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Thread: What does it cost to add a salt system?

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    What does it cost to add a salt system?

    What does it cost to add a salt system, and how long will it take to pay for itself in savings on chlorine?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: What does it cost to add a salt system?

    From what I've read.....The saving's aren't much if any for the chlorine itself. There's the upfront cost of the machine itself, plus the new cells every so many years. If it ever "pay's for itself" I'd be shocked. The true benefit of a SWG is the ease of pool maintenance. Knowing that there's chlorine being added to your pool daily without you lifting a finger is worth expense for many.

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: What does it cost to add a salt system?

    I was quoted $1,500.00 for parts, labor, and initial salt setup. To figure payback on chlorine only (in months), you would take the initial cost and divide it by the average $ amount you currently spend on chlorine each month. But...

    ...There are other factors you need to figure in your payback analysis such as periodic salt additions (will not be as frequent as manual chlorine additions), increased electrical usage of the SWG, and cell replacements about every 3-5 years. In addition, extremely hot weather, pool parties, and major storms may require that you manually add some chlorine to supplement the chlorine produced by the SWG. With Atlanta having a similar winter climate as Dallas, you may keep your pool operational year-round. If so, you need to factor in that the SWG is very inefficient when the water is cold. In fact, many SWGs shut down at cold temperatures. Therefore, you will need to revert to manual chlorine dosing during the winter. Granted, chlorine demand will drop in colder temperatures so you will not use as much chlorine in the winter as you do in summer. As you can see, a true payback analysis can get complex and the results obtained are only as good as the accuracy of the inputs.

    As Leebo stated, the main benefit of a SWG is the ease of maintenance with regard to chlorine levels, not necessarily cost savings. If you travel frequently and the pool is routinely left unattended for significant periods of time (especially during the summer), a SWG makes good sense in that situation. It did not make sense for me since someone is always here and the pool is rarely left unattended even when we go on vacation.
    Gold Supporter, TFP Lifetime Supporter, 26,680 gal Plaster IGP 3.5 - 10' depth / Attached Waterfall Spa, Manually Chlorinated, Triton Sand Filter, 1.5 HP * 1.1 SF = 1.65 SFHP 1-speed Pentair WhisperFlo WF-26 Pump, 400K BTU NG Teledyne Laars Series One Heater, Polaris 360, Test Kit Comparison, Chlorine/CYA Chart, SLAMing Your Pool, OCLT
    A good test kit is an investment, not an expense.

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    Re: What does it cost to add a salt system?

    You also have to be sure that your pool will support that. Your heater may not be salt safe, ladders, etc. Also look at rock surfaces, they can be affected.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: What does it cost to add a salt system?

    I never heard of a heater actually having any problem because of salt. Occasionally the warranty is void if you use salt, but that is becoming rare and the heater it's self doesn't care. With ladders, very rarely there are bad bolts that need to be replaced, but again that is becoming rare. Natural stone work that is regularly splashed is more of an issue, especially in areas where it doesn't rain very often.

    With a little DIY effort, a SWG can be under $300 (Intex) or $600 (CompuPool), and can break even with bleach usage over the long run, especially for larger pools. Don't expect to save any significant amount of money, and often the SWG will end up being a little more. Overall, across many pools/SWG the costs end up being fairly similar, though some pools one way (beach/SWG) is a little less and other pools the other approach is a little less.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: What does it cost to add a salt system?

    Is there any difference in water quality with the SWG? My wife has sensitive skin and thinks a SWG will be better for her. Is there any truth to that?
    36 x 18 oval pool, inground, plaster pool.
    27000 gallons
    1 hp pump. Sand filter
    Pool built in 1971.

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    Re: What does it cost to add a salt system?

    Quote Originally Posted by TomAtlanta
    Is there any difference in water quality with the SWG? My wife has sensitive skin and thinks a SWG will be better for her. Is there any truth to that?
    The water quality in a properly maintained pool is good to begin with. It's a little better in a SWG pool. With it's higher CYA level and lower needed Chlorine level, SWGs are somewhat milder as far as active Chlorine on the skin. Then there's the salt. Salt water is generally therapeutic for the skin.
    Bill
    18'X4' 7600 Gal AG
    3/4 HP Pentair Pump
    Hayward S166T 100 lb sand filter

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