Need new SWG but don't want to pay the price


Active member
May 3, 2015
Thomasville, NC
Our SWG kicked the bucket last year. We were using the Intex because of the cost. The last one actually made it a few summers before it died. I don't have to tell anyone how these things have skyrockected in cost. What are my best-most time and money efficient alternatives to a new SWG this year? And what happened to cause them to more than double in price? We actually started our SWG journey with hayward Aquatrol and it honestly gave a lot of problems -we had it one year and it was damaged in the only lightening strike we have ever had on our property so I went to the cheap Intex SWG. I really have liked them, but I'm not paying over $500 for one (because they do not last--lets be honest). I'm not opposed to just adding chlorine this year, but I want to do it right. My last Intex SWG costed 129.00 on Amazon in 5/18. they now want 579.00 for the same SWG.


Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
Northern NJ
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
The coverage of the titanium plates is about 80/20 ruthenium/iridium oxide. When the price of the ruthenium part increases 400% it's obvious that prices for the entire cell has to increase. The plates alone for a T-15 cell cost $200 in 2018 where as in 2017 they were only about $50-60. Then there is the housing, electronics, cord and all the other fixed expenses before companies even get to their marketing expenses and overhead.

Since there are only a couple of suppliers for coating plates there is no room for price negotiations. Suppliers of the cells will simply pass the costs on to customers.

As of February 1, 2021, the price of Ruthenium has gone up 20% in the past 15 days and the price of Iridium has gone up 200% in the past 60 days. You have to remember the price of Ru increased 200% in 2019-2020. Since the coating on salt cell plates is about 6:1 Ruthenium/Iridium this translates into MUCH higher prices for salt cell in 2021.

Reason given for recent Ir price increase is supplies from mines in South Africa has essentially been shut off due to variant Covid strain originating there.
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Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
It’s like anything else lbrn, If you invest in a quality product it will last a lot longer and save you in the long run. Take one of the bigger circupool SWGs for example. A 45 or 60 would die of electronic failure after 10 years before it was depleted.

The buy in is the expensive part and going bigger for any model reduces the lifespan cost greatly. But that doesn’t put the funds in your budget so it’s not necessarily an easy choice. Keep us posted.
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Silver Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 15, 2017
Spring Valley, NY
Keeping the water well balanced and watching the CSI will give it extra life. Keeping scale off the plates thus not needing the MA treatment gives it a longer life span.
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