*Really* Newbie!

aprillh

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2013
94
Houston, Tx
Hi all, this is my first post here. I've been searching the forum for a couple of days but can't find the answer to my question. We are building our house now but our pool won't start construction until after closing (next summer), so we are in the research stages now. We are strongly leaning towards a salt water pool but I can't find a good article or post comparing and contrasting two. I'm curious to understand what are the advantages and disadvantages of each system. Just looking for a little guidance!

Thanks!
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,957
SW Indiana
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Welcome to TFP!

What other system are you wanting to compare with a SWCG? The only real disadvantage is that the salt seems to damage some natural stone in certain parts of the country.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,202
SouthWest Alabama
Welcome to TFP.


There are advantages and disadvantages to all the different ways to chlorinate your pool. As far as costs go, manully chlorinating using bleach and an swg are on an even scale over the life of the swg. Swg's are a little more convenient but then you can add an injection pump and the bleach is almost as convenient.

It really boils down to personal preference.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
:wave: Welcome to TFP!!!

First you need to realize that a salt-water pool IS a chlorine pool. All the SWG does is "produce" the chlorine for you so you do not have to add it every day for yourself. Beyond that maintenance is esentually the same although we have slightly different recommended levels if you use a SWG ... like lower TA to help stabilize the pH since the SWG tends to drive it up.

Also stongly recommended to NOT use natural stone around a salt water pool ... especially soft stone.

You can find more info about the recommended levels in Pool School (read it all if you have not already).
 

aprillh

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2013
94
Houston, Tx
So a SWG produces the chlorine, but doesn't a saltwater pool not have that chlorine smell (and feel)? Two of my kids get flares of their eczema when swimming in chlorine pools. My understanding is that this risk is lower in a saltwater pool. If a SWG pool is just producing the chlorine, would that not be true?
 

harleysilo

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 1, 2012
1,947
North Georgia
Most likely the pools you've swam in were either grossly over chlorinated, or vastly under chlorinated. It all boils down to the relationship between CYA and Chlorine. The pool industry as a whole mostly ignores this relationship. A properly maintained pool has no chlorine smell or a very faint clean smell. I will search for some good reads for you here at TFP.
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,957
SW Indiana
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
aprillh said:
So a SWG produces the chlorine, but doesn't a saltwater pool not have that chlorine smell (and feel)? Two of my kids get flares of their eczema when swimming in chlorine pools. My understanding is that this risk is lower in a saltwater pool. If a SWG pool is just producing the chlorine, would that not be true?

A properly chlorinated pool has about the same active chlorine as a glass of tap water and not as much smell. Chlorine byproducts from improper care are the cause of odor and most problems.

I have a well at home, and am pretty sensitive to the smell of chlorine when I get a drink at a restaurant or someone else's house. Putting my face into the water in my pool until my nose is just above the surface, I cannot detect the slightest scent of chlorine, yet I know it is there from my testing. There is no detectable feel to chlorine, though water with poor pH control or water that doesn't have many dissolved solids (like salt) tends to feel drying and may cause slight eye irritation. With proper care, pool water is easier on your skin and eyes than bath water.

A SWCG pool is often very easy on the skin because of the salt, and it is very convenient. You generally have to work a little harder to maintain control of your pH, but it isn't difficult.
 

JohnN

Well-known member
Jun 24, 2012
977
Howell, NJ
Just want to mention that you don't have to install a SWG to get the benefits of the salt. You can add the salt to the water just for the improved feel.
 

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aprillh

Well-known member
Aug 8, 2013
94
Houston, Tx
Great information, thanks everyone. So I'm thinking that my kids' eczema flares were probably caused by over-chlorination (public pools) and a chlorine pool at home may not produce the same effects. So what prompted you to get a SWG pool over a chlorine one? What are the benefits other than slightly less maintenance?
 

linen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 30, 2010
8,649
Twin Cities, MN
Again, remember a swg pool is a chlorine pool. I like my swg mainly for two reasons. First, I do not have to lug bleach/liquid chlorine around. Secondly, I can be away from the pool for a couple of days and not have an issue with low chlorine levels and a potential algae out break. There are some negatives such as the higher upfront costs and they do take some time to "tune" in to the right run time and get the ph to stabilize (swg tends to cause ph to drift up).
 

techguy

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2010
2,697
Antelope, CA
The eczema may be flared up by the improper pH level in a poorly maintained pool or by the by-products of the incomplete oxidation of the algae and other bacteria in the public pool. The BBB method addresses each of the concerns and you end up with a pool that uses much less chlorine, smells like water (not chlorine), and is much more balanced than almost any public pool. It also happens to be easier to manage and less expensive than typical Pool Store methods.

Since the only real difference between a Salt-Water (SWG) pool and a liquid chlorine (bleach) pool is how the chlorine is maintained in the pool. Both use chlorine to sanitize the pool.
 
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