Is a SWG right for me?

psavage

Member
Nov 15, 2018
8
El Cajon, CA
Hi guys,

New pool owner and wondering if a salt water generator would be a good fit for me? We bought a house with a pool last September and this is the first pool I've had. We had a pool company servicing the pool for the first 3 months but didn't feel like they were doing much for the amount they were charging. I got the TF-100 test kit and have been taking care of it since December. I don't have a lot of time during the week to test and adjust the chlorine levels so I've pretty much been only testing once a week on the weekends and it's been alright, I haven't had any algae issues or anything but it hasn't really been that hot yet. Now that summer is here and we have a solar heater keeping the water at 85 degrees I know I'm going to need to keep the chlorine in check so it doesn't get out of hand. So I was thinking that a salt water generator would be ideal for my situation.

Here is my last test results from Sunday. It's a 14K gallon in ground plaster pool.
FC: 5.5
PH: 8.2 (Added 98 oz of 14.5% muriatic acid to lower this to 7.2 according to pool math)
TA: 110
CH: 500
CYA: 50 (This surprised me, I was always in the 80 - 90 range so not sure if I just figured out how to do the test properly or not. This time I did it on a sunny day with my back towards the sun and quickly filled the tube until I no longer saw the dot at the bottom. Before I feel like I may have done the test too slowly which messed the numbers up a bit.)
Water Temp: 85

If I switch to salt water am I going to have any issues according to my test results?

Also I have a Pentair Intelliflo VSF 011056 and a Pentair Solartouch control unit for the solar heating. I've been looking at the CircuPool RJ-45 PLUS as the SWG but with the equipment I have is there any benefit of going with the Pentair IC40 instead?

Thanks,
Peter
 

Jnet

Bronze Supporter
Mar 15, 2017
130
Chicago/Northwest, IL
I can't advise on which one to use, but go SWG and don't look back! With that CH, keep an eye on your CSI. Sounds like you have a busy schedule. It's the perfect solution.
 

maynard001

Active member
Jul 15, 2013
42
A caveat, I've only ever owned one house with a pool...so I don't have any personal experience to the contrary....but the house we're currently in came with a SWG gunite pool. The extent of my chemical fiddling over the past 6 years has been:

1. adding a few bags of salt each year
2. adding stabilizer
3. adding muriatic acid when my pH creeps up

That's really it. I'm not sure if we're just lucky, or if a salt water pool is generally easier to maintain than a traditional chlorine pool, but the upkeep is very basic. After watching my father-in-law continuously feed chlorine tablets all throughout the summer and constantly fiddle with other chemicals in his traditional chlorine pool, i'm convinced that a SWG is easier to maintain.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,013
Bedford, TX
Peter,

I currently have three saltwater pools and what allows me to care for all of them is that they are all saltwater pools.. No way could I do it if I they were standard chlorine pools..

If I built another 100 pools, they would all be saltwater pools... :cool:

All three of my pools have Pentair IntelliFlo pumps, IC40 salt cells and EasyTouch Automation systems... If you are even thinking about automation, you should get the IC40.. If you don't care about an automation system, then going with the CircuPool SWCG makes sense to me..

As a side note... If I loaned you an EasyTouch system for 60 days, I would have to rip it out of your cold dead hands in order to get it back... :mrgreen:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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psavage

Member
Nov 15, 2018
8
El Cajon, CA
Ha ha I'll have to look into the EasyTouch system. What is so great about it? I have a GE Z-Wave smart switch (Link) hooked up that I was using for my old pump to be able to automate the pool a bit. So far we have a pretty basic pool, no crazy lighting or water features so not sure if I will get the full potential out of the EasyTouch system.

It does sound like I would benefit a lot by switching to saltwater plus my daughter has eczema so hopefully it would be easier on her skin.

I do have a suction side leak and just some general plumbing issues that I should probably tackle all at once when I get the SWG.

Thanks,
Peter
 

psavage

Member
Nov 15, 2018
8
El Cajon, CA
I can't advise on which one to use, but go SWG and don't look back! With that CH, keep an eye on your CSI. Sounds like you have a busy schedule. It's the perfect solution.
I did just do another test on my CH because I felt like I messed up last time and it came out to 450 this time. Still on the high end though.

Here is my most recent test results:
FC: 8 (Added chlorine this morning)
CC: 0
PH: 7.5
TA: 110
CH: 450
CYA: 50
CSI: 0.200
Water Temp: 85

So from reading up on CSI sounds like I just need to keep my PH down and I should be good to go. Should I drain a bit and refill to drop my CH before switching to saltwater or will I be alright with it at 450? I know I need to lower my TA a bit more and once I take care of the suction side leak causing bubbles to come out of the return that should help keep my PH from rising so quickly.

Thanks,
Peter
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,234
Laughlin, NV
What is your fill water CH and TA? I suspect it is high. A CH of 450 is very manageable. You recognize CSI -- that is good. Lowering your TA to 70 ppm or so would also have a significant effect on CSI.
 

psavage

Member
Nov 15, 2018
8
El Cajon, CA
What is your fill water CH and TA? I suspect it is high. A CH of 450 is very manageable. You recognize CSI -- that is good. Lowering your TA to 70 ppm or so would also have a significant effect on CSI.
I'll have to test it once I get home tonight. Probably something I should have tested previously.

That's good to know about the TA, I'll try to get it down to around 70ppm. Should probably use the suction side leak to my advantage to help aerate the water to lower the TA. I'll pick up some more muriatic acid on my way home tonight and focus on that.
 

Jnet

Bronze Supporter
Mar 15, 2017
130
Chicago/Northwest, IL
Peter - you mentioned that you use a zwave switch. I'm using zwave dry contact switches to control my Hayward vs pump (via relay mode) and SWG (via a common HVAC relay) and IFTTT for pretty full featured automation. Lots of options there.
 

psavage

Member
Nov 15, 2018
8
El Cajon, CA
Alright, I'm trying to figure out which one would be best. I'm trying to decide between the CircuPool RJ-45 Plus and the CircuPool EDGE-40 since it's going to be a DIY install and I would like to have the warranty on it.

Right now the edge is available for about $850 with their $1 upgrade sale and the RJ-45 is about $940 on sale.

EDGE-40 SpecsEDGE-40 Specs
Chlorine Output: 1.7 lbs/dayChlorine Output: 2.0 lbs/day
Manufacturer Warranty: 7 Years Limited*Manufacturer Warranty: 7 Years Limited*
Manufacturer Max Capacity: 40,000 gallonsManufacturer Max Capacity: 45,000 gallons
Replacement Cell Cost (MSRP): $380.00Replacement Cell Cost (MSRP): $539.00
Controls: Digital - OLED Display Screen, LED IndicatorsControls: Digital - OLED Display Screen, LED Indicators
Salinity Range: 3000-4500 ppmSalinity Range: 3000-4500 ppm
Salinity Test: Yes - Low SaltSalinity Test: Yes - High, Low, Displays ppm
Flow Sensor: Yes - Integrated Flow SwitchFlow Sensor: Yes, Independent Flow Switch
Clear Cell: YesClear Cell: Yes
Self-Cleaning: Yes, Reverse PolaritySelf-Cleaning: Yes, Reverse Polarity
Boost Mode: Yes, 24 hoursBoost Mode: Yes, 24 hours
Winter Mode: YesWinter Mode: Yes
Professional Installation Required: NoProfessional Installation Required: No

I'm tempted to go with the Edge since it is a better deal right now and the differences between the 2 are so negligible, especially in my 14K gallon pool. The only thing that worries me is there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of real world reviews on it since it's so new. What do you guys think?

Thanks,
Peter
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
20,234
Laughlin, NV
Both from a company with a track record of standing behind its products. So I would say go with the newer version.

You should have the SWCG wired into a timer or other device that will remove the power from it when the pump is not running.