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Thread: pool in new home is salt water...convert?

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    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    pool in new home is salt water...convert?

    my new home has a 33k gallon inground salt water pool. the cover wasnt off for about 3 years before i bought the house late in the season last year. i uncovered it and hooked up the pumps etc to see what i was dealing with. everything seemed to be working ok. it was very late in the season so other than a quick shock and leak test thats all that was done before i closed it back up.
    ive had above ground chlorine pools in the past but never salt water. one pool store suggests converting to chlorine and one suggests keeping it salt water. im open to suggestion....chlorine or salt water? what is easier and cheaper?
    33k gal, IG vinyl, 1.5hp superpump, FNS 48 d/e filter, mineral springs swg, Polaris 380 w/pump, Raypak r405ep heater

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

    Re: pool in new home is salt water...convert?

    Salt systems, we call them SWG, are usually a little easier to manage, and given the unit you have on the pool is still working, continuing to use it will be noticeably less expensive (since it is already paid for and most of the cost of a SWG is up front).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    4knights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    NE Kansas

    Re: pool in new home is salt water...convert?

    Jason is right on the money, with a SWG you only need liquid chlorine when the water temp gets below 60- when the SWG stops converting salt to chlorine. The cell even allows you to go through shock process by increasing percentage of chlorine produced.
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
    EasyTouch 4 w/IC20 SWCG, Pentair Whisperflo 1hp, 2 speed 220 pump, Hayward ProGrid 4820 DE filter using Eco Klean instead of DE, 2 Savi Melody 12v 5 color LEDs, Raypack 266k btu millivolt heater, Arctic Armour Mesh custom safety cover (Total self Install) TF-100 test kit w/Magic stir.

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    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: pool in new home is salt water...convert?

    The cell even allows you to go through shock process by increasing percentage of chlorine produced.
    Well, not exactly. TFP suggests that the whole purpose of the Shock Process is a "jolt" of high levels of FC. The SWG cannot produce chlorine fast enough to accommodate that. Generally, it saves some wear and tear on your salt cell to turn the SWG off when you shock. Leaving it on is OK, too, but you have a very difficult time trying to measure your FC consumption correctly when the SWG is operational.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    BoDarville's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    DFW, Texas

    Re: pool in new home is salt water...convert?


    Welcome to TFP

    From a cost standpoint, considering that you already have a salt water chlorine generator (SWCG or SWG), it will likely cost you less to continue using it as opposed to manually dosing the pool. If you did not already have the SWCG, the cost between it and manually dosing your pool over the long haul would be awash since you would be looking at the up-front cost of installing the system.

    The main advantage of a SWCG is convenience. If you frequently travel and the pool is left unattended for more that a few days at a time, the SWCG will keep the pool properly chlorinated, assuming it is calibrated and working properly. You do not have to haul and store bleach/liquid chlorine bottles (the preferred chlorine source for manually chlorinated pools) nor do you need to find someone to look after your pool while you are away. Another advantage of SWCG is that they are designed to produce small amounts of chlorine continuously which allows you to use slightly lower FC levels compared to adding chlorine manually.

    The disadvantages of SWCG is that you will likely need to replace the salt cells every 3-5 years on average and test / adjust the salt ppm periodically. In addition, you need to test / adjust the percentage setting that controls how much chlorine is produced by the SWCG. Since the setting is a percentage of the pump run time, you will need to readjust the percentage if you change the pump run time. During periods of high chlorine demand, you may need to increase the pump run time to be able to produce enough chlorine. Some of this effort is offset by not having to manually dose with chlorine daily or several times a week during swim season. Finally, SWCG do not work very well at producing chlorine when water temps get below 60F, so you may need to supplement with bleach/liquid chlorine. However, since you are in CT, you probably close your pool for the season so that may not be a big concern for you.

    The advantages of manually chlorinated pools (aside from the lower up-front costs vs. a SWCG that does not apply in your situation) is that you do not have to worry about replacing salt cells every 3-5 years, plus there is no equipment to periodically calibrate and maintain.

    The disadvantages of manually chlorinated pools is that you (or someone) will need to manually dose the pool to maintain the proper FC level. You also need to regularly purchase, haul, and store bleach / liquid chlorine bottles. If your pool is frequently left unattended for more than a few days, you will either need to find someone to dose your pool while you are away or temporarily use trichlor pucks which if used too often will increase CYA.
    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
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  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: pool in new home is salt water...convert?

    And, know that a salt water pool IS a chlorine pool.... chlorine generated from salt.
    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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