Facts and opinions please. Salt vs Chlorine?

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
915
OV, CA
And so now that this conversation has hit the stratosphere, what should I do? Traditional Chlorine or Salt?
I travel almost every week so I need /want easy. Plus I can get crazed with testing too much and agonized over tweaking levels of this and that. Easy is what I crave. Also thinking about that floating Bluetooth thing to send me water analytics and tell me what needs to be added.
But will still have a pool service at least initially until I get back in a groove of pool care.
What I highlighted I think makes the case for a SWG. It chlorinates whether you are there or not.
 

Hootz

Bronze Supporter
Feb 5, 2018
118
Rogers, AR
What I highlighted I think makes the case for a SWG. It chlorinates whether you are there or not.
If you travel, salt water generation is a great solution. It is hard to find someone to take care of your pool that follows the TFP methodology....testing every day and adding the proper amount of chlorine (at minimum). Pool services are only interested in showing up once a week to throw a stack of pucks in the skimmer and then on to the next job.....that is not conducive to well balanced water.
 

Dave_NJ

Member
Aug 15, 2019
17
North NJ
SWG's only make sense when you also have a variable speed pool pump
As someone who is looking to convert from LC to SWG why is a variable pump necessary? I have a single speed pump on an analog timer, my plan was to adjust the pump run time and the SWG chlorine percentage to achieve the proper FC level.

I can understand running a VS pump at lower speed to increase the amount of time the SWG is active but if you do the math and get a proper sized cell is a VS pump really required?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
As someone who is looking to convert from LC to SWG why is a variable pump necessary? I have a single speed pump on an analog timer, my plan was to adjust the pump run time and the SWG chlorine percentage to achieve the proper FC level.

I can understand running a VS pump at lower speed to increase the amount of time the SWG is active but if you do the math and get a proper sized cell is a VS pump really required?
No it is not required. Just may have to go very big on the SWG to keep the run time shorter. You could switch your motor to a 2 speed and get a lot of the electrical savings too.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
915
OV, CA
As someone who is looking to convert from LC to SWG why is a variable pump necessary? I have a single speed pump on an analog timer, my plan was to adjust the pump run time and the SWG chlorine percentage to achieve the proper FC level.

I can understand running a VS pump at lower speed to increase the amount of time the SWG is active but if you do the math and get a proper sized cell is a VS pump really required?
A variable speed pump is not required. I have a single speed pump. VS pumps are more energy efficient, and newer pools are installing pumps with VS motors. In California if you have to replace your pump you are supposed to replace with a VS pump per state law. Not sure how many other states require it as well.
 

Pool_Medic

In The Industry
Apr 1, 2018
1,197
Bangor Maine
Yes, all the water can go through a cell, but the cell is only charged 50% of its designated time. Not all water gets superchlorinated as it passes through the cell.
 

aboykin2269

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 3, 2015
327
Pittsboro NC
This is a fantastically interesting discussion. All I can add is I use a SWG and once I get the run time and % down early in the season, I vacuum once a week (Aqua bug), brush once a week, run a set of tests about once a week, and my water stays crystal clear all summer long. Knock on wood...the maintenance is minimal and pool time is maximized. Plus, the water is nice and soft feeling due to the salt.
Happy Swimming!
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
16,219
Tucson, AZ
As someone who is looking to convert from LC to SWG why is a variable pump necessary? I have a single speed pump on an analog timer, my plan was to adjust the pump run time and the SWG chlorine percentage to achieve the proper FC level.

I can understand running a VS pump at lower speed to increase the amount of time the SWG is active but if you do the math and get a proper sized cell is a VS pump really required?
I didn’t say it was required , I said it made sense. SWG’s produce the same amount of chlorine at any speed that satisfies the minimum flow rate (typically greater than 15GPM). SWG’s also produce chlorine at a fairly slow rate so even the largest cell on a small pool will require long pump run times. Single speed pumps are a huge waste of electrical energy compared to variable speed pumps - for example, my VSP uses less than 700W of power when the SWG is running as opposed to a similar sized single speed which would use thousands of watts of electrical power. Since SWGs force the pool owner to use longer run times than would otherwise be the case, they cost more to run. If a homeowner is building a pool, the incremental cost of adding a VSP is small in comparison to the overall pool build cost. If an SWG is being added to an existing pool then upgrading to a two-speed pump motor (~ $200 plus labor) can easily pay for itself with the energy savings accrued over a few seasons. A VSP has a longer ROI but is still worth it in terms of overall energy efficiency.
 
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Dave_NJ

Member
Aug 15, 2019
17
North NJ
I didn’t say it was required , I said it made sense. SWG’s produce the same amount of chlorine at any speed that satisfies the minimum flow rate (typically greater than 15GPM). SWG’s also produce chlorine at a fairly slow rate so even the largest cell on a small pool will require long pump run times. Single speed pumps are a huge waste of electrical energy compared to variable speed pumps - for example, my VSP uses less than 700W of power when the SWG is running as opposed to a similar sized single speed which would use thousands of watts of electrical power. Since SWGs force the pool owner to use longer run times than would otherwise be the case, they cost more to run. If a homeowner is building a pool, the incremental cost of adding a VSP is small in comparison to the overall pool build cost. If an SWG is being added to an existing pool then upgrading to a two-speed pump motor (~ $200 plus labor) can easily pay for itself with the energy savings accrued over a few seasons. A VSP has a longer ROI but is still worth it in terms of overall energy efficiency.
Fair enough. Your explanation makes sense, as part of the package I'm going to go ahead and replace the existing single speed pump with two speed and a manual toggle switch.
 

Jason245

Well-known member
Jul 27, 2019
72
Fort Lauderdale FL
As the owner of a Salt Pool who has young children I will just call out that if my kids get into my bag of water softner salt, I am not that worried and I only have to keep 2-3 jugs of liquid chemicals out of their reach (Muric Acid and an emergency bottle or two of liquid chlorine in case something causes FC to drop))

I imagine I would need much more on hand (assuming I didn't end up using tablets, and even then I would have to be careful on storage) if I didn't have a SWG.
 
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jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
As the owner of a Salt Pool who has young children I will just call out that if my kids get into my bag of water softner salt, I am not that worried and I only have to keep 2-3 jugs of liquid chemicals out of their reach (Muric Acid and an emergency bottle or two of liquid chlorine in case something causes FC to drop))

I imagine I would need much more on hand (assuming I didn't end up using tablets, and even then I would have to be careful on storage) if I didn't have a SWG.
I dump the salt on my kid's heads while they are swimming ... they are always asking me to add more salt, but it just does not need it :LOL:
 

rowiac

Well-known member
Apr 20, 2018
75
Tehama County, CA
I dump the salt on my kid's heads while they are swimming ... they are always asking me to add more salt, but it just does not need it :LOL:
Kids are perfect salt mixing tools. I first added salt when they were in the pool and they freaked out until I told them it was okay. The next thing I knew they wanted me to add more. They liked the feel of the salt on their feet and said that it felt cool. Endothermic reaction of the salt dissolving, I guess.
 
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jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Kids are perfect salt mixing tools. I first added salt when they were in the pool and they freaked out until I told them it was okay. The next thing I knew they wanted me to add more. They liked the feel of the salt on their feet and said that it felt cool. Endothermic reaction of the salt dissolving, I guess.
There was one time poured it on them and their friends during a birthday party while all the other parents looked on in horror, not knowing what it was :D
And yes it does get pretty cold as it dissolves.
 
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Chickinvic

Well-known member
Jul 12, 2017
266
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
If you travel, salt water generation is a great solution. It is hard to find someone to take care of your pool that follows the TFP methodology....testing every day and adding the proper amount of chlorine (at minimum). Pool services are only interested in showing up once a week to throw a stack of pucks in the skimmer and then on to the next job.....that is not conducive to well balanced water.
I must admit even I don't test every day. I do have SWG. I have never had any problems following the TFP methods. My pool is very little work. This summer, I have added some muriatic acid twice (once in July and once this week), and just a couple days ago added a bag of salt (after adding salt at the beginning of the season). That is it.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
574
West Palm Beach/Florida
And so now that this conversation has hit the stratosphere, what should I do? Traditional Chlorine or Salt?
I travel almost every week so I need /want easy. Plus I can get crazed with testing too much and agonized over tweaking levels of this and that. Easy is what I crave. Also thinking about that floating Bluetooth thing to send me water analytics and tell me what needs to be added.
But will still have a pool service at least initially until I get back in a groove of pool care.
I travel every week just like you do. I could not manage my pool without a SWG. I am a little OCD about it now (thanks TFP folks). I also tend on most weeks to add a couple of pucks to the pool at the beginning of the week when I leave town. It helps manage the pH. It help against the CYA degradation of a very hot pool and the big rains we have which cause a water exchange. It helps by adding just a little bit more FC to help the SWG while I am away.
 

aboykin2269

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 3, 2015
327
Pittsboro NC
Regarding travel, I do have problems with leaves. I usually have to empty the skimmer by hand daily. So, if I go out of town, I will put on my mesh leaf cover and let the SWG do all the work. The cover keeps the leaves out of the skimmer and I come home to a Crystal clear and perfectly chlorinated pool.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
915
OV, CA
On the pump.....I am doing the VS because my waterfall and bubblers will run also off that same pump and each be manually controlled.....I’m a simpleton here
As this is a new build... I thought I would comment on this design consideration. Our pool came with the house when we bought it so we didn't have any input in the design, but I redid the pool equipment in 2005 and changed a bunch of stuff that always bugged me.. in particular where the equipment was located. The original PB put the equipment where it was convenient for them. right in the "middle" of the yard. I moved it 30ft away from the original spot but still within 20 ft of the pool to an area that wouldn't be used for anything else in the corner of the yard and behind some garden shrubbery. The shrubbery also provides a bit of a sound shield. So consider that when you decide where to put your equipment pad... The old pool equipment location is now our vegetable garden.

As to your single pump for everything.. We had an separate pump for the waterfall. It even has its own intakes in the pool. And they wired it to a switch on the side of the house. That has been nice because I can turn it on without worrying about the other pump settings, valves, etc. Automation theses days will probably alleviate that, but I've come to like having the water features on completely separate plumbing from everything else. just a thought...
 
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