Saltwater IS a chlorine pool. The only difference is the chlorine is generated from the salt instead of being introduced via bleach or trichlor tabs. After oxidizing the organics, the chlorine is turned back into salt and ready to be used again. With salt, you add it once and then only add to replace what gets splashed/drained out.
In my experience, it's a bit easier to manage a saltwater pool, so I'm doing it again with my current build. I highly recommend it.
So if you don't like weekly trips to [fill in favorite store here] to purchase bleach, by all means go for the salt system. If you spend enough time on here, you'll quickly realize that "chlorine tabs" really aren't a viable long-term option.
Many members prefer the SWG pools. They are generally about the convenience of not having to haul bleach bottles and then add it every day. And allowing you to go on vacation without having to worry about someone adding chlorine for you.
Do not let them try to tell you it is cheaper as the long term costs are generally about the same either way you go (not counting for your time in hauling that bleach )
You should still be testing every day either way so that you can learn your pool.
If you have soft natural stone around the pool, then SWG is less recommended as there is a chance of damaging the stone.
IMO SWG is just another additional piece of equipment to deal with that can break and cause problems, but my pool is only 14000 gallons. If it were double or triple the volume, I might be singing a different tune... such as "99 bottles of bleach on the wall, 99 bottles of bleach". You get the picture.
Someone posted they had nothing but problems before going with a SWG, but that statement is a bit misleading. It wasn't the lack of a SWG that caused whatever their problems were. It was probably lack of maintaining the proper level of chlorine. The SWG just makes it easier to be lazy about maintaining the pool. You still need to test your water regularly to make sure it's working, and it requires yearly maintenance or in some cases more frequently which is an added expense.... and from what I understand, it doesn't work well in cold weather.
So far, it's
Yeas = 4
Nays = 1
Abstain = 1...although even though jblizzle didn't expressly recommend it, his signature indicates he has one. That should probably count as a "yea".
As an added bonus, if you have a SWG and if you have pool automation, you can adjust chlorine content by simply pushing buttons from comfort inside your home instead of putting on gloves and goggles and breathing bleach fumes and risk little white spots on every piece of clothing you own and.....well, you get the point.
I'm getting ready to introduce salt water to my pool soon. Everything is ready to go. It's been just over 3 weeks since adding water. All I need to do now is adjust my levels for The swg setup and introduce it along with my intelliph acid dispenser.
Of course then I also have to finalize some programming and all that dialing in of everything.
Maybe another week or two...
I would have loved to go with a SWG but went with Chlorine on the advice (almost persistence) of my PB. We have a lot of Oklahoma Flagstone and a large all gunite waterfall/slide. Wanting to protect it's longevity, we went with traditional "chlorine". If we didn't have those two factors, I would definitely have gotten a SWG.
I do not currently have a SWCG. I certainly have considered it as I have a large pool and go through about 2-3 gallons of 12% bleach per week when the pool is in heavy use. Lugging bottles does get a bit tedious. I do worry about the long term effects of having a salt water pool on my concrete decking. It's nothing fancy but I'd rather not have to replace it all the same. I've heard mixed reviews on whether or not the risk is high or minimal for additional wear and tear on pool decking due to salt. I would reason that because I don't live in an arid climate zone and summer rain is frequent enough that the drying and accumulation of salt on exposed surfaces would be low. Accumulation due to drying and increased corrosion would be my worry but we're not talking about sea water levels of salt. SWG pools don't have anywhere near that much salt. Sea water has at least 10 times the amount of salt that a typical SWG pool has.
Admittedly, I have no hands-on experience with SWG.
We asked our PB which option was lower maintenance (this was before I discovered TFP), and he recommended a traditional chlorine system, saying that it's more difficult to keep the pH down with a SWG. I can't comment on the validity of that statement, but considering we have flagstone coping it sounds like we probably made the right choice anyway.
Rising pH is certainly one concern ... although there are ways to mitigate it like lowering your TA and/or adding borates. But if your fill water has a high TA (70+) rising pH will be a constant fight which is slightly more difficult with a SWG system.
I've had two small above ground pools. I did an SWG on the second to compare. I found chemical maintenance to be much more simple on the SWG equipped pool. We're currently in the planning phase of a large gunite pool and will definately do salt. I've widdled my pool builder selection down to 2. One says 90% of their pools are salt, the other said 50%. I ask every pool owner I bump into which system they have and have concluded the majority of recent installations are salt.
I'm a bleach dumper. Maybe sometime down the road I'd switch to a SWG, but for now the bleach does a great job as it effects none of the other levels. My PH is rock stable so the only thing I gotta add to the water is bleach.
In my pool rebuild we are doing chlorine. I asked my pool refinisher about salt water but he didn't seem like a big proponent. We already budgeted all the money in our heloc anyway so their was no room for anything else. I swam in a salt water pool this summer and liked the feel of the water but read about the corrosion issues and issues if you have to drain it. I figure we can always add it at some point if we change our mind.