What SWCG system to get?

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,293
Tucson
Do you have, or anticipate ever having any automation system? If so, yes you should stick to a single manufacturer. But if, like me you have no desire to ever use any automation system, it doesn't matter as much. I have Hayward heater, filter, SWG and spa pump, but Pentair, solar control and filter pump, and it all works just fine.

If your equipment needs to communicate, it has to be the same manufacturer, since pool companies haven't agreed on any standards for communication/control protocols. If you control things manually, it's not as much of an issue.
 

pooldv

Mod Squad
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Aug 10, 2012
25,160
FL panhandle
I am starting season 6 with Pentair IC40 and it has been great. I'll be happy to order a new cell when the time comes. I'll probably get an IC60 because you get more chlorine for your money over a longer cell life for not much incremental cost.

If you don't have or plan to have an Easytouch automation panel then you might want to get an AquaRite T15. It has cheaper cell replacement cost and lots of folks on TFP use that one and it does very well. Just be sure to stay away, far away, from any generic replacement cells.
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,218
Longview, Texas
I'll repeat what chief says about automation considerations. If you are going to automate, stay with the same brand.

If not, then Hayward, Pentair, and Janday are all good systems. When making the choice, you might want to consider the cost of salt cell replacement. Eventually the cell will wear out. Some brands of replacement cell cost more than others. maybe even by a few hundred dollars more.

PS, if you didn't know it, TFP recommends the SWG system be sized to at least 1 1/2 x the pool volume. The reason why is it means the system doesnt have to work as hard to produce x amount of chlorine. And that means the salt cell will last longer.
 

n240sxguy

Well-known member
May 17, 2014
1,802
Benton, KY
I've had my circupool si-60plus for 2 years now. I've been very satisfied with it other than a little powdercoat flaking off the control box door. Definitely get a larger swg than they actually rate it for. You don't want your pump running 24/7 just to make a little chlorine.


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GaryT58

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TFP Guide
Jul 26, 2016
571
Monroe, GA
I replaced my original with an AutoPilot TotalControl (same as Pool Pilot Digital but allows ph/orp control). I really like it because it has some nice features:


  • 3 cell power settings, plus 0-100% settings. So can really dial up/down.
  • Automatically adjusts %age based upon water temperature. So as water is heating up now, it is automatically raising the %age.
  • Can control the pump directly from within its programming.
    • So will make sure pump is on when running.
    • Can auto run pump depending upon temperature - auto freeze protection
  • Runs at very low flow - 15-20GPM. I can run with my VSP as low as 650 RPM
  • tri-sensor built in (flow, salt, temperature)
  • 24 or 72 hour "boost" program.
  • Multi-line digital display, so easy to setup and read errors, rather than just a light or code
  • Can control with some Jandy, Pentair, and Polaris automation (but lose the auto adjust and freeze protect)
I picked the RC-52 (up to 52,000 gal) for my 19,000 gal pool and set to about 30% at lowest of 3 power settings.

I have pentair for pump and filter, and am working on my own automation, but really like this unit.
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,845
Grand Rapids, MI
^Gary, Autopilot is compatibe for control with Intermatic PE653 automation system, just so you know. I've heard good things about that swg.

Nor'easter, I have the same size pool as yours and I run the Aquarite T15.

For automation integration, it would make sense to go with Pentair no doubt. With that said, I've tied my own Hayward into an Intermatic PE653 automation system for scheduled on/off periods tied with my pump and at a set percentage that I know will produce the FC I need - its possible to do that by calculation when you know a cell's daily rating for production.

The reasons I chose the Hayward system instead is because I wanted incremental control, eg dialing it in at 11% if I want... (Without automation, pentairs in 20% increments, i believe.)

THe second reason was because Pentair has an unrealistic warranty clause about phosphate levels. Since I am on well and use a sequestrant, which breaks down into phosphates, I didn't ever want to be in a position to argue with them. Hayward's approach, at the moment, is that if they test the cell and its doesnt work, they will replace it, irrespective of sequestrant byproduct in the water. But this is generally a rare caveat - rarely are there problems and so rarely does it come up.

Overall I feel that it is not common for TFPers to actually HAVE any cell problems - with any brand - because the TFP guidelines make for trouble-free operation, users are more informed about how to care for their cells, and are more informed about keeping the water balance such that there is little scaling, etc.

SO..your best protection against swg problems is to stick around, use our care methods including operating parameters at [fc/cya][/FC/cya] and ensure you're tracking your water balance with a TF-100-- which you have ;)

So I think you'll be golden! The most important part of your selection is up-sizing your cell beyond mfg specs. So with Hayward, that's the T15 cell rated for 40k gallons, and with Pentair, that's the IC40 or even IC60 for extra value.

There are members here who get 7-10 years out of a cell by upsizing, running at low percentages, and using swg to maintain FC but never to initiate FC on opening or to boost for any reason -- you support the swg in those cases with a bit of bleach.
 

Noreaster

Member
Jul 20, 2007
7
Sudbury, Ma
Thanks for all of the replies.
Still not sure what direction to go. I didn't have any plans for automation, but now i am semi interested. Perhaps ill just go with the pentair so the door is not closed in the future.
 
I'll repeat what chief says about automation considerations. If you are going to automate, stay with the same brand.

If not, then Hayward, Pentair, and Janday are all good systems. When making the choice, you might want to consider the cost of salt cell replacement. Eventually the cell will wear out. Some brands of replacement cell cost more than others. maybe even by a few hundred dollars more.

PS, if you didn't know it, TFP recommends the SWG system be sized to at least 1 1/2 x the pool volume. The reason why is it means the system doesnt have to work as hard to produce x amount of chlorine. And that means the salt cell will last longer.
Hi Folks,

Just a few questions on this same subject. I have an (approx) 12,000 gal pool with 0.75 HP pentair pump. I run the pump about 4 hrs per day. What would be a decent size (say) intelliclor (or similar) system based on the pump run time ? system rated for 20K gal or 40K gal ??? water pool temp is quite constant here in Panama (@ 28 C).

Thanks in advance for the advise !!!
 

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