While we are replacing our filter and redoing the plumbing we are considering getting a Salt Generator put in. I have seen a bunch of them (AquaComfort, Hayward, Goldline, etc.). Any difference between these? And do these truyl get rid of the need for chlorine?
You know, I have not done a lot of research on each of the brands - but I do have the Goldline AquaRite, which was put in when my pool was built and have had that for 2.5 years so I can tell you my experience.
First of all, I almost never need to add bleach/chlorine and that is a good thing (I add it 2-3 times per year when I want to shock or after a LOT of rain). BUT I do need to keep an eye on the Ph and I have to add acid about once a week to keep the Ph correct and avoid scale build up on the fuel cell. And I have to keep an eye on the salt level. And on the CYA and the alkalinity. I only add salt like once a year when we get a lot of rain and we lose some of the water from it spilling out and kids splashing. That is not a big deal.
I think you do have to monitor the levels of these things more closely when you have an SWG - but to be honest - I LOVE doing that and have learned so much here to make it all easy. And I like not having to lug and store the big jugs of chlorine and to remember to add those on a regular basis and to know that if I get all the chemicals right I can go away for one or two weeks and not worry. And the kids say they like my pool the best because the water is always so nice and they think the chlorine is not as strong because it is a salt pool. Plus I take care of it myself and I think I spend about $5 per month on chemicals.
So, would I spend the money on an SWG again? Yes. The system was put in when the pool was new which did help absorb the cost. The builder picked that brand because he said it was the best and the easiest to use and most trouble free.
Anyway back to the issue of Goldline. I just posted in the SWG section that I had a problem with the LED light not coming on. Turns out the $800 board was shot and this is after 2.5 years. Goldline replaced it for free and it is a much better version according to the pool guy. I did have to pay labor which was $144. But I do have a new board. I was impressed with the customer service from Goldline and for the fact that they do prorate things when they need replaced - they had mentioned that when they thought the board was older than it was or regarding a quote for the fuel cell.
The only consideration is that the fuel cell will cost around $450 to replace and that can come after 2 years if you allow a lot of scale to build up by not cleaning and not adding acid on a regular basis or about 4 or 5 years if you take care of it and maintain the Ph levels in your pool and shock with liquid bleach/chlorine instead of using the SWG.
And that is my .02.......