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Thread: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

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    Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    I have been on TFP for a couple months now and have read tons of posts on SWG vs. non-SWG. Most (if not all) of the posts and responses I have read heavily favor SWG for a number of reasons. However, I have talked with 3 pools builders now and all three have said passionately that SWG are not the way to go. One guy said that various cities are starting to ban them. Another guy said that my climate is too warm. The third said that he had not installed one in over 3 years....

    My question is this: if the SWG is another item that they can sell me on, why steer me away from it? What are the cons to SWCG? I have read a ton about the benefits, I just want to hear some drawbacks. Why do you all think that they are pushing so hard on this issue? What's the endgame here?
    Looking to buy this season.
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    Free form 36'x20' gunite, 24K gallon, Heated (???), Raised spa, Possible slide, Raised deck around spa, Tanning shelf

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Well, those reasons, at least, are pretty bogus....

    cities banning them? I haven't heard that but in the land of fruits and nuts, I guess anything is possible

    Climate? ridiculous

    3 years and not installed? That's HIS issue not a fault of SWG's

    SWG's are, flat out, the most convenient way to deliver chlorine to your pool. You pay up front for that convenience and over the years, your operating costs may be marginally higher than manually chlorinating.

    They do have a drawback or two (the cost killed me) but if you try to steal an SWG from members on here that have them, 95% will handcuff themselves to the piping and fight you if you try to remove theirs. just sayin'
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    You're going to have to check with your particular city or county to be sure. It's the backwash they object to. http://www.waterworld.com/articles/2...chlorides.html
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Some pool guys feel that the increased salt concentration in the pool affects the metal components of the pool, (light rings, ladders, diving boards,), etc. Also, some, like this guy think they are rough on a metal walled pool. Swimming Pool Salt Water Chlorinator Reviews

    I actually have a metal walled pool and it this article has given me some pause about using salt. But my pool is properly bonded and I will install an anode.....
    38,000 gallon vinyl liner, True "L", Sand Filter, Hayward Heater, Diving Board

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Ask the PB for the names of the cities that ban them. I am aware of none. There is talk of banning sand filters in California and some cities are strict about the way sand filters waste is handled, but I haven't heard of any banning salt systems.

    I think part of it is product, cost, profits and warranty claims.

    First they are not familiar with salt systems and really do not understand how they work.

    Second the systems have a high upfront cost and they require more electrical and control work. You can show the customer a lower cost pool without a salt system.

    Profits. I suspect that the profits on mineral systems (Nature II), rainbow chlorinates (PVC tube caped at both ends for $300), uv and ozione (is it really working?) are generous and they don't want to sell salt systems where their profit is not as high.

    Fourth Warranty claims. Clearly fear of warranty claims is why salt systems are discouraged in Texas and Oklahoma. In California I would say its because these are expensive claims if the system goes bad. And some manufacturers systems were not all that great (Jandy?)
    As costs come down (and they will continue to do so) these systems will become the standard. They allow for true measurable chlorine reduction (not the guessing of mineral systems), save water over tab based systems and allow people to care for their pools on their own.

    Do pool stores or pool services like them well no. Because they cut into the high end of their business where the profits are. And most pool builders have a service company or affiliation with one.--
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    like gwegan said

    They likley make GOOD recurring revenue from weekly service

    a SWG makes that less critical ...
    Doug - Purchased 1/2016, 1995 house with 16x31 ft, ~23000 gallon Gunite pool w 11x7 spa, 3 Pentair VS pumps, a boost pump for polaris 3900 and a BaduŽ Jet super-sport swim jet pump, 1.5 hp blower, a CL460 Cartridge filter. TF-100 test kit. Aquapure 1400 SWG, iAqualink - Lots to learn. New Aquabright, Jandy LEDs, CMP LED Sheers.

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    I think a lot of the negativity on SWG comes from the general ignorance on pool care.

    All Chlorine pools contain salt.

    Last season I tracked my chlorine usage. I added 2840 oz of 12.5% bleach over a approx. 26 week period. With that 414ppm of FC also came 681ppm of salt. I'm on my third season with this pool, so in two seasons (or 52 weeks) I added approx. 1362ppm of salt. In 4-1/2 twenty-six week seasons, I will have added 3000ppm of salt in my pool, just right for a SWG.

    Now I'm sure that my actual salt content is lower due to backwashing/splashout, etc, but I think I've made my point.

    All Chlorine pools contain salt.
    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Possibly due to their having to take care of the complaints from dissatisfied customers and the effects on their new business from referrals. From my experience, if I were a pool contractor, I would steer people away too. When our pool was installed about 7 years ago the contractor actually recommended a SWG and that contractor is no longer in business - I wonder why? We had a Zodiac Clearwater which did in fact produce chlorine, but it also produced a lot of work and aggravation along with the expense of replacing the cell every year. The main reason I reverted to liquid chlorine which I had used in our previous pool for 15 years was because it had to be cleaned every day as the calcium would bridge the cell plates and therefore no chlorine production. The procedure took about 20 minutes. Also we had a lot of scale build up on the tile surround. Last season we spent about $260 on chlorine and kept the fc level at 5ppm. The water stayed sparkling the whole time and it did not need the same amount of acid as when the SWG was in use. The negative side of this was having to buy, transport and store the Chlorine. Actually adding it to the pool only took a few minutes, not including testing the water. I have seen claims that other makes only need cleaning once a week which I find hard to believe especially in areas of hard water.
    Gold Canyon Arizona, E facing 12000 gall Pebbletek pool built 2009. Sand filter. Drained & refilled Feb 19 2016. Normally only use liquid chlorine and muriatic acid.
    Most recent drain and refill in May 2017. Water tested daily using Taylor K2007.

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Calcium scale is all about water balance & CSI. If a SWG cell needs to be cleaned of calcium scale that often it is not the cell's fault. There are members here with very hard water that run SWG's without the need for such frequent cleaning.

    I'm looking forward to the switch to a SWG this year.


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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    pflood's complaint about the Jandy product explains why the Jandy Distributors run away from the product. But recent reviews are much more favorable.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Have had mine for 6 years and could not imagine having to add chlorine manually.
    25k 20x40 Gunite w/ integrated Spa & Caribbean Blue Plaster, Curved Bluestone Coping, Deck Jets
    Pentair Easy Touch/Wireless, Sta-Rite Intellipro SRVS Pump, Intellibrite Lights, & Pentair IC40 Cell, Sta-Rite 450sf Cartridge filter
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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    the key to enjoying a SWG chlorinated pool, is to plan for that.

    Its true that salty water will make iron pool furniture and other things made of iron corrode quicker. So, the key here is either select pool furniture made of some other material, such as aluminum, or wicker, or teak or plastic material of some sort. Something that SW doesnt have such a large effect on. I suppose you might go ahead and use wrought Iron furniture , but you would need to spray it down with fresh water after use, but that would probably still be risky.

    my deck furniture is aluminum and going into year 4 it still looks good and there are a few more years left in it. The Texas sun has had more effect on it than the SW ever has.

    There are some stones used for coping and pool decking that are more suspect to corrosion from SW than others, but if you know this and select a compatible stone, then you wont have any of that possible issue to deal with years later. Also the grade of the stone is of importance, the lower the grade, the more susceptible it might be to corrosion.

    If you cant get past using a different type of stone, then a sealer applied over the stone will last for years and protect it. Problem solved.

    Some people with filters that require backwashing shiver at the thought of backwashing salty pool water into their beautifully manicured yard. Not that theres enough salt to do anything to it, but.... SO, how about using a cartridge filter that doesnt require backwashing? A big one will not need but maybe 2 cleanings a year (if that) and that takes all of an hour or so to do it. Another percieved problem solved and you will save a LOT of water that would otherwise be used in refilling the pool after backwashing. You just killed 2 birds with one stone right here.

    Im sure other folks may be able to add to this list, but these are the main points that Im most aware of.

    My point to all of this is? ..... the key is knowledge and then using that to your advantage to select your equipment and materials wisely so you can make your pool as enjoyable as you intend it to be.


    I have a SWG and there is no way I will give mine up. Ever.



    Quote Originally Posted by JManteca View Post
    I have been on TFP for a couple months now and have read tons of posts on SWG vs. non-SWG. Most (if not all) of the posts and responses I have read heavily favor SWG for a number of reasons. However, I have talked with 3 pools builders now and all three have said passionately that SWG are not the way to go. One guy said that various cities are starting to ban them. Another guy said that my climate is too warm. The third said that he had not installed one in over 3 years....

    My question is this: if the SWG is another item that they can sell me on, why steer me away from it? What are the cons to SWCG? I have read a ton about the benefits, I just want to hear some drawbacks. Why do you all think that they are pushing so hard on this issue? What's the endgame here?
    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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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Quote Originally Posted by blakeusa View Post
    Have had mine for 6 years and could not imagine having to add chlorine manually.
    ^^^^^Me too. 7/2017 will actually be the 6 year birthday for my SWG and still pumping out chlorine for my pool.

    I do "plan" for the expense of replacement when it fails because I understand that kind of like a light bulb, it has a finite life.

    Our builder was a SWG owner himself so it wasn't a hard sell.
    18*36*23 true "L" vinyl IG 29,000 gallons. SWG. TF-100 test kit.
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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    the key to enjoying a SWG chlorinated pool, is to plan for that.
    Good post, Dave. Using some common sense and thinking ahead makes enjoying an SWG easy peasy.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    I think a lot of the negativity on SWG comes from the general ignorance on pool care.

    All Chlorine pools contain salt.

    Last season I tracked my chlorine usage. I added 2840 oz of 12.5% bleach over a approx. 26 week period. With that 414ppm of FC also came 681ppm of salt. I'm on my third season with this pool, so in two seasons (or 52 weeks) I added approx. 1362ppm of salt. In 4-1/2 twenty-six week seasons, I will have added 3000ppm of salt in my pool, just right for a SWG.

    Now I'm sure that my actual salt content is lower due to backwashing/splashout, etc, but I think I've made my point.

    All Chlorine pools contain salt.
    FWIW-

    I opened to pool today, and ran a salt test with the Taylor K-1766, I got 1200ppm. Pretty close to the 1362ppm approximation from my chlorine additions.


    Dom - TFP Guide
    Intex 18' X 48" Ultra Frame AGP 6700 gallons | Two Intex CS8110 SWG's | Hayward Pro Series 21" Sandfilter | Hayward 1.5HP Power Flo Matrix pump | Hayward Thru-wall Skimmer | Wanda the Whale | 72 sq ft of Sungrabber Solar Panels with Hayward GLC-2P-A | Taylor K2006 Test Kit, Sample Sizer & Speed Stir | Click Here To Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Quote Originally Posted by domct203 View Post
    FWIW-

    I opened to pool today, and ran a salt test with the Taylor K-1766, I got 1200ppm. Pretty close to the 1362ppm approximation from my chlorine additions.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I haven't drained my pool in the 3 years I've owned the house. Previous owner also used liquid chlorine, and the pool was resurfaced about 5 years ago. To my knowledge, the water hasn't been changed since.

    I'm considering a SWG, so I bought a salt test kit to see what my levels are. Over 2100ppm! All from regular usage of liquid chlorine. I'll only need to add a couple of bags to finish the conversion.

    15k in-ground plaster, Hayward C900 cartridge, 1.5hp Pentair SuperFlo VS pump, Hayward AQR15 SWG, Barracuda G2 suction cleaner, TF-100

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Quote Originally Posted by pflood4150 View Post
    ....I have seen claims that other makes only need cleaning once a week which I find hard to believe especially in areas of hard water.
    Tucson, AZ
    Fill water hardness - 280ppm CH
    Current water CH - 1100ppm

    Last time I cleaned scale from my cell.....never. In the 4 years it has been running, I have removed it once. It had no scale. I keep my CSI balanced and I use borates. It's entirely possible to run a (well manufactured) SWG cell without issue.
    Matt
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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Tucson, AZ
    Fill water hardness - 280ppm CH
    Current water CH - 1100ppm

    Last time I cleaned scale from my cell.....never. In the 4 years it has been running, I have removed it once. It had no scale. I keep my CSI balanced and I use borates. It's entirely possible to run a (well manufactured) SWG cell without issue.
    Same situation here. My fill water hardness is 200ppm+ CH and my current pool water is 550ppm CH (after 3 years). My SWG has no scale build up and I've had a sparkling clear pool for 3 years after adopting the TFPC methods. It is all about balance and understanding the chemistry of your pool. Each pool is different and unique. You have to test the water on a consistent basis with an accurate test kit to understand what is happening in your pool. Once you've captured the knowledge of what's happening in your pool water, you'll be able to keep that pool clean, clear, and sanitary.
    19,500 gal, 16' x 38' PebbleTec IG Pool, Built 4/2013; Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3050 3 HP Pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Pentair IntellipH, Pentair 520 sq ft/150 GPM Cartridge Filter, A&A In-Floor Cleaner, Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robot (aka "Robbie"), Pentair EasyTouch Power Panel w/ Quick Touch 4 Remote Control, Autelis WiFi controller, Clear 12 mil Solar Cover on Presto SS Reel, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Re: Why are Pool Builders Steering Me Away from SWCG's?

    When I was in pre-purchase of my house that had an existing salt pool (my first pool) I had a pool builder come inspect it. He said salt pools "are almost impossible to keep balanced" and quoted a conversion to a Rainbow Chlorinator. Fortunately I did my homework and found this site before taking his advice. Love my salt pool and keeping the water clear and balanced has been an absolute breeze, even with hard fill water (my CH has never been below 450). As others have posted I too have had no issues with scaling. Follow the easy advice on this site, especially keeping CYA to their higher recommendations. This is very simple but absolutely critical with a SWG. I also suggest oversizing the unit. I have a Pentair IC40 for my 15,000 gallon pool and only need to run it at 35% in the middle of summer (pool gets full sun) to keep 4-5ppm as long as the CYA is 70-80.
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