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Thread: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

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    Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    I'm leaning toward a SWG system. I like the idea of having a closed system that makes chlorine on-site and lugging fewer chemicals/additives. I had briefly toyed with going with a chemical-free system based on some things I read about chlorine but it appears that the articles I came across are written by people who engage in fear-mongering or are misled. Thanks for the good info on here to help clear that up.

    I have heard that SWG systems are less work than normal chlorinated pools. I'm not sure if this is true or not. I'd love feedback on the questions below. I'll outline my situation first.

    Background info about me and my situation:
    • I live in South Florida[/*:m:7x88ibin]
    • The pool is in-ground, outdoors, screened, and gets sun. Don't know exact measurements yet.[/*:m:7x88ibin]
    • I will be a first-time pool owner so I'm looking for something easy to maintain and safe. I have a pregnant wife and dogs who would like to use the pool.[/*:m:7x88ibin]
    • I plan on converting a standard pool to a SWG system and I definitely plan on paying a company to do it. I am not handy and I want it done right.[/*:m:7x88ibin]


    My questions about SWG:

    1. I'm drawn to SWG because it's supposedly less maintenance, less chemicals to lug back and forth, and has water you can open your eyes in. Is this true? If not, what are the real benefits of SWG systems? Is a SWG system better for you than a normal chlorinated pool? I've heard it's better for your skin, eyes, and hair.[/*:m:7x88ibin]
    2. What do I need to do to maintain my SWG pool? I've never maintained a pool - do I need to hire a pool company? I should mention that I am not handy at all.[/*:m:7x88ibin]
    3. What will I need to add to the pool?[/*:m:7x88ibin]
    4. Can you recommend any specific brands for the chlorinator and products to add to the pool?[/*:m:7x88ibin]

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    1. Only slightly less maintenance, you are just not lugging bottles of bleach. You still have to test frequently and may need to use more muriatic acid to keep the pH in range ... SWG tend to cause the pH to rise more quickly. The salt itself can make the water feel softer and if the pH is correct you can easily open your eyes. But, many people add salt to their non-SWG pools to get the same feel. All the SWG does is add the chlorine for you.

    2. The same thing that you do to maintain any pool. Test with one of the recommended test kits and adjust whatever needs adjusting. You do not likely need to hire anyone to maintain the chemistry (in fact we usually recommend against that because you will maintain it better than some stranger will).

    3. Read Pool School!!! (Button at the upper right of the page) Once you test everything, then you will know what to add

    4. What is the brand of all your other equipment? Any automation already? You need to know the volume of the pool before we can recommend a SWG. You should size the cell for 1.5-3X the size of your pool volume.

    Please add your pool details and location as described HERE as it will help us help you.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    and has water you can open your eyes in
    No better than standard chlorination. The pool water in an SWG pool is (essentially) no different than a manually chlorinated pool.

    A screened pool will use noticeably less chlorine than an unscreened pool, so delivering chlorine into the pool through an SWG or manually will be noticeably less work as well.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Less maintenance and fewer trips for supplies (chlorine jugs) are pluses for me. I've heard you can buy self-cleaning salt chlorinators. Is that true?

    Also, is this pool tech correct in what he's saying about SWG? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-gsEwgkRiQ

    I'm continuing to dig around in this forum to learn more about SWG.

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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Also, how do you recommend I go about finding a reputable company to do my saltwater conversion? I've tried searching for saltwater conversion/pools but don't seem to be having much luck.

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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Any opinions on the AutoPilot brand of salt chlorinator?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Autopilot is good, so is Hayward, Pentair, Circupool, ....

    The conversion is easy and any pool handy man can do it ... a little electric and PVC work.
    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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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Thanks jblizzle. It's surprisingly hard to find reviews for pool companies. I just want to make sure it's done right and I'm not sold ****.

    How much should I expect the whole thing to cost?

    I know you and others recommend going with a cell 1.5-3x the size of the pool volume. So, 10,000 gallons would be 15,000-30,000 rated cell, right? Is bigger better - should I aim for 3x?

    Anything else I should look for in a place that's going to convert in regards to hardware?

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Quote Originally Posted by dc2sofla
    Also, is this pool tech correct in what he's saying about SWG? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-gsEwgkRiQ
    He is close to right on a few things regarding swgs, but when he compared it to other means of introducing chlorine, his methods of chlorine usage is not consistent with the recommended methods we teach on TFP. A properly chlorinated pool regardless of how the chlorine is introduced should not need periodic shocking and will not be harsh on eyes. Also, he made it sound like swgs run themselves, but like others have mentioned, vigilant testing is still needed to prevent problems.
    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: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    I am not an expert, and I frequently come here for advice when I have questions or concerns, but I will tell you I love my SWG. I'm in southern NH, not FL, so our pool is used entirely differently than yours is, but, same principles.

    I test FC and pH every day. It takes about 5 mins and with that info I know if my pool is doing well or needs care. With testing every day I can take action before major work is needed. I tweak the pH, dial the SWG up or down I rarely need to go through the shock process and, except at opening, have had visible algae once in 5 years. I never ever buy jugs of chlorine. Because our fill water is low in calcium and I hardly ever have to use it, I can just use the bags of CalHypo chlorine.

    My SWG is oversized, like recommended. Most of the time it's running at 20 % for 1 hour for each 10 degrees F over 0

    So my 5 mins a day, BBB, and my SWG saves me major headaches. These guys know what they are talking about and I feel very lucky to have found them during our pool build.
    19,000 gallons, Well Water
    Stay-Rite System 3 Cartridge filter
    IG vinyl, MasterTemp 400 Propane heater
    Intellichlor 40 SWG, 2006 Taylor Test Kit with Speed Stirrer
    1.5 HP Pump

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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Thanks Deb04. Does your SWG run automatically or manually? I'm interested in an automatic system. I know I'll need to test the water fairly often but I'd love for the chlorinator to just do its thing and run as needed.

    Obviously, I'm a newbie.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Being screened in, you likely will not need to be extremely oversized as you will not have as high a FC demand.

    The SWG are generally powered with the pump off the same timer. Just have to dial in the right % for how long you run the pump.
    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!

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Thanks Deb04. Does your SWG run automatically or manually? I'm interested in an automatic system. I know I'll need to test the water fairly often but I'd love for the chlorinator to just do its thing and run as needed.
    SWG runs automatically.
    19,000 gallons, Well Water
    Stay-Rite System 3 Cartridge filter
    IG vinyl, MasterTemp 400 Propane heater
    Intellichlor 40 SWG, 2006 Taylor Test Kit with Speed Stirrer
    1.5 HP Pump

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    DaveNJ's Avatar
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    Re: Leaning toward SWG - have questions

    Balancing the pool water to the levels here (and borates) I use very little Muriatic Acid. Maybe once a month. Having the pool for 8 years I open (with bleach) and balance the water, then fire off the SWCG, test atleast twice a week. My routine not everyones.
    IG 18x36 oval vinyl, Spill over spa, Northstar 2hp-2spd, 2.5" piping, S310T 500lb Sand filter, 400k gas heater, AutoPilot SWCG
    http://www.tftestkits.net/

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