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Thread: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

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    How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    As I mentioned in my Intro, I'm a disabled vet.

    I have an ideopathic seizure disorder which has the lovely side effect of spiking, migraine type headaches, some of which bloom into what the docs consider a migraine (tho they respond to none of the typical vascular migraine therapies). As many as 30 a day.

    I include this info because my wife and I are currently planning to purchase a house near Bradenton, FL with a pool.

    Yes, in my recent travels I have read the blog of "he who must not be named". I also came across Ecosmarte. I got confused.

    So I'm here. I read it all and sort it out (other than realizing that I won't be buying an Ecosmarte system).

    My question is which system works best if I miss a day. There are times when I'm bedridden for a few days and I already know my teenage son (he's high functioning autistic) won't be capable of managing the details and the wife simply won't do any pool maintenance. But we agreed to that going in. I'm okay with that.

    It's on me.

    What does it look like? Any engineer types that can break it down in man-hours by task on a weekly or monthly basis? Sorry if that's asking a lot. I know what I want to know, but have no idea how easy or difficult a question this is to answer.

    I admit I'm attracted to the softer feel of salt water. Swam in salt water pools and liked it (tho, I admit to getting sick any time I've swam in a big salt water pool. I have a weak immune system and got some wicked bad colds, but I'm still of the opinion that it was poor pool maintenance rather than any SWCG predisposition to cold/flu bugs. As well, I'm worried about any possible conversion as some BBB pool systems don't fare well in SWCG environs (I'm learning), the environmental impact (my property will abut a preserve which is quite lovely to me) and cost. Four kids aren't cheap in any state. And no, the environmental concerns aren't small to me. I have more research to do regarding salinity discharge for my county, but I want to be a good steward no matter how good the water feels. Don't consider myself an environmental extremist or anything, but I refuse to pump backwash into the lake behind my house even if that were possible/legal, just fyi. I want to do this right and be a good citizen and steward.

    Anyway, thanks in advance for any replies responses. I wish I could give any details about the pool, but I'm such a noob that it just looks like a ...plain ol' pool to me.
    Be well all,
    Mack

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    The only difference between the two as far as daily tasks is the need to add bleach for routine chlorination. For a day or two you can get by easily without any testing as long as the chlorine is maintained. You could do that by just having your son add a half gallon of bleach or whatever your pool requires.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    No question a SWG is less work. Once you get the chemistry balanced, the percentage set appropriately, and know what to expect you can often go two or three days between water tests. The SWG takes care of adding chlorine for you, so fewer chemicals to carry/measure/add. This is not to say that bleach is a lot of work, bleach is pretty simple and quick. But bleach is much less forgiving of missing a day.
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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    I would go with the SWCG, and if I had to choose a filter for your situation, it would be an oversized cartridge filter, as I believe they are less maintenance than the sand, and don't require backwashing. So if there is an existing filter take that into consideration if you upgrade any equipment. This is just my opinion tho, I have a cartridge and I love it. I have an autoimmune disorder and sometimes I don't have the strength or the energy for the pool maintenance, but I manage alright. I think in the future if I ever do any upgrading I'll get an swcg. I like my cart filter tho....

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    I would also have to say a SWG and an oversized cart filter.

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Mack,

    It sounds like the SWCG would be the way to go for you for easing maintenance. If you stick with a cartridge filter, your impact on your local groundwater would be minimal.

    Regarding getting sick from swimming in a salt pool, that sounds like either coincidence or very poorly maintained water. There's really no reason a salt pool would hold bacteria or viruses if properly sanitized. Really no different than a manually chlorinated pool.

    You can always start the pool with BBB and add a SWCG a little later. It's quite easy to install into most plumbing systems. The cost will vary, but generally in the $600-$1000 range.

    I'm new to the game myself, but testing the water takes 10 minutes max. Once you get comfortable with how your pool reacts, you don't have to do it every day unless you are OCD. Every 2-3 days and an additional 10 minutes or so to add chemicals if needed and clean the skimmer baskets. There are some other manual chores like brushing the pool walls and/or vaccuuming, but also not a huge amount of time. You can install an automated cleaning robot that will do most of that for you also. I still enjoy it all and don't look at it like a chore, but it's also still new to me and I'm not trying to raise 4 kids at the same time.

    Kids...and their safety will definately be one thing you need to consider though. Is the pool fenced off or gated? What are their ages? Can they all swim confidently? Just another thought...

    Jim
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    More details as they happen...

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Thanks for the replies one and all!

    I appreciate the detail. Once the home closes and I have the right to post pics/equipment details, I'll do that. May be a month what with the new credit standards (a few months ago, I was basically done, now I feel like I'm starting over...booo).
    Be well all,
    Mack

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    An update:

    The loan package was just sent to underwriting so I will be able to take pictures on Wednesday, tho likely not post them until we close. I will take LOTS of pictures of the pool and just post them on photobucket or something to as not to slow down the forum page loading and just include a link.

    We should close by the end of September.

    I'm SO excited about this as this is our first house and has everything we need, so it should also be our last house.

    I've decided to NOT go SWCG. The bottom line is the environmental impact. I can barely reconcile owning a personal pool and just couldn't justify an SWCG the more I thought about it. Moreover (and a bit selfishly, I'll readily admit), I have a room all prepped to be our Home Theater with built-in wiring that NEEDS serious upgrading and I'd rather spend the money on that. But if the SWCG were better for the environment, I'd bite the bullet. Since it's not, I won't.

    I should probably buy the kit now so I have it for when we move in. I'll talk with the wife today about that.

    I appreciate all the responses and rest assured, as I take over caring for our pool, I'm sure that I will be searching and asking a ton of questions.

    Thanks for all of your support.

    Be well all,
    Mack
    Be well all,
    Mack

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    If you are concerned about waste water then go with a cartridge filter, they are not backwashed. As far as salt goes, ANY chlorine pool will become saline over time, it's the nature of the beast (and the chemistry involved).
    Environmentally, I would be more concerned about the chlorinated effluent from a pool than its salinity if a backwashing filter is installed. I would be even more concerned if the pool was fitted with one of the 'ecologically friendly' (that is in quotes for a reason!) copper or copper/silver, non chlorine systems that are often touted by those looking for a more 'ecologically safe' pool. The amount of copper found in such pools is enough to disrupt the ecosystem and kill many invertebrates very quickly.
    Bottom line, anything we do (yes, even your Home Theater room--any idea how many toxic substances are in there and what you need to do with them if you upgrade stuff? Just thinking about the heavy metals in the wiring you ar going to replace makes my head hurt!) is going to have an impact on the environment.

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackeyser

    I've decided to NOT go SWCG. The bottom line is the environmental impact. I can barely reconcile owning a personal pool and just couldn't justify an SWCG the more I thought about it. But if the SWCG were better for the environment, I'd bite the bullet. Since it's not, I won't.
    Just so you know ... the chlorine that you will be buying is made from salt and electricity at the factory. The environmental impact is a wash.
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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Actually, the carbon footprint of a SWG is probably less since the chlorine does not need to be transported from the factory not put into a container.

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Actually, the carbon footprint of a SWG is probably less since the chlorine does not need to be transported from the factory not put into a container.
    I don't know that the math supports that if you look at the entirety of the issue. Because addressing the excess salinity in the reclamation process certainly has significant costs as well. Desalinization is a ghastly expensive process. I wager if you include the price of desalinization in order to create a closed loop of costs with a BBB pool, the total costs of SWCG are significantly higher. But since desalinization simply isn't in the pipeline for many water treatment cycles (no pun intended), it's kinda apples and oranges to compare costs.

    But really, no one's talking about the carbon footprint, the discussion was the impact of excess chlorides in the discharge or drainage.

    And food grade salt is cheap and accessible. The problem is water management which is why so many municipalities are seeking to use reclaimed water for things like watering lawns and such.

    @Hal. No, it is not a wash. A commercial salt mine is MUCH more efficient than any SWCG could ever hope to be. As well, the vast commercial enterprises which create large amounts of chlorine bleach are again, MUCH more efficient. If we had to buy machines to make bleach at home, it would likely cost upwards of $20-30 per gallon or more. And that's a conservative estimate not taking into account the expense of doing it safely with safeguards in place. I'm a noob to pool maintenance, but when I've been able to consult with companies, I do TCOs and ROIs.

    I think you're right, waterbear. I'll definitely look into an oversized cartridge filter. Ecosmarte makes a sand/glass filter what I really want to look into. I'll be there Wednesday and I'll take pictures and take note of the equipment. I'll try to post the equipment since at this time, I don't know a pool pump from an oil derrick. LOL.

    Be well all,
    Mack
    Be well all,
    Mack

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    I have a cartridge filter. I love the fact that I'm not having to get rid of very much pool water when cleaning the filter! You have to get rid of some pool water, sure, because you have to drain it to pull the cartridge out, and then you use some more water (from the hose) to clean it. But you don't have to clean it as much as sand or DE filters need to be backwashed, and you definitely do not put nearly so much chlorinated water in the environment. IMO, if you don't mind the 'ickiness' of occasionally washing out a cartridge (and I don't mind; I've got an old outdoor chair that I put the cartridge on to spray it), a cartridge is the way to go! Also, a good cartridge filter is excellent for filtering out even extremely small particles.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackeyser
    If we had to buy machines to make bleach at home, it would likely cost upwards of $20-30 per gallon or more.
    In many ways that is exactly what a SWG is. Technically, it doesn't make bleach, but the net effect on the pool is the same. The cost of buying and running a SWG is very competitive with purchasing bleach per unit of chlorine generated, every now and then the SWG is actually cheaper.

    The chloride issue is complex. In practice it really depends on where you live. Much of the East coast has plentiful water and the salt levels in pool water are so low that there is no detectible environmental effect from the salt added to the water. On the other hand, in arid areas or in places with salt issues chlorides are far more of an issue. If chlorides are an issue for you, you should get a cartridge filter. A salt pool with a cartridge filter puts less salt into the environment than a non-salt pool with any other kind of filter.

    I would be very wary of anything made by Ecosmarte. They have a long history of twisting the facts to suit their purposes.
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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackeyser
    Ecosmarte makes a sand/glass filter what I really want to look into.
    I would run and not walk away from that particular company! Pseudoscience and scams!

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Well, I understand what you are saying and I'm not buying a copper system because as one of the admins (I think) questioned, even if the Ecosmarte system DID perform Algaecide fast enough, it was not bactericidal or virucidal (is that a word?).

    No, what I was referring to was them using a sand filter that specifically used glass.

    Yes, it requires cleaning, but the reason to use the glass is to trap smaller particles than sand does. That's not junk science, it makes sense.

    I probably won't buy it because I want a cartridge, but I've never seen a sand filter or a cartridge filter in person before. Once I've seen one of each in person, I'll likely understand much more what folks are talking about.

    For some reason, I had it in my head that the glass was in a cartridge filter.

    Anyway, fret not. I'm not buying an Ecosmarte system for my pool. I've learned that much already!

    Be well all,
    Mack
    Be well all,
    Mack

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Just FYI. To get the advantages of a DE filter for finer filtering when using a sand filter, one can add a small amount of DE via the skimmer (to raise the PSI about 1-2). DE needs to be added again after a backwash.

    This can't be done with a cartridge filter. To polish the water in that case, you'd need a supplemental microfiltration system such as The Slime Bag though it's not really needed unless you're really picky. I have a cartridge filter and find the clarity of seeing the bottom drain crystal clear from any angle to be sufficient, but the degree of filtration is a personal choice.
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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Thanks for the response. So much to learn!

    Also...and I'm not sure how to approach this question, so bear with me. Um...how does...."having relations" (and I don't mean aunts and uncles, if you catch my drift) in the pool affect the pool chemistry? I'd rather not be more explicit than that on this forum, so I hope you folks gather my meaning. I'm hoping it's something that regular maintenance can deal with, but I want ask because I don't want to find out that one night of "mommy and daddy time" leads to an ecological disaster! LOL

    Sorry for the disparate questions, but I didn't really want to start a new topic and I figured that this question is or has been on other minds before. If a new topic is needed, I'll gladly start it, but I wasn't sure if that'd be okay considering the content. If replies must be PM'd, I read them several times a day.

    Be well all,
    Mack
    Be well all,
    Mack

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Let's just say that as with ANY organic substances that enter the pool, it can be dealt with a combination of circulation and filtration for those substances that are insoluble in water. Most organic substances from living creatures are able to be oxidized by chlorine (or other oxidizers) at least to some extent and that either makes them go away (as carbon dioxide and nitrogen gasses and water) or makes them smaller and/or more soluble so they are no longer a problem in terms of water clarity. Remember that people sometimes wipe/blow their noses and that gets into the pool water yet fortunately does not build up. Mucus tends to have fairly similar bulk composition no matter its origin differing mostly in the amount of water content. The part the man contributes is mostly a combination of standard amino acids, sugars, proteins and enzymes -- all organic compounds that can mostly be oxidized in pool water (or filtered out, if not broken down).
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    Re: How much work for BBB? SWCG?

    Your answer makes me happy.

    Well played, sir.

    Be well all,
    Mack
    Be well all,
    Mack

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