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Thread: why should anyone get one of these???

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    why should anyone get one of these???

    I have been considering getting an SWG but after reading some of the topics on this forum, I have to wonder why I should even bother? I do not mean that as a lame criticism. Rather, I am seeking understanding. I see topics where people have had 2, 3 more different models of these. Many individual topics of problems.

    But, as one poster on a topic pointed out, people do not generally post "My SWG is working fine!" So how many are "working fine?" Any idea of the success rate of these units? With the many comments about over frequent cleaning being required to care for the cells, is there any real advantage to the systems?
    East Texas Piney Woods
    (more specifically N/E Texas)
    pool data:
    In ground vinyl lined
    23,500
    sand filter

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    The real advantage is convenience. One less thing to worry about (maintenance of chlorine) and no (or far fewer) trips to the store to pick up jugs of chlorine. SWGs don't operate very much if at all in water that is below 50 degrees, so in non-closing winter pools you'll need to add chlorine very occasionally. Most people also like the feel of high salt levels in the pool, though that can be achieved by just adding salt without the SWG.

    Sorry -- I don't have objective data regarding MTBF etc for SWGs in general. If your aim is to build the simplest possible, least expensive pool system, stick with 6% bleach. The more electro-mechanical devices attached to your pool, the higher the cost of maintenance. Emotionally, it's a different story: Ain't no one gonna take my SWG away!

    Mine? Almost 3 years... working fine. To date, I've never had to clean it.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Quote Originally Posted by polyvue
    SWGs don't operate very much if at all in water that is below 50 degrees, so in non-closing winter pools you'll need to add chlorine very occasionally.
    majority do
    it's just that you need very little chlorine at that temperature, so some units turn off to save the cell

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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    I have a CompuPool - an Australian brand but sold here in the states. Even saw it for sale at my local True Value. I can't comment on longevity because I've not had it a year yet. But, I LOVE not having to manually add chlorine. I can go away on vacation for weeks at a time and not have to worry. Mine is quite simple - just adjust what % output you wish. It reverses polarity which is supposed to keep it clean, and so far, I've not had any scale buildup and have not had to take it apart to clean it. Its clear so I can visually see it working. And this winter with water temps down in the 50s, it kept on producing chlorine.

    I added an acid tank to automatically inject acid (design found here on TFP) and so I can go weeks without having to do anything to the pool at all.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Going on five years now without a cell change or any real issues. Wouldn't trade it for anything. The real advantage is not having to deal with jugs of chlorine. A liquidator would be my second choice but I think a SWG is so much easier. However, the downside is the $500 cell replacement but hopefully that doesn't happen too often.
    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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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    I love my SWG, which has been nearly perfect the last two years. This past season I could often go a week or more without having to do anything except clean out the skimmer basket.

    A SWG is about day to day convenience, it noticeably reduces the daily pool chores. The largest down side is that a SWG can lull you into a false sense of perfection, so that when something does go wrong it catches you by surprise.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Very helpful replies. I am thinking of pulling the trigger on a Aqua Rite XL
    from Direct Buy for $1034 Canadian. Been doing a lot of reading about them lately.
    16x32 inground vinyl 8' deep end
    1hp Northstar Pump, 20" Sand Filter
    6ft Double Lounge, 2 Aqua Lamps w/remote
    216sqft Sungrabber Panels (9- 2'x12') a little undersized

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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    I don't have one, but I sure would like to have one. The convenience of it is worth the initial expense IMO.

    As for the problems related to cell life and frequent cleanings, based on what I have seen on this very site, it is my belief that the majority of these issues have to do with water not being kept in balance. This, of course, causes problems with lots of things, especially with salt cells which by design, are complex and sensitive pieces of equipment and need the proper environment to stay working.

    I have a neighbor who learned this the hard way once, and almost twice, until we visited over the fence one day. His first SWCG lasted 2 years after his build before he had to replace the cell. Then, he started having trouble with his new cell. Until we spoke, he was thinking that with a salt pool, all that was required for him to run his personal oasis was salt, water, and electricity. He had no idea that you still needed to check things. Amazing to say the least. But I don't fault him completely. Someone has to tell you these things first.

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    New2Me's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    They're just like cars- if you just put in fuel (salt, electricity) and drive it hard, it won't last nearly as long as if you do the proper maintenance checks. And like cars, the ones you can buy now are much more complex then they were 20 years ago, for better or worse. Oh, and they still beat the pants off of walking! (and hauling packaged chlorine)
    22 x 40 IG vinyl lined, 23,570 gal.
    1 hp. Pac-Fab Challenger pump 300# sand filter
    Intex 8110 SWG, Hayward CL220 offline feeder
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    I don't have one and I don't want one.

    I use liquid chlorine which I buy in 3 gallon carboys from a pool store. No bottles to dispose of since I trade the empties for full ones. Using LC gives me exquisite control over the amount of chlorine in my water. It's ME making the decisions, not me fiddling with some electronic gadget for several days before it gets it right.

    And, because it's ME adding the chlorine, I don't have to deal with power consumption (other than an occasional refill with Tequila) or power outages (the Tequila refills are finely calibrated to not affect such an outage). I run my pool MY way, not the way a chlorine generator wants to run it. Nature throws enough curve balls my way; I don't also have to deal with technology.

    My pool is basic: above ground, a pump to run the filtration process, Tiki lamps (I disconnected the pool lights because they're really just not flattering). I brush by hand, I scoop by hand, I chlorinate by hand.

    And you know what? There's just nothing that ever goes wrong.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    ...not me fiddling with some electronic gadget for several days before it gets it right.

    ... I don't also have to deal with technology.
    How did you ever figure out how to use a computer or the internet?

    Some of the SWG's I've read about seem to have minds of their own. But most have a simple + and - button for adjusting the % chlorine output. There is no "fiddling", no reading of manuals every time, and no programming. You and I both test our CL level the same way. If my reading is low, I go out and push the + button to raise output. You have to pour a measured amount of chlorine from a heavy jug that you brought home in your car and dump it in the pool hoping not to splash any on your new navy blue swim suit that your wife just bought you, or else she won't get you any more tequila. And, you have to do this with the pump running, or turn on the pump and remember to turn it off later. And yes, it might take me 10 seconds a day for several days to get the adjustment right, but that still beats having to pour in chlorine every other day for the rest of my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    And you know what? There's just nothing that ever goes wrong.
    Until you go on vacation for a couple weeks and pay the kid next door to do it. The kid who can't tell the difference between a gallon and a liter, or pours in muratic acid instead of chlorine, etc.

    I'm just kidding you - sort of. I think for most people it comes down to convenience. Costs might be slightly higher with the SWG, but IMO it is well worth not having to manually chlorinate, which I did growing up for my parents pool. In fact, manually chlorinating is what kept me from wanting a pool for years until I learned about SWGs.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    I took AnnaK's post to be a celebration of the simple. There's a lot to be said for that.... self-reliance and cost savings, for starters. (I bet Anna buys her own tequila, too!)

    I took Ibourne's post to be a celebration of automation. Lots of good has come from that, too.

    I tend to analyse everything to death and have come out in the middle on this. For me, this question has already been well-answered by both sides... both are taking control of a necessary task.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    You find what works, you tend to stick with it (if it ain't broke) kinda thing. Like Anna, I don't mind the 5 minutes a day or every other day to test and add a little bleach. So I can't justify the expense of an SWG.

    Change my circumstances and I just might change my mind.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Quote Originally Posted by lborne

    How did you ever figure out how to use a computer or the internet?

    What's to figure out? I use a Mac.
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaK
    What's to figure out? I use a Mac.
    Good point. And I should have paid better attention to your user name and realized you are a woman and not made the quip about the wife buying tequilla.
    25' x 13' Roman, 12000 gal IGP, Plaster, with 500 gal Spa
    SWG, 1 HP Max Flo Pump, C-900 cartridge filter
    Solar heat

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Quote Originally Posted by lborne

    [snip] . . . realized you are a woman and not made the quip about the wife buying tequilla.

    Then again, maybe she does?
    AnnaK

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    SWG chlorine generator has been a great investment.

    Buy a unit one size up from what your pool is sized and run it at a low output and you'll be happy.

    The cells are coming down in price all the time and not having to mess with Chlorine is great.

    I have a 20K pool and run a 40K cell between 20 and 30% and it puts out plenty. In the summer with the high heat (I run my pool at 85) and big bather loads the constant low output keeps everything from getting rowdy.

    Once you own one you wont go back.

    Dave
    20K Gallon Gunnite pool/900 Gallon in ground Spa/2HP WhisperflowSpa
    Pentair Master temp 400/Hayward Sand WZeobrite/Jandy RS-8 Aqualink/Jandy 2HP Epump
    12 - 4x10 Panels/Zodiac G3-T5 / BBB

  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    They said the same things when cars, cell phones, PCs,TVs, Radios, and Big Macs came out.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
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  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Yes, for convenience. Keep water balanced, monitor your FC, and you'll be impressed with the reduction in pool chores.
    15X30 AGP, Lomart beaded liner;
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  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: why should anyone get one of these???

    Quote Originally Posted by Davegvg
    SWG chlorine generator has been a great investment.

    Buy a unit one size up from what your pool is sized and run it at a low output and you'll be happy.

    The cells are coming down in price all the time and not having to mess with Chlorine is great.

    I have a 20K pool and run a 40K cell between 20 and 30% and it puts out plenty. In the summer with the high heat (I run my pool at 85) and big bather loads the constant low output keeps everything from getting rowdy.

    Once you own one you wont go back.

    Dave
    I understand that an oversized cell will last longer, is there another benefit? Because dropping cell prices seem to eat into that benefit.
    20,000 Gallon kidney sort of a sand filtered gunite in ground pool w/ hot tub.

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