Help....down to the wire on Salt vs Chlorine

Cypress6

Member
Jun 1, 2010
6
First of all...1st pool and new to the website! Yeehaw. We are looking for a little advice on salt vs chlorine. We have heard so many stories of the pros and cons for both. Our initial decision was to go with the SWG for the reduced eye irritation and softness for the skin, however we are second guessing ourselves at the last minute. The gunite was sprayed yesterday so our pool builder said we have a few days before he needs to order the equipment. We have had people say the salt is tough on the pool equipment, pool furniture, plants, flagstone coping, moss rocks, etc. Some have said it was more work than their previous chloring pools. Others have said they are extremely easy to maintain. We have heard many pool builders don't offer the SWG anymore because of warranty issues. Will the moss rock detiorate over time? Will Oklahoma Wister Medium detiorate? SO many questions.

We are in Houston - so its hot and humid. The pool will be pretty shaded from 3 o'clock til dark. It is roughly 110 linear feet with 4'-7' depths. We will have moss rock around half of the pool with a moss rock waterfall. We are still deciding a color but will be a PebbleTec, WetEdge Pearl Matrix or Stonescape - not midnight blue or black but a deep blue.

We will take all the advice we can get. Lay it on us!
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
I'll vote for the SWG. A salt pool is a chlorine pool. The SWG uses electricity to continuously convert the salt into chlorine. Sure beats lugging bleach...IMO
 

cheddar85

Well-known member
Feb 18, 2010
271
Houston, TX
If it were me (and my pool isn't even up yet!) I'd go with the SWG too. However, as you know, some types of stone will deteriorate faster than others. Unfortunately, I can't give advice on that. Hopefully someone that can answer that will see this soon and can help you.

BTW, welcome to TFP! :wave: I like seeing lots of Houston folks on here! Although I'm not in Houston myself, but close enough. It's sure has been hot here lately, huh?
 

DaveNJ

LifeTime Supporter
May 22, 2007
520
Toms River, NJ
Welcome to TFP,
SWG here and am very pleased with it. Read "Pool School" many times, the articles address many questions. The best tools are knowledge and a good test kit. I use the TF100 test kit from the link in my signature. Test the water and stay in control :mrgreen: , or not and let it control you :rant: .
 

Pool-creetin

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 22, 2010
181
Michigan
I dunno about SWG but i do have a 300 gallon reef tank. I would not expose any metals to salt esp copper. Saltwater tends to pull heavy metals out of stuff and corrode them. I dunno why people love SWG but hate ozone generators. One turns salt into chlorine and one raises orp in water to become chlorine.
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Pool-creetin said:
I dunno about SWG but i do have a 300 gallon reef tank. I would not expose any metals to salt esp copper. Saltwater tends to pull heavy metals out of stuff and corrode them. I dunno why people love SWG but hate ozone generators. One turns salt into chlorine and one raises orp in water to become chlorine.
If you are using chlorine, your pool is exposed to salt...maybe not 3000+ppm (which btw is not that high), but you have salt in your water. Ozone generators can be expensive and often cannot be used as the sole disinfection mechanism to keep your pool water safe to swim in. SWGs on the other hand have been in use since the mid to late 1900's
 

Cypress6

Member
Jun 1, 2010
6
Thanks for the input. We really wanted the salt but had heard some stories about damage to equipment, doors, fences, rocks, etc. Does anyone recommend a certain SWG?
 

sonflower

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2010
157
Fort Worth, TX
Our SWG brand is Aqua Rite but all the associated paperwork is at home so that's all I know off the top o'my head. It has been working for 7 yrs fine. We did replace the 'motherboard' thing in the panel about 2 yrs ago only because the indicator lights went out. That was abt $285 I think.
 

tnthudson

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 31, 2008
328
Central VA
Hello! It's been awhile since I've popped on the site (busy year) but I went from Baqua to Chlorine and straight to SWG, and I love my Pentair SWG. Yes, there are stories of SWG failures. Yes, I've read alot (and there should still be ALOT in the archives) of pros & cons for SWG. But in my experience (vinyl pool, concrete patio) it has been great for the first 2 seasons. I have had some issues with getting my pool rails & ladder out at the end of season, but I'm going to try to loosen & then re-tighten everything in a month or so to keep everything 'loose.' The water itself is clear, soft and easy on the skin (myself & my kids break out if Chlorine levels are too high)...and the SWG is made for 2-4 ppm Chlorine, so it's great for us. Oh, and if you keep up with your water testing & salt levels (easy with a good test kit like Duraleigh's kit), it's really almost maintenance-free. Good luck whatever you do!
 

wmshay6

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008
149
Central MD
Pool-creetin said:
I dunno why people love SWG but hate ozone generators. One turns salt into chlorine and one raises orp in water to become chlorine.
Is it not also true that a SWG leaves residual sanitizer (Chlorine) but an ozonator does NOT leave a residual sanitizer?

What does Raises "orp" to become chlorine mean? My limited understanding of ozone is that it is good at sanitizing, but is molecularly unstable and therefore lousy at maintaining a residual sanitizer level. This is based on experience with saltwater fish care and domestic potable water systems.

If I'm off base, can someone school me please?
 

Pool-creetin

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 22, 2010
181
Michigan
Heres a good read. Further down the page you will see its uses in pools.
While there may be the need to use doses of chlorine in the pool itself for the initial swimmers the ozone kills whatever it comes in contact with when it comes thru the lines. It only has a few moments half life in water so the need to use chlorine in the pool is nec.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone
 

Pool-creetin

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 22, 2010
181
Michigan
Heres a quote from the lin there. It would be the same for pools.

Many municipal drinking water systems kill bacteria with ozone instead of the more common chlorine.[45] Ozone has a very high oxidation potential.[46] Ozone does not form organochlorine compounds, nor does it remain in the water after treatment. The Safe Drinking Water Act mandates that these systems introduce an amount of chlorine to maintain a minimum of 0.2 ppm residual free chlorine in the pipes, based on results of regular testing. Where electrical power is abundant, ozone is a cost-effective method of treating water, since it is produced on demand and does not require transportation and storage of hazardous chemicals. Once it has decayed, it leaves no taste or odor in drinking water.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
Ozone provides supplemental oxidation so can be very useful in commercial/public pools with moderate to high bather loads, but in an outdoor residential pool it isn't needed. The fact that the CC hardly ever gets high in outdoor residential pools and often measures only 0.2, shows that there is relatively little for chlorine to oxidize in such pools and that chlorine is easily able to keep up with such load.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Ozone is not a residual sanitizer, so you have to use chlorine in addition. You must have something in the bulk pool water. Ozone alone decays too quickly leaving the bulk of the pool un-sanitized. Once you are using chlorine, chlorine does everything you need to do. There is nothing left for ozone to improve on in a residential pool, so why spend the money on ozone?

Ozone is much more useful in commercial pools where there is a large organic load that needs to be oxidized. Ozone can take care of that more quickly and less expensively than chlorine, but only when there is enough organics to justify it.
 
G

Guest

I'm not a fan of SWCG, but everyone is different! Do your homework, and check your CH levels in your area, as SWCG tend to not want to work well in areas where high CH is present.

I would go with either PebbleTec or Wet Edge, and I would strongly caution you against the StoneScapes. PebbleTec and Wet Edge both are installed by licensed installers, whereas the StoneScapes can be purchased and applied by nearly anyone in the trade. It is sold at the pool supply houses, and there is no training or support, so anyone can hire "trowelers" to finish your pool with this product :shock: Several guys that I know have tried to trowel the StoneScapes, and say it is very difficult to work with (and one of them has been troweling for 50 years!). One of my buddies in Vegas (who has been troweling for 30+ years) has also tried to work with it (he has worked with everything, but is currently a PebbleTec applicator) and says he has never worked with a more difficult product.

Hope this helps! Make sure and post up pics when you have water in the pool :party: :party:
 

flyboy320

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2009
216
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
simicrintz said:
I'm not a fan of SWCG, but everyone is different!
Just wondering why you are not a fan of them? Is it because of the possible corrosion factor? I just manually add chlorine right now, but have just bought a Liquidator (from poolservicestech.com :) )
 
G

Guest

flyboy320 said:
simicrintz said:
I'm not a fan of SWCG, but everyone is different!
Just wondering why you are not a fan of them? Is it because of the possible corrosion factor? I just manually add chlorine right now, but have just bought a Liquidator (from poolservicestech.com :) )
The SWCG are just too inconsistent for me. I've had three different units and they all have had their issues. Our water is very hard here, and even though they reverse polarity and try to release the calcium from the grid plates, it never seems to really fully work. If I have to go disassemble my salt cell every 6 weeks and clean it, in addition to running my pump longer to generate enough chlorine to keep up, add the cost of the unit (which I have never paid for one, since they give them to me) itself and it is just not worth it to me.

I have a Liquidator now (I bought it from the same guys you bought from :cool: ) and am very happy with it. It is about as basic as it gets, I can see the chlorine (bleach) level, I can see the flow, it's cheap and it keeps up the chlorine levels in my pool! What more could I ask for?
 
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