlorine by adjusting either the run time or the percent of output.

With your brain full active, salt cells do an excellent job of maintaining the amount of chlorine you need in your pool. If you have algae, they cannot produce chlorine faster than the algae can reproduce..

You have to run the cell hard enough and/or long enough to produce the amount of chlorine you need each day. The cell does not care how you do it. From the cell's point of view, running at 100% for 1 hour, is exactly the same as running the cell at 10% for 10 hours.. The same amount of chlorine is produced.

Cell's have a finite life spa.. As an analogy.. they contain a fixed amount of chlorine, once used up, the cell will no longer work. Usually this is between 4 to 10 years and really depends on the size of the pool, and how hard the cell is used.

You don't have to be a chemistry wizard to run a saltwater pool, but you do have to have a basic understanding of the chemicals in the pool water and how they interact.. I suggest you read this.. ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

You need to be able to test your own pool water so that you can make the necessary changes to how your pool operates. You need either the TF-100 (which I use) or the Taylor K-2006C (and yes the 'c' is important).

From reading your post, I suspect that you did not maintain an adequate FC level to prevent algae and then you never fully killed the algae which is preventing your cell from working like you expect. Basically using tabs will knock the algae back just enough so that you can't see it, but it won't kill it. I also suspect that you have to throw in bags of "pool Shock" on a routine basis just to keep the algae at bay.

As an example of how things should work... I have three saltwater pool that have been running an average of 7 years.. I have never had an algae bloom of any kind. My water is crystal clear... I have never added any bags of shock, or other pool store "magic" like PhosFree, algaecides, Green to Clean, etc, etc..

Please post the following data (for now, even if it is from a pool store)

FC
CC
pH
TA
CH
CYA
Salt
( You can forget about all the other nonsense the pool store tests for like Phosphates and TDS, etc.)

We would be glad to get you pointed in the right direction, just let us know...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

DaveBinWL

Member
Sep 7, 2013
20
White Lake, Michigan
Ok, just leaving the pool store. My kit won’t come u til later this week but pool is cleared up from opening and I’m ready to get it going. Here’s what the tests indicated.

FC 0.1
CC 0.1
pH 8.6
TA 168
CH 136
CYA 47
Salt 1698

I have 10 lbs. of calcium and 8 bags of 40 lb. salt to put in for now. Held off on buying anything else for now.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,373
Bedford, TX
Dave,

You need to add some Liquid Chlorine now, so that you don't go down the algae path.. A 23K pool will take 165 oz. of 12.5% Liquid Chlorine to get to an FC of 7.. You need 7 ppm of FC because your CYA is 50.

You really need to get your pH down into the 7's... So add 80 oz. of 31% Muriatic Acid (MA).. This will also (over time) get your TA down...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,494
Evans, Georgia
YIkes- way toooo low FC, but I see you're handling that.

Need to lower that pH with muriatic acid. Did they mention that?? Use PoolMath to see how much to put in to get the job done. Will also have a side benefit of helping lower that TA too.

Before you add that calcium, check your heater manual to see if your heater requires x amount of calcium. Most vinyl pool owners don't need to worry about calcium at all unless 1) they *have* a heater and 2) that heater requires x amount of calcium. Not all do.

Just something to be aware of, y'know? Simplifies pool life if you don't :)

Maddie :flower:
 

DaveBinWL

Member
Sep 7, 2013
20
White Lake, Michigan
Yippie, thx for the heads up on the calcium. I checked the manual and it says between 200-400ppm. My test read 225 today, pool store said 136. Should I add some to get around 300 just to be safe?

My results for today are as follows:
FC 1.5
CC 1
pH 8
TA 150
CH 225
CYA 45
Salt 3560 (my SWG requires 3400)

This was done with my TF-100 test kit that I just received. My above results were from the pool store the other day.

I need to get that FC level up there.. do I just need to buy 8 gallons of bleach / chlorine to have on hand to keep it up? Should I be adding the CYA with a sock to stabilize the chlorine?

Thx again!
 
Last edited:

Mr Bruce

TFP Guide
Mar 24, 2014
2,438
Greenville, SC
I would leave the CYA alone for now. I would elevate FC if not take it to SLAM level, I'd let how the water looks make that call for me. e: I see now you have salt on hand. Speaking of, you should get a K-1766 Taylor Salt test. K-1766 Taylor Salt Test

I'd run the pool like a non-SWCG pool until you get everything balanced, salt tested with your own kit and adjusted to the right level.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
11,494
Evans, Georgia
Get your FC up. Be aware that adding chlorine is a daily task (which when working your SWG did).

The sun alone will take a daily toll of FC of about 2ppm, so you want to add as much chlorine as it takes to get your FC up to 6-8ppm, since your CYA is at *50* (not 45, no halfways). THe minimum FC for a CYA of 50 is 4ppm, so if you aim for 6ppm and lose 2ppm to the sun, you'll be on that basement level borderline. So keeping it at 7-8ppm gives you room to stay above that 4ppm. Capisch?

If you test results using the TF-100 were for Calcium of 225 you're good. Pull it up a bit if you want but it isn't necessary. Only up to 250 or so. You could use a package of CalHypo shock which will not only add FC but some calcium too. Just don't go crazy with it, ok??

Take that pH down with some MA, which will also lower that over high TA.

Maddie :flower:
 

DaveBinWL

Member
Sep 7, 2013
20
White Lake, Michigan
I'm doing a better job keeping chlorine in the pool but only at 2/4 Cl/Br with my TA-100 water test. I'm guessing I need to get that up to 5+ consistently? At what point should I add CYA? Doesn't that protect all this chlorine I'm adding? I'd also like to get the SWG running so I'm getting the pool heated up. Assuming the pool is warm enough for SWG to run properly, when should I make that transition? Test results from this morning are below.

FC 2
pH 7.5
TA 150
50
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,404
Laughlin, NV
Use the FAS-DPD test for FC testing.
Your CYA you reported earlier is 50 ppm. You can raise that tp 60 or 70 if you wish.
Start your SWCG if your water is over 60F. How much FC have you been adding daily now? Match that with the SWCG setting. It will probably need to raised to create more chlorine each day as summer gets there and you start swimming.
 

DaveBinWL

Member
Sep 7, 2013
20
White Lake, Michigan
I'm trying to figure out the amount of run time my SWG should need. I'm not understanding the pounds per day number that my SWG is suppose to be producing. According to a chart I found my particular unit is 1.40 lbs. per day. Does that mean if I run it for 24 hours it'll produce 1.40 lbs?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,413
Northern NJ
I'm trying to figure out the amount of run time my SWG should need. I'm not understanding the pounds per day number that my SWG is suppose to be producing. According to a chart I found my particular unit is 1.40 lbs. per day. Does that mean if I run it for 24 hours it'll produce 1.40 lbs?
Are you using PoolMath?

Your SWG will add 7.3ppm of CL if run 24 hours at 100%.

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