Which manufacturer/brand/model SWG requires the lowest pool salinity to operate properly?

LapPoolMike

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
155
Saint Petersburg, FL
Howdy,
I've been running my original Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG on my 30K gallon lap pool since 2017 and have been pleased enough with its chlorinating performance (although if I had a do-over I would get the IC60 for more chlorine production capacity). On the unit it says "Ideal Salt 3600 PPM". I swim laps every day, and I sometimes wish there could be a little less salt in the pool (lower salinity). I love the convenience the SWG provides, but I have had thoughts of switching back to "fresh water" pool with liquid chlorinating.

Are there any high quality state-of-the-art SWGs currently on the market that would function optimally at a lower salinity level (e.g. less than 3000 PPM or less than 2000 PPM)? Actually if you wiki "salt water chlorination", the first sentence appears to imply that there are units that run at 1000 PPM? I wonder if the type of coating on the parallel plates inside the SWG impacts the required salinity?

Is there any adjustment that I could do to pool chemistry to enable me to run my current IC40 at a lower pool salinity? Would adding borates do anything in that regard? Just wondering.....thanks for any suggestions.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,236
The ideal salt level is between 1200-1800 ppm (parts per million) with 1500 ppm being optimal.



You can get a regular Aquarite with a T-15 cell and set it to a T-5 setting and use about half the salinity, which is basically what I think that the "Low Salt" model is anyway.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
23,106
Bedford, TX
Mike,

If you have been happy with your IC40 then just run it at 3000 ppm or so.. I run mine at 3200 to 2900 ppm and it works fine. At 3200, I do not notice any salt taste. At 3600 or above I can start to taste it. That said, I only taste it for the first few minutes I am in the pool, after that I no longer can notice it.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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LapPoolMike

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
155
Saint Petersburg, FL
Thanks guys for the suggestions! Jim - good idea, yes my ~4.5 year old IC40 is still chugging along, I'll try running a little lower at ~3000 ppm and see how that is. JamesW - that AquaRite Low Salt unit looks interesting, thanks for the links, looking into it, something like that may be my next unit when my IC40 finally dies!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,236
The regular Aquarite would give you the maximum flexibility.

You can set it to a T-3 and run the salinity at about 1,200 ppm.

T-5 = 1,500 ppm.

T-9 = 2,000 ppm.

T-15 = 3,000 ppm.

Note that this is experimental and there is no guarantee that it will work correctly, but you can always add more salt to make it work like normal.
 

LapPoolMike

Bronze Supporter
May 13, 2017
155
Saint Petersburg, FL
ccbill, I'm looking at the AQR15 owner's manual (on Hayward web site), on page 8 there is a section "To Set Turbo Cell Type" which gives the procedure, there is a "t-3" setting listed, hope that helps.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,236
The voltage stays the same.

The current is affected by the salinity, plate surface area and the water temperature.

If you have lower salinity, you can increase the plate surface area to get the same current, which the system uses to determine salinity.

Here are the dimensions of the Hayward plates:

T-15 has 13 Titanium Plates, 150 x 63mm. Produces 1.47 lbs/day.

T-9 has 13 Titanium Plates, 101 x 63mm. Produces 0.98 lbs/day.

T-5 has 7 Titanium plates, 150 x 63mm. Produces 0.735 lbs/day.

T-3 has 7 Titanium Plates, 101 x 63mm. Produces 0.53 lbs/day.


A system set to a T-3 with 1,200 ppm salinity and a T-15 cell should work about like a system with 3,000 ppm salinity and a T-3 cell.

As far as I know there are no real risks to doing this, but it’s out of the recommended procedure, so any risk is on you and you have to decide if it’s an issue.

I know people using a T-15 with a T-9 setting to use lower salinity and it works just fine.

If Hayward knows that you are doing this, they might void the warranty.

I think that the “Low Salt” version of the AquaRite does the same thing as using a T-15 cell with a T-5 setting, which allows the salinity to be about 1/2 since the plate surface area is double.

Note that the total daily production will be about 1/2 of the rated production on a T-5 setting or 1/3rd on a T-3 setting, which means more pump run time, but you can always increase the salinity and the setting if necessary.

There might be effects that I am not aware of, so it’s up to you to decide.
 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
28,236
You could “probably” also go the other way as well.

If someone had a T-5 cell and they wanted more production, they could increase the salinity and set the unit to a T-9 and use 4,000 ppm salt or a T-15 and use about 6,000 ppm salt.

Note that I am not recommending that anyone use the systems outside of the installation manual instructions.

I am just providing information about how the units work in general under different conditions.

Any use outside of the manufacturer’s published instructions should be approved by the manufacturer and it is done at your own discretion and at your own risk.