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Thread: The PROs and CONs of SWG

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    The PROs and CONs of SWG

    My wife and I are thinking about going with a SWG moving forward. I consider myself now very astute with the TFP methodology but I to be honest, I'm not thrilled with having to dump bleach every 2 days to keep my FC level nominal (we are full sun and typically keep my CYA lower (30-40)).

    I was hoping I could get some stories from folks out there who DID go SWG and are TFP'ers and what they think of the experience and the adjustment with respect to maintenance (in fact, I just read chem geek's guide which will probably be my reference going forward).

    Any feedback would be much appreciated.
    20x40 L-shape 35k gallons, Pentair FNS 60 SQFT DE Filter, Pentair Multi-port Valve, Hayward Super Pump w/1 glorious HP, Vinyl Liner, Dolphin Z5, TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    I can't say anything about "switching" as we have had an SWG pool since day 1. But I can say this - I would never want to own a pool without one. I live in southern AZ where pools are open and/or running 24/7x365; I could not imagine operating a pool without one. I hate jug-dumping when the winter months come and the SWG shuts down due to cold water. Thankfully the FC loss rate is so low that I only have to manually add chlorine once every 2 weeks or so.

    You're area is more seasonal and experiences more rain than here, so I suppose there will be a little more "work" to keeping salt levels up if you get fresh water exchange. I have not added a bag of salt in years, so that's not an issue for me.

    Good luck with the conversion.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    I am in an area that gets a lot of rain and the adding of salt is a lot less cumbersome than adding bleach daily! I switched to a SWG and would never ever want to go back to daily bleach additions. Once you get your pool "dialed" in, it truly is trouble free with a SWG.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    Adding acid is less precise than having to manually chlorinate. With acid, if you miss a few days nothing bad can really happen. If you miss chlorine additions (or if cya gets too high) you've got real problems. SWG is easier to maintain!
    23' x 37' IG 18.5k gallon SWG w/ raised spa, Build Thread -->Here
    Wet Edge® Pearl Matrix®, Hayward® SwimClear™ 525 ft², Hayward® Goldline Controls® PS-8
    4x Hayward® TriStar™ pumps, Paramount PCC2000® ICS, TF-100 w/Speedstir

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    Agree with all above. Spend the money and don't look back.
    18' x 36' vinyl steel wall pool with deep end, 2 lights and 6' steps, main drain, SWG, Cartridge Filter, 320,000 BTU Rheem heater, 3/4HP 1 stage pump - Ontario, Canada

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    Thanks guys. How often do you have to replace the SWG itself? And for those who have a vinyl liner, what is the long term impact on it?
    20x40 L-shape 35k gallons, Pentair FNS 60 SQFT DE Filter, Pentair Multi-port Valve, Hayward Super Pump w/1 glorious HP, Vinyl Liner, Dolphin Z5, TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    I switched. Maintaining with bleach was too large a burden for me, especially because I am 50% travel. With SWG, the only chemistry maintenance I must do weekly is acid additions. It is so nice to have salt that I just bought a new $1100 SWG to replace my fried CompuPool unit. It is totally worth it.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    A properly maintained cell (if run using TFP levels) should last more than 5 years. We have a user here in AZ (chiefwej) who got 7+ years out of his Hayward T-15 cell and he runs his pool all year long.

    As for vinyl liner - a salt pool is no different than a bleach pool. Salt, in and of itself, has no effect on vinyl.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    I will add about acid additions, you can also fine tune your pool playing with the sweet spot for your TA (each pool likes a different level) and borates and even acid additions are negligible to none. I added acid the first time in over a year this weekend.
    5900 G Fiberglass IG pool (circa 1990), SWG Hayward Aqua Rite GoldLine (2013), IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump (2013), Hayward Pro Sand Filter (circa 1990), Well water (no iron or other metals fortunately), test with Taylor K2006C, Charleston, SC

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    My last SWG lasted almost 10 years. Chemistry is key to long equipment/pool life in general.

    I would not consider another form of chlorination but there are a few downsides.

    1. - Cost of the new cell is quite high but the cumulative cost of chlorine is probably not much different

    2. - Cell maintenance and cleaning. But if you keep the chemistry in line there isn't much to do here.

    3. - PH rise requiring acid dosing. To me this is the biggest negative but I solved that with an automatic dosing system. I have very high TA fill water so borates and maintaining low TA don't really help much.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    I bought my SWG before my pool was in Been over a year with it and nothing has happened to the liner...

    I will never own another pool without one, if this one dies a horrible death I will replace it within the week The cells are suppose to last 3 to 7 years, most everyone just thinks about replacing them every 5 years..
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    OP has a big pool. I have a Pentair IC-60 gallon and have to run it 18 hours when it is 90+ degrees outside (CYA 70). I don't think you would be satisfied with one for 40 galllons.
    Manually, most of the year, I was adding 1 gallon of 10% chlorine per day. That's a $1,000 per year..........
    35,000 Gal. - 40x20x8 - Plaster - SWG Pentair IC 60 - Barracuda G3 Vacuum - Hayward c1750 Cartridge Filter - Blue Torrent VS 1.5hp pump - Pool is 45 years old.

    "I'd build a deck over my pool if I didn't have a SWG"

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    Chlorine/bleach is worse on liners than salt.
    30' round Swip N Play Islamorada above ground pool with Hayward Pro Series 220T sand filter, 1HP Hayward Super pump, and Hayward SWG.

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    Quote Originally Posted by gotsno View Post
    Chlorine/bleach is worse on liners than salt.
    Would you care to explain how the chlorine created by an SWG is any better/worse on a liner than chlorine out of a jug?
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    The trick to SWG is to size up to a large one so that you only have to use it minimally. This saves wear and tear on the device.

    The next trick to be aware of is that SWG work on a slow-and-steady premise. If your baby poops in the pool, or you want a quick recovery from a kids party where you know *someone* probably peed in the pool, you should use liquid chlorine (aka bleach) to get that fast rise in FC that you want. This trick also saves that wear and tear on the cell.

    Cells have a finite lifespan. While they're absolutely fabulous for their contribution to pool care ease, I don't want to use up their lifespan earlier than necessary by running it balls to the walls high. Hence choosing one oversized and using bleach when I need a fast pick up.
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    A con for me is that I have very high CH and water restrictions. Which means when I backwash or replace water, it goes on the lawn. I wouldn't be able to do that if I had a lot of salt in the pool. We don't get enough rain -- generally none from May to Octiber at least -- to wash it out of the soil.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard320 View Post
    A con for me is that I have very high CH and water restrictions. Which means when I backwash or replace water, it goes on the lawn. I wouldn't be able to do that if I had a lot of salt in the pool. We don't get enough rain -- generally none from May to Octiber at least -- to wash it out of the soil.
    Ahhh, good point Richard, I have a cart filter so sometimes I forget some people have to discharge/backwash There are plants out there that do not like high salt content, for me I can't seem to phase the Bermuda grass 1 bit, I've tried....
    Pool: Intex 16x32 15000 gal, 2 speed 340042, Pentair CC320 Filter, CircuPool SJ45 Salt System, Intermatic PE653RC; Hot Tub: 650 Gal SWG Megachlor
    links: pool school * Recommended-Levels * SLAM * CYA chart * Test kits * How To Post Pictures * Poolmath * OCLT ** Support your website if we helped you :) **

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    I'm happy with mine, been 4 years, couldnt imagine how many bottles of cl I would have carried by now. One thing I dont like is if you have a fairly high ch content in the water, they will discharge white flakes when they reverse polarity, or self clean. My pool sweep picks most up but on occation your standing by the return and suddenly its like a snow globe. I always try to keep th ph in the lower 7's to keep the scaling down.
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

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    Re: The PROs and CONs of SWG

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Would you care to explain how the chlorine created by an SWG is any better/worse on a liner than chlorine out of a jug?
    What I mean by my statement is the salt softens the water which counters the chlorine that has a drying out effect on your liner.
    30' round Swip N Play Islamorada above ground pool with Hayward Pro Series 220T sand filter, 1HP Hayward Super pump, and Hayward SWG.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    The PROs and CONs of SWG

    Quote Originally Posted by bobby1017 View Post
    I'm happy with mine, been 4 years, couldnt imagine how many bottles of cl I would have carried by now. One thing I dont like is if you have a fairly high ch content in the water, they will discharge white flakes when they reverse polarity, or self clean. My pool sweep picks most up but on occation your standing by the return and suddenly its like a snow globe. I always try to keep th ph in the lower 7's to keep the scaling down.
    Flakes are often a sign of a water chemistry imbalance. If you keep your CSI negative, flakes are much less likely to form. Adding 50ppm borates will also help keep calcium from scaling in the cell. I have 850ppm CH and my cell has NEVER needed to be acid cleaned.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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