Pool in Austin - Getting excited about the idea

lstuess

New member
Jul 11, 2020
1
Austin
We are just getting our "feet wet" on the whole pool installing process. So many decisions! First question, we are considering SWG but are not getting a clear picture of whether this is a good idea for Austin. Pros/Cons? It seems that the warmer weather might be a negative but would a chiller help? Or are there other options for pools in Austin that would be better? Thanks - so glad to have found this site.... what a benefit for newbies!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,618
Laughlin, NV

jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
436
Austin, TX
Hello from Austin! SWG is the way to go. Some Austin builders won’t do it all, almost all will tell you it’s not a good idea. Don’t listen to them. Tell them it’s a hard requirement. Plenty of them, including the one we went with, will do it if you insist.

If you understand the chemistry behind balancing your pool, SWGs are a no-brainer.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,441
NY
Hey lstuess and welcome !! Due to hotter weather and a subsequent hugher UV index that burns off chlorine, either way will have you going through more. So you might as well get the SWG that adds the chlorine for you and save the headache of lugging jugs. One confusing thing for prospective pool owners is all the alternative systems that the builders try to push. UV, Ozone and minerals are not sanitizing methods so you still need to add chlorine. So skip them from the beginning.
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
382
saltwater eats softer stone so if you want saltwater you will likely have concrete coping instead of stone.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,618
Laughlin, NV
saltwater eats softer stone so if you want saltwater you will likely have concrete coping instead of stone.
Your chlorinated pool is a saltwater pool. Cheap stone is effected by water, quality stone is not effected by any properly managed pool water.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,805
Bedford, TX
saltwater eats softer stone so if you want saltwater you will likely have concrete coping instead of stone.
This is more of a myth than truth.. We almost never see any verified proof that this is true. That said, I would stay away from using cheap limestone coping, which seems to get the most complaints. It also seems to be the favorite coping for pool builders in Austin and Houston.. :scratch:

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
214
Flower Mound, TX
quality stone is not effected by any properly managed pool water.
I agree with this. We’ve had a SWG for 13 years and our flagstone coping is doing just fine. My only regular chemical maintenance chore is adding a small amount of muratic acid roughly 1x per week. SWG is the way to go!
but would a chiller help?
We added a chiller around 5 years ago and it has made a world of difference. Our pool temp would be in the mid-90s this time of year, which was not refreshing at all. Pool is at 77 this morning with the chiller! If you’ll have full sun exposure, a chiller is something to consider.
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
382
Your chlorinated pool is a saltwater pool. Cheap stone is effected by water, quality stone is not effected by any properly managed pool water.
A chlorinated pool is definitely NOT a saltwater pool. The opposite is true, a saltwater pool is a chlorinated pool

Lueders is a very expensive form of limestone that is destroyed by chlorine. The reason pool builders in austin stopped using saltwater with stone is because softer stone (e.g. limestone) was absolutely destroyed by salt water within a few years.


These cultural assets all have one thing in common: they suffer from weathering caused by salts, which crystallize inside the porous building materials and generate enough force for the stone to break or crumble. The same problem can also occur in concrete buildings.
For a building, this means that if environmental conditions are such that a salt solution repeatedly infiltrates porous stone and the fluid can then evaporate again (e.g. due to strong sunlight or wind), the salt in the building material can become supersaturated.
With this controlled experiment, the researchers have been able to describe the phenomena of salt damage in detailed physico-chemical and mechanical terms for the first time.
Maybe In areas which get a lot of rain this might not be a problem maybe the salt gets washed away. Or areas where the pools get closed for the winter. Or maybe you dont have the heat/sun that texas has. Or maybe your area has much less porous stone.

The reason why limestone is cheap in central texas is because it is quarried in the region. In other areas of the country that limestone could be very expensive.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,441
NY
A chlorinated pool is definitely NOT a saltwater pool. The opposite is true, a saltwater pool is a chlorinated pool
The normal breakdown of liquid chlorine leaves salt behind. Without a draining or substantial rain to dilute the pool, a typical chlorine pool will end up with 1000-1500 ppm of salt in a few years. That is 1/3 - 1/2 of a salt pool, which is a lot more than most people realize.
 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
382
The normal breakdown of liquid chlorine leaves salt behind. Without a draining or substantial rain to dilute the pool, a typical chlorine pool will end up with 1000-1500 ppm of salt in a few years. That is 1/3 - 1/2 of a salt pool, which is a lot more than most people realize.
Im skeptical about this, but agree that it is possible. Do you have any data/studies? I would think the normal operation of the pool - splash out, backwashing, and rain would keep the salt relatively dilute compared to a salt water pool.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
18,805
Bedford, TX
M,

Funny how all the buildings next to the ocean, which has 35,000 ppm of salt are still standing... :)

A saltwater pool has about 3,500 ppm of salt or about what is in your tears...

Jim R.
 

jimbethesda

Gold Supporter
Jul 2, 2018
436
Austin, TX
Im skeptical about this, but agree that it is possible. Do you have any data/studies? I would think the normal operation of the pool - splash out, backwashing, and rain would keep the salt relatively dilute compared to a salt water pool.
Go measure the salt in your pool and report back
 

ciaka

Active member
Jun 10, 2020
30
Austin, TX
We live in Dripping Springs, I will be glad to talk to you about our experience. We just started building pool after 1.5 years of design and looking for right builder.
They just finished coping and tile, decking next.
So let me know, I will be glad to share my experience.



We are just getting our "feet wet" on the whole pool ... what a benefit for newbies!
 

DB-Cooper

Well-known member
Jun 18, 2019
311
Austin, TX
Hi there, I'm in Austin and definitely recommend SWG.

In terms of cooling/Glacier, it depends on your setup, but my pool is about as bad as it gets in terms of 100% sunlight. I have a whole thread on it, but I'm basically able to have perfect pool temps without a Glacier.

 

march2012

LifeTime Supporter
Jan 21, 2012
382
M,

Funny how all the buildings next to the ocean, which has 35,000 ppm of salt are still standing... :)

A saltwater pool has about 3,500 ppm of salt or about what is in your tears...

Jim R.
Those buildings are not soaked in salt water, then dried in hot sun, then soaked again.