Compare different SWG manufacturers and products?

stevenbrla

LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2007
237
Baton Rouge, LA
#1
This topic is somewhat discussed within another thread somewhere, but I thought it was certainly worthy of its own thread.

We're in the midst of our build, and plan on using (most) all Pentair equipment, but I have no stock in Pentair (and even if I did, so what?), so I'm wide open to being convinced to use a different product than Intellichlor.

As a matter of fact, my PB says he usually uses Aquarite, but since I wanted to use a Pentair 4x160 pump, we decided it was best to use the EasyTouch, and so I suggested that we use the Intellichlor (to help them all get along better.) PB said a few years ago they had had some issues with Intellichlor. In general I'm reluctant to believe anything that pb's say, as it seems they pretty much recommend what they're most familar with, no matter what. (I'm sure for ease and $ reasons, which I understand and hold no blame....... I'im in sales too.)

All that said.... What's your experience with your SWG (or is it really SWCG?), or even why is the SWG that you sell better than others?

FWIW, this is what we have planned so far (anything subject to change, except the pool size):

approx 22,000 gallons?
7' spa, with large spillover
2 deck jets
4x160 Pentair pump
2nd pump (not specified)
Pentair EasyTouch
Pentair Cart filter
Intellichlor SWG (are there different sizes?)
6 returns (from what I can tell)
2 skimmers

Got time to share your knowledge? Thanks!!

Steve
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#3
We got the AutoPilot Total Control system. It costs more than the others but it has features that you won't see in residential systems anywhere else. The Total Control system measures the CL and PH continuously and corrects both of them as needed. They also have a less expensive system without those features that many people recommend. I have been very happy with it, customer support was excellent the one time I needed them and other than that it just works. They even have a customer service person who is on this board, and others, and will answer questions.
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
#4
I'm glad you asked this question. I'm evaluating/researching myself to install a SWG perhaps next year.

My good friend has a NatureSoft that he really likes. He says he hasn't had one bit of a problem with it. NatureSoft has a 5 year warranty, 100% for the first 3 years on the cell and prorated the last 2. Some special magnet gizmo on the return line is warranted for lifetime - it's supposed to reduce mineral buildup.

The PoolPilot was recommended to me by one local pool store. The rep who posts here seems very helpful and a lot of people like them.

The Zodiak LM3 was recommended by another pool store and also by another pool repairman. Though, the cell contraption - to me - is too big and too noticeable for my liking - still, if it did the best job....I dunno.
 
G
#5
Buggsw said:
I'm glad you asked this question. I'm evaluating/researching myself to install a SWG perhaps next year.

My good friend has a NatureSoft that he really likes. He says he hasn't had one bit of a problem with it. NatureSoft has a 5 year warranty, 100% for the first 3 years on the cell and prorated the last 2. Some special magnet gizmo on the return line is warranted for lifetime - it's supposed to reduce mineral buildup.

The PoolPilot was recommended to me by one local pool store. The rep who posts here seems very helpful and a lot of people like them.

The Zodiak LM3 was recommended by another pool store and also by another pool repairman. Though, the cell contraption - to me - is too big and too noticeable for my liking - still, if it did the best job....I dunno.
The Nature Soft unit by Pebble Tec is a rebranded Goldline AquaRite. (Goldline also makes the Mineral Springs units for BioGuard, among other brands). The Nature Soft includes a magnet that supposedly helps prevent scaling. :blah: (If you believe this one I have a bridge I can sell you in Brooklyn!) Magnets for pools and spas have been thoroughly debunked! Check out this link!
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
#6
LOL! Waterbear, you made me laugh. I suspected the magnet was pretty much hype. Thanks for the info re the NatureSoft/Goldline connection.
 

stevenbrla

LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2007
237
Baton Rouge, LA
#7
I'd be interested to know what the AutoPilot does that the Intellichlor doesn't.

I'd also be interested to hear how well the AutoPilot interfaces with the EasyTouch, or do they need to interface at all? Does the Intellichlor even interface with the Easytouch?

Anyone know?

Thanks,
Steve
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#8
AutoPilot will interface with the Pentair IntelliTouch, Jandy AquaLink RS, and Polaris EOS. There is no real need to interface, it just gets some of the information readout to appear on the remote (if the remote has the right kind of display). You can instead simply power the AutoPilot whenever the pump is powered, as if you had an external timer.

AutoPilot has two patented features that are nice. They track the water temperature and adjust the CL generation automatically and they have an automatic flow bypass manifold. The temperature compensation is very cool, the manifold is less important (unless you have a fairly high, or highly variable, flow rate).

If you get the Total Control system it has an acid feed tank/pump and sensors to measure the PH and CL levels. That is a huge time saver, since you don't need to test the water nearly as often, the unit takes care of it for you. Plus I never felt comfortable pouring acid into the pool. I would much rather only deal with acid one or twice a season (filling the feed tank) than have to do it every couple of days. Every SWG is going to raise the PH over time, requiring you to add acid. A few people appear to have managed to balance their water in a way that minimizes this, but that takes some doing and doesn't eliminate the PH rise entirely.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
#9
Well Done Jason...and thanks for selecting Pool Pilot.

Waterbear, does that mean my magnets on my fuel line of my gas guzzling Expedition really DOESN'T get me 100 mpg? :cry:
Maybe I'll have to try the cyclone spinner air induction fuel mixturizer next! It promises 200 mpg!
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
#10
So does the AutoPilot Total Control come with the acid tank and all the hardware you need? It's safe to have acid in a tank out in 100 + degree sun?

This sounds very interesting.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#12
Yes, the AutoPilot Total Control comes with the acid tank and all hardware. You may need some PVC pipe and fittings, depending on your situation. Also required is some wire, waterproof electrical conduit, and a standard set of tools.

Everything is is suitable for an outdoors install. There aren't any special cautions about sunlight in the manual.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
#15
The Total COntrol, which is the one with the Automation to test and adjust your chlorine (measured in ORP) and pH levels. The acid tank is 15 gallons that takes a 4 parts water to 1 part muriatic acid ratio. On my pool, this lasts about 6 - 8 weeks before I need to refill the tank.

The Total Control is in a much higher league than the Intellichlor and as such, is priced much, MUCH higher. However, the basic salt chlorinator to salt chlorinator, the AutoPilot will still be slightly higher. It really all depends on where you price them out. It can be just a few dollars on the internet or a few hundred at retail stores.

Hope this helps,
 

lovingHDTV

LifeTime Supporter
May 25, 2007
529
Round Rock, TX
#16
I'm hoping to get some more info on the Total Pilot solution.

I read that it can be sued as the pump timer also? Is this so?

My pump is a two speed pump, that I run on high when running the cleaner and booster pump (~3 hours per day), then run on low for filtering (~6 hours per day). Would this same functionality work with the Total Pilot solution?

Also what is the minimum flow rate in general for salt water generation? I'd want to make sure that when the pump is on low that it has enough flow rate.

thanks,
 

lovingHDTV

LifeTime Supporter
May 25, 2007
529
Round Rock, TX
#17
I'm hoping to get some more info on the Total Pilot solution.

I read that it can be sued as the pump timer also? Is this so?

My pump is a two speed pump, that I run on high when running the cleaner and booster pump (~3 hours per day), then run on low for filtering (~6 hours per day). Would this same functionality work with the Total Pilot solution?

Also what is the minimum flow rate in general for salt water generation? I'd want to make sure that when the pump is on low that it has enough flow rate.

thanks,
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#18
Yes, the PoolPilot Total Control (and the Digital) can act as the timer for the pump. They require at least 20 gpm.

The pump can be programed to be on during two different periods each day. Dual speed pump support is fairly basic. You either wire it to switch the pump on and off, with an external high/low setting, or you wire it to have the timer function switch between low and high speed.