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Thread: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

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    Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Hey everyone. I'm sure some of you may have taken notice to my sporadic postings on this site and PFG. Yet, I've as of yet not taken the time to properly introduce myself to you all. My name's Ashley and I'm a salesman for a pool and spa business based out of Southern Louisiana.

    Most of my posting has centered around SWGs and what I was beginning to see as a problem in pools utilizing an SWG: rust, cost and failure rate. I'm aware that galvanic corrosion and traditional corrosion are two separate processes and I understand the chemistry behind it. So I do believe that its possible to protect everything below the water line in a properly balanced pool utilizing a properly functioning SWG.

    Most of the sales seem to center around the use of zinc sacrificial weights placed in your skimmer to protect those precious metal components. Yet, what I'm seeing, and what I've heard from another technician at The Pool Tool Co. is that those disks are about 25% effective as preventing corrosion. What was offered as a substitute was an inline anode that can be bonded into the pool, if required. The cost is higher than an anode: $15 as opposed to $109, respectively. The weight should be replaced every six months for optimum effectiveness but the in-line anode can last up to a year-and-a-half. You replace the anode when about 1/2 deteriorated and replace with an $25 replacement anode. The protection offered vs the higher cost appear to balance one another out so I recommend the in-line anode more powerfully in my sales presentation.

    The problem really arises around the splash-out zone. Top rails (if metal), decking (concrete, wood, stone, etc.), surrounding lawn furniture, etc., need to be sprayed down daily when in use and I recommend sealing the decking at least once a year. And this is the thing: its my job as a salesman to present them with ALL the facts concerning SWGs and if, in the end, they decide to go with that type of sanitizing regimen, it's my job to provide them with a means to a desired end. In an ideal world, it would be smooth sailing and proper water chemistry as provided by my store.

    I want to know: What are you guys' impressions, straight-up, on SWGs and their viability as a stable, money-saving, easier-to-maintain alternative to chlorine, and the many competing effective alternatives? We're currently using the CompuPool CPSC series SWGs. We have, in the past, burned through Ecomatic and AquaTrol. Not quite sure what happened with AquaTrol but Ecomatic, after having a good system the first year, seeming as if to cut costs by downgrading to a 12 gauge wire when it should have been an 8, on the ground wire to the 2ndary plug underneath which normally would go to your pump. The 12 gauge wire couldn't handle the load and would burn out and sometimes melt the inside of the case. CompuPool, on the other hand, has been a problem from the beginning. The only thing going for this system, in my opinion, is that is has a integrated timer. I would say a good 80% of my units sold are coming back for warranty issues and are being replaced sometimes 3 and 4 times, as of yet. My hunch is that the fuses, 3.15 are too small for the load and we need to upgrade to a 5. We've tried that and it seems to solve the problem if only for a little while, if at all. As well, customers are reporting that their timer settings are changing and modifying themselves on their own accord! As of yet, those reports are unverified. So with me, it comes down to quality and cost effectiveness. CompuPool isn't proving itself with its quality and I have to question the cost effectiveness.

    My system retails as right around $900. Once you figure in the salt required to get the system up and operational, and your sacrificial anode system, whether that be weight or in-line, you'd be right at around $1184. I figure the average customer spends about $60 a month on chemical regimen. At best, you'll still be looking at $20 at least once you factor in possible additions of salt and your weekly maintenance regimen. So saving $40 a month, it would take you 2.5 years, if you run your pool all year round to pay off your system and actually start to see some headway chemically / financially! Around here, of course, no one runs their pool year-round. So in our case, it would take 5 years to pay off your system chemically. Well, at 3 years your cell itself runs out of warranty and most cells seem to peek at 3-5 years even with scheduled cleanings. So, figuring in approx. $500 to replace the cell, it'll now take you yet another year to break even. So is that cost advantage really there? And is it really any easier to maintain? Let the jury decide but I have my opinion. Regardless, I don't recommend salt systems on pools anymore.

    Again, I have a huddle meeting with the sales rep from CompuPool flying in from Australia at 9 AM tomorrow morning. I have my opinions and data gathered from a semi-thorough investigation of the various postings on both sites but I'd like you regular posters' off-the-cuff impressions and opinions on SWGS and the topics I've covered above. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated before I face off with this guy in the morning. He's there to give us a tech demo of the system so I'm anxious to see that.

    Edited to add paragraph breaks. JasonLion
    15ftx4ft intex sand-n-sun metal frame pool. Approx. 4400 gal

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    tagprod's Avatar
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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Isn't this your first post? I'm kind of confused by your opening line about your sporadic postings...


    Anyway - I have a Goldline SWG and it will be starting year 3 in August. I think it's the best think since sliced bread. I haven't had any rust or corrosion issues yet. I've noticed my flagstone coping has exhibited some signs of wear, but I don't know for sure if it's the salt or just the chlorine that caused it. I try to water it down after swimming but that doesn't happen every time we swim.

    I will probably always have a swg for as long as I own a pool. As with everything, I'm sure there are downsides to it, but the time and effort saved by having it is worth it to me. If I have to replace some components earlier I'm ok with that.
    Brian
    20K IG Gunite w/ raised 7ft spillover spa. 1.5 HP Hayward Northstar pump 425 sq ft Hayward cartridge filter, Colorlogic lights AquaRite SWG AquaLogic PS-8 control
    1hp pump for sheer descent

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Well, to a large part, I was side-lined. We went through our tech instruct which, by all means, was very informative. But once it got down to the end, and I brought up corrosion prevention measures and his recommendations concerning that, my boss, who actually pressured me to be ready for this meeting, told me to wait until a better time when we had more time... So... Who's to say?
    15ftx4ft intex sand-n-sun metal frame pool. Approx. 4400 gal

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    They would be the wrong mob to ask anyway, since in Australia we don't have this problem. It's pretty much USA specific.

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    There's a long thread here that has quite a bit of information about SWGs and corrosion; most of the corrosion stuff is towards the end but the whole thread is fairly entertaining.

    "The Pool Guy's" bog can be found here; he's very anti-salt and has some science and a good bit of anecdotal evidence to back his views.

    Strannik: TPG also has some info on problems in Australia. I've no idea how valid or widespread it is.

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    I've read his blog on it, the only reference to problems in Australia he made, were with regards to people from Australia looking for keywords "salt water chlorinator+corrosion" and ending up on his website. Such argument seems a bit weak to me

    The funny thing is, when he refers to his blog logs, and the keywords people search, he automatically presumes (or intentionally leads people to believe) that everyone who searches for something is having a problem. What he neglects to mention (either intentionally, or because it just doesn't occur to him), that people might be just researching the subject.

    Below is the quote from his blog. You can see perfectly what i mean here. If you trying to do a research before buying an expensive piece of equipment - you are bound to end up on a list of people with problems, even though you might not even own a pool

    To give you an example, of the last one hundred people who visited this blog, here’s just a few samples of the Google searches that got them here:

    Travertine around pools with salt generator (these folks are from Charlotte, North Carolina. So, we can add North Carolina to the list of places where they’re seeing problems with salt eroding travertine pavers and coping.)

    Using salt system pool water for irrigation (this person ended up HERE,which is an article I linked to about a proposed California rule to ban salt discharge into waste water. ALL salt discharge into ALL wastewater. Now they know that it’s not the best thing to irrigate with.)

    Seal flagstone salt pool (this person lives in Mountain View, California. They followed the link, The Science Behind Why Salt Disintegrates Your Pool’s Hardscape. Now they know why they have flagstone issues. SOMETHING ELSE THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO KNOW BEFORE THEY BOUGHT THEIR SALT SYSTEM...)

    Salt water pool damage grass (this guest got here through Google Australia. Gosh, I thought that salt pool’s weren’t having any problems Down Under. Could that be just marketing hype? Because we’re always told that the Aussie’s ground water is so saline that they hardly notice the difference in their salt pools. Sorry, mate. Guess you missed that memo.)

    Flagstone and salt pool problems (this visitor is from Souther California. Everybody always says the flagstone issues are only occurring in Arizona and Texas. Hmmm... Could everybody be wrong? Or just lying to prop up the sales of a failed technology?)

    Pool stray currents (this visitor is from Hollywood, Florida. Oh, no! Another improperly bonded pool in Florida. This week...)

    Salt chlorinators and effects on brick coping (these folks are from Leesburg, Florida. If you go to all the forums, they say that Florida’s not having any problems with salt and coping because they get lots of summer rains that flush all the salt out of the coping. I wonder why so many people from Florida and California - both Northern and Southern CA - keep looking for information about problems with salt pools when EVERYBODY KNOWS that they’re not having these problems? It’s only happening in AZ and TX. Right?)

    That’s 7 of the last hundred visitors. Google provides me with 17% of the traffic to this site. Thats only 17 of every hundred visitors. So, that means that 41% of the people who get here through Google are searching for answers to problems they’re having with salt chlorine generators, and they are from Maine to Florida, Southern California to Washington State, from Canada to Malaysia to Bahrain to Australia to Sweden... Pretty much all over the world.
    As far as a problem goes, from hundreds of thousands of units we have sold both around Australia, Asia and Europe within past 30 years, we only had few people come back to us with rapid corrosion issue. And i think in all cases it was when their equipment was bonded together.

    For Australia, Asia and Europe it's very unusual to have equipment bonded together, so that's probably the reason why this problem is virtually unheard of over here. In USA on the other hand it's mandatory in most states to have all your equipment bonded together, as far as I understand - so there's your answer.

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Strannik,
    I agree with you completely about TPG's blog!
    I also find the info about bonding you posted VERY interesting! I have suspected as much myself but since I am not an electrician I have never commented on it. Thank you.

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Hello Ashley,

    Welcome to the neighborhood. I'm in Lafayette, LA too.

    My pool is just about completed and I'll be using a SWCG. Keep in touch and I'll let you know if I have any issues with corrosion.

    Jim
    Fortune favors the well prepared

    The build...
    viewtopic.php?t=3974
    Freeform 24' x 38' IG gunite. 3 1/2' to 8' deep. 28,500 gallons. AutoPilot Total Control SWCG. Pentair Intelliflo VF. Pentair CCP520 cartridge filter. Colorlogic LED lights. Tahoe Blue Diamond Brite. 1200 sq ft stamped concrete deck.
    More details as they happen...

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    KurtV's Avatar
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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Strannik
    As far as a problem goes, from hundreds of thousands of units we have sold both around Australia, Asia and Europe within past 30 years, we only had few people come back to us with rapid corrosion issue. And i think in all cases it was when their equipment was bonded together.

    For Australia, Asia and Europe it's very unusual to have equipment bonded together, so that's probably the reason why this problem is virtually unheard of over here. In USA on the other hand it's mandatory in most states to have all your equipment bonded together, as far as I understand - so there's your answer.
    I agree that, to his discredit, TPG conflates correlation and causation in that post. That of course doesn't invalidate everything he says anymore that the fact that you have a financial interest in minimizing SWG problems invalidates your views. I sincerely mean that, by the way; you fully disclose your position in the industry and I assume you're operating in good faith. That said, I also know that what you're saying may be colored by your employment despite your intention to be objective. Just a matter of human nature.

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Using Google keywords as proof really saps any credibility he has with me. So, if I Google "Bugatti Veyron pinging," does it mean I have one with an ignition problem? Here's wishing....

    I don't think it's fair to assume anyone in the business of selling a particular product cannot be objective about that product. I've known many people in various industries who are honest about the pros and cons of their wares and I have seen no reason to suspect the regular contributors here of such bias toward their products or services.
    blubluenoiseise

    My pool: 14,750 gallons in-ground plaster
    FAFCO Solar panels (seven 4' x 12') with a Goldline automatic controller
    1/2 HP WhisperFlo filter pump, Kreepy Krauly cleaner, Cartridge Filter
    Aquarite SWG, Satisfied user of the TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Kurt: While i do sell them, I'm not your average salesman. I have a tech background, so usually i focus on finding solution to problems, rather than playing them down And at the end of the day my mortgage repayments don't depend on income from selling SWGs (that's another one TPG got wrong ). So i would rather see people informed upfront about possible consequences, rather than have them complaining on forums and to all the people they know.

    My problem with TPG is that he is generalizing way too much when he talks about SWGs

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    Re: Meeting Tomorrow With An SWG Guy

    Quote Originally Posted by Strannik
    Kurt: While i do sell them, I'm not your average salesman. I have a tech background, so usually i focus on finding solution to problems, rather than playing them down And at the end of the day my mortgage repayments don't depend on income from selling SWGs (that's another one TPG got wrong ). So i would rather see people informed upfront about possible consequences, rather than have them complaining on forums and to all the people they know.
    Like I said, you disclose where you're coming from and based on that and the way you conduct yourself here I, and others, can decide how much, if any, to discount your information. That's the way it's supposed to work.
    My problem with TPG is that he is generalizing way too much when he talks about SWGs
    I agree. I also think he's over the top on much of the environmental stuff. That said, I think he raises some important and useful issues/potential issues.

    Cheers.

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