I just built a beautiful pool with an ozonator and puck chlorine feeder. For the last couple of monthe I've had 2 algae blooms. I have switched to BBB now but was considering Liquidator or a SWG any comments?
Those that have them love them! If you have flagstone around the pool then a SWG may not be the best choice for you. The salt required to run a SWG accelerates the decomposition of flagstone. The Liquidator still requires some attention, weekly I think, but it is as close to a set and forget system as you can have without a SWG.
Do you have any personal (frequent travel, rotating shifts, ect) or environmental (limited pad space, flagstone, electrical load) concerns that may make one system preferable over the other? Any kids or pets that will be around the pool? Give us a little information about what your ideal system (short of someone else doing it) should do for you and we will help you figure out what is best for you.
Either will work for you. If you don't have any of the concerns listed above by Zea I'd lean toward the SWCG. However, I have a Liquidator and love it. I have to fill it about every couple of weeks but could go 3 weeks if I decided to. You still have to be diligent about testing and maintaining your levels.
There are also the operational and electrical considerations.
The Liquidator is a purely mechanical device that works with the laws of physics and chemistry, you can trouble-shoot it by eye ( full/empty, flow/no-flow, etc...) and it can be connected with-out cutting your plumbing.
Adjusting the flow-rate knob is your only setting. You only need add liquid chlorine (Bleach, 10%LC, 12%LC, etc..)
An electronic chlorine generator will require an electrical connection, in addition to physically cutting the plumbing. The programming can range from a simple time or % setting, to much more complex. If you have trouble with electronic devices, it may prove daunting. Trouble-shooting is more complex because of the flow detector and other electronic measurement elements. You will need to add salt initially, and probably muriatic acid weekly, if your ph creeps up, (although adding borates can combat that.)
Both will need to be cleaned (with muriatic acid) and inspected periodically, your pool chemistry and habits will determine how often.
The liquidator will be much cheaper to purchase, operate and maintain, but still requires the hauling of chlorine containers, which is what you have to weigh against the convenience (and costs) of electronic chlorine generation.
Zea3, I am an Anesthesiologist and about once a week I am gone for 24+ hours, about once a month I am gone for 72 hours. My pad is pretty full but I have crushed granite around it so I think I have room for other equipment. I currently have a ozonator which I would probably no longer use( what can I do with that) so I have the electrical for SWG. I do have flagstone and the PB was wary of SWG so he talked me into the ozonator. I lean strongly toward the SWG but don't want to ruin my pool.
From what I know, 24-72 hrs is not a significant time away if you plan accordingly.
I'm still building in Austin, but have lots of flagstone and natural stone around so I opted out of the SWG, but then there are people on the forum and around central texas that have flagstone and SWG and have not seen issues. I just heard enough stories of degradation that I didn't want to chance it. Also (I've only heard this through other friends here in Austin) the SWG may not deliver sufficient chlorine in the hot summer months of Texas and full sun exposure to keep up with demand.
I do plan to being away from my pool for a week or more at a time so my solution was to get a peristaltic pump and chlorine tank to continuously feed chorine to my pool (the electrician wired it to run only when my pool pump is running). I'm using Rola-Chem brand, but Stenner makes good stuff too from what I hear, both can have the rates of delivery adjusted to meet the demand of the pool. I don't have any practical experience yet, but am looking forward to trying it out.
Another important aspect that I've learned from this site is the importance of knowing your pool chemistry and having a good test kit (see the link in other's sig.) and knowing your pool's chemistry, invaluable to diagnose the reason for your algae blooms.