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Thread: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

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    SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    I know most here are a fan of SWG in the equipment room but pool owners here in Toronto (3 of them new builds) are all being told to go back to chemicals with ozone.

    Are SWG systems better suited for warmer climates? Or are my neighbours getting bad information?

    A few of the points they were told about SWG was better on the eyes (lower chlorine levels) and the salt rusted equipment.

    None of them are the DIY kind if that makes a difference.


    Van G

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    I will admit that I am a SWG fan. I have one and I absolutely love the thing.

    I don't think climate has anything to do with it. It's true that salty water will accelerate corrosion on most metals, and especially iron. So, part of the equation to having a successful SWG pool is to choose your deck furniture and surrounding deocrations wisely. Wrought iron is gorgious stuff and it's expensive, but it doesn't play well around salt water pools. Same goes for the really less costly stuff too. I have aluminum frames on all my stuff and I dont have any corrosion from saltwater on it. I dont like to play with fire though, I rinse my suff down at least once a week with fresh water. I have not experienced any corrosion at all on my pool furniture.

    My pump doesnt have even one spot of rust on it either. None of my equipment does and Im starting on my 4th year.

    I am sure a lot of PB's get calls from people who have rusty stuff and the PB's are IMO tired of it. People really do need to do their research and get informed and plan appropriately. That rarely happens though. What happens is they give a bad rap to a system that I dont believe it deserves. IMO, it's bad planning or lack of foresight by pool owners that's the biggest problem.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    There are so many points here it is hard to cover all of them:

    1, Salt is easier on eyes due to osmotic pressure of the salt water being closer to the osmotic pressure inside the eyeball, nothing to do with chlorine levels.

    2, Ozone is typically not needed in an outdoor residential pool, this is not to say it does not have a place, ozone can be great in hot tubs, high bather load pools such as therapy pool, and commercial pools as well as some indoor pools that don't get any natural sunlight. However for typical outdoor pools they get more than enough natural UV light from sunlight to handle their supplemental oxidation needs.

    3, Sure saltwater is more corrosive than fresh water, however modern pool equipment is built with this in mind and if chemistry is otherwise balanced salt water should not present an issue to the internals of pool equipment.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    GaryT58's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    The climate isn't part of the equation either really. Chlorine use, regardless of source, will vary based upon factors such as water temperature and sunlight. Some SWG, like the AutoPilot series, can automatically adjust the setting based upon water temperature. So for example mine here has adjusted from 25% to 21% over the last few days as water temp has dropped. The salt level in my pool is 3,500 ppm, while the ocean is about 30,000-50,000 ppm and human tears 3,500-9,000. No burning eyes from salt.
    38'x16' Fiberglass pool - 3.5' - 8' deep - 19,000 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWG (RC-52 cell), Pentair SuperFlo VS, Pentair SD70 Sand Filter, Coverstar Automatic Cover, 10' board, PAL Treo lighting, Polaris 9550 Sport robot, Lamotte ColorQ Pro 7 test kit.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    VanG, I'm in Michigan with similar season to Toronto. IMHO the contractor corrosion cop-out is largely based on ignorance, especially in a new build where you can select the right materials to avoid potential corrosion.

    But as Dave pointed out, SWG requires a tiny bit of consideration due to galvanic process. For example, an inline sacrificial anode is a popular install in my neck of the woods to reduce any possible corrosion, especially on heat exchangers. On retrofits, this is also a consideration for vinyl pools with steel walls.

    With low water temps, eg in spring if you open at 50 degrees for exampe, the unit will have difficulty producing chlorine, so you're best to supplement with liquid chlorine on the wedges of shoulder season. There is no other contraindication for swg in terms of climate.

    The reality is that swg can be wholly trouble free if one adopts TFP run parameters, and trumps regular chlorination for convenience in my book. But people who think they never have to test, control for ph, sequester metals if on well or occasionally tweak run time -- who expect totally hands off set it and forget it -- are the ones likely to have issues ... But they'd have those issue with any other method too

    One last note...the salinity of a SWG is minor compared with, for example, the runoff of salt-treated walkways in winter. But if Toronto has implemented discharge restrictions about SWG, that could influence contractors and would be worth checking. I recently had to change out my water -- all 24,000 gallons -- for a liner change. I'd thought I might kill some grass near my drainage ditch, but its green as can be.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    That makes no sense to me. I am in Toronto and have had my pool for 9+ years and have had a SWCG since year one. IMHO it is the only way to go since it reduces the maintenance by so much. Some on here may frown upon hearing this but once your system is stabilized you are fine to test about once a week or so.

    There is this rule:
    "Never discharge any water from salt water pools to the road or storm sewer from salt water pools. This can be discharged to your own property ONLY and or to the sanitary sewer."
    Vinyl 18'x36' in-ground 100,000 L, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, Jandy Lite2 heater, StaRite System3 filter, Evac tube solar heating panels

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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    Thank you for the info and assurance.

    Can I assume SW pool also plays nicely with autocover?


    Van G

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    GaryT58's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Van G View Post
    Can I assume SW pool also plays nicely with autocover?
    Yes, no issues at all.
    38'x16' Fiberglass pool - 3.5' - 8' deep - 19,000 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWG (RC-52 cell), Pentair SuperFlo VS, Pentair SD70 Sand Filter, Coverstar Automatic Cover, 10' board, PAL Treo lighting, Polaris 9550 Sport robot, Lamotte ColorQ Pro 7 test kit.

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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    The only thing with the autocover is that you may have to adjust the production rate for your SWCG since it will need less chlorine if it stays covered. So it could be less of a set it and forget it kind of thing. But that is no different than if you were using liquid chlorine or tabs or whatever.
    Vinyl 18'x36' in-ground 100,000 L, Jandy Aquapure 1400 SWCG, Jandy Lite2 heater, StaRite System3 filter, Evac tube solar heating panels

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    Van, I don't have an auto cover but I have seen occasional posts or articles where concern has been expressed, and a greater number where people report not having any issues. So I think that's a question that should be asked of the specific manufacturer in the case of a new build.
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    Re: SWG Ideal in Zone 5 (Toronto)?

    Van, you may have issues with high chlorine or residual salt corrosion on some automatic covers. As mentioned, with the pool covered, you need very little chlorine. if the controller's output setting is not adjusted lower when covered, you can overchlorinate, very easily.
    With some autocovers that uses metal rails or components, when there is water sitting on the metal parts, as the water evaporates, the concentration of salt gets higher. If this is being washed off or diluted daily, there shouldn't be a problem. However, if you tend to leave the cover on for days at a time, the higher salt concentration "can" cause corrosion.
    Rinsing it down, or making sure the cover is opened and closed daily, will usually control any potential damage.
    There should be no problems with using salt systems in Toronto though.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
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