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Thread: Adding a Salt Water Generator to my system (IS IT WORTH IT ?)

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    TFP Guide
    Catanzaro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Howell, New Jersey

    Adding a Salt Water Generator to my system (IS IT WORTH IT ?)

    At present I have a basic system where initially the "Frog System" was installed, being used and the Mineralizer and Bac Pac's basically did the job for my pool with regards to chlorine. In addition to the other chemicals for PH, TA, CH and so on. Luckily I had no problems in the summer with these levels and only needed to add liquid chlorine on a daily basis to keep my levels between the recommended ranges based on my CYA of 40. For some strange reason I did not have to adjust PH, TA or CH for over 2 months.

    Because I am in sales, enjoy being a TFP Member and a supporter, the conversation of swimming pools come up more often then not when I am with people in their homes. People love talking about how they take care of there pools. Amazingly no one ever tells you they have problems. A lot of people have the SWG system. I keep hearing that it is so simple and the total cost for the summer is under $100 and so on (Add salt 1X and basically you are done). I was also told that the computer systems on the SWG will keep track of PH, TA and CH (which scares me) as the pool store used to test with a computer and the testing levels were all over the place.

    Any type of work that does not involve a lot of moving parts is always best in my situation. Sometimes you have to spend a few extra dollars, but at the end of the day a piece of mind is best. Realistically, is the SWG system that much less expensive to maintain then the stand alone TFP method for chlorine usage? I have calculated that next season I can probably get away with $300 at most for the summer here in NJ (That is everything and not just chlorine). With the Pool Store, I probably would have spent over $900 for season. This is all assuming we have a very hot summer. Do SWG computers really test for everything? Are the costs that low? I have looked on line and some of these systems are over $2,000 and just do not seem worth it. At this point I am not planning on adding one, as the daily additions of liquid chlorine do not bother me.

    Please advise! Thank you.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Frog Mineralizer System (EMPTY) - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Pool Company tests water (NO LONGER) TF-100 TEST KIT
    Date of Build is 11-2013

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    TFP Guide

    In the Industry

    Join Date
    May 2007
    New Brunswick Canada

    Re: Adding a Salt Water Generator to my system (IS IT WORTH IT ?)

    Really depends on a lot of factors...

    Just how advanced a system you want determines what is controlled by a swg, I am not aware of any that control Ch.

    A basic system can be installed by a DIY for under $1,000, it should last a min of 5 yrs. that's $200 a year for chlorine, pretty cheap in my books. Balancing still has to be the same as in any pool. Ph will rise in swg pools, but can be offset somewhat with a lower TA. You will require MA to lower PH at times, also you will require CYA higher then chlorine only pool. Benefits are softer water, no harsh chloramine smells, but that can also be attained by adding salt to any pool and carefully keeping an eye on free chlorine.

    For my money, salt water chlorine generators are cheaper and less daily maintenance to run then a liquid chlorine pool.

    If you are in an area that prohibits back washing of salt into local waters then it could be more hassle. Some areas around me now demand zero chlorine being put into drains, requiring chlorine removal before dumping to waste.

    Just my opinion, but I am a strong proponent of converting to salt water.

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    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Hope Mills, NC

    Re: Adding a Salt Water Generator to my system (IS IT WORTH IT ?)

    My SWCG only tells me salt level and temperature. I test everything else.

    It is more of a convenience factor than anything else, what would happen to your system should you want to take 2 weeks vacation? What happens to a SWCG system? Nothing...

    As far as disposing of the water, you cannot even tell that salt is in the water. People think that a "salt water pool" means coral growing and those really colorful fish are swimming around in it and there is white crusty deposits and barnacles on everything. The reality is that there is virtually no difference between the water in a salt pool and a hand chlorine added pool, except the salt pool is more consistant.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
    Vinyl in-ground
    Hayward 250# Sand Filter
    1 HP Pump
    Hayward SWG

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    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Long Beach, CA

    Re: Adding a Salt Water Generator to my system (IS IT WORTH IT ?)

    For the most part SWG's do not measure any chemical levels in the pool including the FC. You would need other expensive equipment added on to make chemical readings and adjustments.

    The cost of a SWG compared to bleach should be considered even. Some pools will do better with the SWG and others will do better with bleach. There are many factors that play into this, so that is why I and most others say the cost should not be a deciding factor.

    The advantage that I believe is most relevant is that you do not have to buy, store, and constantly add bleach to the pool. This makes the pool maintenance simpler for me and I can also go on vacation and not worry about the pool.
    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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