View Full Version : SWG and cold weather

10-03-2006, 12:55 AM
Well the cooler weather is here and my pool temp is around 59 degrees. My SWG Pentair IC20 has turned itself off (under 59) to protect the cells from premature wear. I dont want to turn on the heat unnecessarily just to keep the SWG working. I guess my only option is to manually bleach until I close the pool. Is there anyone that experiences the same situation with their SWG? also, I am in canada, we sometimes experience long cold winters, should I disconnect the SWG and bring it in for the winter, or its it ok to leave outside?

10-03-2006, 04:18 AM
You should be able to increase the salt to the highest level of their recommend range to compensate for the colder water temps. This may not work in all cases, but should help out some, before the temps fall way too low.
The reason for shutdown is to protect the cell.

10-03-2006, 01:32 PM
Most SWG's shut off when the water temp falls below a certain level, doesn't matter what the salt level is (my Aquarite manual says 55).

As for what to do for winter, the cell should have unions at both ends. I take everything in for the winter here in NY (fillter housing and pump go in the outside shed; filter grids, SWG cell and filter valve go in the basement). All of the electronics stay outside in there weather proof (I hope) boxes.

10-06-2006, 11:32 AM
Think about it...if the system does not have a specific temperature sensor, how does it know what the temperature is? Well, MOST salt systems rely on what the system is putting out as amps and volts. Amps and Volts are largely dependent on the Salt Level, Cell Condition (worn out or scaled), or water temperature. These three parameters determine the conductivity level in the water. If water temperatures fall, increasing salt will compensate. Again, keep within the recommended salt range. You are correct though, most systems do shut off when it gets too cold, or more correctly, when conductivityq reduces.

10-06-2006, 12:28 PM
I know that from my experience last year, once the water dropped to below 60 degrees there is very little chance of algae so I dropped my chlorine level to < 0.5 ppm all winter (no freezing here) without any algae growth. So if you can't use your SWG, then just keep a low residual with liquid chlorine or a floater.

10-07-2006, 11:45 AM
Well, since my Aquarite tells me what the pool temp is when it is running, I would assume that it DOES have a temp sensor. Whether is shuts off because of temp or because of conductivity, I don't know, but I'm just passing on what is in the manual.

10-08-2006, 01:49 AM
Sorry Moderators. I don't mean to make this an issue or to have it go to the China Shop. I'm just trying to clarify the information, as in my prior position of Research and Development for AutoPilot, I had to cut apart other systems to see what they do. They do not have a temperature sensor, in spite of showing the water temperature.
They also show the salinity level, but is there a salinity meter?
*the answer is no.

Which leads back to my initial response of being able to compensate somewhat by increasing the salt level to the upper range of their recommended salt level.

10-08-2006, 03:08 PM

Although not directly related to your response, I am pretty sure that the Goldline unit has an independent temperature sensor in the cell as I have seen it protruding out just in front of the cell but inside the housing. Also, the unit will give you the cell temperature even when it is in the off cycle (i.e. not generating chlorine) which would not be possible if it did not have also have an independent sensor.

10-08-2006, 09:40 PM
I think that Sean explained it quite well. When you boil it all down, the temperature really isnt the limiting factor it is the current draw of the cell. All salt chlrinators see a reduction of chlorine production (current draw) as the temperature decreases. On the flip side, the production naturally increases with all chlorinators as the water temperature increases. Some manufacturers shut their units down at low water temperatures while others like ours dont shut down for low temp. Each manufacturer has their own reason for shutting down or continuing production. This isnt the place to get into that arguement. Sean is right. If you simply push the salt level up closer to the manufacturers recomended top end, you should get the unit to stay up for you.

As far as what to do with the equipment, I am in Canada as well and I do nothing with my cell or power supply except make sure that it is drained. Each manufacturer has their own recomendations so for the sake of your warranty, I would follow that. If there is no recomendation, draining the system and leaving it in place has a lot of good things going for it. As long as the unit itself wont get damaged by freezing, it is usually better to leave well enough alone. Kids wont knock it off the shelf and the dog wont chew on it if you leave it on the pool pad.

Mark Manning
Watermaid Canada

10-09-2006, 12:40 PM
Not trying to argue with Sean or Mark. But I would appreciate it if you explain how my Aquarite unit tell me the water temp if it doesn't have a temp sensor? And it appears to be quite accurate when compared with the 2 pool thermometers I have in the pool and with my Goldline solar controller.

As for increasing the salt, if it works then that is great. But if the unit does have a temp sensor and shuts off at 55 or 60, then if the water temp drops below that, adding more salt won't do anything, will it?

10-09-2006, 02:28 PM
I stand corrected on the temperature sensor. Apparently before 2000, there was a separate temp sensor that was required to be mounted in the plumbing. After 2000, this is build in and as Mark (mas) mentioned, can be seen in the cell (as a little white bump in the plastic).
This cold temp shut off occurs at 50 degrees, with a output reduction to 20% max between 50 - 60 degrees, similar to temperature compensation.
However, tphaggarty, you are correct in that at 50 degrees or below, the temp cut off activates and it doesn't matter what the salt level is... kinda.
You can increase the salt level to compensate (as Mark from Watermaid and I have explained), which in the event that you need to produce chlorine under cold water cut off, you can activate the superboost mode to override the cut off condition.