How long does an intex SWG last?


Apr 15, 2017
I'm still getting things lined up for my first pool purchase. Since I posted last we have decided to fence in the yard, so I will have more options for size. I'm thinking of an Intex Ultraframe 18x52. Someone I work with changed to a SWG for their above ground pool and they said it started to rust the pool, and the cell went out three times in one year. Is this normal? How long will that SWG last?

My intention is to buy a sand pump, so does that make a swg last better? Is there a particular pool that gets good reviews converted to salt water? Also, is there a model of SWG that seems to be better?


Well-known member
Jun 21, 2016
Central Oklahoma
A SWG has to be cleaned. If it stops working there is white build up in the cells. So, you soak it in vinegar for a few hours. Usually have to do it once a month. My intex SWG still works in its second season.

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Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 26, 2012
Edmond OK
I've averaged about 2 years on the cells of the Intex SWG's I've owned. Once they quit, you can order replacement cells from Intex. The last one I bought was $79. But often you can find the entire unit on sale for that or less toward the end of the season, so anymore I just keep my eyes open for a sale and keep an extra one on hand.


Well-known member
Oct 2, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
I had a hayward aquatrol for my intex 12 by 24 for about three years worked great. Only reason I stopped using it was because I took down my pool due to rust. Also if you keep your pool water balanced you'll have to clean the cell a lot less the usual. Another thing is you wanna buy a salt cell that is rated for at least 2x the size of your pool. That way you can run it at a lower percentage and it will last longer. A salt system makes pool maintance a lot easier.

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Jun 22, 2015
My SWG lasted two seasons. The man at Leslie's told me to use a dummy cell during the winter to increase cell life. Has anyone heard of this? If this is correct how do I store the good cell during the winter while the dummy cell is in the unit?
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LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
south east Arizona
Mine didn't last a whole year but I ran it all winter. The dreaded code 91 low salt that was utter BS. Intex replaced it under warranty but it was not the most customer friendly experience I have ever had. They will try to have you run around doing useless testing at pool stores and following trouble shooting that you probably already did several times. (suggestions: keep receipts and if ordered on line keep tracking info! be assertive, persistent and be prepared to wait on hold several times.)


Well-known member
I have dual Intex SWG for my pool (plumbed in parallel since my pool is too big for just one), first set lasted about 3 years, second set has lasted 2 years so far, and were still working when I closed last year so I assume they will be working for this year also. I haven't had to clean them or anything, so I am very happy with how they've worked out. A lot cheaper than the fancier ones but works for me.


New member
Jun 30, 2013
I've had 3 and they all fail at 24 1/2 months, just outside the return policy. They have perfected just enough coating on the metal plates to last 2 years and no more. The units are fine, but the electrodes die. As mentioned previously, you can buy a replacement for about 80, or a whole new unit at a little over 100 at the end of the season.
I for one wouldn't mind something a little more expensive if it lasted for several seasons.


New member
Jun 30, 2013
Oh, and for the frame...yes it will rust fast. Our first ultra frame lasted about 3 years and then fell apart from rust. I sprayed my replacement with rustoleum paint and I am going to try and leave it up year round this time to see if it lasts longer. I think it's cheaper than the neighborhood pool dues, but I'm beginning to have second thoughts.