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Thread: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

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    Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Its almost time to set up my pool once again for it's third season! It is an Intex ultra frame 16x48 pool, and this year I want to go with a salt system. I know that salt systems keep the water cleaner and require alot less chemicls to balance it, but i'm worried that the salt water may corrode the metal frame. The pool is only 3 years old this season and is not showing any signs of rust. The last thing I want is to complain to intex about it and try to find replacement frame parts. I will be planning on leaving it up year round this year as i can clean up the landscape around the area and add wood chips or something. I will also have a thru-wall skimmer installed with it.

    To get to the point, is an intex salt water system worth the investment? Should the copper anode be removed as others have said in other threads here? Will it cause any horrible rust problems? Thanks
    Pool Type: Intex 16' Ultra Frame 48" Deep
    Mods: Upgraded Filter, Modified inlet/outlet (Soon to be hard plumbed and in wall skimmer)
    Filter: 18" ClearWater Sand Filter
    Pump: 1HP Waterway 1 Speed, About 80 GPM
    Years in Use: 2

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    SWG do not keep the water cleaner. The only thing they do is "produce" the chlorine for you. You still have to test and balance everything and likely will have to add muriatic acid more often as the SWGs tend to raise the pH.

    The slight increase in the salt content should not affect the frame, while there are some threads here that discuss rusting, it is difficult to definitively blame the salt water as it could have just been due to age, subpar materials, or insufficient paint/coatings on the metal parts.

    The copper anode should certainly be removed if you decide to go with that SWG.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    jbliz beat me, but here are my thoughts...
    Quote Originally Posted by Techbell10
    I know that salt systems keep the water cleaner and require alot less chemicls to balance it, but i'm worried that the salt water may corrode the metal frame.
    "Salt systems" are actually Saltwater chlorine generators (swg or swcg for short). As the name suggests, they produce chlorine to keep the water sanitized. They will not keep the water any cleaner then an appropriately maintained chlorine pool. The only chemical that will be handled less by you with a swg is chlorine, since the swg does that now. In fact many users of swgs have to raise their ph more often (we recommend using Muriatic Acid) then do people who are manually dosing with chlorine.

    My suggestion to you is to start this year with the methods taught on here, and then decide if you still want to go with a swg. I guarantee your pool can be just a clean using either method. Take a look at these pool school articles to start with:
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Well, at least i thought it was better. I have had a very hard time keeping the water balanced recently and the PH fluctuates quite a bit. I do really want to go with a salt water system because the softer water. Its hard on my family's skin because we swim everyday. It would preferably be the better choice for me. With my large sand filter, the water stays very clear, I just need to sanatize it. Im assuming there will be mostly muriatic acid and conditioner involved.... but is that it? What else will be needed? I guess i need to do more research on the chemistry of salt water pools.
    Pool Type: Intex 16' Ultra Frame 48" Deep
    Mods: Upgraded Filter, Modified inlet/outlet (Soon to be hard plumbed and in wall skimmer)
    Filter: 18" ClearWater Sand Filter
    Pump: 1HP Waterway 1 Speed, About 80 GPM
    Years in Use: 2

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Swg's will not fix improper pool chemistry. Definitely study up in pool school. If you were maintaining your pool chemistry appropriately, it would not matter if you had a swg or not when it comes to the water quality. A swg is not a magic bullet.

    By the way, you can add salt to your pool even if you do not have a swg...and many people do. Most use about 2000 ppm salt.

    I am not saying a swg is not useful (I love mine), but imo it is easier to learn pool chemistry without, then add it later if you still desire.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    I have read up on the links you posted in your last reply and I think i found the problem. I always had the total alkalinity low and never bothered to bring it back up. I also saw that salt can be added to make the water softer. All the SWG does is make chlorine right? Boy was I wrong! I guess that a generator would pay for itself over time. Chlorine tablets are fairly expensive, and within a year and a half i spend as much on chlorine as the generator itself.
    Pool Type: Intex 16' Ultra Frame 48" Deep
    Mods: Upgraded Filter, Modified inlet/outlet (Soon to be hard plumbed and in wall skimmer)
    Filter: 18" ClearWater Sand Filter
    Pump: 1HP Waterway 1 Speed, About 80 GPM
    Years in Use: 2

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Techbell10
    All the SWG does is make chlorine right?
    Yes, though as you may have read, it can also cause the ph to rise fairly fast if TA is not kept low.

    Quote Originally Posted by Techbell10
    I guess that a generator would pay for itself over time.
    We usually say that it won't, but in the case of the low cost intex swg (compared to others), it might...I think I may be coming out ahead on mine. Mine has gone 3 years. Of course this assumes properly maintained chemistry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Techbell10
    Chlorine tablets are fairly expensive, and within a year and a half i spend as much on chlorine as the generator itself.
    We do not recommend using tablets. They add cya to the pool which can quickly get out of control. They also are acidic and lower the ph fairly fast. Bleach (and liquid chlorine) are what we recommend, and that tends to be significantly cheaper and less troublesome than the pucks. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    I printed off a "cheat sheet" of the matinence schedule, recommended levels, and what to add if the levels are improper. Depending on the money situation, I may just go ahead and get the intex SWG. If not, I will use pool store chemicals and bleach instead of the troublesome HTH Walmart products that I have been using forever. If i do get the SWG, I will use it along with normal chemicals, bleach to boost the chlorine level if needed. I'm just trying to get all the chemicals out that i can. What is better, the test strips or water chamber test kit? I have had good results with both. I may even transfer over to the BBB method now that i'm being educated in pool chemistry which i have never really known before.
    Pool Type: Intex 16' Ultra Frame 48" Deep
    Mods: Upgraded Filter, Modified inlet/outlet (Soon to be hard plumbed and in wall skimmer)
    Filter: 18" ClearWater Sand Filter
    Pump: 1HP Waterway 1 Speed, About 80 GPM
    Years in Use: 2

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Not test strips!

    Order one of the recommended test kits.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    What would a recommended test kit be?
    Pool Type: Intex 16' Ultra Frame 48" Deep
    Mods: Upgraded Filter, Modified inlet/outlet (Soon to be hard plumbed and in wall skimmer)
    Filter: 18" ClearWater Sand Filter
    Pump: 1HP Waterway 1 Speed, About 80 GPM
    Years in Use: 2

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    See link in my signature to the Pool School article.

    TF100 is highly recommended due to customer service, 18 month warranty, and quantity of reagents more inline with our methods.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Those test kits aren't very cheap! At least a 10 way test kit from the local pool store which uses the water chambers would be better than strips. Thanks for the help. Hopefully this year i can manage the levels alot better!
    Pool Type: Intex 16' Ultra Frame 48" Deep
    Mods: Upgraded Filter, Modified inlet/outlet (Soon to be hard plumbed and in wall skimmer)
    Filter: 18" ClearWater Sand Filter
    Pump: 1HP Waterway 1 Speed, About 80 GPM
    Years in Use: 2

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    The key is the FAS-DPD chlorine test which is the most important test in the whole thing. That alone costs over $20, which you can add to a kit you find locally, but are then approaching the same cost as one of the better kits.

    Plus you support the owner of this forum.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    I will have to consider it. Im only 16 and jobless so far so you can see my worry about costs. Im hard plumbing with a thru wall skimmer this year and that will be 100 bucks alone for valves and such. Once thats done it all goes to chemistry where I wil make my decision to go with certain products
    Pool Type: Intex 16' Ultra Frame 48" Deep
    Mods: Upgraded Filter, Modified inlet/outlet (Soon to be hard plumbed and in wall skimmer)
    Filter: 18" ClearWater Sand Filter
    Pump: 1HP Waterway 1 Speed, About 80 GPM
    Years in Use: 2

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    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Techbell10

    I used the HTH 6 way my first year with a seasonal pool, it can be done. But if you have an algae outbreak you can't really follow the shocking process because only the recommended tests will read high enough. If money is the problem start with water chamber type and then later add the TF-50 to that. That lets you spread the cost out and the result is basically the TF-100.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    I will keep that in mind. I will most likely add salt withought going with a SWG to see how it feels before i make the investment. Using chlorine bleach instead of tabs, and other pool store chemicals instead of the HTH walmart stuff. Hopefully that will improve my pool chemistry.
    Pool Type: Intex 16' Ultra Frame 48" Deep
    Mods: Upgraded Filter, Modified inlet/outlet (Soon to be hard plumbed and in wall skimmer)
    Filter: 18" ClearWater Sand Filter
    Pump: 1HP Waterway 1 Speed, About 80 GPM
    Years in Use: 2

  17. Back To Top    #17
    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Techbell10
    HTH walmart stuff
    HTH walmart stuff is fine as long as you know what you are putting in and why. For example: HTH cyanuric acid (cya) is fine (assuming you need it).
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    But some of the HTH stuff contains chemicals that we do not recommend ... like copper.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  19. Back To Top    #19
    msgtdan's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    Knowledge is the key. I just bought some HTH cya for bringing mine back up after draining down a bit for the winter. I may buy some tricholr tabs for while I'm on vacation knowing that it will raise my cya.
    Dan D
    Used 2003 Aqua Leader 27'x52", 17,800 w/10" hopper, SwimPro SW256T 250# sand filter, Hayward PowerFlo LX pump 1hp impellor, Emerson 1 1/2 hp motor, setup Aug 2012 Summer 2011 used Summer Escapes Ring pool 14' x 42", Intex 1600gph sand filter, HTH 6 way test kitTF-100 w/stirrer, Well water @ FC=0, PH=7.2, TA=290, CH=320

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    SuzyAbbott's Avatar
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    Re: Intex SWG Benefits and Drawbacks?

    I LOVE the salt water generator for our intex. Last year my niece spent hundreds fighting with her pool and it was still green. We had absolutely no issues with ours. I love that there's no harsh chemicals and the water really feels nice. And no smell! I think all said and done last year it cost us 75-100 bucks for the year and that was salt cya and test kit. At closing i pulled and soaked the bars and theyre good as new. I opened today and its crystal clear. Salt is in and cya is added. Looking forward to another easy to maintain year with our intex. No regrets at all on the swg. wortheverypenny!!
    24' Sharkline Matrix. Coral Reef Liner. Clearwater II Cartridge Filter. Saltron Retro Salt WaterGenerator. 4x20 Ecosaver Solar Panels, Rover Jr. robot vac. Fiberglass Steps and Lifesaver pool fence/gate.

    Previous pool: 9x18 intex with salt water generator and vinylworks 5x10 deck.

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