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Thread: is SWG it really worth it?

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    is SWG it really worth it?

    We currently have a traditionally chlorinated pool and are entertaining the thought of converting to SWG. Aside from the initial cost and debating minor corrosion potential, it seems that a LOT of people have trouble with their SWG systems: insufficient chlorine production, error readings, cells going bad frequently, etc. Over all, with all things considered, is it really worth it? Currently, our only chemical expenses with the traditional chlorine pool are bleach and MA- about $40 a month or less.
    14'x28' vinyl liner inground 3.5-6' deep wedge hopper 15000 gal (used to say 13000- I calculated wrong), 1 hp pump with sand filter, 2 returns, 1 fountain, traditional chlorinated, pool house.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    There are a lot of people who own SWG systems and only a small percentage of them have any problems. You only see so many reports of problems because there are so many SWGs installed that even a very small percentage of problems is a lot of people.

    A SWG usually comes out about even price wise compared to buying chlorine some other way. Some people end up spending more for their SWG compared to bleach, some less, but overall it is about equal. You do spend most of your money up front, instead of spending it over time, which can be a problem for some people.

    The great majority of people who purchase a SWG are very happy with it. Every now and then you run into someone who had lots of problems and gave up on their SWG, but that is extremely rare. Getting a SWG improved things more on my pool than anything else I ever did. There is much less work for me to do to maintain the FC level, I have fewer problems, and the water feels better.
    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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    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    SW Wisconsin

    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    I've been using a SWG in one form or another for about 4 years now. As with anything else, you must test your water. Those people that are having problems may not be keeping on top of their water chemistry. I have found that if you keep your levels at the recommended levels, you wont get corrosion, low chlorine production OR cell scaling issues. The listed problems all have to do with water chemistry being incorrect.

    I LOVE my new CompuChlor unit that I have installed on my 33 ft round pool. my pool holds 25,600 gallons of water, and since this unit is an australian unit, it requires 5600 - 6000ppm of salt for my size pool. (that was about 26 bags of salt to lug) BUT....I was warned by pool stores and other SWG owners that I would get serious corrosion with salt levels that high. I have yet to see any sign of corrosion on anything. ALso, the best part of this unit, is it has reverse cell cleaning...meaning the unit actually reverses the polarity of the cell when it detects any sort of build up of any kind..and reverses it and after a couple hours of it running that way my plates in the cell are totally clean. I love it.

    Anyway...if you want to quit lugging bleach, or chlorine to add to your pool...I highly suggest a SWG. You'll never be adding chlorine again. If you'd like to know more about my particular model, you can PM me and I'd be happy to share info with you. there are many SWG's on the market today that work well, I can only vouch for the one I have..but it has been "trouble free" since I powered it up.

    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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    sonflower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Fort Worth, TX

    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    I have only had a SWG. Recently we had to replace the salt cell. During the time I had to wait for the cell to be tested, then order the cell online, then wait for it to be delivered, I thought I was going to go crazy having to lug bleach to the pool every night. I couldn't believe people do that when a SWG is an option. I truly can't imagine any other way than a SWG. My life is hectic & my days are full & a SWG takes a lot of pressure off me as far as chemically balanced water goes.
    Pool: (2003) IG Plaster 14,209 gallon (Water Surface 421 sq. ft.) ~ Spa: 18" raised kidney
    Triple spillway (Waterfall) ~ With 6' slide ~ Hayward's Goldline Controls Aqua Rite Digital Electronic Chlorine Generator (Salt System) ~ 40K Salt Cell ~
    ~ AquaLink RS -4 ~ Purex Whisper Flow 2 HP~ Aquatech 60 sq. ft. DE Filter Normal Pressure 22 # ~ MiniMax NT (Propane) Heater 400,000 BTU ~ Jandy Valve Actuator ~Letro Legend Cleaner ~ K-2006 & K-1766 Test Kits

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    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    I have a 55,000gal salt water pool. About every three years I need to replace the cell however seeing that I only spend $15.00/month for Muriatic and no need to shock, I think I am making out way ahead. The first system that came with the pool instal was severely undersized and could not even come close to producing enough chlorine running 100%. So just comparing your chem usage to mine and ignoring the gross size difference in pools and the savings that represent, I would be saving $25.00/month or $300.00 a year or nearly 1000 over the course of 3 years. Since my replacement cells are under $500.00, I coming out ahead.
    55,000gal+/- salt water, DE filter, Pebble. Yes it is that large.

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Paradise (Hampstead, NC)

    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    The standard Intex unit has more than enough capacity. For $150.00 or so you can find out just how much better pool life can be going with borax and salt. Can you say "TROUBLE FREE Pool"?!! I spend about 6 bucks a month on MA. That's a TFP.
    16X32 AB, Jacuzzi Laser 190 19" sand filter, 3/4hp Pentair Optiflo, CircuPool RJ30+ swg, TF 100

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    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    I think the problems you hear about are not properly maintained. Some may think it is a salt system, so set it and forge it. While it may be producing chlorine, all the other chemical can get out of line, and boom you have a problem. I have only had my salt pool for about 3 months now, but aside from adding acid, it has been crystal clear and very easy to maintain. If I save a little money great!!


    44,000 IG Salt Pool - Pentair VF, Quad 100, Polaris 280, IC60, 400 Mater Temp

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    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    It is worth it for me because the simple fact is I just cannot test and add chlorine every single day. We have had some type of seasonal pool for about the last 5 years. Every year I would fail to keep up with the maintenance and the water would turn green and eventually be dumped after I couldn't get it clear. At the end of last summer we bought an 18" metal frame Intex on clearance and I was determined not to let the failures of the past happen again. I bought a never used, still in the box 2008 model of the Intex 8110 for about $100 on ebay last fall. Pool has been up for two months now and the water has stayed perfect. I would not go back. If it lasts a reasonable time, money will likely be a wash, but it is so darn convenient and much more reliable than me.
    18'x48" Intex metal frame pool, 1600 Intex sand filer/pump combo, Intex SWCG.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    I honestly have not touched my pool water chemistry in 3 months after installing my SWG.......I would never, ever, ever go back to BBB method for the simple fact that the pool is practically maintenance free. I test my water once a month and it doesn't move....the only thing I do is add water and drop the auto vac in once a week.
    For me, the price of admission is worth every cent compared to the time it used to take (daily) for the BBB method, not to mention the pool water feels and looks much better too.

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    People post problems on this forum to get help. People do not post every day the SWG is working properly. You will get a false impression of the number of problems by the posting of people requesting help to solve a problem. Even the people posting that they are experiencing a problem are generally happy with their SWG.

    I did not install a SWG to save money. I installed a SWG to not to have to worry about an algae out break and to reduce the daily maintenance. In this regard our SWG has been successful. I will not know about cost savings until we have to replace the SWG cell.
    30,000 gallon gunite in-ground with a spillover spa, Diving board and water slide
    Hayward 1 HP Super II filter pump, Hayward 24 " Sand Filter Pro Series using zeolite media
    Polaris 380 cleaner with ¾ HP booster pump, Hayward Heatmaster pool heater, AutoPilot DIG-220 Power Supply SC-60 cell
    Testing with the TF-100 Test Kit

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: is SWG it really worth it?

    I have been using a SWG for 5 years now and love it (although I did have an issue with it now-which we were able to easily fix on our own- it wasn't a functionality issue but an issue with the plastic cover). I buy 4 or 5 40 lb. bags of salt at Wally for about $6 each which are added at opening and as needed and a gallon or 2 of MA, sometimes some stabilizer, and a large bag of baking soda a year. That's it. Less than $75 a year for "chemicals". I have had a box of borax on hand in case I need to increase the pH but I have never used it. We only have our pool open 4 months of the year so I am hoping to get 7-8 years out of our cell. I do not use the boost to shock to save the cell. My pool co. does shock at opening and leaves us a few bags of Cal-hypo shock. I have had to shock during the swim season maybe 3 times in the 5 years we have had the pool. Testing is a must. I usually drop test every 3 or 4 days.
    23000 gal. 18 x 36 IG vinyl
    Jacuzzi Magnum Force 1.5 hp. pump
    Jacuzzi CFR 100 cartridge filter
    AutoPilot Digital 220 SWG
    LaarsLite 250 gas heater

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