Now, many people still go SWG with smaller pools but it’s for convenience and not cost.
Convenience was most of the reason we did it. I got tired of futzing with things constantly. With the swg that tapered off to minimal effort.
Cost wasn’t a factor for what we have right now…we did our first season with the original pool (7x13x42) with regular chemicals then when Walmart was clearing out pool supplies we snagged the intex swg we use today for 70% off. We ended up selling our house and leaving the smaller pool but I kept the “upgraded” equipment (swg and the sand filte/pump) and just left the cartridge filter for the new owner.
It sat on a shelf for three years before we finally got our 12x24x52…but it’s been solid for us…if it does fail I’ll upgrade but will 100% stay salt water - worth the expense.