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Thread: SWCG vs Stenner

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    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Fort Worth, TX
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    SWCG vs Stenner

    I've been following TFP for awhile now and have been educating myself as a soon to be "first time" pool owner.
    I'm interested in automation and ease of maintaining FC levels while keeping CYA in check.

    I want to hear from the Stenner and SWG users.

    We are in the DFW area. Most Pool builders are steering away from salt and pushing ozone. I know the opinion on ozone here so I don't need to be talked out of it.

    My concern with salt is that we are planning to install honed travertine for our coping and have aluminum windows about 7 feet from splash out.

    My issue with Stenner is that I still have to deal with liquid bleach, hauling jugs, reliability and maintenance of the pump and hoses, calibration, lack of support and convincing pool builder that I don't need ozone and to substitute it for liquid automation.

    Questions:

    Am I overthinking this whole thing and should not be too concerned with the effects of salt for my area?

    Has anyone used both methods and have a preference and why?

    Can anyone provide evidence of the damaging effects on coping from a salt pool that has been in operation for 5+ years?

    Honestly, making this decision is holding me up from starting my build.

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    Re: SWCG vs Stenner

    I'll give you my two pennies. I have a pool that is 25,000 gallons. I originally set it up with a SWG. I thought it was the "cats meow" at first, just dumped salt in, let it dissolve, then kicked in the SWG and let it do it's thing. Well, this holds true for a while, until your salt cell finally craps out or corrodes over, so you have to replace it every few years (some are very pricey), and then the avaporated saltwater would build salt up on EVERYTHING! it would start rusting clamps, screws, my pool coping, etc etc.

    To me, after all of this started happening, it simply wasn't worth it anymore. So I bought a Stenner pump, fitting to plumb it into my my return line, and a 15 gallon plastic barrel to hold Bleach/Chlorine. I buy my pool chlorine as a local DIY for $2.49 for a gallon of the 12.5% stuff....I have my stenner on a timer, and it pumps in the dose each day to keep my pool in the 4-5ppm level for chlorine. It works great. Sure, you gotta haul jugs once in a while..no big deal..you haul home dog food, cat food, laundry detergent and milk in gallon or larger containers..so no big deal to me.

    Oh and in regards to stenner pump upkeep..I've had mine now 3 years...I purchased 3 extra tubes with it, and just this year replaced the original inside the pump...so no big issues there.


    I suggest Stenner to anyone who asks me!

    Dan
    33' x 52" Swim and Play Inc. PARAGON AGP. Hayward H200 Heater. Hayward Power-Flo LX 1.5hp pump. Sta-Rite Cristal Flo T-210WF Sand Filter. Stenner 45M5 chlorine pump

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG vs Stenner

    Hawks,

    The amount of salt in a Saltwater pool is about the same as what is in your tears. I have yet to see any negative affects of salt on the pools I own. I think the issue is way over blown. The plus for using a SWG, as you point out, is not having to lug bottles of bleach around, but.. this is just in the summer months, when the temperature of the water is above 60 degrees or so. In the winter, or when the water temp drops below 60, you will still have to manually add bleach, but because it is cold, FC does not get used up very quickly.

    I have no experience with the Stenner, but my guess is that most pool builder don't either, so that might be a little harder to get installed during the build.

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Calder Spa.

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    May 2015
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    Fort Worth, TX
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    Re: SWCG vs Stenner

    Thank you both for your thoughts.

    Anyone else have experience running their Stenner pump and have positive/negative experience did like to share?

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: SWCG vs Stenner

    I installed mine in July 2014. So far no problems. Yes, I have to carry bleach but no tthat often. My 15 gallon tank lasts just shy of a month, but I generally top it off every two weeks or so.

    Here is my Stenner Pump install.

    I like the Stenner because I see the pump turning and the level of chlorine going down. Unlike a SWCG (sometimes) I don't have to wonder, is it working?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: SWCG vs Stenner

    Food for thought: I just added 6 bags of salt to my non saltwater pool to keep my eyes from burning like crazy after swimming under water for any length of time. I really did not want a salt water pool, but I guess I have one now. I think I have mine at 2000ppm salt, which should be lower than someone using a SWCG, but I can tell there's salt in the water when I'm in it now. My eyes don't hurt anymore though. I need to get a taylor salt test kit so I can confirm my salt level, as I really don't want it any higher than necessary to keep my eyes and skin comfortable.

    And I have no desire to maintain a SWCG setup. I've got a stenner pump that I'm hoping to plumb into my system tomorrow, and that'll give me the automation I need. Manually adding chlorine isn't terrible, but I could certainly do without the extra chore each day.

    17,500 gallon IG Vinyl
    Pentair Tagelus TA60D Sand filter
    Pentair Challenger 1.5HP pump CFII N1 1.5A
    Taylor K-2006-A, Stenner 45MPHP10 auto chlorine feed

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    Re: SWCG vs Stenner

    Most issues with salt damage to stone are from Texas. The very pretty, very soft and easy to work with, local stone is just irresponsible to most pool builders in Texas. With a hot dry climate and very soft local stone, yes salt can and does damage to stone. But travertine is much harder and if you seal it, it should never be an issue.

    I have a salt pool and would want nothing else. Yes, you have to replace the cells after years of use, they are after all a consumable item. Replacement of the cell is how you are paying for your chlorine. My first cell lasted 7.5 years and cost about $500 to replace, so my chlorine cost was $500/7.5= $66 per year. Not bad for 19k gallon pool in very sunny Tucson that is open year-round. I don't know of a cheaper way to chlorinate your pool. And with just a dial to turn to set the chlorine output, no jugs to haul and deal with, it is surely the easiest way.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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    Re: SWCG vs Stenner

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
    Most issues with salt damage to stone are from Texas. The very pretty, very soft and easy to work with, local stone is just irresponsible to most pool builders in Texas. With a hot dry climate and very soft local stone, yes salt can and does damage to stone. But travertine is much harder and if you seal it, it should never be an issue.

    I have a salt pool and would want nothing else. Yes, you have to replace the cells after years of use, they are after all a consumable item. Replacement of the cell is how you are paying for your chlorine. My first cell lasted 7.5 years and cost about $500 to replace, so my chlorine cost was $500/7.5= $66 per year. Not bad for 19k gallon pool in very sunny Tucson that is open year-round. I don't know of a cheaper way to chlorinate your pool. And with just a dial to turn to set the chlorine output, no jugs to haul and deal with, it is surely the easiest way.
    I will agree with the comment about Limestone in TX. That's where I've always heard of the salt damage. Although I did see a photo of someone's rusty ladder the other day in the SWG forum. I'm hoping my metal parts aren't so cheap that they'll start rusting soon, but I have faith that that won't.

    I would also point out though that that SWG system cost a fair amount up front that liquid chlorine doesn't. If you want to automate your liquid chlorine, sure, that'll cost, but I think it's still half the price (or more) of a SWG system. Plus, you have to worry about whether the company that made your salt system will be around in 5 to 7 years.

    I don't have my stenner in service yet, but I do expect to do some maintenance to it over time. I heard someone else say that if you leave it directly exposed to the elements outdoors maintenance can involve having to replace gears and what not in the pump. I bought the rain hood thinking that would protect it, but now I'm not sure. I'm hoping the only thing I have to do is check the tubes and replace every so often.

    17,500 gallon IG Vinyl
    Pentair Tagelus TA60D Sand filter
    Pentair Challenger 1.5HP pump CFII N1 1.5A
    Taylor K-2006-A, Stenner 45MPHP10 auto chlorine feed

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    Re: SWCG vs Stenner

    Half the cost of the SWG system is the cell, which means you are prepaying for several years chlorine. As far as the manufacturer being around when you need parts or a new cell. I'm pretty sure Hayward isn't going out of business anytime soon.
    chiefwej
    Tucson, AZ
    16x36 rectangular (19k) Pebble Tec play pool/spa, Pentair Intelliflo VS 011018, Super II 2hp (spa), Aqua Rite T-15 SWG, Pro Grid 60 DE, Hayward H400 & Heliocol Solar heating, A&A infloor system, fill water w/high CH and TA, 50 ppm borates,TF-100 test kit

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