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Thread: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

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    Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Hello, I have a recently built above ground pool (Cornelius brand), 18 foot round with 4 feet of water (walls are 52" high), so I'd say about 7600 gallons. It has an automatic chlorinator, but I know this forum recommends either using liquid bleach daily, or getting a SWG. I will find it difficult to pay daily attention to my pool, so this is why I'm leaning towards a SWG.

    I did find one on Amazon made by Intex, which almost seems too good to be true: Only $135. I had a SWG on my last pool, but I paid Leslie's Pool Supply to install it, and it seems like it was in the 4 digits by the time you include installation labor. Admittedly that was an inground pool, around 11000 - 13000 gallons.

    The specs of this Intex one says it can handle up to 15,000 gallons, and I think I've read here that you recommend getting one that can handle more water than I have, and as I have 7600 gallons, this sounds like it fits the bill.

    I'm considering, assuming this is an okay brand to get, doing my own installation. In general, is it as simple as running a pipe from my sand filter to this system, and another pipe from this system to my jet? And plug the power cord into an outlet?

    If it helps, my pump manual says "Maxi Pump NE6151B/NE6171B", and it's a 1 horse power pump. The Sand filter manual says "Blue Wave Sandman Sand Filter System NE6150 / NE6170"

    Also, at my last house with the inground pool, it was set up so that whenever the pump turned on, it started generating chlorine. Is this how they all work? If so, I guess it's not as simple as plugging it into an outlet. Actually, maybe it is... my pump is plugged into a timer, so maybe I could plug the SW system into the same timer. There's only one outlet in it though, so I'll need some kind of power splitter that allows me to plug two things into it.

    Also, I've read some people have rust problems, but the tops of my pool wall are made of resin and can't rust. But I don't know if there are other parts of the pool that are susceptible to rust or not.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    The Intex SWG has been used by members here and is well respected. Some of the intex units have copper bars, which you should remove or at least unplug. I think it has a regular 110v plug, so it may just be as simple as plugging it in.
    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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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Thinking more about this, in the last salt system I had, I think I was told that if the part where the chlorine generation takes place (I think they called it a "cell") ever had to be replaced, that would be a $300 part. That never happened to me, but once the circuit board did go out, and I had to replace it. I wasn't as expensive, maybe $100, but I'm not sure.

    I just don't understand why my system costs so much money, when there is this cheap $135 entire system for sale on Amazon.

    In addition, when I bought my current pool last month, the salesman was a huge fan of using chlorine tablets to put chlorine in the pool, and he wanted to sell me an automatic chlorinator that dispenses these tablets. I told him I was considering getting a salt generator, and he told me he thought was just a waste of money, when you consider the upfront cost of buying and installing, plus the maintenance costs if the cell ever has to be replaced.

    I told him, but think of savings of not buying buckets of chlorine tabs. But in the end, since my current pool is smaller than my last pool is (I have 7600 gallons), I reasoned that the cost saved in chlorine tablets wouldn't be that much, and I went along with him and got the chlorinitor. He told me even for larger pools, he thinks chlorine tablets are cheaper in the long run.

    But now I see this deal for $135, and I think the breakeven point would be fairly short, so I'm thinking his calculations don't hold a lot of water, and I don't know why they charged me so much for my last salt system. Maybe the salesman similarly thinks salt systems are more expensive than they are.

    Of course, now that I'v read the TFP's advice to not use tablets, and use either liquid bleach or a SWG, and bleach is cheaper than tablets, that makes the cost of buying a SWG harder to justify again. But I like the idea of not manually pouring bleach in on a daily basis, so I'm justifying it on the convenience factor. I guess there's the option of automatically dispensing bleach with some kind of device, but for all I know such a device might be as expensive as a SWG.

    On another note, I've read that you don't want a SWG if you have exposed metal around the pool. Fortunately the caps over my metal walls are made of resin, with vinyl protecting the inside of the walls. I looked under the caps and I see a few screws holding it in place, but the screws are recessed in a way, so water would have splash over the wall, then travel up against gravity to reach those screws, so I feel like I'm pretty safe from the risk of rust.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    GreatCanadian's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Well, I am a fan of SWG. But as I tell any of my friends who ask about it, it is NOT A REQUIREMENT!! I just enjoy the convenience. After last summers 16 day vacation, I came back to a crystal clear pool with FC level of 7. I had set my SWG to run 2 hours a day while I was gone.

    A lot of my friends have the cheap Intex SWG. Some are on their 3rd year and no problems. I also have a cheap SWG (though not Intex), and I'm on my 4th year. I'm waiting for it to go on sale again so I can buy a backup. 4 years is pretty good for a $150 SWG!! When this one dies, it will be replaced with another.
    13'x22'x52" 8,000 gallon ProSeries Pool with Borates
    Intex 110 pound Sand Filter with Zeobrite, 2650 gph pump, 0.95 hp
    Bestway SWG
    AquaPro ECO500 50,000 BTU heat pump
    GLI Whirlwind Solar Cover Reel, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Generally, SWGs are not about cost savings; they are primarily about convenience.
    Although with how inexpensive those Intex SWGs are, they very well may offer cost savings as well.
    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
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    svenpup's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    I have said this in other threads, but I think people undervalue their own time. If you factor in some $$$ to "pay" yourself for lugging bleach I think you will come out ahead with an SWG. Not to mention the stress relief when you go on vacation.
    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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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Say, I just realized a question I have about the SWG. Is it okay for it be installed in a place where the sun is going shine on it, or does it need to be in the shade?
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Ideally all the equipment should be in the shade and protected from rain. But it should be fine in the sun.
    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: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Oh, by "all equipment", you also include things like the pump and filter? Sadly, all my equipment is in the sun. Maybe I could figure out some way to cover the equipment with a canopy or cover or something that would block the sun, but not block the ventilation.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Mine is sitting out as well. I have plans to add a little roof / lean-to over everything. To keep most of the sun and rain off it.
    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: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    That sounds like a nice idea. I'll have to think of how to do it. Maybe a piece of thin plywood to act as a roof.

    In fact, I already have a 4x4 post next to the equipment holding my electric outlet.. maybe that could be one of the attachment points for this makeshift roof.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    I'm also reading that for the SWG I'm thinking of buying, if I have a sand filter (which I do), the sand filter / pump flow rate must be between 1000 and 4000 gallons per hour. I checked, and my manual doesn't give the flow rate, so I'm left a little confused how how to know if I meet the prerequisites. This SWG is certified to be able to handle a pool twice my size, so I'm inclined to think it will work for me.

    Also, I figure I'll have to buy some piping from home depot to hook it up. Does anybody know if it's better for me to get rigid or flexible piping? I figure rigid is stronger, but I don't know if you're supposed to have rigid pipes with an above ground pool. I also assume I should install unions in case I have to work on or replace the equipment.

    I think currently my pump and filter don't have unions on them, which is kind of a raw deal...it'd've been nice if the installer would have included unions.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Your pump should have plenty of flow.
    Many members upgrade to rigid PVC pipe ... much lower head loss than the corrugated hoses and less likely to crack and leak.
    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: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Okay, I have the SWG, and I have questions about copper. The instructions say that I should be testing the water with the enclosed test strips to ensure the right amount of copper is in the water.

    But I think I saw another thread here that recommends not putting any copper in the water, thus going against the instructions. What are the pros and cons about copper?
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    You should disconnect the wires going to the copper part of the system. You do not want to add copper to the water ... staining and green hair are possible.
    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: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Okay; then I wonder why the manufacturer even put it there, if it's that bad. Do you think it would be good to physically remove the copper itself? When I unplug the wire, I see what looks like small hexagonal screws. I wonder if I were to loosen those screws, maybe they hold the two copper blocks in place. If so, it may not be difficult for me to remove the copper entirely.

    Maybe that's overkill, if simply disconnecting the wire is enough to prevent copper atoms from getting into the water.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Oh, and I just read that I need a CYA of 70-80 to use a SWG, but I have CYA=60 right now. I never thought I'd want to deliberately add my CYA after some stories I've read.

    Anyway, I still have some chlorine 3 inch pucks, and my automatic chlorinator is still installed, though I plan to uninstall it when I install the SWG, as it seems unnecessary.

    So my idea is to stop using bleach and use my pucks until my CYA reaches 70-80 or I run out of pucks, whichever happens first. (I have no intention of buying any more of those pucks.)

    I also have a couple of small bags of dichlor shock, which I'm told contains CYA, if the pucks for some reason aren't enough, but I have a feeling they'll be enough that I won't need the dichlor shock.

    I just figure I may as well save money and use the materials I have on hand.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    A few members have completely removed the copper bars and plugged the hikes with stainless bolts.
    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: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    Okay; then it sounds like a personal choice, and that leaving the copper in there with no electric current isn't expected to be harmful to the pool. This sounds like the simplest / least work for me.
    18 foot diameter, 52" tall above ground Cornelius pool, with vinyl liner, and resin wall caps.
    Roughly 7600 gallons
    Blue Wave "Sandman" Sand filter/pump, model NE6150. Pump is 1 HP
    Intex SWG, model # 54601E

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    R.J.'s Avatar
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    Re: Considering buying and stalling SW system / questions

    My copper bars have been plugged in for 4 years with no staining and no green hair. I personally know 3 other users who have had no problems. Maybe you could just leave it alone and if you have no problems, fine, and if you do, unplug them. The choice is yours, but I suspect it's not as much of a problem as people think.
    18 x 48 Intex Ultra Frame
    2500 gph cartridge filter
    Intex SWG

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