Saltwater Clarity

DIYLinerPool

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2020
63
Chicago (West Suburbs), IL
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Hi All - New pool owner this year, been benefiting a lot from this forum. I started with trichlor tabs in a feeder to get my CYA up now am using liquid chlorine. When we built the pool I never even thought about getting a saltwater generator, but obviously I see a lot of positive reviews of them on here. A couple friends of mine who have been in saltwater pools have said to me "they don't stay as crystal clear as chlorine pools "(yes i know saltwater pools are chlorine pools but the people telling me this do not). Is this at all true? Do saltwater pools not get as clear as pools maintained with bleach?

The other complaint is people saying they dont like the taste of saltwater, but seems like if you are maintaining the proper level there shouldnt really be much of a taste.

Seems though like its definitely worth looking into switching to.....
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,440
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pool Size
18735
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
The other complaint is people saying they dont like the taste of saltwater
Pro Tip: Don't drink pool water.

Most people say they start tasting at levels above 4000 ppm. I think they're probably tasting their own sweat washing down their faces though.
A couple friends of mine who have been in saltwater pools have said to me "they don't stay as crystal clear as chlorine pools
Sounds like they've been swimming in the wrong pools. I've used liquid and salt and there is no difference in clarity. Most people like the feel of salt water better.

The only downside to buying an SWG is the cost. Prices have skyrocketed in the last few months. Some believe prices will drop with decreased demand, but I think it's gonna be the new norm.
 
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sacredcow

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2018
209
Houston, TX
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I just converted mine to SWG this past March, and there is no difference in clarity. And yes- you can taste the salt a little, but I mean it's slight. If I had a potato chip that unsalty I'd be unhappy.

The differences I've noted:
1. Fewer trips to pool store to get the jugs of bleach (I use pinch a penny's 2.5 gallon containers)
2. Having to get more muriatic acid, but I'm at Home Depot all the time anyway, so that's no big deal
 

superuser

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2020
210
Spring, TX
I can taste the salt at much lower levels, 3000 for sure, but it doesn't taste like ocean water or anything. Certain much less than various foods. A can of soup or some cheap ramen is on another planet saltier than the pool. My water clarity is just as good as before, no visible change there.
 
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jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
513
Flower Mound, TX
Pool Size
25500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I’ve never had anything but salt water and wouldn’t consider a pool without a SWCG. It’s such a HUGE convenience over constantly adding chlorine. In addition, all pools have salt in them because chlorine contains salt. I bet if you measure your salt content, you’ll have at least 1500 ppm. Clarity has nothing to do with the salt, but everything to do with keeping the water balanced and free of contaminants. As far as I’m concerned, nothing does that better than a SWCG, as chlorine is being added consistently.
 
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DIYLinerPool

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2020
63
Chicago (West Suburbs), IL
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Pro Tip: Don't drink pool water.

Most people say they start tasting at levels above 4000 ppm. I think they're probably tasting their own sweat washing down their faces though.

Sounds like they've been swimming in the wrong pools. I've used liquid and salt and there is no difference in clarity. Most people like the feel of salt water better.

The only downside to buying an SWG is the cost. Prices have skyrocketed in the last few months. Some believe prices will drop with decreased demand, but I think it's gonna be the new norm.
Thanks - how much has the cost gone up? I see a 40,000 gallon Hayward SWG is around $1500 - what was it a year ago? I have a 16,000 gallon pool - is that the size I would want? I thought I read 2 to 3 times bigger.
 

jark87

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2011
513
Flower Mound, TX
Pool Size
25500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
Our pool is 25.5k gallons and we have the Aquapure 1400, which I believe is rated for 40k gallons. I think our cell life cycle has been about the norm - roughly 5 years. Replacement cells have run $750ish in the past. Last I looked, prices were $850ish, so the increase hasn’t been massive, at least for the Aquapure.
 

sacredcow

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2018
209
Houston, TX
Pool Size
14000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Thanks - how much has the cost gone up? I see a 40,000 gallon Hayward SWG is around $1500 - what was it a year ago? I have a 16,000 gallon pool - is that the size I would want? I thought I read 2 to 3 times bigger.
My pool is also 16,000 gallons and I got the 40K Hayward option (since I already had Omnilogic controlling my pump). You can go smaller, but it will have to run more to keep your FC where you want it and will consequently expire sooner. I've had no issues with it- Worth the money, for sure.
 

wayner

LifeTime Supporter
May 31, 2012
618
Toronto, ON
Pool Size
100000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
I’ve never had anything but salt water and wouldn’t consider a pool without a SWCG. It’s such a HUGE convenience over constantly adding chlorine. In addition, all pools have salt in them because chlorine contains salt. I bet if you measure your salt content, you’ll have at least 1500 ppm. Clarity has nothing to do with the salt, but everything to do with keeping the water balanced and free of contaminants. As far as I’m concerned, nothing does that better than a SWCG, as chlorine is being added consistently.
Agreed, I don't understand why every pool doesn't have an SWCG. It makes your pool almost maintenance fee. All I have to add is some MA few weeks or so. My FC stays pretty steady at 4-5 and my CC is pretty much always 0, maybe the slightest hint of pink when I add the reagent.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
2,440
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pool Size
18735
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-45
Thanks - how much has the cost gone up? I see a 40,000 gallon Hayward SWG is around $1500 - what was it a year ago? I have a 16,000 gallon pool - is that the size I would want? I thought I read 2 to 3 times bigger.
I would estimate a 30-40% increase across the board. Not only is it a supply-and-demand issue, but the cost of the rare metals used on the cell plates have increased as well.
 

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BowserB

Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
648
"Old" Katy, TX
Pool Size
15000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Had an IC40 on my 15k gallon pool just over a month. Still tweaking the timer and % (currently 8 hrs and 40%; FC creeping up at 7.5 today). Water "feel" I think is a myth. It doesn't surprise me that I can't tell a difference, but my wife doesn't either--and she notices everything (any married men here know what I'm talking about!) Taste? In the pool or spa in summer, I really like a chilled Prosecco or Cava. I try to not drink or even sip pool water. Overall, even though I'm still DPD powder testing FC every day, it is so far less trouble than liquid chlorine. I'll get the run time/Pct. thing worked out soon I'm sure. I've not yet had to clean the cell, so my trouble rating may change when that happens. I have my cell installed vertically, based on my experience with home HVAC systems where vertical evaporator coils stay cleaner longer than horizontal units. The pictures in the Pentair installation manual show the vertical installation before the horizontal...not sure if that means anything. No difference in water clarity. Still very clear.

Cost. The pool company who quoted me in Jan 2020 (and I didn't act...still kicking myself) is so busy and short of technicians that they declined to even quote again. I spent about $300 more than their 1/20 quote. I don't expect prices to drop. Yes the demand will decline, but general inflation pressures are increasing with each run of the federal government "printing press." I'm spending less on muriatic acid than I did on liquid chlorine before, but from what I have read about salt cell failures and replacements, I expect the breakeven point is pretty far out, and I won't be surprised if I never get to it before having to replace the cell.

Stores have been out of stock on the recommended stone sealant, so I haven't sealed our flagstone coping. Could be my imagination, but it seems like I'm seeing more stone flakes in the pool than before.
 
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