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BANGKOK 19 August 2019 00:24
steelepulse

Converting fresh to salt water--costs

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Currently redoing all the grout work on our pool and thought maybe it's a good time to switch to salt water.  Any idea of the costs of doing this in Phuket.  The pool is 15 metres long, roughly 5 metres wide and around 1.5 metre average depth.  

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On 3/16/2019 at 11:51 PM, SantiSuk said:

Bagwain will no doubt be sending you the professional's viewpoint. I'll add my user experience as my pool is a similar size to yours (15 x 4.5 x 1.4avg + 5.5 cu.m reserve/overflow tank = 90 cu.m all up).

 

Depending on your existing set-up configuration it should not cost a lot to insert a converter and hang the control unit on your equipment wall. Being in Phuket I would guess by shopping around that you would find someone willing to install for equipment that they supply for an added labour cost of say 2-5,000 baht). 

 

By shopping around in Phuket and online you would see the range of converters and their prices. My equipment - an Emaux SSC50-T (including control unit) cost 34,900 baht from Swimming Pools Thailand in July-16 and they sent down a small team from Khon Kaen province to southern Sisaket (about 550km round trip plus an overnight stay at our house) to install and test this along with a replacement pump and filter at a total labour + travel cost of 16,200 baht.

 

Running costs include salt, electricity and salt level testing equipment.

 

A 25kg bag of TRS pool salt ordered from an agent of the factory. My last purchase was at 113 baht a bag (2017 price), but that was a 3 tonne (=3,000kg/120 bags) load. Had I waited a few weeks for the agent to consolidate loads with others in my area I might have been able to get 1 tonne load at not much more than that price (say 120 baht a bag). Prices in pool shops run anything from 140 baht a bag to 220 baht a bag. Global House is at the cheap end and JD Pools franchise shops at the expensive end (currentish prices). You will need 15-20 bags to kick start a pool of your size, depending whether your chlorinator requires a 3,000ppm or 4,000ppm operating concentration. Broad cut I find that I need 1 bag a month in cool season, 1-2 bags in rainy season and 2-3 bags a month in hot season to maintain salt operating levels at Emaux suggested 4,000 level. I preferred the 3,000 level of my previous 'Astral Pool' chlorinator - I can taste the extra salt!

 

Electricty running costs are low - I reckon in the range of 3-5,000 baht a year.

 

Salt level testing is a fairly unsatisfactory task in my experience. I've never found a reliable true salt level tester available in Thailand. I found the salt test strips to be totally useless and requiring me to maintain a salt level that was palpably too high (taste test!). Cheap Chinese TDS meters are very cheap (can be as little as a few dollars on mail order via a friend in the west) but very unreliable - tend to drift out of accuracy within a year and ultimately break down. Furthermore, like most so-called salt testers, they only actually measure total dissolved solids, which includes salt but also an immeasureable level of dirt and dust and other chemical residue. I spent one year watching and documenting the TDS levels of my pool by measuring inputs of rain water and village pumped water (which I monitored the TDS level of) - you can do that when you have a reserve tank by dipping the levels daily. From that I work on the basis that TDS of my underlying water (ie what I deduct from the TDS reading to arrive at a broad salt level reading) is about 500ppm in the height of rainy season and a few months tail after that and about 1,000ppm the rest of the year. Actually after a few years experience I don't really need a salt level measurement system as I know how to keep a proper balanced total chlorine level (at about 2ppm) with a medium setting on my chlorinator (power level 40 on an available power range of 0 to 100 on an Emaux) and salt is the medium I use for maintaining that level by reference to my weekly digital testing of total chlorine levels. [I also use those inaccurate cheapo tubes for a very broad indication every 2 or 3 days to avoid an unexpected significant drop or rise in chlorine levels].

 

I don't know how many years chlorinator electrode plates should last before requiring reportedly expensive replacement - I don't know plate replacement costs but I'm guessing 50% of the cost of a new unit? My previous chlorinator was starting to fade a bit after 6 years (and I therefore replaced all of my 'Astral Pool' kit including a still working chlorinator when my Astral Pool filter cracked - the second to do so - and my Astral Pool pump started grinding and they could only offer to send it to Spain for a month to recondition it or sell me a new one. I gave up on Astral Pool and they were giving up on Thailand anyway for domestic pool kit, so I switched the lot!). My latest Emaux kit shows no sign of fading after 3 years.

 

Hope there's something of use to you in this posting.

 

PS I'm an ex accountant so I could convert that lot into an annual cost. I can tell you without doing so that the cost of operating a salt conversion system is way higher than the cost of manual chlorine dosing when factoring in the capital and plate replacement costs of chlorination. Pool pros have a habit of insisting that salt chlorination is cheaper! Small spherical objects in my opinion, but I still prefer the convenience of salt chlorination and being able to be away from base for a couple of weeks at a time without worrying about chlorine levels screwing up my pool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although long, this post totally reflects my experience(s). Costs aren't far out either.

Obviously a pool user. Not a seller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Astralpool have a fairly recently established service centre in Chiang Mai and I didn't get the impression that they were pulling out of this market as you suggest.  For the record, a new Chlorinator cell (the part with the plates) for their older model VX7s currently costs around 16,000 baht. The kit seems well built and designed but I should mention that their Australian customer service is very lacking - none of my 4 attempts to get a technical question answered via the contact form on their website have even been acknowledged.

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11 minutes ago, Greenside said:

Astralpool have a fairly recently established service centre in Chiang Mai and I didn't get the impression that they were pulling out of this market as you suggest.  For the record, a new Chlorinator cell (the part with the plates) for their older model VX7s currently costs around 16,000 baht. The kit seems well built and designed but I should mention that their Australian customer service is very lacking - none of my 4 attempts to get a technical question answered via the contact form on their website have even been acknowledged.

So, how much would a chlorinator and controller be?

After all, it could be a problem with either. Or just a faulty connection.

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About 30k baht for the whole thing, I believe.  Mine has been behaving badly for weeks - yesterday morning fine, PM nothing, day before good all day and this morning nothing again.  It feels to me more like an electrical fault of some kind since it produces plenty of Chlorine when it wants to, but I want to be sure before spending 15K+ on a new cell.  If only AstralPool would wake up and actually respond to my emails....

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Posted (edited)

Is it still in warranty as the cells are five years and the panel the same but pro rata

This company may be able to answer your questions

https://www.allchlor.com.au

They repair most chlorinators including the Astral ones.

 

Try sales or one of the other email addresses for Astral Au

General Enquiries: info@astralpool.com.au

Manufacturing: manufacturing@astralpool.com.au

Service: service@astralpool.com.au

Sales: sales@astralpool.com.au

Marketing: marketing@astralpool.com.au

 

Those enquiry forms are a pain.

Check all electrical connections ensuring there is no corrosion cut and reconnect as required.

Could be a timer fault?

Before checking connections completely isolate all electrics to do with the pool even if it appears to be off, especially if it is a faulty timer.

Edited by sappersrest

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Thank you for those suggestions.  It looks as if the invoice for the Chlorinator and pump room installation was March 2014 and although it's past the 5yr period now, the problems began about six months ago which would put it in warranty.  I'll have to check if their warranty terms are the same in Thailand as in Australia.  The service centre here didn't point out it might be covered so I didn't think to check.

 

As for the email addresses for Astralpool, I sent two detailed messages via their web contact form and then wrote a stern (but polite!) email to the Service department and copied it to General Enquiries.  Still no response.  Beats me how any company worth a bean can treat customers like that - should I have reason to replace the whole setup, I'd be seriously looking elsewhere despite being generally happy with the quality of their product.

 

Yesterday the panel was showing Low Salt and no Chlorine (well actually on 1-) both running sessions 0500-0900 and 1700-2100 and same today in the morning but happily producing tons at 6+ as I post at 1800.  I'll try to get some advice from allchlor.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Greenside said:

Thank you for those suggestions.  It looks as if the invoice for the Chlorinator and pump room installation was March 2014 and although it's past the 5yr period now, the problems began about six months ago which would put it in warranty.  I'll have to check if their warranty terms are the same in Thailand as in Australia.  The service centre here didn't point out it might be covered so I didn't think to check.

 

As for the email addresses for Astralpool, I sent two detailed messages via their web contact form and then wrote a stern (but polite!) email to the Service department and copied it to General Enquiries.  Still no response.  Beats me how any company worth a bean can treat customers like that - should I have reason to replace the whole setup, I'd be seriously looking elsewhere despite being generally happy with the quality of their product.

 

Yesterday the panel was showing Low Salt and no Chlorine (well actually on 1-) both running sessions 0500-0900 and 1700-2100 and same today in the morning but happily producing tons at 6+ as I post at 1800.  I'll try to get some advice from allchlor.

 

 

I am sorry I may have given you you a bit of a bum steer with regards to Astrals contact addresses.

I have dealt with the company before I  retired for over 25 years and found them to be an an excellent company to trade with especially in the UK.

What I forgot  was that Astral as with Certikin both members of the fluorida group are Trade only organizations and do not deal directly as a rule with the end user.

Your enquiry will be passed on to the nearest trade partner.

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On 7/15/2019 at 10:27 PM, Greenside said:

Astralpool have a fairly recently established service centre in Chiang Mai and I didn't get the impression that they were pulling out of this market as you suggest.  For the record, a new Chlorinator cell (the part with the plates) for their older model VX7s currently costs around 16,000 baht. The kit seems well built and designed but I should mention that their Australian customer service is very lacking - none of my 4 attempts to get a technical question answered via the contact form on their website have even been acknowledged.

My comments re my impressions of Fluidra's commitment to the domestic pool market using Astral Pool kit relate to my experience 3 years ago when I decided to abandon them. If Astral Pool kit has re-emerged in Chiang Mai (previously Fluidra's location was close to Swampy airport) it suggests that the Spanish holding company has found some alternative way of trading to continue the brand in Thailand. 

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Allchlor replied very swiftly but requested the whole unit for testing which clearly isn't an option from here.  I understand about Astralpool, but they neglect to tell end users not to use their web form and just how much effort could it possibly take to have a standard acknowledgement saying that they will pass your enquiry on to a local dealer?

 

My VX7 was happily producing Cl this morning for 4 hours.  "It's the not knowing that gets to you..." (someone said that)

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11 minutes ago, Greenside said:

Allchlor replied very swiftly but requested the whole unit for testing which clearly isn't an option from here.  I understand about Astralpool, but they neglect to tell end users not to use their web form and just how much effort could it possibly take to have a standard acknowledgement saying that they will pass your enquiry on to a local dealer?

 

My VX7 was happily producing Cl this morning for 4 hours.  "It's the not knowing that gets to you..." (someone said that)

Do you use an an external timer for pump and chlorinator, if so can you override it to eliminate it.

If the cell is clean and it produces chlorine ok though not when it should, it would point to a loose connection or a dry joint on the board, the other thing it could be is a dodgy relay on the control board these are usually very small solder in jobs.

Can you pm me the questions you asked Astral.

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The Pool Masters are agents for Austral in Thailand. They are in Surin and Pattaya.

 

In Phuket - Phuket Swimming Pool Equipment Co, supply and service them. They repaired my Viron V45 at small cost after another company wrote it off and tried to sell me a Chinese model. I recommend them for pool repairs and upgrades. Situated on the road between the 2 main hospitals in the city.

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Thanks, Old Crock but I'm in Chiang Mai and although Phuket is a bit closer than Allchlor it's not close enough.  I do have a service place up here but I'm looking for a second opinion since the idea that the cell is dead just doesn't seem to make sense given that it's running OK as I type.

 

Sappersrest: I'm sending you a PM shortly.

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