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Thread: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    I am right now researching either of these, to convert from Trichlor pucks. I was initially planning to go with a Stenner 45MHP10 for bleach, but now am also considering the move to SWG. Overall initial cost will higher with SWG, but I am also looking for ease of maintenance for the long term. In any case, I will be moving to some sort of automation as I cannot see me fooling with jugs of bleach every day. I honestly haven't done much research in the way of SWG, so don't yet even really know what else comes along with doing SWG. I understand you have to add salt, but how do you go about that? TIA.
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    I love my SWG!

    You add salt by purchasing water softener salt and just dumping it in. Look for salt that is 99.4% pure or better without any special features (no stain fighting or iron guard or anything like that). The salt usually lasts all season, and then each spring you have to add a little more.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    Cool! I already buy water softener salt as we have one of those too. So it's really "that simple" in regards to the SWG (excluding any issues as a result of the unit breaking down)? Do you have to buy anything other than the SWG unit and any plumbing/wiring? For wiring, do you wire it in with your pump timer or plug in to wall power? I have 220V for the pump timer and also have a 120V outlet nearby as well (though not part of the timer circuit). Thanks for the advice.
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    Most SWG units get hard wired to the timer along with the pump so they are only on while the pump is on. A few are designed to be plugged in or to replace the timer and then the SWG controls the pump.

    Yes, it is very simple. Mostly you just add salt, plumb and wire, but you also want to adjust the CYA up to around 70-80 and make sure TA is on the low side, ie 60-80.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    >>..do you wire it in with your pump timer or plug in to wall power?

    it depends.

    my own 240 volt setup contains no timers since the IntelliFlow VF has it's own computer. IntelliChlor transformer is wired into it's own voltage control relay which monitors the power use of the VF and keeps SWCG powered Off when pump is running ultralow speeds for filtering. IntelliChlor comes on only when VF power use exceeds 160-165 watts.

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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Most SWG units get hard wired to the timer along with the pump so they are only on while the pump is on. A few are designed to be plugged in or to replace the timer and then the SWG controls the pump.

    Yes, it is very simple. Mostly you just add salt, plumb and wire, but you also want to adjust the CYA up to around 70-80 and make sure TA is on the low side, ie 60-80.
    Yes, of course I would still maintain the other levels. After having came to TFP, I have been pretty "intimate" with my pool so that wouldn't change. I would like to reduce the time spent maintaining it though, hence the reason for this discussion. To keep is simple, I'd prefer just to hard wire it in with the pump though I suppose a few other factors may come into play. I want to keep it as simple as possible without adding other automation or the potential for some other pc of electronics to go haywire. At least the way it is now, it's all totally mechanical so I can fix it if there's a problem. As soon as you introduce electronics, it's R/R to me. I just have little patience to try and diagnose electronic issues.
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    If keeping it mechanical is of importance to you, then the peristaltic pump may be a better fit. There's no electronics on the stenner pumps. It's all mechanical except for the motor and that's just a shaded pole motor.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    Thanks Dave. Each system has it's merits. I like the lure of SWG having one less chemical to maintain, just some salt. The downside to me is a perceived increase in complexity with electronics that eventually ****-out (even if it's expected with the cell). With straight chlorine (as we've described here with a simple pump), I still have to maintain a stock of chlorine, but the system itself is incredibly simple and likely long-lasting. I really like SIMPLE when available. I'm still on the fence here as I think either is a good choice.
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by susa
    >>..do you wire it in with your pump timer or plug in to wall power?

    it depends.

    my own 240 volt setup contains no timers since the IntelliFlow VF has it's own computer. IntelliChlor transformer is wired into it's own voltage control relay which monitors the power use of the VF and keeps SWCG powered Off when pump is running ultralow speeds for filtering. IntelliChlor comes on only when VF power use exceeds 160-165 watts.
    But most folks set-up isnt as involved as yours and is a bit more simple. For the majority of folks, putting the SWG on the load side of a timer, setting the percentage run time and calling it a day is all thats needed.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: SWG or Peristalic Pump and bleach?

    My setup is exactly as bk406 described. For me the biggest draw was not having to mess with jug after jug of bleach. A pump might introduce certain conveniences but you still have to buy and store bleach regularly. I converted six months ago and since then its been more simple than I imagined. I'm not sure how much bleach you can load into a pump but I was just away for 10 days and with the SWG the pool I came home to looked just as good as the pool I left.

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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    Based on some calculations, looks like I will spend about $70/month on bleach alone due to the size of my pool (2 ppm/day so 1.16 gallons/day/month for 5 months @ $2/gallon). Our season is about 5 months long, so $350/yr on bleach is as best as I can figure it. Economically, a SWG does make some sense, but I'm personally not "SOLD" on them yet due to lots of issues I see folks having with them. Still, I like the idea of essentially free chlorine! But, I have to shell out around $800 at minimum for a SWG to accommodate my pool, versus around $300 for the pump and 15-gal barrel I'm looking at. Then, the longevity of the SWG cell comes into question. I see some getting 18 months, though I'd likely see longer due to our shorter season. Not sure what to realistically expect there. The convenience of the SWG is very appealing, though. Or, I can just dump the bleach in manually everyday and save the $300 (not too fond of that idea, really).
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChiknNutz

    but I'm personally not "SOLD" on them yet due to lots of issues I see folks having with them. .
    Keep in mind what you see here in terms of problems are a small percentage. It looks like a "lot" since if there are issues, people ask about it. The majority of SWCG owners never have a problem. I never have but i dont post on a regular basis "hey guys, no problems here"
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    I can tell you I have been very happy since switching to a metering pump, just refill the 15 gallon drum with a couple of cases of bleach every week or two and let it run. You will likely find a lot more people with comments about SWG's simply because they are a lot more common, but as you mention there are lots of stores on here about unit failures.

    Ike
    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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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    Peristaltic pumps have their problems too, they are just so rare among forum members that we don't hear much about them. Talk to people who operate commercial pools that use peristaltic pumps and you will hear plenty stories.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    What is the typical real-life expectancy of a SWG cell? Since it looks like they do in fact go out, one needs to factor the replacement cell periodicity into the equation. I'm still looking into each option here. The idea of NOT lugging gallons of bleach all the time is appealing!
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    ChiknNutz - You have a large pool so in considering the SWG you need to make sure that the SWG you may be considering will generate enough Chlorine to keep your pool sanitized during your existing run time. If you have to run your pool longer to acheive optimum sanitation you would need to figure in the extra electrical cost into the comparison. It seems like I remember from my research when I was considering a SWG that the cheaper the unit the longer run times you needed to generate enough Chlorine to keep my pool properly sanitized. I choose the liquid Chlorine route because I have an issue with my pool that I won't go into here and my kids actually did not like the water in my neighbors pool that used a SWG. They said it was like swimming in sweat. I personally did not have a problem with it and I have not seen anyone in this forum mention it, I may just have weird kids, but I sure did not want to spend the money to here them say we don't like the water.
    35K IG Vinyl 20 x 40 self built pool, Hayward Pro Series High-Rate Sand Filter 31" 98gal/min, Hayward TriStar 1.85hp, Hayward 400btu heater, BBB method w/Hypo, Jazz light w/matching fiber optic rope lighting around coping w/syncronized color wheels. Concrete Paver deck.

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    ChiknNutz's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    jasonknox, we have similarly sized pools, are you manually or auto-dosing your chlorine? If auto, what are you using? I first started looking at the Liquidator, but many suggested that it would not keep up with the demand, so that's why I'm looking at alternatives.

    In looking at a few (there are many) the Hayward AquaRite only goes up to 40,000 gallons. The little bit I've read on the subject suggests going bigger so it can run for less time. I saw another make that I think goes up to 60,000 gallons. But, are they basing these on 24-hrs/day? If so, no way I'll go that route as I only run my pump for 8-10 hrs per day and I don't see the need to buy 2-speed pump just to make all this work...at least not yet.
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    As mentioned in my signature, I have an AutoPilot SWG. I'm extremely happy with it.

    The liquidator will keep up with demand just fine as long as you have good pressure on the pump. It often struggles with variable speed pumps run on low or dual speed pumps run on low. The disadvantages of the Liquidator are that it doesn't work on all setups, and that you need to carry bleach/liquid chlorine to refill the tank once or twice a week.
    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: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    Using "The Pool Calculator" is the chlorine setting for "chlorine gas" what you would use for SWG calcs?
    Chris A.
    20x40 36k gal IG vinyl pool w/diving board & slide | 1.25HP Pentair Challenger motor & pump | 30" Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair SM-20-3 multiport | Stenner 45MHP2 Peristaltic Pump & 13 gallon carboy (BBB) | Hayward CL200 Tablet Chlorinator (used on pool startup) | TF-100 | 2003 Sundance 850 Altamar hot tub

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    Re: SWG or Peristaltic Pump and bleach?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChiknNutz
    Jason, we have similarly sized pools, are you manually or auto-dosing your chlorine? If auto, what are you using? I first started looking at the Liquidator, but many suggested that it would not keep up with the demand, so that's why I'm looking at alternatives.

    In looking at a few (there are many) the Hayward AquaRite only goes up to 40,000 gallons. The little bit I've read on the subject suggests going bigger so it can run for less time. I saw another make that I think goes up to 60,000 gallons. But, are they basing these on 24-hrs/day? If so, no way I'll go that route as I only run my pump for 8-10 hrs per day and I don't see the need to buy 2-speed pump just to make all this work...at least not yet.
    Manual, I test daily and add chlorine as needed. Actually I generaly add no less than one gallon of 10-1/2% at a time. If the next day the chlorine has not gotten below my target I will skip adding chlorine that day. I think that my pool during the heat of the summer will not use more than one gallon of 10-1/2%. Seems like I read about some problems with calcum build-up in the liquidator on this forum.

    Yea, figuring out the time frame that SWG generate the required Chorine is the hardest part. I got to the point that if I could not get and answer or figure it out from the literature I scratched it from consideration. Some say they will producer enough chlorine in a day and I was like you, "What a 24 hour day". Come on be alittle clearer!!!! I have also recently considered a 2-speed pump but with my electrical cost of .10 per KWH it was not a great savings. I will however consider one when I have to replace my pump. I run my pool the same hours as you.
    35K IG Vinyl 20 x 40 self built pool, Hayward Pro Series High-Rate Sand Filter 31" 98gal/min, Hayward TriStar 1.85hp, Hayward 400btu heater, BBB method w/Hypo, Jazz light w/matching fiber optic rope lighting around coping w/syncronized color wheels. Concrete Paver deck.

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