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Thread: SWG or not ?

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    Paul & Crystal's Avatar
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    SWG or not ?

    Hello all,

    We have gotten four bids now and have two more to go before making our final decision on a builder. We are being told many different things about everything from every company...they all seem to have different opinions and preferences. We've pretty much decided to go with vinyl. We don't feel confident about the builder for the one affordable concrete bid we got.

    Last night we had a vinyl man tell us that salt water pools are very corrosive on all the equipment and on the pool and decking. Is this true? He says that we will probably have to get all new equipment in seven years and switch to chlorine. No other vinyl builder has said this to us.

    This man recommends the automatic chlorinator that you put chlorine tabs in. Is that a good set up? Or is it better to just put plain ole bleach directly in the pool? Are the tabs much more expensive? Can you get the kind of control you need with the tabs?

    Thanks!

    P & C

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or not ?

    The tabs are great for a while. After that they tend to be a nightmare. The tabs contain CYA, so your CYA level is constantly going up. Once your CYA level gets too high things spiral out of control unless you do a lot of water replacement. None the less they are also very common.

    There are some issues using a SWG with certain kinds of natural stone. Otherwise you almost certainly won't have any problems.

    About half the people on the forum prefer using bleach to a SWG, the other half like their SWGs.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    SWG or not ?

    Welcome to tfp!

    Short answer - bleach! It's what a lot of us use here. Let him put the puck feeder in - it's handy for vacations. Do some reading on the abc's of pool chemistry in pool school. It's a good place to start and relatively short.

    On swg's - salt does cause corrosion and is problematic for some folks. Other folks keep their deck and rocks sealed and have no issues.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
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    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or not ?

    Salt water is more corrosive than fresh water, but this should not be a problem if you maintain proper pool chemistry, as to the equipment issue, about the only thing you might want to worry about is if you have a heater, in which case you want to select one with a higher quality more corrosion resistant heat exchanger. The salt will have almost no effect on the vinyl part of the pool, and should only effect the decking if it is made from a soft natural stone. So like so much information from pool stores / builders there is some half truth in there.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    freqz's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or not ?

    One thing is for certain: you'll be replacing the salt cell *at least* once, if not twice withing 7 years. Salt systems are great but TANSTAAFL.

    Yes there is no lugging bleach around, you can operate at lower levels of FC, and leaving town for several days at a time easier.

    No, it isn't hassle free: you'll still be testing your water several times per week (if not daily), there is periodic maintenance, at some point down the road you'll have to replace the cell, control board, or both and in some installations the salt can cause a problem with certain brick or stone.

    There isn't a right or wrong here but I would recommend you make the decision with eyes wide open
    25000 gal in ground plaster. '79 vintage. Cartridge filter.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or not ?

    Umm. . .salt at SWG levels is not a problem for any pool heater. Salt at ocean water levels can be a problem but that is over ten times the level normally used with a SWG. Heaters should never have a problem with salt levels below 5,000.

    SWG cell lifetime is variable depending on how much you use the cell. If you get an oversized SWG, as we recommend, and balance your chemistry correctly, the chances are good that the cell will last more than 7 years.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Paul & Crystal's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or not ?

    Thank you everyone! I know I can get the unbiased truth here. We are not getting a heater. It would be nice but we just can't spring for the extra $3K. I have been studying in the pool school and I knew there was a reason the tabs are not good for long term use. I like the idea of having the dispenser if we are away (rare) but otherwise I will do everything the Pool School way.

    We are not getting stone. We love it, but for durability and cost efficiency we are going with a stamped concrete border that will look like stones. So...my take is we will consider either swg or chlorine just depending on the deal we get. We have one builder saying they have a special going for a free SWG on a new build....that's tempting....but if we can get $1500 off the price by going chlorine....that would pay for part of the electrician. Argh....budgets!!!

    Thanks again for the solid input....will keep you posted!

    P & C

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    Re: SWG or not ?

    Given your setup ... IMHO swg. And that's coming from a guy with a 20 gal CL tank.


    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or not ?

    Bleach is great, but you will be lugging bottles.

    I converted to SWG 4 years ago and love it. Maintenance for me is 2 cups of muriatic acid per week, which means I only have to carry 4 gallon bottles all summer. Plus the salt gives the water a nice silky feel and is gentler on your eyes.

    To reiterate what Jason said above, pool salt levels are around 3000 ppm, whereas the ocean is ten times that, so corrosion to pool equipment is not an issue. Believe me, I used to race sailboats, and I understand what seawater can do to equipment.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Paul & Crystal's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or not ?

    I do like the idea of salt water and not having to lug chlorine around. We have a decent bid with the SWG as a free bonus. We are seriously considering this one. We are looking at a 16 x 36 rectangle. This builder sells Pentair products. What size Intellichlor SWG should we be looking for? I figure they might try to give us as small as they can since they are supposedly throwing it in free.

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    Re: SWG or not ?

    We recommend up sizing 1.5x to 3x, so for example for a 20,000 gal pool should have an SWG rated for 30,000 to 60,000 gallons. This will extend the life of the cell.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
    • 17,500 gallons - In Ground - Plaster - Hayward Swimclear 3020 Cartridge Filter - Sta-Rite Max-E-Glas Main Pump upgraded with A.O. Smith B2980 E-Plus New Centurion Two-Speed Motor - Polaris 280 Cleaner with Polaris PB4-60 Booster Pump - TightWatt2 Timer - Taylor K-2006 Test Kit - Pool Pilot Digital Nano SWCG

    Helpful Links: Pool School, BBB for Beginners, How to Shock (hint...it's a process not a product), Chlorine/CYA Chart, Jason's Pool Calculator

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    Paul & Crystal's Avatar
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    Re: SWG or not ?

    Ty

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