Salt Water Systems - info please

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
#1
Hi All! I hope you've had a great weekend. I'm so eager to get in my pool, but we've had a pretty cool spring, here in Arizona, and my pool water is just a tad too chilly for me, just yet.

I'm just starting to do some research on converting my chlorine pool to use a salt water system.

Do you still need to use chlorine tabs and shock, at all? Or, will a SWCG system be all I will need. I do understand that I will still need acid.

I've already purchased enough supplies to get me through this year, so maybe by next year, I'll be researched enough and ready to convert.

I've talked with a pool equipment repairmen about adding a SWCG system and he said to stay away from Pool Pilot and go with I think he said Zodiac. The company that contracts him, though, recommends Pool Pilot. The main reason he says is because of customer service of Pool Pilot - he says they are not good to deal with. I see some of you really like the Pool Pilot, so I'm also curious about your thoughts.
 

medvampire

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 3, 2007
278
East Tennessee
#3
My 2 cents
I got pool stored in to Zodiac products :oops: ... am not sure about how well there SWG work but if they try to talk you in to a Nature 2 dont buy into their hype of lowered chlorene levels. Waterbear and myself have done the homework on the Nature 2 and have found it is a waste of your hard earned $$$$.
Steve
 

crazycanuck

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
294
Ontario, Canada
#4
Generally you don't need Bleach (chlorine), but its smart to have some on hand if you want to use it to shock, which in general you don't have to do since your SWCG puts out a constant amount of chlorine, the only times you may want to manually shock is if you have a heavy bather load or on startup. SWCG's have a shock mode but most of us try not to use it to save on the lifespan of the units. As mentioned, there is a tendency of SWCGs to increase the pH, some people see it rise quickly while others see a slow to none increase, I assume it depends on the chemical makeup of your pool.
 
G
#5
IMHO, Autopilot systems has MUCH better customer service than Zodiac! We sell both lines where I work so I do not have a bias because I sell one and not the other.
 

CarlD

Well-known member
Apr 8, 2007
104
#6
Not to thread-hijack, but Nature2 is a bad deal. Even if it worked AS WELL as they claim, it cannot save you enough in chlorine costs to to justify itself. Just think: a new Nature2 cartridge is between $90 and $120 and you need one EVERY SEASON. If you spend that much on bleach a season you are probably doing something wrong. So even if you cut your bleach usage in half, the N2 will cost you more.

Assuming it actually works as well as they claim (but there's no documented proof).
 
G
#8
Buggsw said:
Great info, so far! Thanks, everyone! I'll definately stay away from the Nature2.
Also, If you decide to go with Zodiac stay away from the duo-clear. That is one of their SWGs with a built in Nature 2. their LM3 is a decent unit but I like the Pool Pilot or the Goldline units (AquaRite) better.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
#9
WOW... Buggsw, I don't know how to respond to that comment. I will bring this to my customer service manager's attention if this is the perception of the pool contractor. Please know that I am available to assist at anytime, if necessary.
Heck, I was just in Awatookee (or however you spell that city just south of Phoenix) just a few weeks ago. TOO hot for me and please don't say, "Its a dry heat!". I slow BBQ my pork picnic shoulders in DRY HEAT!! lol
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
#10
Waterbear - Thank you - it was the LM3 that the repairman was recommending.

Poolsean - Thank you, too! I had no idea that an actual Pool Pilot representative was on this board. I love to see vendors participate and not just lurk. I will tell you exactly what he said - that the Pool Pilot company was slow to respond, did not have a good turn around time or a cross ship. He claims that the Zodiac company would cross ship and had pretty much a no questions asked policy when dealing with them under warranty. Out of warranty, they still sent parts and had a quick turn around and were generally easier to deal with. He also left me with the idea that the Pool Pilot broke down more frequently.

Now, I don't know one from the other - which is why I posed the question. I certainly hope you don't take offense at my post - these are not my opinions, at all. The local pool supply store pushes the Pool Pilot and I'd like to think they wouldn't sell junk. However, I personally have been lead down the wrong path by pool stores and also some so-called experts in the past. When you are paying a high price for a piece of equipment, it's not a joy to have gone the wrong way. Especially, living in Arizona, when a pump goes down or a filter fails or other equipment fails - boy, things can go bad with your pool very quickly.

Too hot in Ahwatukee, eh? Yeah, we had some unseasonably hot weather a few weeks ago. Thank goodness it didn't last. It's actually been a bit chilly here the past 2 or 3 weeks since that hot spell. My pool water dropped back to 62 degrees. I don't know how you can claim to roast anything in a dry heat in that steam bath of a state you live in. LOL! My folks lived in Ft. Myers for 14 years and my brother lived in Orlando for several years. Seriously, you live in a gorgeous state. I love Florida - but not the bugs. :)
 
G
#11
In the store I work in we sell both Zodiac and Pool Pilot. IMHO, I would take the pool pilot any day. I am not that impressed with Zodiac customer service, especially to the end user!
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
#12
touche'
I guess thats why we dont do dry rub bbq down here. Seems like Arizona is filled with former southwest florida residents.
I can't believe you dont like buggs! I thought thats what your name implied, with the w meaning WOO HOO.

I took no offense with your feedback. The input is most appreciated and as I said, I will forward these comments to my customer servive manager. The dealer name is not important, the perception is.

Thanks again,
 

Buggsw

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
925
Arizona
#13
PoolSean, ahemmmmm! That would be Buggs as in Buggs Bunny - which was how it was spelled when I was a kid - well, maybe the way I spelled it, anyhow. LOL!

Thanks so much PoolSean for your concern and professionalism. That in itself is a plus, in my book.
 

hzz

Member
Apr 9, 2007
20
Toronto Canada
#14
I've had the Autopilot unit for a few years now. Excellent, trouble-free unit.

I had a couple of small issues with it that they took care of easily-even though I am in Canada.
Their customer service is excellent.

As for Nature2....had it as well. The one season I used it was the only time I ever had an algae outbreak
Want to buy the "professional" model? lol
 

Caustik

Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
51
Southwestern Ontario
#16
My pool had the Zodiac Clearwater LM2-24 unit installed when it was built last season. The LM3 was not available up here in Canada last year, not sure if its here this year either. My unit seems to be working just fine. No problems. Runs even in the cooler water temps if needed.

I cannot comment on the nature2. My builder did not recommend one of these for us, acually recommeded against the nature2, we trust their knowledge and have had no problems with our pool or build what so ever.

So from my experience, the LM2 has been great. Down the road we will see.

I have sent several emails to Zodiac Canada and there have been no problems with getting the responses I needed in a quick and timely fashion.

Every product may have problems, so take any review or experiences with a grain of salt.
 

stevenbrla

LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2007
237
Baton Rouge, LA
#18
Thanks for the comments on diff manfactures...

In the pool build process right now, and am planning on using the Pentair 4x160 pump, the Pentair Easytouch, and hence, I figured to make everthing "work" best together, also plan to use the Pentair Intellichlor SWCG.

Any feedback on this unit?

Any reasons to consider a different one, such as the Pilot?

Thanks!!

Steve, who lives in the state with the perfect weather
 

SeanB

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
#19
We have the Intellichlor IC40 and have had no issues with it. It's easy to use and does the job. We've only had it for less than a year though so I can't speak to its longevity. It's seems well made though.

If I were in the market right now though, after having read more, I would take a harder look at the pilot's.
 

peterl1365

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
219
Murrieta, CA
#20
stevenbrla said:
Thanks for the comments on diff manfactures...

In the pool build process right now, and am planning on using the Pentair 4x160 pump, the Pentair Easytouch, and hence, I figured to make everthing "work" best together, also plan to use the Pentair Intellichlor SWCG.

Any feedback on this unit?

Any reasons to consider a different one, such as the Pilot?

Thanks!!

Steve, who lives in the state with the perfect weather
This is pretty much exactly what I have. If you're getting the Easytouch, make sure you get the model with the Intellichlor built in. It's much more cost effective than buying a seperate Intellichlor system. This will give you access to some basic diagnostics (salt level and various error messages). It also gives you the ability to control SWCG output in 1% increments. So far, I haven't had any problems with my unit.

I believe the Pilot has an option for automatic acid dispensing, so this may be a worthwhile option. I've been adding acid almost daily to my new pool.