Facts and opinions please. Salt vs Chlorine?

Lisabdou

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2019
79
South West TN Memphis Area
New build starting. Will be gunite with AquaBright.
Planning on Chlorine but I’m wanting opinions from users on the difference and why I may want to consider Salt. I’ve never had a salt pool so I have no clue.
T
 

Jimrahbe

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Jul 7, 2014
18,735
Bedford, TX
Lisa,

I have three saltwater pools.. If I built another 100 pools they would all be saltwater pool... If for some reason they outlawed saltwater pools, I'm not sure I would not just fill the ones I have in... :mrgreen: Well, maybe not... but it would be close.. :)

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Lisabdou

Well-known member
Jul 21, 2019
79
South West TN Memphis Area
lol. I saw that you wrote that earlier. I thought about deleting this thread since it a common question but it’s easy for me to keep track of my own questions and the answers. I’m waiting on PB to see what the cost difference is between the equipment. I should probably just do salt. Daughter has eczema so salt would be kinder to her skin.
 

an1vrsy

Bronze Supporter
Jul 10, 2018
146
Las Vegas, NV
I am a measured chlorine jug dumper. Which means I buy LC at the mom and pop pool store and dose between 32 - 48 oz of 12.5% LC every day. I must go to the store and replenish my chlorine supply every 2 weeks or so. The convenience of a SWG can not be overlooked.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,183
OV, CA
lol. I saw that you wrote that earlier. I thought about deleting this thread since it a common question but it’s easy for me to keep track of my own questions and the answers. I’m waiting on PB to see what the cost difference is between the equipment. I should probably just do salt. Daughter has eczema so salt would be kinder to her skin.
My daughter has eczema too.. I converted my pool to a SWG pool in 2005 and never looked back. I had heard about them being better for sensitive skin and its absolutely true. She cannot swim in regularly chlorinated pools or public pools as a result. It even cost her a job as a swim teacher because she couldn't tolerate the water. AND all the other stuff too! it makes the maintenance of a pool sooo much easier. In fact I'm thinking you should wait a year and then add your SWG ... then you will REALLY appreciate it. ;)
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,183
OV, CA
Salt pool use chlorine. Chlorine pools use chlorine. The only difference is how the chlorine gets into the water.
That's not entirely true.. The electrolysis process within the cell has a some beneficial side effects that you don't get by just dumping liquid CL in the water.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,373
NY
Can you expand more on the subject?
There are some very beneficial side effects of the electrolysis.

1) go to the store once every 5 years (approx)
2). Hardly any math just push the up/down button once in a blue moon
3) forget to test cuz the last 5 tests were all fine at one or two week intervals
4) can go on long vacation with almost certainty of no problems. Without doing anything extra

I know you were expecting a scientific answer but those are still all true. I cannot for the life of me understand the resistance to salt. One day when there is a new way that needs a test once a year instead of weekly or bi weekly, I’m all ears. Prove it works as promised and I’ll switch the next day. Until then, my salt is a joke to maintain.

Heck it’s even not only a TFP approved method but also highly suggested by a lot of TFP experts.
 
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duraleigh

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That's not entirely true.. The electrolysis process within the cell has a some beneficial side effects that you don't get by just dumping liquid CL in the water.
I'd like to hear more about that benefit of electrolysis.......never heard or read that that I can remember.

I am a big fan of chlorinating with salt but it is not the end all-be all.

Just like some folks like to manually vacuum a pool, there are some that enjoy the bit of serenity applying liquid chlorine every day or every other day.

The front money for an SWG is not insignificant. It is serious beer money for a couple of swim seasons

I think this forum has found it pretty conclusive that salt pools are somewhat more corrosive on soft stone features and certainly on inferior types of metal fixtures. That can be dealt with but it must be considered.

There can be a tendency to turn on the SWG and think you can walk away from your new pool as newdude suggests. Not so. SWG's simply replace you as the delivery vehicle. The other duties of good pool management don't go away.

Would I install an SWG on a new pool? Yes. Would I consider leaving a union and enough length to install an SWG later? Even better! The jugs of chlorine may wear your down quickly and you can slide the SWG in place or you may find, like some others, that LQ works well for you and you decide to divert the money towards LR (liquid refreshments :wink:).
 
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Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,197
Bangor Maine
Traditionally treated pools verse SWCG pools are very close in costs. The convenience of a salt system is the huge difference imo.

Eczema sufferers might find it less harsh in on their skin due to low cc’s. Interesting to note the recent studies on removing all grains from diets and resulting decrease in outbreaks. Yes, I was a huge eczema sufferer until I changed me diet.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,373
NY
There can be a tendency to turn on the SWG and think you can walk away from your new pool as newdude suggests. Not so. SWG's simply replace you as the delivery vehicle. The other duties of good pool management don't go away.
I’m not saying to turn it on and walk away. Im saying that for the majority of us the system just does it’s thing and rarely needs anything else. Of course if you find other issues they need to be addressed. But usually there aren’t other issues. Jim R (trusted expert) has posted several times that the biggest problem with a SWG is that it makes people lazy due to how often nothing else is needed. So they lax. And then lax some more. Eventually anybody will have a problem. So yeah. Keep testing. But 9 times out of 10 you’ll only need a small tweak if any. THAT is where the system shines.

And yes. No system is for 100% of the population. Could be people out there that hate salt. Or be allergic to it. Could be just too dang hot out, or commercial applications with oylmpic sized pools. Maybe you are retired and need a hobby like babysitting the pool. Maybe it’s ‘just theraputic’ Those are all legit reasons to stay with LC. The overwhelming majority of People would benefit from the SWG.
 

Donldson

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Jun 12, 2009
4,563
NW Ohio
There are some very beneficial side effects of the electrolysis.

1) go to the store once every 5 years (approx)
2). Hardly any math just push the up/down button once in a blue moon
3) forget to test cuz the last 5 tests were all fine at one or two week intervals
4) can go on long vacation with almost certainty of no problems. Without doing anything extra

I know you were expecting a scientific answer but those are still all true. I cannot for the life of me understand the resistance to salt. One day when there is a new way that needs a test once a year instead of weekly or bi weekly, I’m all ears. Prove it works as promised and I’ll switch the next day. Until then, my salt is a joke to maintain.

Heck it’s even not only a TFP approved method but also highly suggested by a lot of TFP experts.
I think you heavily misread Tivo's comment. He has been around long enough that I know he is aware of those benefits and I definitely don't interpret his comment as resistance to salt. His comment was that mguzzy made a potentially dubious statement and Tivo is challenging him to bring some facts to the table to back it up. It's a pretty common thing here, vague claims of hereto unknown benefits don't go unnoticed. Doubly so when said claims are made to counter a pretty standard and verifiable statement. To put it colorfully: mguzzy wrote a check and he had better have sufficient funds because we intend to cash it.

I don't think anyone familiar with TFP are against salt pools. Quite a few of us don't use them for one reason or another, but I doubt it is because we don't think they are a good option in principle. We fight against incorrect information about the system. That includes the anti-SWG statements that they cause excessive corrosion and the pro-SWG statements that they are set and forget. It is a source of chlorine, nothing more or less.
 
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Jeff J.

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Aug 6, 2019
213
Staten Island NY
I’m not saying to turn it on and walk away. Im saying that for the majority of us the system just does it’s thing and rarely needs anything else. Of course if you find other issues they need to be addressed. But usually there aren’t other issues. Jim R (trusted expert) has posted several times that the biggest problem with a SWG is that it makes people lazy due to how often nothing else is needed. So they lax. And then lax some more. Eventually anybody will have a problem. So yeah. Keep testing. But 9 times out of 10 you’ll only need a small tweak if any. THAT is where the system shines.

And yes. No system is for 100% of the population. Could be people out there that hate salt. Or be allergic to it. Could be just too dang hot out, or commercial applications with oylmpic sized pools. Maybe you are retired and need a hobby like babysitting the pool. Maybe it’s ‘just theraputic’ Those are all legit reasons to stay with LC. The overwhelming majority of People would benefit from the SWG.
Do you have to run the filter more with an SWCG? I've been reading on here that you only have to run it about four hours with a traditional chlorine pool.

I've only been in one salt pool, my nephews. I found the salt a little strong. I put some salt in my pool for feel. I don't know if I would want it much higher.
 

Rollercoastr

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May 18, 2016
879
West Bloomfield, MI
Do you have to run the filter more with an SWCG? I've been reading on here that you only have to run it about four hours with a traditional chlorine pool.

I've only been in one salt pool, my nephews. I found the salt a little strong. I put some salt in my pool for feel. I don't know if I would want it much higher.
Jeff, each pool is different, but generally speaking, yes. SWG's benefit from more pump runtime. (filters don't actually run) They don't need a high rate of flow however.

If your nephew's pool tasted strongly of salt, it's likely that he had too much salt in it. Refer him here!
 

Jeff J.

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2019
213
Staten Island NY
Jeff, each pool is different, but generally speaking, yes. SWG's benefit from more pump runtime. (filters don't actually run) They don't need a high rate of flow however.

If your nephew's pool tasted strongly of salt, it's likely that he had too much salt in it. Refer him here!
I was going to change filter to pump, but the train was bumpy, and I said the heck with it, lol.

I wouldn't say it was a strong salt taste, it was subtle. Unfortunately, he lost the pool in the divorce. I'm not sure what his current pool is.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,183
OV, CA
Whoa.. I didn't know this would generate a bunch of interest. The original post I was commenting on was that there is no difference in the delivery method using a SWG versus dumping LC in a pool. I will argue that point. Using a Stenner pump to dispense a cup of CL vs dumping a cup of CL is identical. But a SWG requires a cell using an electrolysis process to achieve the Chlorination with the microbubbles of CL gas coming of the anode. So a better comparison might be chlorinating a pool with Chlorine gas the way they did my parents pool back in the day. There are two other differences that I see with SWG cells chlorinating
1) During chlorination a super chlorination state exists in the cell that helps kill algae just via that process. And all the pool water is run through that environment instead of the localized spot where a cup of chlorine gets dumped,
2) The sanitizing by products of chlorination are also broken down in the salt cell. And its probably less irritating on the skin as a result. lower CC's as was mentioned above
3) If the chlorination end point is the same with using liquid chlorine and a SWG, then why is it generally understood they have different CYA requirements, per that now famous chart.
4) The slightly higher salinity changes the chemistry of the Free Chlorine just a bit. I don't completely understand this one.. but my chem friends have tried to explain it. Ionic bonds in the salt molecule.. blah blah.. Whether it affects things on the scale of a pool, probably not.
5) I don't have to go to the pool store and buy chlorine, so I am not under pressure to by other pool alchemy products.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,563
NW Ohio
1: "All the pool water" is not run through an SWG cell. A small fraction is and is chlorinated and is returned to the pool where it is diluted. Really this is the same thing that happens when chlorine is introduced via a jug of liquid chlorine. In fact if the "super chlorination" thing is true then liquid chlorine would be better since it actually chlorinates the water it touches more than an SWG cell which really only raises the FC of the water flowing through it by a few PPM. For example: a T-15 cell produces 1.45 pounds of chlorine in 24 hours. That would be roughly 1 ounce per hour. 0.016 ounces per minute. The minimum flow rate for that cell is 11 GPM. So this means that at the absolute slowest operational speed you will see 11 ppm FC introduced to the water flowing through. That's not that much, really. A pool with 80 CYA and manually chlorinating might see the entire water reach that level for extended periods of time, not just a few seconds through the pipes and then diluted with the rest of the water.

2: This is the same argument made by UV advocates and falls short the same way. As mentioned above this only happens with the water inside the cell as it passes it is of little benefit when CC exists in the bulk water. CC is broken down quite readily by sunlight and maintaining proper chlorine levels and thus should be minimal in any TFPC pool, not just SWG ones.

3: The CYA is different because SWG's produce chlorine slower and more regularly and thus benefit from having more protection from sunlight.

4: "I was told this so I will repeat it as fact" is not a very good habit to get in to. Anyway, if it is true then the same effect could be accomplished by raising the salt level of a manually chlorinated pool.

5: Your claim was that, "The electrolysis process within the cell has a some beneficial side effects that you don't get by just dumping liquid CL in the water. " Point 5 is accurate but irrelevant to that claim.


As I have said and will continue to say, there are enough positive aspects to an SWG for them to be well respected pieces of equipment around here. They don't need misleading comments about their ability. Chlorine is chlorine.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,378
Marietta Ga
I have a chlorinator and use liquid BUT wish I has a SWG..last time I opened my bucket of tablets it almost knocked me down and I wasn't above it..In fact, I was 2' away and the fumes burned my eyes.
 

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