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Thread: To SWG or to not SWG

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    To SWG or to not SWG

    We're about to start building a pool and have chosen to go with a SWG. But the more I read, the more I'm getting concerned. There seems to be a lot of polarizing information wrt to swg.

    Anyone has had swg for any significant length of time? Any issues with heater or other equipment? Any issues w/ stray current? What type of coping material do you have? How is it holding up?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated
    28K IGP, AquaPure 1400 SWG, Inteliflow filtration, Inteliflow spa, pentair 1.5HP water feature pumps, pentair cartridge filter, 2.5 / 3" plumbing.

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    Curtsam's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    garykli,

    I also am starting a new pool ig pool build and had my concerns about swg. You answered your own question from your comment the more I read the more I get concerned. Listen, if your like me the longer the anticipation/pool build the more nervous you get and naturally the more reading you do. I am very thankful I found this site and these great people. I took a deep breath found this site found out they truly care about newbies like you and me. They will not let us down!

    I am sticking with my first instinct and staying with the swg on my new pool. Reasons are: lower maintenance, less store runs, and you can take a vacation and not worry about your pool chemicals. As far as the salt causing problems with coping, decks pipes etc.. there just isn't enough salt concentration to do any harm besides chlorinate your pool. This is my 2 cents only.

    Everyone who posts and gives advice here: Thank you! I am looking forward to your hassistance and advise with my pool as well. You do a great job here. Keep up the great work!

    Curtsam
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    I don't have one, so I can't claim to be an expert, but as far as I can tell, SWGs won't save you money. They will, however, have a huge positive impact on the convenience factor.

    As to your concerns from above, I have heard of none of those being an issue.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    As with many things, there are a lot of urban legends about SWG. I wouldn't let any of this extraneous noise stop you from going the SWG route, especially since you are about to build a new pool. The salt concentration in a SWG pool is about 1/10th of ocean water. Even a manually chlorinated pool will have some salt. The salt level in my manually-chlorinated pool is about 1/3 of a typical SWG pool.

    When choosing coping and the like, I would ask the PB which materials hold up better for SWG. Even with that said, I know people who converted an existing pool to SWG more than a decade ago and their coping is doing just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by garykli
    Any issues with heater or other equipment?
    A pH that is out of range will have a much bigger impact on this than anything else regardless of whether the pool is manually-chlorinated or uses SWG.

    I think one of the primary factors in considering a SWG pool is if you travel frequently and the pool is often left unattended. A properly functioning SWG will keep the pool appropriately chlorinated while you are gone. Other advantages of SWG include less day-to-day maintenance, fewer store runs, and not having to lug & store chlorine bottles. However, you cannot completely ignore the SWG. You need to check the salt level periodically (most SWGs will indicate low salt conditions) and run the pump longer vs. a manually-chlorinated pool since the SWG is producing & distributing chlorine only when the pump is running. In addition, the salt cell will need to be replaced about every 3-5 years on average. After the initial cost of the SWG, the ongoing maintenance costs over a 3-5 year period is pretty much awash between SWG and manually chlorinating. The money you save on day-to-day chlorine will go towards replacing the salt cell every 3-5 years. But the SWG wins out on the convenience factor.
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    I wouldn't trade mine for a million bucks. OK, sure I would, but I'd buy another one with the money.

    My pool coping is tile from the 50's. I don't have stone so I can't comment on issues with stone.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    Pretty simple to install plumbing in such a manner to allow for room to put in an SWG at a later date.

    That way, you can manage your pool non-SWG, then, if you decide to get one later, it's amazingly easy.
    Dave S.
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    Great, thanks for all the feedback...

    I talked to my PB this morning and he's pretty confident that using AZ flagstone will be fine, he's had it multiple customers for a number of years without any issues...

    The issues I was reading about primarily impacted areas with little summer rain because the splashed out salt water wasn't getting washed away from the coping/decking and would cause break down over timer, which, based on feedback here and my PB really sounds like a bit of a red herring...

    Thanks!
    28K IGP, AquaPure 1400 SWG, Inteliflow filtration, Inteliflow spa, pentair 1.5HP water feature pumps, pentair cartridge filter, 2.5 / 3" plumbing.

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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    garykli

    The SWG may save you money depending on how long your salt cell actually lasts. They typically last 3-5 years on average. If it lasts 3 years, you will be breaking even in terms of how much you would be spending on chlorine had you not installed the SWG. The savings will start to take affect once you are past that 3rd year.

    A SWG does have an effect on the heater. If you have a gas heater you will want to make sure it is a cupro-nickel model. Cupro-Nickel is a mixture of copper and nickel and is much more corrosion resistant than a standard heater which uses copper. Any metal that is close enough for the pool water to splash on or any equipment in the pool such as railings, ladders, diving boards, etc. will corrode over time due to the salt, and it is recommended you use plastic instead of stainless steel on your light fixtures as well.

    Brad

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    The salt level in a SWG pool is not high enough to really affect any heater material and many members never report any problem with stainless light fixtures or any metals around the pool.

    Sure maybe the salt speeds up the corrosion, but it does not typically seem to speed it up enough to actually notice.

    I do agree that a SWG is not about saving money and it may not even after 5 years on a cell ... they are really about convenience and how do you put a price on that?
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    I have had my SWCG on a new pool for one year. We have travertine coping and decking. No problems there. I absolutely love not having to haul chlorine from the store. All I do is monitor my chems closely and I have to add MA once a week to keep the PH in check. I have two waterfalls which add to the PH rise in addition to the SWCG. My plaster has cured so the PH rise is slowing. I would not trade it for anything.
    Gunite/Plaster pool at 13k gallons. All Jandy with CL340 series cartridge filter, 1.5 HP Jandy Stealth pump. Jandy 1400 SWCG and PDA4 controller. Dual waterfalls. Polaris 280. Pool installed August 2012. Southern Louisiana. And lets not forget my trusty TF100 test kit!

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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    I'm less concerned about the cost of chlorine and break even point, that, to me, seems to be a wash in the long run. I do like the idea of 'less' maintenance and the feel of the water is really the main reason for this, at least for me...

    Thanks for the responses, it definitely put my mind at ease re coping/decking issues!
    28K IGP, AquaPure 1400 SWG, Inteliflow filtration, Inteliflow spa, pentair 1.5HP water feature pumps, pentair cartridge filter, 2.5 / 3" plumbing.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    Well, you can get the feel by adding salt without a SWG ... so that should not be a deciding factor.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    Would adding salt also remove FC that burns your eyes?
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    FC does not burn your eyes. It is the byproducts of the chlorine acting on something in the water (combined chlorine ... CC) that can irritate your eyes and have a smell. And generally they are only present if you do not have enough FC in the water.

    Having the pH too low can also cause eye irritation.

    Keep reading Pool School
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    Quickly, a salt pool is still a chlorine pool. You may be able to run a lower FC safely though. Mine is maintained at around 5-6 ppm FC with a CYA of 70-80.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    I would think a salt pool would have a better chance of eye stinging than non-salt. I've been using BBB for a year and a half and can always open my eyes with no problems. They are very sensitive to **** in the air, but never my pool water. CYA = 40, FC = 4-5, pH=7.8. I can not open my eyes in the ocean, and they do get irritated in a salt pool, but only been in one and it was public, so who knows what could have been in that water!

    Quote Originally Posted by garykli
    Would adding salt also remove FC that burns your eyes?
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    My numbers may not be exact, but I think your eyes are around 9k ppm salt. A non-SWG pool is likely around 1k ppm salt ... so a SWG pool with 3.5k ppm salt is actually closer to the salinity of your tears so it can be less irritating.

    The ocean is 35k ppm of salt ... so that is WELL above the salinity of your tears and thus why it stings.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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  18. Back To Top    #18

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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    Jason is right. My salt pool does not cause eye stinging in any way. It is quite comfortable.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    NOT!!
    25K gal gunite pool with Auto Cover and Meyco mesh winter cover. Pump and filter in underground vault below level of returns. New Pebble Fina plaster in 7/2010.

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: To SWG or to not SWG

    Quote Originally Posted by ragwin05
    NOT!!
    Would you care to elaborate and actually make a useful post that contributes to the conversation?

    Or is this just your once a year drive-by post?
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