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Thread: Salt Water Generator

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    Cool Salt Water Generator

    Hi.

    New to the site and awaiting the TF-100 kit (shipped today) and I have done some poking around and wondering if an SWG is worth it and why? The pool store near me wants $2,600 for installation (he doesn't use a cheapo version so he says) and I don't mind paying the $$$$ but I want to know the benefits of it to me because I am reading more negative then positives on it. I plan to post my test results and take matters into my own hands and get the great advice from all of you, but in the interim I am wondering what the true value to me is for an SWG.

    Thanks!
    IG Vinyl -30,000 (20x40)
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter/Hayward rebuilt 1 HP Pump
    AutoPilot DIG-220 RC52 SWCG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    Aquabot Bravo

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Wow that is a very expensive SWG, unless they are really charging a lot for installation.

    A SWG is about the convenience of not having to manually haul and add chlorine everyday. There are automation systems for liquid chlorine as well, but you will still have to buy and haul all the bleach every week or so.

    Any of these automation systems also allow you to go on vacations without having to worry about the pool or find someone to add chlorine for you.
    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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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    I have had a SWG for 4 years now and I consider it the closest thing to an actually trouble free pool. You mention reading more negative then positives, but don't mention anything specific. An SWG provides consistent FC level with a minimum (not zero), of intervention and attention. Many people refer to corrosion issues, but this is really an overblown conflating of a salt pool with sea water. The salt level in a pool is about 1/10 what is in the ocean and is below the threshold where corrosion becomes a serious concern. The only real world issue is a very rare erosion of certain types of natural stone (usually found in Texas and the southwest).

    We recommend sizing the cell two to three times the size of the pool. You have a large pool, which would mean selecting the largest size of cells available. You did't mention what the quote above includes but it seems high to me. SaltPoolGuys.com has the pool pilot digital with the SC-60 cell (50,000 gallons) for $1654. IF he is quoting a system like that, then he is charging $1000 for installation. As this is likely to take him no more than a few hours (what it took me to install my own) it seems like he is getting about $300 per hour for the job, and likely more since he is probably quoting you an undersized system.
    TFP Method Advanced Intermediate
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    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: Salt Water Generator

    Thanks for the input. I am fortunate that I have several pool stores near me and I went to the one I traditionally go to. They quoted me $1,900 for a AQR15 Hayward salt Chlorinator. It states that it is up for pools up to 40,000 gallons and has a warranty of 3 years. Thoughts?

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    That SWG is a bit on the small side, which may require you to run your pump and SWG a good chunk of the day.
    Also online it only costs ~$1000 for that system.
    The installation is pretty easy if you have any PVC and electrical experience.
    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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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Yeah I lack both of those so I need a pro to do those things. I plan to head to another store in a little while and see what they say

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    zimm's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Welcome to TFP! There's an entire SWG section of the forum. I switched to one last year and highly recommend it. I'd look into the Pool Pilot digital- I got mine from Josh on here (saltpoolguys.com). I installed it myself. You could easily have a plumber do the PVC part (should only take a pro an hour to slice it in). Then have an electrician run power from your timer to the SWG controller. Again, a very small job- couple of wires and plastic conduit.

    You have a huge pool. They recommend sizing the cell 1.5-2x the size of the pool. So either the 48k or 60k cell. Then it doesn't have to run as much and will last a lot longer (and be cheaper in the long run).
    http://www.saltpoolguys.com/autopilo...ystem-package/
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
    Pool School + Test Kit + Pool Math = Trouble Free Pool

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    Two Pool Stories - Two Perspectives - Need Guidance

    Do not post duplicate threads. Keep related questions together. Thanks, jblizzle

    Hi.

    I posted part of this in the beginner forum but it is more appropriate for here.

    With pool store 1 we have Hayward AquaRite 15 - $1,900 Installed - 3 year warranty
    With pool store 2 we have Jandy Aquapure PLC 1400 - $2,600 Installed - 2 year warranty

    When I inquired on both that my pool is 33,000 Gallons and would the SWG and pump have to work harder they both said that the pump would need to run longer anyway but felt their respective suggestions are they right fit. Pool store 2 felt that the Jandy was much better because the metal fins within the unit, that make the chlorine is far superior to that of the Hayward. He felt the Hayward was an inferior product in general.

    So with that said, I would love feedback and also some answers to basic questions I now have:

    How often would I need add salt to the pool? Only at the beginning and end of the season? Is it true that the salt they sell at home depot is inferior to a salt at a pool store because the big box stores are not "pool grade" salt?

    With an SWG, do I still shock the pool with traditional powder shock or is the boost function on some of these enough to take the place of shocking?

    I am also looking at the pool pilot, but have big concerns about my lack of "handiness" and would rather have a "pro" do it and be accountable, but not sure.

    All feedback is appreciated.
    IG Vinyl -30,000 (20x40)
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter/Hayward rebuilt 1 HP Pump
    AutoPilot DIG-220 RC52 SWCG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    Aquabot Bravo

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Add salt when you need it ... usually most when you install and then maybe 1-2 bags per year. If it is pure salt ... it is all the same. I use the solar salt which is just a little larger chunks than the "pool salt".

    We never "shock" our pools at TFP. We follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process only if there is a problem. As long as you maintain adequate FC for your CYA level, there is no need for "weekly shocking" as pool stores would have you believe.

    Most stores are biased to what they sell. I would venture to guess that more members have the Hayward SWG than other brands. It is a nice proven middle of the road 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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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    I appreciate your feedback and any other. I feel for the 1,900 and the 3 year warranty it is a better deal but I am no expert. I also have an email in to the guys in LA that was suggested.
    IG Vinyl -30,000 (20x40)
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter/Hayward rebuilt 1 HP Pump
    AutoPilot DIG-220 RC52 SWCG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    Aquabot Bravo

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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Salt is salt...as long as the salt doesn't have other stuff added (I've seen bags that have rust preventor). I use the solar salt sold at walmart which is $4-5 a bag the only difference with pool salt is the price (pool salt is higher) and the size of the crystal (which disolves into nothing so who cares about the size).

    Don't shock with the SWG - follow the instructions you find on the site.

    I only use the Aquacheck salt test strips (others also use the salt drop tests and love them). Tells you the exact number instead of Leslie's pools strips where you get to play match the color in 20 seconds or less. Go for accuracy that you have determined other than depending on others. Once you have the salt level to the level your generator requires you will rarely have to add any salt. I tend to have to add towards the end of the season due to water loss/additions taking my level down.

    You'll find that folks here tend to avoid the pool store and instead get the exact chemical we need. I don't pay for packaging or marketing upcharging LOL
    Diane

    15,000 salty gallons - 24' x 12' x 52" Intex Ultra Frame Pool
    Intex Sand Filter, Pump, SWG - TF-100 and speed stir

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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    You could use table salt if you really wanted to, salt is salt. Typical pool store story "our (fill in the blank) is the best and everybody elses is junk".

    You may need to add a bit of salt throughout the year, but not a huge amount. I went through 8 bags total last season, I think I will use less this year since I got my CYA in check and my FC is staying much more stable.

    Oh, and I bought the salt a Walmart for $6.47 a bag.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
    Vinyl in-ground
    Hayward 250# Sand Filter
    1 HP Pump
    Hayward SWG

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    zimm's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Another vote for walmart pool salt (Mortons). They only have it in the summer around here, so I keep 2-4 bags in the garage for occasional top offs. I add a bag about every 2 months- depends on the amount of rain we've had. The pool pilot has a pretty accurate built in salt gauge that tells you when and how much salt to add. I also recommended the pilot because it has a temp sensor and will automatically adjust the output based on temp- handy feature. It also has a bypass valve so just the right amount of flow goes through the cell- not sure if that's important or just marketing, but it works for me. You can ask what the warranty is on the cell, I don't know.

    As for having a pool store install vs having a plumber and electrician do it... I'm no expert, but I suspect the pool store will subcontract to a licensed plumber/electrician and charge you extra for the service. I'm all about not wasting money...
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
    Pool School + Test Kit + Pool Math = Trouble Free Pool

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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    How expensive is your electricity? You will need to run both of those systems a minimum of 15+ hours a day during the summer to maintain enough chlorine unless the pool is in shade and covered. That is the reason why we are recommending a 60K or so rated SWG system as you will not have to run the pump nearly as long.

    They are charging at least $1600 to install the Jandy and $900 for the Hayward. The advice you are getting from the pool stores is very biased as to what they are trying to sell you. I would do a little more shopping around as winter is coming and you will not be using it much longer this year anyways.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
    Hayward Aqua Rite T-15 SWCG, Jandy LXi 400k BTU NG heater, 350 sq.ft. of Sun Star solar panels, TF-100 Test Kit, Dolphin s300i Cleaner
    Test Kits . Pool Math . Chlorine/CYA Chart . The SLAM Process

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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    So salt is salt- great to know and thanks. I am in touch with Josh on the Pilot and I understand about the bigger unit being better so it won't hve to run as much. All great feedback. I imagine that I get the pilot I will need a plumber to set it up where my chlorinator is and the appropriate fittings and then an electrician to hook it up. I think I have to get a panel because what I hve now is an outlet for my pump which is a 1 hp rebuilt Hayward and have had for 16 years and the timer for te pool pump. I am thinking I would be better off for an electrician to come and hook up a panel for the swg and te pump etc etc

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    zimm's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Do you have a timer for the pool pump? If so, the SWG is wired to that. So when the pump turns on, so does the SWG. The SWG doesn't need power all the time, it has built in memory. But you do need conduit for the wire and the appropriate fittings, plus a ground wire from SWG. Either way, a very simple job for both plumber and electrician. Do you have a picture of your setup?
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
    Pool School + Test Kit + Pool Math = Trouble Free Pool

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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    I do have a timer, yes and can certainly upload some pics of it

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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Here is a pic of our filter setupphoto.jpg
    IG Vinyl -30,000 (20x40)
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter/Hayward rebuilt 1 HP Pump
    AutoPilot DIG-220 RC52 SWCG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    Aquabot Bravo

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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    Here is where I installed my Auto Pilot Cell...I removed the tab dispenser.


    13,000 Gal Pool & Spa
    Jandy Automation /w IAqualink
    Autopilot SWG
    Jandy 2.0 HP VSP, Filter Cartridge
    Taylor (FAS-DPD K-2600, Pool Surface: Plaster

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    Re: Salt Water Generator

    That is where I plan to put mine in as well
    IG Vinyl -30,000 (20x40)
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter/Hayward rebuilt 1 HP Pump
    AutoPilot DIG-220 RC52 SWCG
    TF-100 Test Kit
    Aquabot Bravo

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