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    San Diego County, Calif.

billp's Achievements

Spa Savant

Spa Savant (3/5)



  1. Unless you own the electric co a 2 hp will cost you a lot to run for 12 hrs/day. And unless you have a spa with 8 jets this pump appears do be oversized. Run time is also a factor of swim load and contaminant load. Experiment is the best answer. You likely have a turnover time of 4 hours. Much higher than necessary on a residential pool.
  2. As a rule of thumb you can run on low speed for 4 hours for the same cost as running on high speed for 1 hour. Since you pump roughly half as much water on low speed this means you save about 50% on low speed. In my area pool pumps are now costing people $.32 to $.35 per KWH so it pays off much faster than in your neighborhood. I prefer to split the run time into morning and evening run times. Each has a high speed period that is long enough for the vacuum to clean the pool. That high speed time often doesn't need to be very long. There are many design features that affect all this.
  3. Also, get the water tested somewhere or by someone who can verify the salt level. 14,000 is pretty outrageous. I have used ribbon cables from Clormatic units, am I allowed to say that here? You will need to be quite the electronis whiz to splice that sensor cable...
  4. I suspect that if you drink over 200 gallons of pool water the chromium may become toxic... Here are some observations I have made over the years. In the mid 80's when I started studying chlorine generators, everyone would say oh you don't want to dump all that salt in a pool, bad bad... Then I bought a TDS meter and started testing the commercial pools I was caring for. I was surprised to find that the high use pools, after only one season, had enough salt in them to run a Cl gen (due to salt build up from liquid Cl). Since I did not see the bad things everyone predicted it got me to reexamine the whole issue. Since then the pools where I see significant corrosion have TDS levels well over 5,000. One pool had a TDS of 8,000 and the light fixture brass face rings showed noticeable deterioration compared to others in lower TDS pools. Also at salt levels in the 3,000 range cheap stainless will show deterioration. In the days of mostly stainless steel filters the mfrs all claimed to use the same ss, but something was different because some filters were definitely more sensitive to high salt levels. Using sacrificial anodes I have been able to reduce filter corrosion in many cases to almost zero. Aluminum does not get along well with pool water. If you leave an aluminum pole in the water overnight you can see definite corrosion in less than a day. On the other hand, I have a customer with a pool cover with aluminum rails which has had a salt pool for years and has no noticeable corrosion. But the pool gets very little use so there is not even much splashing on the rails. I think ripping out the Cl gen may be unnecessary. As far as the ORP issue, if it was higher after partial drain & refill this could be explained by a loss of CYA. Personally I think an ORP controller in the average residential pool will probably cause more problems than it solves. They are really a high maintenance item compared to most pool equipment. In a commercial environment with lots of supervision they are great, every pool should have them! If you get hung up on the ORP magic number of 650 you will drive yourself nuts. Best way to use it is to get your Cl & pH where you want them then read the numbers on the unit and set the thing to keep them there. Aquasol used this approach successfully for many years and did not even have any output readings on their units. I have seen stainless steel rails last for decades in low to moderate salt pools with NO noticeable corrosion. And I have seen high priced commercial grab rails on the deck (not in the water) with noticeable corrosion... Bottom line if you keep the salt level in the recommended range (along with Cl & pH etc) I don't think you will see any noticeable increase in corrosion compared to a "regular" pool.
  5. If you think about the electricians expertise, not making 50 trips to HD, and waiting for inspections then maybe you won't feel so ripped off. This is clearly a specialty area that requires specialty knowledge. If you have the time perhaps you can help him with some of it and learn more of the details you don't currently know. Pick his brain about anything & everything, perhaps it will all pay off in the long run.
  6. The OP said: "As for the #8 ground wire inside a non-metallic conduit, it says that a 3M potting compound must be used to protect the connection from the effects of salt water.. won't the whole GND wire be subject to the effects of salt water? These clowns should really have the GND as part of the wiring harness for the light.. adding a wire for that is a pain." I was pointing out that the ground wire is already part of the wiring harness and that the #8 wire he is painfully adding serves a different purpose. Bottom line, the #12 wire is the ground wire, the #8 wire is the bond wire. They serve different purposes.
  7. That solid #8 is the bonding for the rest of the pool. The #8 inside the conduit is bonding for the niche to junction box. It takes the place of the metallic conduit previously used. Shall we depend on Hayward as our authority or the National Electrical Code? "Sec 680.23 {B} (2) Wiring to the forming shell. The conduit that extends directly to the underwater pool wet-niche forming shell must comply with {a} or {b}. {a} Metal Conduit. Brass or corrosion-resistant rigid metal approved by the authority having jurisdiction. {b} Nonmetallic Conduit. Nonmetallic conduit containing an 8 AWG insulated (solid or stranded) copper bonding jumper, which must terminate in the forming shell and junction box. The termination of the 8 AWG bonding jumper in the forming shell must be covered with, or encapsulated in, a listed potting compound to protect the connection from the possible deteriorating effect of pool water." (emphasis added) While grounding and bonding have some similarities the NEC makes a distinction because they serve two different purposes. The bonding is often confused with the grounding and most in the pool business do not know there is a technical difference and therefore use the words interchangably. If you don't believe me, ask Mike Holt, the walking NEC book.
  8. The Ecosmarte website takes a lot of space to badmouth salt water systems. A lot of what they have to say is distorted, wrong & misrepresented. I am always suspicious of products marketed on fear. They use copper-oxygen to treat the pool. Now to have a "chemical free" pool you can't be adding copper. Think about it... Copper kills bacteria and algae but in a typical pool that gets use and especially in high use commercial pools most of the work that needs to be done chemically is oxidation. Most of the chlorine used in these pools is for oxidation, not sanitation. This is why the copper based systems have to use a non-chlorine shock (another chemical being added to our "chemical free" system). Chlorine gets its bad name from mismanagement for the most part. All of the typical complaints come from improper/inadequate chlorine usage. And people who spend hours a day in the water forget that we have mammal skin, not fish skin. I have found that instructors who spend hours a day in the pool like salt water systems better. They claim they can tell the difference. Now here is another little detail the "chlorine free" promoters don't tell you (and likely don't even know). If you install one of these systems on a pool without changing the water, you already have salt in the pool from previous chlorine use. So now as this salt passes their electrodes guess what is happening? They are splitting some salt and making chlorine! So more of their success than they may want to admit may be from the chlorine. If you put in fresh water this won't happen... until you have kids in there 3-4 hours a day. People bring a lot of salt into the pool (sweat & urine) so your fresh water will soon become a mildly salty "salt water pool" again. So instead of trying to avoid chlorine, find the best way to use it. Just my opinion. (And yes I ran the theoretical numbers on salt contributions by people and did real life experiments and by golly people leave a LOT of salt behind!) Oh and this nonsense about NASA and the astronauts. The reason this stuff worked for them is because they weren't SWIMMING in their drinking water!
  9. In warm year round areas we have NO IDEA what this means, "close the pool". If you just "let it go" the cost to revive the pool will exceed the cost to maintain it year round. Several people prove that every year...
  10. The #8 wire is a BOND wire, different than a GROUND wire. The light cord has a ground wire inside the cable. The bond wire CONNECTION inside the niche has to be protected. The bond wire itself will do just fine in the water. The conduit is supposed to be water tight so it won't leak. If you stuff silicone in it to try to keep water out of it, and you ever have to pull the light cord out, you will have to invent new expletives to cover the situation... There is a difference between bonding and grounding. After taking an expensive two hour class from Mike Holt (referenced previously) I finally got it... In the olden days the conduit was copper or brass which served as the bond conductor, no #8 wire had to be added.
  11. 1. Usually below water level equipment installations will have isolation valves to close the pipes for equipment servicing. If the return valve is closed and the pump is on and the heater fires the pressure switch will not turn it off. This is why you need a flow switch. You should also install a pressure relief valve in the heater port provided (<50 psi). The flow switch should not be installed in a bypass line. A tee is installed in the pipe (before the heater) with a side connection to match the flow switch threads (if using a Harwil type). (The heater mfrs all say never install a valve downstream of the heater. But if you are much below water level you really need to.) 2. The Hayward SWG flow switch is a Harwil Q-12DS but with a low flow activation set point (also see #3). It is better to get one with a set point near the minimum flow rating of the heater. 3. The flow switch in the link is a Harwil Q-12DS which can only handle a very low current. If you use it on the heater it will eventually fail unless you also use a relay to carry the heater load. Better to use their Q-8DS which can easily handle the heater current. It is larger and of course more expensive. 4. I don't have experience with the FloControl. It offers the convenience of one piece construction. 5. If they made this easy, it would ruin all the fun...
  12. It sounds like a lateral vs the valve or air bleed since it happens when the pump starts. The sand shifts slightly when the pump goes on and off, allowing a small amount to go through a defective lateral. But someone likely has more experience with this problem than I do. (I live in DE country. Very few pro-sand people in SoCal...) As far as sand alternatives, there are zeolites, recycled glass and I think something else. Zeolite looked best to me so I started using it and have been VERY impressed with the results. In this area the common problem with sand filters on pools is not sizing them or the circulation system properly (most end up undersized) then everyone blames the resulting problems on the sand instead of the poor system design. Zeolite increases the filtering efficiency and helps reduce problems. I have been using ZeoBest and like it. It is more expensive but well worth it IMO. Also you should make a point of using gravel in the bottom and not just fill it with sand, zeolite or anything else.
  13. Several (1). Adjective few: a small number, though more than two or three. Four hundred gallons of water at 400 ppm contain about 1.33 pounds of cyanuric acid. Are you saying that anything below that is not toxic? Are you willing to eat 1.25 pounds of cyanuric acid to prove your point? If you do decide to prove your point, please give someone your login information so they can post the results if you die. Very funny! Eating CYA would not prove my point. Too bad you missed my point. You said you considered 400 ppm CYA unsafe. I looked at the toxicity of CYA and found a person would die from a toxic overdose of dihydrogen monoxide LONG before dying from a toxic overdose of CYA in pool water. As you pointed out elsewhere, many pools have a high level of dihydrogen monoxide. Simple point. While you may have other reasons for considering it unsafe it is simply your own opinion since there is (unfortunately) inadequate science upon which to base an opinion. And as I mentioned, in real life we don't see any safety problems related to high CYA. One can find plenty of safety problems related to inadequate chlorination/sanitation. The highly publicized cases of pool related illness are always due to inadequate (usually zero) chlorine, not high CYA levels. That's all.
  14. "Fine" is very subjective and does not provide enough information. I have seen this problem but since there may be more than one cause it would be great if you would post all of the vital statistics (pool size, etc & water test readings), everything you see being posted and asked about on other questions. Then you will likely get some helpful responses.
  15. That could indicate an underground suction leak which fills up with water when the pump is off. When the pump goes on it takes several minutes to suck out the water then sucks air. Just another possibility among many...
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