New pool, SWG?

dustindb

Active member
Aug 2, 2017
32
TX
I'm buying a house with a pool (details in signature) for the first time and am pretty clueless going into it. I'm going over the the site tutorials, which is helpful. There is a SWG, but the cell needs to be replaced. The owner has been using chlorine, however, because they say the salt is destroying the limestone coping and waterfall. The inspector said their maintenance is questionable though, they just had 3 chlorine tablets sitting in the skimmer basket.

I would like to use the SWG. Should I just go ahead and shock the pool, and make the switch? I will probably seal the limestone so it doesn't deteriorate further (I'm not sure if it has ever been treated). This is all very new so I'm trying to prepare a gameplan for when I move in next week.

Cheers
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,587
Tucson
I would agree, seal the limestone coping and convert back to SWG. First question, what kind and size SWG? You need to be sure when getting it back up and running, that whatever cell you get is rated for at least 40k or larger.

Next, order yourself a test kit. There are only two that we recommend (the TF-100 and the Taylor K-2006C) and you have to purchase online. If you found one locally (which is unlikely), it's very doubtful the reagents would be fresh. The one most commonly recommended is the TF-100, available directly from TFTestkits.net Amazon and several other sites. It contains larger quantities of reagents, for tests that a residential pool owner needs the most. This makes it a much better value. You may also want to add a salt test, and I highly recommend the Speedstir. I know it looks like an expensive gimmick, but everyone who has one swears by it. They make testing much easier, quicker, and more accurate.

While waiting, you can begin studying Pool School, that's the button at the upper right of this page. There is tons of information available there. It may seem overwhelming at first, but with time and study it all starts to fit together and make sense. Everything we do here is based on accurate testing and adding only exactly what is needed to a pool, based on pure science. We use basic chemicals, most of which can be purchased at your local grocery or hardware store. No very expensive pool store ""magic potions" or combination chemicals.

Welcome to the world of Trouble Free Pools. You have come to the right place, if you want to join the tens of thousands of happy pool owners who have found a better way to maintain a sparkling Trouble Free Pool.

There are lots of experts here who are happy to share their knowledge and advice. Any questions you have, just post them in this thread and we will see that they are answered.
 

dustindb

Active member
Aug 2, 2017
32
TX
Thanks for the info! Oddly, I haven't seen any info on the SWG yet, I will get details on our final walkthrough. To make the SWG conversion, should I go ahead and shock the pool ASAP? I will pick up the recommended test kit. I should also mention that the water source is hard Texas well water. I'm not sure what adjustments need to be made. Pool school is overwhelming, but I couldn't ask for a better resource!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
D,

Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all new pool owners and their Salty questions... :shark:

Saltwater systems get blamed for almost everything, and almost none of it is true... :p

Do you really have limestone or is it flagstone, which is pretty common it Texas? A couple of pics of the "damage" would be great... We usually hear about this damage from a third party who heard that salt destroyed their neighbor's pool, etc..... but I have yet to see any damage first hand.

Even if the myth about salt damage were true, and I found out my coping would only last another 10 or 15 years, I'd go with a salt system anyway, just because it makes pool maintenance so much easier..

The downside to a salt system is that you have to run your pump a lot longer so that the cell has enough time to generate the chlorine you need. With a 2 HP pump this could get expensive, so it would make sense to be at least thinking about going with a variable or a 2-speed pump.

Glad you could join our little group..

Jim R.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
I really like my SWG. a few thing for perspective. Pools are sanitized with chlorine. You can supply this chlorine by manual liquid chlorine (bleach) dosing, automatic pump-based liquid chlorine dosing, SWG, or pucks. TFP only recommends Pucks in special situations and only for a short time because Pucks add other stuff that you don't want to change or increase once you hit your target (e.g., CYA and calcium).

An SWG is just your own personal chlorine factory, so you need not go to the store and lug bottles. It turns out, the long term cost of liquid chlorine is comparable to SWGS; with SWGs you buy it all up front, and liquid, you buy it along the way. There is a cost comparison link we can find for you if you are interested. The larger SWGs wind up being the best deal in terms of cost per lb of chlorine.

That at is why I replaced my use up IC40 with an IC60. It will last longer, and my cost per lb is lower. I like the flexibility to run my pump for fewer hours if I want also.
 

dustindb

Active member
Aug 2, 2017
32
TX
I'm 95% sure that it is limestone coping, limestone is all over this area. That's frustrating to hear about the pump, it was just replaced. I'll double check it's specs. Is it necessary to SLAM the pool before using the SWG or is that only if there's algae/levels are out of control?
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
3,144
Long Beach, CA
Welcome to TFP!

Some reasons not to use a pool are the water is not sanitized, out of balance, or it is cloudy. Water test results are needed to determine if it is safe to swim in.

Your best investment for your pool that you can make right now is getting one of the recommended test kits. The results from the test kit will tell us what needs to be done to the pool water so you don't get "pool stored" for a couple hundred bucks.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
D,

You never have to SLAM a pool unless you have algae or suspect you have algae...

Just to make sure, you can do an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test (OCLT).. If you pass, and your water is clear, then there is no reason to SLAM..

In your case, you need to get up and running and everything balanced and then get your SWCG fix or replaced. SWCG's do a great job of maintaining your FC (Chlorine) level but they are not too good at going from zero FC to 5 or 6 FC very fast.. Just use liquid chlorine, or plain bleach, to initially get your FC up to where you want it..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

dustindb

Active member
Aug 2, 2017
32
TX
Thanks for all the great info! Here are the test results you've been dying to see!


  • FC 4.2
  • PH 7.9
  • TA 150
  • CH 700
  • CYA 35
My first test, so hopefully I got it right! How are we looking? I am still looking to make the switch to the SWG. There is already a SWG, but it does need a salt cell. I've also included the coping pics for those wondering. One is from the coping, the other from stonework 10ft away. The owner said the degradation was only noticeable when the SWG was in place. Do we still think it is a good idea? Perhaps the owner's chem was off? Other opinions on the 2hp pump being sufficient? It's brand new so I really don't want to scrap it. I know that's a lot of questions, thanks in advance, I'm just trying to scrape up a game plan.

IMG_1118.jpgIMG_1117.jpg
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
D,

A 2 HP pump is more than sufficient...

Coping is not Flagstone for sure... I have not seen limestone coping before, so I have no idea what caused the damage. The amount of salt in a saltwater pool is about the same as the salt in your tears.. Does all the coping have the same damage? You would think that if it were the salty pool water, no matter the cause, there would be a lot of damage where you get in and out of the pool and very little damage elsewhere. You would also think that the damage to the water edge of the coping would be a lot worse than the damage to the deck edge of the coping...

At this point it appears that the coping needs to be replaced anyway, so I would still go with a saltwater system. But that is because I have three saltwater pools and I know how easy they are to maintain.

Thanks for posting the pics, very interesting.

Jim R.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
This may help.

As soon as you add chlorine, you have added a tiny amount of salt, and that grows over time. I see you are in Tx so you may get enough rain where your pool overflows often, but I'm guessing not that often.

Let's say you are using 8.25% chlorine and your pool used 2FC a day. That's 3ppm of salt added per day, as salt is a byproduct of a chlorine pool. So after 1000 days, you have. 3*1000=3000 ppm salt pool, even without an SWG. While that is the starting point of an SWG pool, it is not nearly as black and white as it seems on the surface. (About 3 years). This is likely somewhat of an aggregation in that in the cool months with less sun you won't use as much FC, but over time (and give us your FC consumption per day and we can figure it out) salt will likely increase.

If if you change your water every year, or get a lot of rain so it is constantly getting diluted, well this may not be so much a factor; where it is mostly hot and dry, your levels of salt will solwly creep up. I *think* you fall into the latter situation.

This may help too:
Texas vs. SWG - What is the deal

If it were me, I'd clean up and seal the current coping, plan on replacing the coping during the off season (better deal when pool companies have little work to do), replace your SWG with the biggest one you can, and then sit back and let your pool chlorinate itself all day, every day.

Can an you tell I really like my SWG? (So I'm biased!).
 

dustindb

Active member
Aug 2, 2017
32
TX
D,

A 2 HP pump is more than sufficient...

Coping is not Flagstone for sure... I have not seen limestone coping before, so I have no idea what caused the damage. The amount of salt in a saltwater pool is about the same as the salt in your tears.. Does all the coping have the same damage? You would think that if it were the salty pool water, no matter the cause, there would be a lot of damage where you get in and out of the pool and very little damage elsewhere. You would also think that the damage to the water edge of the coping would be a lot worse than the damage to the deck edge of the coping...

At this point it appears that the coping needs to be replaced anyway, so I would still go with a saltwater system. But that is because I have three saltwater pools and I know how easy they are to maintain.

Thanks for posting the pics, very interesting.

Jim R.

Yes, generally the high traffic areas are worse. There is a few feet of relatively undamaged coping though. Can somebody give me a pointer on what replacement cell I should be looking for (and possibly a cheap source)? I'm gonna have to invite all you guys over for beers when it's up and running!
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,587
Tucson
If the pool currently has a SWG, you may only have to buy a new cell. So, is there a system in place, if so what is it?
 

dustindb

Active member
Aug 2, 2017
32
TX
For some reason I'm having trouble uploading photos, but it is a aqua logic/goldline system.IMG_1131.jpg

Looks like this:
QdYt8kbSiSf5eTyzaEBkPoU-qcT-PQuYUNv6St3zjb35dJJxAX5rJmatD7k4PLAPSrxz=s152
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,587
Tucson
That looks like an older Hayward AquaRite. Assuming the power supply/control unit is operational a T-15 cell is your best bet. I would not buy a generic one. An OEM one made by Hayward runs about $450, comes with a 3 year full warranty, and can be expected to last about 5 years in your size pool, (but only if you keep the water in proper balance).

Give me a better picture of the serial number and we can see when it was made and what the original warranty was. From what I see it maybe 10 years old.
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,947
North Georgia
I wonder if your coping could be "sanded" down? And filled with a grout, like they do travertine sometimes. Great question for John bridge tile forum.
 

dustindb

Active member
Aug 2, 2017
32
TX
That looks like an older Hayward AquaRite. Assuming the power supply/control unit is operational a T-15 cell is your best bet. I would not buy a generic one. An OEM one made by Hayward runs about $450, comes with a 3 year full warranty, and can be expected to last about 5 years in your size pool, (but only if you keep the water in proper balance).

Give me a better picture of the serial number and we can see when it was made and what the original warranty was. From what I see it maybe 10 years old.


Serial #1E0711 - 4032856

So I want the 40k cell, right?

- - - Updated - - -

I wonder if your coping could be "sanded" down? And filled with a grout, like they do travertine sometimes. Great question for John bridge tile forum.


Hmm possibly, I was planning on blasting away the loose stuff with a pressure washer and keeping it sealed, until I replace all of it along with the plaster eventually.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,587
Tucson
Manufactured in 2007, and only had a one year warranty, so it was probably a warranty replacement.

Yes, you want a cell with a 40k pool size rating. Reason- most ratings are based on cell operating at 100% of capacity 24 hours a day. Most of us don't want to run pumps 24/7, and the bigger the cell the longer it will last.

Before you buy a cell, do what you can to find out if the power supply/controller works. Do you have power to it?
 

dustindb

Active member
Aug 2, 2017
32
TX
Manufactured in 2007, and only had a one year warranty, so it was probably a warranty replacement.

Yes, you want a cell with a 40k pool size rating. Reason- most ratings are based on cell operating at 100% of capacity 24 hours a day. Most of us don't want to run pumps 24/7, and the bigger the cell the longer it will last.

Before you buy a cell, do what you can to find out if the power supply/controller works. Do you have power to it?

Yep, control panel seems fine.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,587
Tucson
What lights are on the panel and go through the diagnostic readings and list them with the pump on, the cell connected and the panel on.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.