Should I Convert from Ozone to SWG??

Cody

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2014
112
Prosper, TX
I was reading on the forums today and there was some discussion about the ease of a pool with SWG...no dumping bleach every day, great feeling water, etc.
I asked about corrosion issues, and a couple of replies indicated that at least for those people, it was not an issue at all.

Good to hear on the corrosion (or lack thereof). I swear EVERYONE I talked to a few years ago when building a pool said corrosion was a huge issue and how everyone will go to Ozone. I don't think I was being upsold at the time (I think salt would have cost me a bit more than what I paid with ozone generator). Anyone have any idea why that trend started? At this point I'm convinced the ozone generator is doing nothing to help me. I consider my pool a straight chlorine pool. Maybe I'm wrong and it is helping. The whole selling point of it was that I could keep FC levels lower due to the ozone providing sanitation. But when I've tried to keep levels lower than TFP recommendations, I get algae. So.....it isn't helping in a way I was told.

If I converted to SWG, what are approximate costs? Upfront and ongoing maintenance/replacement of parts? Anyone that can give me some rough numbers?

Right now, in hot months I add about 1/2 gallon of bleach per day. At $3 per gallon, that's approx $50 per month for about 6 months of the year....$300 a year for bleach, give or take. If SWG, over time, is not terribly more expensive, I can't imagine not doing it based on what I'm reading on this thread.

What am I missing? I don't want to be "grass always greener". What would be the DOWNSIDE to switching to SWG when my ozone generator breaks (or before then)?

Thanks in advance for any insight.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
10,966
Houston, Texas
Ozone alone is not sufficient to sanitize the pool, and won't help prevent algae, as you have found. An SWG will generate chlorine whenever the pump is running and water conditions are right (water temp above 60, salt levels within manufacturer's specifications). Cost of an SWG vs bleach will even out over time. SWG is more of an upfront investment. You can set up the SWG to run to produce chlorine at the required level based on your test results and you should not have any problems with algae.

Drawbacks of an SWG is if you have softer, porous stone coping, decking or features the salt water may cause some flaking of the stone over time. To prevent this you must apply sealer to the stone every year. You may want to rinse off any deck furniture with exposed metal after wet swimmers have been using it to prevent rust.
 

Cody

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2014
112
Prosper, TX
We have travertine coping. It is porous and that would be a concern. That stuff is expensive! Also have a rock wall topped with travertine. If it would have an affect on that stone, that would be a concern. Is there lots of ongoing maintenance of a SWG?
 

Philo

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2015
850
San Diego, Ca.
Some rough costs would include:
$1,000 for the SWG,
$200 labor for installation (if you watch a YouTube video, you might be able to do it yourself for $25 in a couple of hours),
$100 for salt,
$40 for CYA,
$3 a week for Muriatic Acid.
That should be cover you for several years. ($1/day?)

No more green pool......
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,456
Bedford, TX
Cody,

If your ozone went bad today you would never know it!!! As you already know, it does not do what your PB said it would do...

I'm told that the cost of chlorine is about the same as the overall cost of a chlorine generator for the same period of time. Cost has never been an issue for me, but simplicity is. Using a SWCG is just dirt simple.

We always recommend that you buy a Saltwater system that is 2 X the volume of your pool.. So for you this would be a system that is rated for use with a 40K gallon pool.

There is a downside.. While most SWCG owners have zero problems, it is an electronic device, so from time to time someone is going to have an issue. The good news is that most failures happen under warranty, but nothing is fool proof. Just guessing I'd say most SWCGs last about 4 years.. That said we have a lot of people here that are working on 7 or 8 years...

The learning curve is pretty short.. A SWCG is designed to maintain a pool at a particular FC level. You can slowly increase or decrease your FC level, but you can't go from 0 ppm to 8 ppm overnight. Also, SWCGs do not operate when the water temperature is below about 55 degrees.. So in the winter you still have to use Liquid Chlorine.. the only good part is that pools don't use much chlorine when cold.

If you had automation or plan to get automation, then it would be important to get the same brand of SWCG and Automation system. Without any automation system, then all the major brands are about the same.

Shut off your ozone and go get a SWCG.. do it now!!! You can thank me later.. :p

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

Philo

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2015
850
San Diego, Ca.
Philo,

Have you had corrosion issues?
If there is, I'd need a microscope to be able to detect it. The salt in my tears from previously carrying bleach all the time may have done more damage. Again with the microscope.

If you can change the oil in your car...... you can install a SWG (about the same difficulty).

P.S. I'm told Jim R. prefers to be thanked sooner rather than later....:jocolor:
 

Cody

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2014
112
Prosper, TX
Sounds like a good way to go. Any opinions on why all three pool builders I spoke with 3 years ago told me Ozone is the way to go? I can't figure it out.
 

Cody

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2014
112
Prosper, TX
That's all I can come up with. Still a little worried about the travertine being affected by the salt. Am I just looking for something to worry about at this point? Don't want to have to replace travertine...too expensive....
 

duraleigh

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
31,535
Sebring, Florida
Cody,

So your good options are plain old chlorine or SWG

SWG is less work by far and you'll have to rinse off your travertine with fresh water if it hasn't rained in a while.

Adding your own chlorine is what you are doing now.......which idea do you like best?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,456
Bedford, TX
Cody,

Here is my personal opinion as to why many pool builders don't like Salt systems...

Unlike all the member of this site, the average pool owner has little interest in maintaining their own pool. Most think that having a salt system means you just have to set it a forget it.

As we all know this is just not true.. Having a SWCG makes maintenance easier, but it does not mean you do not have to test and adjust your chemical balance on an ongoing basis.

You still have to maintain the correct CYA to FC relationship so your pool does not turn green, you still have to maintain your pH so it does not eat the inside of your heater, and you still have to makes sure you don't coat the inside of the cell with scale.

At first anyway, most pool builders knew little about saltwater pools and would install a SWCG rated at 20K to chlorinate a 20K pool. Of course in the middle of the summer this size SWCG can just not keep up with the chlorine demand.

I guess my point is, that due to inaction by the homeowner and lack of understanding by the pool builder, the "call backs" for saltwater pools were much higher than for traditional "puck" chlorinate pool. More call backs means less profit and not wanting to install any more of those darn saltwater systems.

Once a myth starts it is pretty hard to stop it..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,709
Pacific NW
What I'm wondering is why you are going through a 1/2 gallon per day of bleach.

What % strength bleach are you using? And what is your current CYA level?

Reason I ask, I used to own a 19,000 gallon pool about same size as yours
and I only went through 2 gallons of 8.25% in a week.

I would dose 1 gallon on tuesday evening and the other on saturday morning.
The FC levels where always above minimum when testing.

In any case an swg seems like a good idea.
 

Chris19D

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 28, 2015
102
Cypress, Texas
What I'm wondering is why you are going through a 1/2 gallon per day of bleach.

What % strength bleach are you using? And what is your current CYA level?

Reason I ask, I used to own a 19,000 gallon pool about same size as yours
and I only went through 2 gallons of 8.25% in a week.

I would dose 1 gallon on tuesday evening and the other on saturday morning.
The FC levels where always above minimum when testing.

In any case an swg seems like a good idea.
Maybe his bleach usage differs because he's in TX and your in the Pacific NW. We get hotter much sooner and stay hotter much longer here.
 

bobandsherry

Bronze Supporter
Apr 20, 2016
386
Riverview, FL
I've had SWG since day one, coming up on first full year. I've seen no corrosion anywhere. Simple chemical maintenance, just 12 oz MA on Wed and Sat of each week. Easy - I would echo what others have said - get a SWG.

BTW - my PB recommended SWG.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,885
Tucson, AZ
Sounds like a good way to go. Any opinions on why all three pool builders I spoke with 3 years ago told me Ozone is the way to go? I can't figure it out.
This has been discussed - Texas vs. SWG - What is the deal

The main thrust of the problem is this - pool builders over-promised big time with SWG's basically telling customers that they were "set it and forget it" devices. PBs also tend to be lousy at understanding the details of water chemistry. So customer's took them at their word and did nothing to care for their pools. Well, the devices are a little more complicated than "set it and forget it" and so customers were disappointed with the inevitable failures that come with not properly understanding how something works, especially when coupled with the sky-high expectation that their pool would never need chemicals ever again. Add to that the fact that when pool water goes out of balance it can chemically damage stuff around it, you have the makings of some very expensive warranty claims. Sub-contractors finally got fed up with the PBs and told them outright that they will not warranty work on salt water pools and that left the PBs holding the warranty bag. PBs, not wanting to incur warranty expenses would then offer pool owners two option - non-salt pool and the PB offers the standard warranty OR salt-water pool and you, the pool owner, are on your own. In order to not have to go down that road, PBs start looking for and pushing alternative methods of sanitation that rely on standard pool store chemicals (trichlor and dichlor) and offers the customer something that sounds fancy (Ozone or UV).

The simple answer is this - ignorance!
 

Cody

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2014
112
Prosper, TX
I think it's because of full sun and it's hot here already. Last Summer it was basically 1/2 gallon a day during the hottest times...maybe a bit less this time of year, but we are getting there. CYA is a bit low right now at 30...I'm working to get it up a bit. Last year kept it 40-50.

- - - Updated - - -

Those reasons above make perfect sense! Thanks so much. I appreciate the feedback on this site so much. I'm leaning pretty heavy toward going the SWG route at some point.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,709
Pacific NW
That makes sense. I also have a bubble cover on the pool every day all day except the evenings and weekends which
cut down my bleach use.

Sounds like an SWG would be a good idea.
 

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