15 Jugs of Chlorine, and what do you get?

CarolD

Active member
Jul 21, 2018
44
Richmond, TX
You get a hump in your back, sucka.

I made the switch to using liquid chlorine late last year. My pool is just over a year old. I've read here that most people on this forum (seems like far greater than 50%) use SWCG for chlorine generation. While I've been thrilled with the results of using liquid chlorine this summer, it has been a little on the expensive side, and I'm seriously feeling guilty about sending plastic jugs to the recycling center. There is not a great option for refillable chlorine that I can find in Houston (yes, I know Pinch a Penny has 2.5 gallon refillable jugs, but that would be pretty heavy for me to try to dose into the pool, and it's also on the expensive side.)

The seemingly obvious solution would be to install a SWCG and sit back and relax. Except...out of all the pool builders we talked to before building our pool, NOT ONE wanted to install a SWCG system. We got all kinds of horror stories about metal furniture rusting and stone deteriorating and our house falling down because the gutters and the windows and probably the exterior doors were metal and the salt water - in the pool - would somehow affect our home. So we did what apparently everyone else does and went with the pool builder's recommendation to use Trichlor and weekly shock with Cal Hypo. First summer with the pool...climbing CYA levels...rinse, repeat...and here I am a year later as a confirmed TFP method pool owner.

But about the SWCG system...why are pool builders in Texas, or maybe just Houston, or maybe just all six of them that I talked to, SO AFRAID of SWCG systems? This is not a rhetorical question. If there is someone on this forum who can answer that question, I'd love to know the answer. What it just my bad luck to talk to six pool builders who all hated SWCG? For reference, my pool does have flagstone coping, a stacked flagstone spillover spa, and a 15 ton moss rock waterfall. I don't know if the composition of my pool was the driving factor. Thoughts?
 
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jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
212
Austin, TX
Because they can. Too much business for them to handle anyway. So, why not refuse something that they think will cause harm and thus create a warranty claim? I bet many will do it during the next recession when they need to listen to their customers better.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,178
Bedford, TX
Carol,

I have three saltwater pools and have none of those problems, but here are the reasons why the builders in Houston in particular, do not support SWCGs...

1. Just like everyone else local builders talk with each other. Once a myth gets repeated several times it starts to become fact. So it does not take much to whip them into a frenzy..

2. Most pool builder do not really understand how SWCG's work, so they will install a 20K SWCG on a 20K pool and assume that it should work fine. After they have been called back, 20 times, because the pool keeps turning green, they blame the SWCG and decide it must be evil..

3. Most builders do not do a very good job of educating their customer's about how SWCG's work, mainly because they have no clue themselves. An uneducated customer, soon becomes a complaining customer as their pool has turned green and the pool builder had told them that can't happen with a SWCG.

4. Most Houston builders used to sell SWCG's as a "set and forget it" system that takes care of the pool all by itself.. A SWCG just delivers chlorine... you still have to routinely test your pool water and make sure things are in balance.. A SWCG is no more set and forget than a bottle of Liquid Chlorine is..

5. The myth about a SWCG destroying coping or stone work has yet to be proven.. Every story we see here at TFP is almost always third hand.. " My brother had a friend who's stone was destroyed by that evil saltwater"... But when we ask for pics.. There are none.. We have seen a couple of pics of damage, but how do we prove or disprove that the saltwater made any difference?? We only see one side of the story.. here is my side...

I have pool that for the first couple of years was run as a tablet pool. When I bought the house, the coping was replaced with Flagstone.. Almost immediately, the flagstone was shedding.. Very thin sheets of the coping were coming loose from the top of the stone.. About half the stones had the problem and the other half had no problems at all. After the first couple of years, we replaced all the equipment and went with a SWCG.. It has been about 8 years now, and the "bad" coping is still pealing and the "good" coping is still good.. Just my personal experience, but it appears to me that the saltwater is not the problem here..

6. Staying with stone damage.. While many pool builders claim it will happen, none has shown us any damage that they can prove is being caused by saltwater. I have yet to see some justification that says why this would happen... What does the salt do that causes the damage?

7. Rust.. Things rust.. If you have things in your backyard that can rust, they will rust, no matter what type of pool you have.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Pflugerpool

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 25, 2014
108
Pflugerville, TX
Jim's reply was elegant and complete, but I think that you could just stop with his items 1, 2, and 3. They just don't know what they're doing, they don't know how to manage a SWCG system, and it's easier to repeat the same old tired cliches than it is to actually learn about them.

Ultimately, if a SWCG system works (which it does) and you follow the TFP methods, then it disproves all the pool store snake-oil junk-science magic cures that are their bread and butter. When I started following the TFP method I finally realized that much of the pool industry is designed to perpetuate problems to create a market for new solutions, which in turn cause other problems. I spent my career working in environmental water quality, and I'm a little sheepish that it took me so long to realize that water chemistry is water chemistry, whether it's in a lake, river, stream, or... a swimming pool.

Obviously there are people in the industry who are knowledgeable and conscientious, but I've run into so many that are just repeating the same falsehoods that they've heard over and over.

Like Jim, I can't imagine anything that these low salt levels would do to damage stonework, but it seems like that's become the hue and cry of the pool industry.
 
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Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,626
Longview, Texas
Ive had a SWG for going on 7 years and my house is just fine, along with all of my other stuff.

I can't imagine how long it took Jim R to type his response to you, but every word of it is spot on.

And it's not just Houston. Its the same everywhere.
 
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Saturn94

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2015
685
Virginia
Our pool, vinyl liner, polymer walls, concrete decking, installed in March 2004, has been a salt pool from day 1. There have been no issues I could attribute to being a salt water pool.
 
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Rissa8898

Active member
Jul 9, 2019
28
Southeast Texas
Every PB we talked to from Houston acted like we were insane to ask about salt. The ones from the Beaumont area said it was absolutely the way to go and that's what they had in their own yards. After all, is salt more corrosive than acid or chlorine?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
968
NY
The area I live in has several large bodies of salt water nearby. The largest is the Atlantic. The possible evaporation of my salt pool would be something immeasurable compaired to the gazillion of gallons of salt water evaporating nearby with 10 times the salt content as my pool. I’ve had my pool for 7 years and nothing has rusted any faster than it did the 7 years before that.
 

RMcGirr83

Gold Supporter
Nov 19, 2018
394
Tuscola, TX
This thread reminds me of a song (bonus points for those that know it)

"You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store"

Sorry for the off topic post. :)
 
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frogabog

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2010
2,834
Portland, Oregon
This thread reminds me of a song (bonus points for those that know it)

"You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store"

Sorry for the off topic post. :)
I was thinking of doing just that, since an hour ago... ^^^

Can't now get it out of my head. It's been rumbling for much longer than an hour.
 

setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,455
Stuart/FL
Ditto Jim's comments. Wish I had switched years ago when people here first recommended it. Water feel is fabulous no more jug-hauling plus no more watching for liquid chlorine sales... oh and no corrosion, melting of my stone or any other weird problems. Pretty close to "set it and forget it".

Chris
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
968
NY
Ditto Jim's comments. Wish I had switched years ago when people here first recommended it. Water feel is fabulous no more jug-hauling plus no more watching for liquid chlorine sales... oh and no corrosion, melting of my stone or any other weird problems. Pretty close to "set it and forget it".

Chris
This comment gets echoed again and again. I get the small above ground and intex people. It’s a costly upgrade relative to the rest of their pool/system. No system is perfect and there are people who had a bad experience switching or got skunked with defective equipment. But the overwhelming majority of those who did wish they did years ago.
 
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richard-ssv

Member
Jun 17, 2019
18
Denton, TX
When building our pool my brother, who has had 3 different pools over the years, warned me that the PBs would try and sway me to a chlorine pool. His feeling was that they did so in hopes that with a chlorine pool you would be more likely to use the PBs maintenance services instead of DIY if you went with salt.

Not sure if that’s true, but 2 out of the 3 PB we interviewed tried to discount SWGs. They didn’t mention the corrosive angle, they just said that salt water pools were a fad that has ended 20 years ago.
 
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setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
1,455
Stuart/FL
Here's another way to look at this. Do you really want to work with a builder that is so out-of-touch with current technology or would really believe the outlandish claims about salt? I know this sounds a little harsh. Yes, I"m sure there are a lot that can build a great pool even though their not current in salt pools. But I'd want to be sure I had both. Or at least I'd talk to a few new bidders before I'd conclude it can't be done in Houston.

Chris
 

CarolD

Active member
Jul 21, 2018
44
Richmond, TX
Here's another way to look at this. Do you really want to work with a builder that is so out-of-touch with current technology or would really believe the outlandish claims about salt? I know this sounds a little harsh. Yes, I"m sure there are a lot that can build a great pool even though their not current in salt pools. But I'd want to be sure I had both. Or at least I'd talk to a few new bidders before I'd conclude it can't be done in Houston.

Chris
As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, my pool is built and I am currently using liquid chlorine for sanitation. And I wasn't suggesting that using a SWCG couldn't be done in Houston, only that six different pool builders had given me a similar story about salt water pools and why they were so bad. My question was merely why, and was this a Houston thing...some very nice people above answered that question with well thought out answers. :)