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Thread: Pool Owner in need of advice

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    Pool Owner in need of advice

    Just recently completed a major home rennovation that included some work on an existing pool (resurfacing, replacement of some plumbing and equipment, etc.). When we contracted for the pool work, we were intending on installing a salt water system (our kids use pool a lot and my wife strongly prefers salt water pools because of the reduced irritation to eyes and skin). We have our pool contractor ready to install the salt water system, but the guy who services our pool has strongly cautioned against salt water as he warns it will quickly corrode our filter and heater. He suggested we rethink salt water and if we really wanted to go with something different than the traditional chlorine-only approach, we should consider alternatives. I went back to the contractor to explore other options and said he had recently installed a UV system (DeltaUV) which he recommended as a good alternative. I checked it out on-line and it looked good to me, so I mentioned it to our pool servicer who said he never heard of it. He in turn recommended either Ozone or ionization. I've tried doing some research on-line to weigh the pros and cons of these different alternatives and my head is spinning, as most of what's available on line is information from various manufacturers and suppliers. At this point, I'm wondering if I just need to tell my wife that she'll have to give up her dreams of reduced eye and skin irritation and stick with chlorine; or if one of these other systems is a practical and effective solution that will keep our pool water sanitary without being as harsh as a pool purified only with chlorine. Any advice on this front would be greatly appreciated!
    5600 gal. AG Intex Vinyl pool, 16" WaterWay Sand Filter, 1Hp pump, 35gpm

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Pool Owner in need of advice

    Welcome to TFP!

    Go with the SWG. They do have some small potential risks if you have a lot of natural stone work, but they don't in any way threaten the heater or filter. SWG are extremely popular, installed on a significant number of pools world wide, and the only serious problems have been in dramatically mismanaged indoor pools and for people with lots of natural stone work using some of the softer kinds of natural stone. And even those problems are remarkably rare.

    None of ozone, ions, or UV are of much of any use for an outdoor residential pool. Ions have major down sides, while UV and ozone simply don't help much at all unless you have large pool parties frequently.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Pool Owner in need of advice

    Hi, welcome to TFP! There is a google search at the bottom left of each page where you can search our site for "uv systems", "ion systems", or whatever other system you care to research, however all alternative sanitation systems must be supplemented with a quick kill oxidizer, which is chlorine.

    My opinion is that chlorine is the best sanitizer for your pool, period. I'm sorry but your pool guy is wrong. The salt content of the average salt water pool is around the same as human tears. The salt content required for a salt water chlorine generator (SWG) will not damage your filter or heater. Low pH is more likely to cause damage to pool surfaces and equipment than salt water. If you use natural stone around the pool, and do not seal it, over time the salt water can cause flaking and discoloration of the stone.

    A properly maintained chlorine pool will not cause eye or skin irritation. Eye and skin irritation is usually caused by low pH (below 7.0) or excess combined chloramines (CC) the waste product of chlorine oxidation. Excess CC can be removed by shocking the pool, and pH is easily adjusted up or down with the correct chemicals.

    This is just a quick opinion from me. Feel free to ask plenty of questions. There is usually someone around to answer.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Re: Pool Owner in need of advice

    Thanks for the feedback. We do not have natural stone around our pool, so sounds like SWG may be the way to go. If our pool guy has had a bad experience with equipment corroding in other salt pools he maintains, should I take that as an indication that he isn't maintaining those pools properly? To my untrained eye, he's done a good job maintaining our pool the past 8 years and I have no reason to think he has a personal agenda in steering me away from SWG, so I'm inclined to think perhaps he's just unfairly extrapolating from a small data set where he observed corrosion that may not have been caused by the salt. Does the risk of corrosion depend on the type of equipment, as he said our filter and heater were particularly susecptible to quick corrosion from salt?
    5600 gal. AG Intex Vinyl pool, 16" WaterWay Sand Filter, 1Hp pump, 35gpm

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