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

BobinBaltimore

LifeTime Supporter
Dec 13, 2009
116
Northeast of Baltimore, MD
I had only ever been in pure Cl (non-SW) pools my whole life. For the pool we just built, we went with SWG after lots of research. Main factors were:

1. Fewer day to day chemical additions (not to say we won't ever need to use liquid Cl, just not regularly)
2. Relatively low-maintenance
3. Nice water feel

That said, this is not to say that owning a SWG is cheaper...it's probably cost neutral at best over 5 - 7 years from everything I've read. But the time benefit is definitely there.

Since opening, we've really been impressed! The water looks and feels great, and everything is working well. I'm still getting my settings worked out for optimum performance, but so far, so good. We're running our pool at about 3200ppm and can taste a slight saltiness, but nothing at all off-putting or briney. An added benefit is that the water is gentle on the eyes and skin, and seems much less harsh when you get the inevitable water up the nose. Not sure this is so much the slight salinity or just having properly balanced water, but the combination is working really well for us so far.
 

Pool-creetin

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 22, 2010
181
Michigan
JasonLion said:
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.
Thanks Jason, and chemgeek for the info. Makes sense.
 

DMAN11

LifeTime Supporter
May 12, 2008
95
Baton Rouge, LA area
Cypress6,

I am by no means an expert like some of the others here, BUT, we have had our pool for a little more than 21 months now, and I have to vote for a SWG. While shopping for our pool setup a few years back, (took us about 2 years to pull the trigger) we looked at a number of different pools. We were in the same boat as you,,,, SWG or Chlorine(traditional)... and we went with the SWG.

After looking at about 15 different pools from our pb, one of the people we visited made the comment that a salt water pool was what he considered a "lazy man's pool". Well, even though not noted in my tag, my middle name is "lazy man", so salt water it was.

Just a few days ago we ran a sample up to the pool store to check it. Bought a bag of salt and a little stabilizer and that's it. This got me to wondering and I started figuring. Over the 21 months of having our pool, running it year round with adjustments to pumping time based on temps of course, we have averaged a cost of $18.45 a month to maintain our pool. That's right, $18.45 a month. I have a sister that had chlorine for a while and she paid up to $100 a week to maintain. Also had a sister and brother-in-law that spent countless hours and dollars fighting to keep their chlorine up to par. They have since gone to salt.

Now, I will by no means lead you to believe that I am on top of the pool every day, because I'm not. We usually take a sample to a local store about once every 1 or 2 months. I'm not saying this is proper care, because of everything I've read, it's not. BUT, we haven't had any problems with this system, and the pool is beautiful. We love it!!

Whatever choice you make, Good Luck and Enjoy the ride!!!!!

DMAN
 

Cypress6

Member
Jun 1, 2010
6
THANK YOU for all your input!! We went with SWG...

Now....plaster color and type. I am going to put a new Post on the forum.

Boy o boy this is a ride. I never thought it would be so crazy and difficult to make decisions.

Hopefully they will be pouring the deck tomorrow or Friday!
 

sonflower

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2010
157
Fort Worth, TX
Cypress6 said:
THANK YOU for all your input!! We went with SWG...
Do yourself a favor and purchase this salt test kit. Trust me on this. If you read my latest posts you will understand why I say these things. No matter what the installer says, don't rely 100% on the panel reading of the SWG. The danger is that if it is a low reading, you think "oh, I better add salt." Then if the reading is incorrect & your salt level is actually fine, and you add salt, you have to drain the pool to fix that issue (excess salt). If you independently test the salt with a salt test kit, you avoid that drama, which is, believe me, drama.
 

cjs

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 13, 2014
35
Cypress, TX
Nothing like resurrecting a 2 year old post, but....

I have a pool that is not salt water, and otherwise matches up with the OP information in terms of coping/stone work and sun exposure. Furthermore, I also live in Cypress, TX.

If the OP is still around, I'd like to know how he feels about his decision 2 years later.

In my experience, SWG and flagstone are a big problem in this area. I have several friends/neighbors with this combination and what I've found is they don't fully realize they have a problem until they either compare the condition of their stone to others...or it gets so bad that it is obvious. Either way, no amount of stone sealer or cleaning does any good beyond possibly delaying the inevitable.

Also, in my research online, this is moreso a problem in southeast Texas and Louisiana, but not so much elsewhere. I don't know why that is.

Just curious for a conclusion to this scenario.
 

agogley

Member
Sep 13, 2010
14
cjs said:
Nothing like resurrecting a 2 year old post, but....

I have a pool that is not salt water, and otherwise matches up with the OP information in terms of coping/stone work and sun exposure. Furthermore, I also live in Cypress, TX.

If the OP is still around, I'd like to know how he feels about his decision 2 years later.

In my experience, SWG and flagstone are a big problem in this area. I have several friends/neighbors with this combination and what I've found is they don't fully realize they have a problem until they either compare the condition of their stone to others...or it gets so bad that it is obvious. Either way, no amount of stone sealer or cleaning does any good beyond possibly delaying the inevitable.

Also, in my research online, this is moreso a problem in southeast Texas and Louisiana, but not so much elsewhere. I don't know why that is.

Just curious for a conclusion to this scenario.
I have a type of sandstone on my pool with a SWG. I've had it for about 6 years. It tooks me a while to figure out why my stone was getting so bad (although I do like the look of it in many areas where there is damage because it looks more natural). I did finally find a decent sealer "Deck-O-Seal." It stopped the damage completely.

Apparently what happens is that any permeable stone is penetrated by the salt water. When the water evaporates it leaves the salt. Well you can can't have salt and stone occupying the same space so the stone starts crumbling. I assume this could be the case if you have a high TDS in your pool water as well. But I started using Deck-O-Seal last year and it is incredible. My crumbling has completely stopped and I don't have any more problems.