SWG Newbie needs advice...

FLNewsGuy

Active member
May 27, 2013
37
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Hello folks....

There is so much information on this site that it's a bit daunting to a guy like me who needs a simpler instruction of what to do.

I recently bought a home in South Florida with an in-ground pool and a Jandy SWG (The AquaPure 700). I am convinced the previous owner didn't properly care for it. He has left me with a big (read: expensive) repair job. For instance, he told me that the pool store was wrong and that his sensor was right with regard to salt concentration. But it was he who was wrong; multiple tests done by different parties revelaed the salt was too low and he was running the SWG too high for such little salt. He also bragged about it being a "maintenance-free pool." This I knew was baloney, but learned he barely ever cleaned the filter grids.

The pool and SWG system were installed two years ago. (I have the receipt and work site info from the installer) but I immediately had to replace the flow sensor and the multiplex board. I clean the filter (Jandy DEV 45) and the AqauPure (with an 'acid bath') as per manufacturer recommendations, but my pool never seems to chlorinate enough.

I had been running it at 70% for six hours. I turned it up to 85% for eight hours. My salt and CYA levels are fine. I keep my pH balanced. My total alkalinity and total dissolved solids are within the expected ranges. I seem to have a slightly high hardness level. But whatever chlorine is made during the day (which is never enough) is gone by morning.

(I know that chlorine is being produced in some regard, because I can fill up the test tube with water coming out of the return jet and the chlorine level is much higher than from the deep end of the pool).

I'm shocking every one to two weeks just to sanitize the pool for me, my family, and guests.

Am I not running the SWG enough? Is it due to the summer sun/heat? (We're already in the high 80's/low 90's F here.) Is my SWG busted due to the previous owner's incompetence? Should I completely drain and refill to fix the calcium hardness level? Does water hardness impede the SWG?

Thank you, in advance, for your simple advice. I'm apparently not smart enough to figure this out on my own! The local pool guys are helpful within their abilities. And while the pool service who has been helping me with the other issues is very accommodating, they charge an arm-and-a-leg for their time.
 

Vette

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2012
404
Ohio
Welcome! :wave:

Do you have your own reliable test kit (read: K-2006 or TF-100)? From Total Dissolved Solids, it sounds like you are using a pool store. They are TERRIBLE at CYA testing, so maybe your CYA is not in a good range, and the sun is burning it off quickly. Note that CYA in an SWG pool should be about 70.

Also, so we can better help you, please put your pool equipment specs in your signature like the 1st 2 lines of mine.
 

Smykowski

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to the forum! A properly maintained pool should only rarely need to be shocked. You likely have a low level algae bloom that is consuming chlorine as fast as the SWG can produce it. How does the water look? Another possibility is that your CYA level is too low and the FC is burning off too fast in the sun.

Either way, if you truly want to take control of your pool, you need to get a good test kit (see post above). Next, while you're waiting for it to be delivered, read as much as you can handle in Pool School (link in upper right corner of every page on full html site).

We can (and will) help you, but you have to lay the foundation for learning, or our answers are going to sound like we're speaking Swahili.
 

FLNewsGuy

Active member
May 27, 2013
37
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ya'll are terrific! Especially on a holiday weekend.

I did up my signature as you asked.

I've been relying on the pool store testing but I also test on my own with a kit I got at the pool store. But I'll bet the farm the test kits you're recommending will work much more accurately.

As of this morning, the pool store tells me my CYA (what they call "Stabilizer") is at 60 ppm. They consider this to be "OK" and in their recommended range of 60 to 80 ppm. (You guys say it should be 10 ppm higher, which would be in the middle of their range).

(The pool store also said I had 1 ppm of FC and zero CC. I was surprised there was even 1 ppm of FC in there. On my tester it didn't appear that high).

I definitely have some yellow algae in there. I can seen it just fine... but I suspect it's their only because the SWG isn't chlorinating enough.

I'll read up in "Pool School" and get back to you some more. Thanks again!!
 

susa

Well-known member
Oct 31, 2010
610
Deep South
About 3 years ago I converted to an all Pentair system, little larger pool than the OP and decided to run 24/7 during the summer at the lowest allowed speed, while still being able to generate Chlorine (as in the C in swCg). The end result is a very stable 3 or 4 ppm FC, totally clear pool, zero algae issues and no sound from the silent IntelliFlow VF. FPL powerbill dropped by 40 to 50 per month since the conversion. IntelliChlor is set to 20 percent. Very important to have the Pool School levels of TA, FC, CYA and BORATE (see several threads on use of Boric Acid in SWCG pools !!!). I keep Ph deliberately at 7.6 automatically with Simpool automation.
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Welcome :wave:

Please do not add any more CYA to your pool. I suggest the only thing you should add now is bleach/liquid chlorine.

The best thing you can do is order one of the recommended test kits. The fav around here is the TF100. Also the best bang for the buck. This will put you in control of your pool. See link in my sig.
btw, I , and many others here, suggest you also order the Speed Stir. That thing is great! :wink:
 

FLNewsGuy

Active member
May 27, 2013
37
Fort Lauderdale, FL
And yet another question...

My AquaPure has a function labeled "Boost Pool" which will run both the filter and the SWG at 100% for 24 hours. Is this a shocking technique? Is seems from all I'm reading in Pool School that it wouldn't nearly drive the FC up enough.

Your ideas are always cherished!
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
FLNewsGuy said:
One more question for anyone who is kind enough to answer...

Am I correct in thinking that if I were to shock the pool, the SWCG should be OFF for the duration?
You can use the SWG to help maintain shock levels if you want. Just be sure to have it off for the OCLT part of the process.
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
FLNewsGuy said:
And yet another question...

My AquaPure has a function labeled "Boost Pool" which will run both the filter and the SWG at 100% for 24 hours. Is this a shocking technique? Is seems from all I'm reading in Pool School that it wouldn't nearly drive the FC up enough.

Your ideas are always cherished!
We do not recommend you run the SWG at 100% as it will help kill the life of the cell. A SWG cannot produce enough chlorine fast enough to reach shock level. That's why we suggest bleach/liquid chlorine. :wink:
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,184
Evans, Georgia
FLNewsGuy said:
And yet another question...

My AquaPure has a function labeled "Boost Pool" which will run both the filter and the SWG at 100% for 24 hours. Is this a shocking technique? Is seems from all I'm reading in Pool School that it wouldn't nearly drive the FC up enough.

Your ideas are always cherished!
My Compupool SWG also has that button, but I don't use it. I figure I can get a more immediate raise to my CL level by using bleach, and it saves extra wear and tear on my SWG. I keep my SWG on a very low setting (currently 5% x 6 hours a day) because I have an autocover. I use the pool calculator to guide how much bleach to add when I want to raise my CL to x amount. I've never had an algae outbreak and only once felt I ought to bring it to shock level when the grandson pooped in the pool :oops:
 

MassNerd

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2013
174
Central Massachusetts
FLNewsGuy said:
Hello folks....
I'm shocking every one to two weeks just to sanitize the pool for me, my family, and guests.
Could you explain what process you are performing when "shocking"? Have you read how to shock a pool in Pool School http://www.troublefreepool.com/category.php?c=getting_started ?

I'm wondering if you are not properly elevating your chlorine level high enough and long enough to truly clean your pool of organics/algae and that is why you can't keep the chlorine levels high enough.
 

FLNewsGuy

Active member
May 27, 2013
37
Fort Lauderdale, FL
MassNerd said:
Could you explain what process you are performing when "shocking"? Have you read how to shock a pool in Pool School http://www.troublefreepool.com/category.php?c=getting_started ?

I'm wondering if you are not properly elevating your chlorine level high enough and long enough to truly clean your pool of organics/algae and that is why you can't keep the chlorine levels high enough.

Surely...

I've been going by what the guy at the pool store says to do, which I've been learning (especially after coming here) what a no-no it is. His instructions were to sell me bags of shock treatment to dump in my pool without any method.

I'm learning through reading all the material on this site there are better ways to do it with bleach, etc. I also need to order that TF test kit ya'll keep recommending. I've been using a five-way kit from my pool store which only features an OTO Chlorine test.

I hope to give this all a shot during the weekend (I work during the week, plus it's been raining cats and dogs here). I'm just trying to calculate how much bleach to use. I have a few gallons of Chlorox just sitting around, but if I'm doing my math correctly, I may need 5 gallons worth in order to raise it shock level.

(If I'm wrong, I beg to be corrected!)
 

masand

Active member
May 19, 2010
31
Atlanta, GA
FLNewsGuy said:
MassNerd said:
Could you explain what process you are performing when "shocking"? Have you read how to shock a pool in Pool School http://www.troublefreepool.com/category.php?c=getting_started ?

I'm wondering if you are not properly elevating your chlorine level high enough and long enough to truly clean your pool of organics/algae and that is why you can't keep the chlorine levels high enough.

Surely...

I've been going by what the guy at the pool store says to do, which I've been learning (especially after coming here) what a no-no it is. His instructions were to sell me bags of shock treatment to dump in my pool without any method.

I'm learning through reading all the material on this site there are better ways to do it with bleach, etc. I also need to order that TF test kit ya'll keep recommending. I've been using a five-way kit from my pool store which only features an OTO Chlorine test.

I hope to give this all a shot during the weekend (I work during the week, plus it's been raining cats and dogs here). I'm just trying to calculate how much bleach to use. I have a few gallons of Chlorox just sitting around, but if I'm doing my math correctly, I may need 5 gallons worth in order to raise it shock level.

(If I'm wrong, I beg to be corrected!)
Once you raise Cl to shock level, make sure you have enough bleach on hand to keep it there until you pass the OCLT. Have you read this link:
pool-school/shocking_your_pool

Think of "shocking" as a process, not a product. If you stop halfway through the process (before passing the OCLT), you will not kill all the algae and will need to start over. The SWG will be fine either on or off during the process but as mentioned earlier, make sure it is off during the OCLT.
 

UN1017

Well-known member
May 12, 2012
288
Sacramento, CA
You are doing the right thing by hitting Pool School. I know it seems overwhelming right now but it will all come together in the end....if you follow the steps suggested. To be successful in this you need to:

1. Stay out of the pool store for advice
2. Order your own good test kit immediately
3. Follow the steps on the the shocking process
4. Keep coming here to continue learning (you'll become a pool Jedi in no time!)

Remember, any liquid chlorinator (aka bleach) will do. You can use Clorox but you your pool store or Walmart may have the best price for a given quantity/strength for the bleach. Many of the "pool" bleaches are more concentrated and may be a better value.

Up to this point, how long we're you running your pump and what percentage was your SWG set at?

Also, you have in your signature that your pool is in a screened enclosure. Does it get much if any direct sunlight on it?
 

FLNewsGuy

Active member
May 27, 2013
37
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Thanks for your encouragement!

UN1017 said:
Order your own good test kit immediately
Which brings me to my next question: I have a pool store-bought (Pinch-A-Penny, yes. Please don't flame me) PH and OTO CL test kit. Would that in combination with the smaller TF-50 kit do the job? I know the TF-50 has the same tests as the TF-100 minus those two tests. (And it's $25 cheaper!)

UN1017 said:
Up to this point, how long we're you running your pump and what percentage was your SWG set at?
As long as eight hours a day and as high as 85% with no measurable difference from running it a shorter time and as low as 65% and as high as 90% (I'm afraid to go higher than 90%)


UN1017 said:
Also, you have in your signature that your pool is in a screened enclosure. Does it get much if any direct sunlight on it?
It gets a great deal of sunlight. The enclosure is entirely screens, including it's roof. It doesn't have a solid opaque roof. The screen helps keep most bugs away from our patio/pool area and of course keeps tree debris out from the water. Yet worms, lizards and baby toads are still able to take a dip from time to time :lol:
 

UN1017

Well-known member
May 12, 2012
288
Sacramento, CA
FLNewsGuy said:
Would that in combination with the smaller TF-50 kit do the job?
Absolutely.

The reason your SWG can't keep up because you aren't making enough chlorine. In a perfect world, the Aquapure 700 can make 10 oz. (by wt.) of chlorine in a 24 hour period. If we do a little number crunching, here's what we get:

10 oz /24 hrs = .41 oz per hour (at 100% setting)

At 85% setting you get .35 oz per hr

.35 X 8 hrs = 2.8 oz. produced

Here is where the Pool Calculator comes in handy. To raise your chlorine level by 1 ppm you need 1.6 oz. You are only adding 1.8 ppm per day. It is common for a pool to lose 2 ppm from the sun each day. That means the sun is eating all that your SWG made and then some. This is not even taking into account organics (bather load, debris etc.) that need to be broken down.

This is where oversizing the unit can help immensely. What are your options? Run the pump longer or adjust up the setting. The only problem is you are near the top at 85%. This is also assuming that your SWG is really making exactly what the manufacturer claims.

Your goal is to clear the pool using bleach and the shocking process. After that, you can adjust your SWG time/% accordingly. It should be able to keep up.