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Thread: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

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    Exclamation Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    Ok we recently purchased an Intex above ground 15' x 4' metal frame pool, 4400 gallons. The filter system seems kinda cheesy and I've read good things about salt systems with sand filters. BUT I have lots of questions.....

    How do I know how much salt to use?
    How often do I add more salt?
    Does salt deteriorate the vinyl and metal fast than traditional chlorine?
    Where's the best place to buy the salt?

    I've read that the sand only gets replaced every 5 years, is there any cleaning involved in that 5 years?

    What else do I need to know before making the conversion???????

    All advise is welcomed PLEASE!

    Thanks in advance.
    15' x 4' Intex, Above ground, round, metal frame with standard filtration currently

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    Welcome to the forum!

    Have you been through any of the articles in pool school yet? Most of your answers are in there, but we are happy to fill in the holes if you have more questions.

    Short answers.....salt doesnt deteriorate anything faster. You can buy salt from any big box/home store. Sand doesnt need to be replaced except for a very few, very specific circumstances. PoolMath will help you with any calculations you need. Start with "The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry" to get you started on all you need to know about how pool chemistry works.
    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
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    What he said and Welcome. The manual that comes with the system will tell you how much to add. Splashing and those times when you know you won't forget to turn the hose off while filling and find yourself at the mall when you realize the pool is still filling will cause you to replace salt. It's pretty cheap. Intex pool quality is debatable in my opinion. However, I have come to believe that it is not the salt alone that will deteriorate the pool but the total balance. So, if your chlorine and ph levels are not right, the salt just helps that mess along.

    So, read pool school and forum posts and learn ALL that you can. I have been on this forum for a few years and this is the first year that I feel like I am in control of my pool chemistry. I got rid of the SWG over a year ago and I definitely feel that I am doing less work now than when I had it.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    Hi Beckcy,
    Welcome to TFP. I will try to help too.

    How do I know how much salt to use? SWG's have a salt operating level, usually that is about 3000 - 4000 parts per millionm (ppm). You should refer to your SWG manual for the manufacturers specific salt level recommendations.

    In order to know how much salt to add, you need to know the volume of your pool. Pool Math is a great TFP tool that calculates everything for you. Just measure your pool and enter the dimensions at the bottom of pool math, then click the calculate button at the top, and viola, it tells you how many gallons of water you have.

    After finding that out, enter your volume in the space at top left, where it says Size ___ Gallons. You can figure out hte rest from there Im sure. Here is a link to Pool Math for you. Easy to use.
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html

    How often do I add more salt? You only loose salt due to dilution or draining so you dont have to add it often. SWGs have a low salt indicator on them, so just add some salt whenever the low salt level warning comes on.

    Does salt deteriorate the vinyl and metal fast than traditional chlorine? Salt water can excellerate metal corrosion, but not vinyl.
    Where's the best place to buy the salt? Home Depot is where I find the best price. YOu dont really need bags of POOL salt. Salt which is used in water softeners are pure and are just fine to use. THe only difference between solar salt and pool salt is the size of the salt grain. Solar salt grains are bigger. Here is a link to the salt I use in my pool.
    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Diamond-C...2454/100172669

    hope this helps. Please do also read the ABC's of pool chemistry in Pool School there is a lot of info there to know and you will need that knowledge to properly take care of your pool.

    Hope this helps...
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    Welcome Becky

    Just wanted to say, salt systems can work well with any type of filtration. Salt is strictly for making Chlorine, but there is no correlation with it working well with a sand or other type of filter better.

    I'm not telling you a salt pool is a bad idea, but a pool that size will be very easy to manage with very small doses of chlorine and other chemicals, without having to purchase a salt generator. Just something to consider.
    TFP Moderator
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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    This is all very helpful, thank you!

    So based on what I'm reading, would I be creating MORE hassle by converting to SWG and sand filtration?

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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    I love my sand filter and when it is time to replace it, I will get another. As far as the SWG, knowing what I do now, I would start with just adding chlorine manually to the pool and see how it goes. If you find that you hate doing it, then consider other options like the SWG. I recently installed the Chlorine liquidator that automatically adds chlorine to my pool and I love it. I must say, I have never regretted getting rid of the SWG. My two cents.
    Sharkline Reprieve 15x52 (3/14). Still using Intex 2650 Sand Filter with Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 3/4 HP pump (6/15). Solar Cover cut into strips for easy removal, (2) 2*10 Space Saver solar panels. Swim Jet HD Robot (by Aquabot) (3/15). Chlorine Liquidator (4 gal). 4 person hot tub. Hard pipe is the way to go for improved flow! Retired Lil Shark (3/15). Starite Max E Therm 333k BTU Propane Heater w/ 24 gal tank (7/15).

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by beckysavesanimals View Post
    This is all very helpful, thank you!

    So based on what I'm reading, would I be creating MORE hassle by converting to SWG and sand filtration?
    Sand filtration is a good move. The smaller filters that come with those pools are really
    not so good as you've already surmised. SWGs are actually designed to provide a lower maintenance alternative in terms of adding a chlorine source. They perform better when you dial in a couple chemistry parameters like TA, and Cya (stabilizer level). Of course, the Salt addition and level. In the case of stabilizer, the correct amount can help reduce run time. In your case, a seasonal pool, and being (it seems) your first? I am only saying you could avoid the expense of a SWG primarily.

    Being the pool is so small, you wouldn't have have to keep, or add much product to the pool to keep it perfect. It would be a little less to do, and learn up front as well. Also, we sometimes suggest a refill and start over if things go really wrong in a seasonal pool. If you went down that road for some reason, it's easier to restart and get going again. Not that big a deal either really, but less to worry with if you did. I'm not against salt pools at all, I'm just explaining that your pool will be very easy to manage with small amounts of product and arguably less worry about things like TA, and proper run time, and again SWG cost.

    Either way, the sand filter is a good upgrade, and whatever you choose we can help you get it right. I just didn't want you thinking the SWG would keep the pool cleaner versus not having one.
    TFP Moderator
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    ABC's Of Pool Chemistry, Test Kits, SLAM Your Pool
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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    Where a SWG comes in handy is if you plan to be gone more than a few days and want to leave the pool unattended. But an automated chlorine dispenser will work too.

    I've been very happy with my SWG. But be aware that the cells wear out after a few years and must be replaced. My last one cost about $60, which is still less than a summer's worth of chlorine.
    25000 gallon free-form gunite
    Jandy Stealth pump/CL340 cartridge filter
    Pentair IC40 SWG
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    Divin Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie Needs Lots of Help!!! Please Reply!

    No you would not be creating more hassle by adding SWG and a sand filter. They both work great.
    The SWG will need a bit of tweaking to get the chlorine output just right when you first get it fired up. That will take a few days, depenending how exact you want to be about it. But after that, its a breeze.

    Quote Originally Posted by beckysavesanimals View Post
    This is all very helpful, thank you!

    So based on what I'm reading, would I be creating MORE hassle by converting to SWG and sand filtration?
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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