Choosing a salt water generator

Mar 5, 2019
6
Indiana
#1
Hi all! I'm new here, but have done some lurking in the past. We had a fiberglass pool installed 5 years ago. Now we're sick of the chlorine, and thinking about changing to a SWG. I'm getting a bit overwhelmed, every place I've tried getting a quote from offers a different brand. My husband is a fairly handy person, is a SWG something we could potentially install ourselves, or a job best left to the pros? I'd love some brand recommendations, or brands to avoid. My pool is only 11,500 gallons.
 

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
582
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
#2
The most important thing is to select a SWG for 2x or more for your pool volume. This is for 2 main reasons, run time and life of cell. If you dont have a variable speed or 2 speed pump then it can get expensive running your SWG. As for installation I did it myself and its not rocket science.
 
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OP
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smorpet
Mar 5, 2019
6
Indiana
#4
Hello @smorpet , can you add your pool & equipment details to your signature?
A SWCG won't do away with chlorine, it just automatically produces it :)
I believe a SWCG can be installed DIY.
Do you have any brand preference?
I'm at work and don't have all of the details right now. I will add it when I can.

Yes, I'm sorry, I do understand there will still be chlorine. I just meant done with tablets that seem to rapidly increase our CYA and done messing with liquid. We used an intex SWG on an intex pool many years ago, so I have some experience on a much smaller scale. :)

As far as brand preference, no I don't have one. Looking for advice on that. I've talked to 3 different places and all 3 install a different brand. Breeze (haven't heard of this one), Pentair Intellichlor, and Hayward AquaRite are the 3 that have been mentioned so far.
 
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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,956
Bedford, TX
#5
S,

Welcome to TFP.. a great place to learn all about saltwater pools.. :shark:

Please tell us how you were chlorinating your pool in the past? Were you using 3" tablets or were you using Liquid Chlorine?

I love saltwater pools, but am curious why you want to change??? Knowing this may change some of our answers.

Do you currently have an automation system? What kind of pump do you have, single speed, 2-speed, or Variable speed?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
#6
I'm at work and don't have all of the details right now. I will add it when I can.
Perfect :)

Yes, I'm sorry, I do understand there will still be chlorine. I just meant done with tablets that seem to rapidly increase our CYA and done messing with liquid. We used an intex SWG on an intex pool many years ago, so I have some experience on a much smaller scale. :)
No worries, just wanted to make sure for "clarification", Totally understood!

As far as brand preference, no I don't have one. Looking for advice on that. I've talked to 3 different places and all 3 install a different brand. Breeze (haven't heard of this one), Pentair Intellichlor, and Hayward AquaRite are the 3 that have been mentioned so far.
I would compare the warranties and cell replacement cost. Also were they all sized/rated for 2x the size of your pool?
 
OP
OP
smorpet
Mar 5, 2019
6
Indiana
#7
S,

Welcome to TFP.. a great place to learn all about saltwater pools.. :shark:

Please tell us how you were chlorinating your pool in the past? Were you using 3" tablets or were you using Liquid Chlorine?

I love saltwater pools, but am curious why you want to change??? Knowing this may change some of our answers.

Do you currently have an automation system? What kind of pump do you have, single speed, 2-speed, or Variable speed?

Thanks,

Jim R.

Hey Jim,
Thank you, I look forward to learning more than I ever needed to know about SWG! ;)
We had an intex pool w/intex SWG many years ago. We wanted SWG when we installed our fiberglass pool, but it wasn't in the budget at the time. We were using the Pool Frog 5400 (which uses a container full of 1 inch tabs) because it's what was included in our pool package. Last summer, after drain/fil/drain/fill, we started using liquid chlorine. Our pump is a single speed, but I'm at work right now and don't know the specifics. I'll add all of that later, once I know what everything is.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,956
Bedford, TX
#9
S,

Here is a website that has a comparison of salt cells... Compare and Review Saltwater Chlorine Generator Prices and Features

I have a Pentair Automation system and use the Pentair IC40 salt cell... If I did not have automation I would use either the Hayward T15 cell or one of the CircuPool RJ cells...

The bigger the cell the longer it will last, plus it will allow you to use the shortest run time possible. This is important if you have a single speed pump.

If your husband is an average DIY kind of guy, he should not have any problems installing a salt system.

Something to keep in mind is that although salt systems make it easier to maintain a pool, they are not a "set and forget" system. You still have to routinely test your pool and keep the pool water within the TFP standards.

Besides a TF-100, or Taylor K-2006C, test kit you will also need the Taylor K-1766 salt test kit. I suggest you use the K-1766 to test your pool water before adding any salt, as your pool probably already has much more salt than you realize. I find having the Speed-Stir makes using the salt test kit much easier than swirling the test cylinder by hand..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
731
Stuart/FL
#10
S,

Here is a website that has a comparison of salt cells... Compare and Review Saltwater Chlorine Generator Prices and Features

I have a Pentair Automation system and use the Pentair IC40 salt cell... If I did not have automation I would use either the Hayward T15 cell or one of the CircuPool RJ cells...

The bigger the cell the longer it will last, plus it will allow you to use the shortest run time possible. This is important if you have a single speed pump.

If your husband is an average DIY kind of guy, he should not have any problems installing a salt system.

Something to keep in mind is that although salt systems make it easier to maintain a pool, they are not a "set and forget" system. You still have to routinely test your pool and keep the pool water within the TFP standards.

Besides a TF-100, or Taylor K-2206C, test kit you will also need the Taylor K-1766 salt test kit. I suggest you use the K-1766 to test your pool water before adding any salt, as your pool probably already has much more salt than you realize. I find having the Speed-Stir makes using the salt test kit much easier than swirling the test cylinder by hand..

Thanks,

Jim R.
What Jim said plus this:
I just switched and love it. We're on a trip now and it's great to not worry about my FC. Plus wife likes the pool even more now
Chris
 
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ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
2,940
Long Beach, CA
#12
I'm with Jim, Hayward AquaRite T-15 or CircuPool RJ-30 for your pool. You should have their full warranty for either system for a DIY installation. Research the warranties as the CircuPool is prorated and it really isn't a 5 year full replacement warranty. If you have a Hayward dealer near you that can replace parts, such as the cell, then I would choose the Hayward so you don't have to deal with the hassle of replacing stuff through the mail if warranty issues arise.
 
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smorpet
Mar 5, 2019
6
Indiana
#13
I'm with Jim, Hayward AquaRite T-15 or CircuPool RJ-30 for your pool. You should have their full warranty for either system for a DIY installation. Research the warranties as the CircuPool is prorated and it really isn't a 5 year full replacement warranty. If you have a Hayward dealer near you that can replace parts, such as the cell, then I would choose the Hayward so you don't have to deal with the hassle of replacing stuff through the mail if warranty issues arise.
Great, thank you! I was somewhat leaning towards the Hayward. I'm going to continue researching, since I still have some time to decide.
 
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smorpet
Mar 5, 2019
6
Indiana
#14
Well, I see that CircuPool seems to have a great sale going on, upgrade for $1, which would make the RJ-30 $700. The Hayward T-15 is $985 (these prices came from discount salt pool website). While I'm not sure I like the pro-rated warranty it seems like it may be a better system than the Hayward. Both have a similar cell replacement cost. The RJ-30+ is on sale for $849. Is it worth the extra $150 for the plus version?
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
2,940
Long Beach, CA
#15
There are other sites for the AquaRite that are cheaper than $985, a quick search and I found it for $870. The RJ-30 $700 deal is a good price for what you get, I'd have to research it more for the + size to see if it would make a difference. I don't think the longer warranty for the cell is worth anything as it is heavily prorated.
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
496
New York
#16
I was in your situation not long ago (even had a frog from the initial install). I installed an RJ myself and it was not a problem. If your husband can cut and glue PVC he'll be fine. I am not an electrician but can show him how I wired my RJ (it is very easy to do). I believe the Hayward is wired a bit differently (but don't quote me). I cut out my frog and put the RJ in the same spot. Overall I'm very happy with it. If I had to pay a pro I wouldn't have got one. I saved $900 or so by doing it myself. For what's involved there is no way I'd pay $900 to have someone install it.
-Chris
 
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setsailsoon

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Oct 25, 2015
731
Stuart/FL
#17
Smor,

I just did what you're looking at. It looks to me the only difference between RJ 30 and the RJ 30 plus is the pro-rated warranty increases to 7 years . I ordered an RJ 20 plus and got the upgrade to an RJ 30 plus for $849. I added the salt the day I ordered it so I had plenty of time for it to dissolve which only took a couple of hours. I did use the higher priced Morton Pool Salt granules. I've had the generator working for a week or so. It's running 9.5 hrs/d at 30% and FC is climbing about 1 ppm per day. So I'll cut it back tomorrow. The pool math app helps you to figure out how much run time and % power will add in terms of ppm FC. It's very handy to get started.

I hope this helps.

Chris
 
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