Should I not waste time getting bids from TX pool builders who are against SWCG?

red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
631
Houston, TX
Yep, definitely stay away from any PB that is making you sign a waiver. There are plenty of builders, you don't need to restrict yourself.

We're in norht Texas and most of the builders repeated the same lines about salt pools -- corrosion, stone issues blah blah. However, only 1-2 said they wouldn't install or would require a waiver. A vast majority said they'll install whatever we want and there are definitely pros/cons to salt. The new "trend" seems to be UV/Ozone, it's what they push incessently. It must be so common with our builder that the office ordered the UV/Ozone units as part of standard practice and the plumbers installed that + the salt. Luckily, I only paid for the salt, so I guess the UV is a bonus.
They pushed Ozone/UV 15 years ago. It is high return item.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
254
Allen, TX
Howdy,

After starting the lengthy bidding process for a new pool with builders earlier in the summer, we decided to take a break until the building season slowed down a bit (or maybe it hasn't) due to the high demands and delays brought on by COVID. From all the valuable information learned on TFP, we know that we want a pool with a SWCG. I'm starting to contact builders again and true to form, many are discouraging the SWCG. One builder said that if they install one, we will have to sign a waiver of liability if any damage occurs from the salt water.

So my question is, should I not waste my time getting bids from builders who discourage it? Did most pool owners on TFP with a SWCG use a builder that was okay with a SWCG or at the least not make you sign any waiver to install it? I don't want any warranty issues to be invalidated by adding a SWCG. Any advice is appreciated. Or if any north Houston pool owners with a SWCG recommends their builder, that would also be welcomed.

Thank you.
I wouldn't do that unless they made a point to bring up some sort of signed waiver. Most will guide you away from a SWCG since that's what they seem to do. If you tell them you want it because of the water feel/personal preference then they tend to just say ok. Plus most of the time you are dealing with a pool designer/sales ... not the builder/technical guys that really know the products inside and out but that depends on the company.
 

4x4tx

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2007
268
Greater Houston
My latest quote had the UV on it too..what the heck is that, first I have heard of it? Is it part of some kickback with pentair?

Im also in Houston area
 

Cluckr7

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
81
Texas
Pool Size
20000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400
My builder required a waiver but it was legally extremely weak (basically said it had to be proven that SW caused the issue, not the other way around) so I was comfortable signing it. In hindsight I agree there are plenty of other builders that don’t require a waiver so probably could have pushed against that more. I’m not sure why the TX builders push so much against SWG. Mine clearly didn’t actually have much direct experience with SWG ownership (they didn’t know much about it during pool school) so it seemed like they just repeat this message against SWG without much direct experience.

FWIW, I have read here on TFP that there is some supplemental benefit of a UV system. Specifically that the UV systems generate UV-C which are good at disinfecting whereas the sun mostly filters out everything except UV-A waves which is not so good at disinfecting. I believe however that this really only has practical impact for more uncommon pathogens like cryptosporidium which is resistant to chlorine and is impractical to remove with chlorine if it gets in your pool (eg. from an infected daycare child having diarrhea in your pool). It’s not a replacement for regular chlorine dosing though, just a supplement again with really only practical benefit for these rare situations. Whereas SWG has more practical benefit in that it is a lower maintenance alternative to manual chlorine dosing. The general consensus here seems to be that a UV system isn’t worth the money; however I admit in my 2020-PTSD-mind, I’ve considered that if I ever got crypto in my pool I’d wish I’d have one haha. Disclaimer: I’m just repeating for your awareness what I’ve read here on TFP from others who seem more knowledgeable than I.

Also I will add that in my experience, PB usually push UV/ozone as a way to reduce chlorine usage which I understand is false from a practical standpoint in a residential pool.
 
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HermanTX

Gold Supporter
May 20, 2020
926
Katy TX
Pool Size
14600
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
UV will do nothing for you.
Have to agree with that statement as it seems UV is additive (cost) as you still need chlorine.
Found this on a PB website offering UV system

  • Sanitation only happens while the water is under the UV light. If the light misses some of the bacteria, it can get back into the pool.
  • You need to sanitize the piping where the water goes back into the pool, which involves using chemical cleaners.
  • The UV light becomes less effective over time, so you’ll need to replace it regularly to keep the pool clean.

If you’re looking to save money and be more environmentally friendly, an ultraviolet pool system might be a good choice. You’ll still need a chemical sanitizer like chlorine to take care of bacteria in the pool that’s slower to reach the filter, but you’ll use a lot less than if chemicals were your primary cleaning method.

However, if you’re looking for more of a residual sanitizer, this may not be for you since the sanitation only takes place within the system itself. You’ll also have to be prepared to monitor and replace the light and sanitize the piping.
 

red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
631
Houston, TX
Since this came back up, I've done some reading on the UV systems

1) They advertise that you can cut back on the chlorine if you use them - This is bad advice!
2) UV-C will destroy FC & (chloramines). So if you add this, you will need to add more chlorine to keep the residual up (see link below)
3) The only thing that the UV will kill quickly that chlorine will not is Crypto. If I had a crypto outbreak at a house, I'd drain the pool and refill, then do an overnight (12 hour) super-chlorination. In fact, this is generally what I do when refilling my pool.
4) IF you install one of these UV systems and have a SWG, I would make sure the UV system is upstream of the SWG or you are just wasting electricity.
5) If you get one of these systems, make sure that it will operate at the expected flow rate in your pool. Even in my "low flow" mode, my pump moves 40 GPM. At high flow, it could be as high as 130GPM. Look at the ratings. Look at your pump flow curves.

Here is an article which details that the UV system destroys FC and Chloramines.

Chlorines and Chloramines Destruction | Aquafine (aquafineuv.com)

I think that the specter of crypto is being used to upsell things like this. I do not believe it is necessary. And The sales flyers look just like all the rest of the hokum in the industry.

The best way to prevent crypto? Make sure that your guests take a shower and clean everywhere before getting in.
 
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Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
First off, I am not technical. I have my husband for that. *grin* But when we worked with our pool builder, when I decided on a salt water pool, which has a salt water generator, he just ordered it. He did push the ozone thing. Hubby said it works great in an enclosed pool area, like in Florida with the enclosed surround patio. In the full sun, in the TX climate, it won't do enough. Even our pool designer said he wished he had a chiller on his pool and said he's getting one for next summer.
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
354
Bryan TX
I wanted to mention about waivers. Our pool designer emailed me the waiver they had on file, that we had to sign if we went with pebble fina. I liked reading it over so I knew why our builder was objecting to this plaster. It cleared up my mind about my choice and needing to do more research. For those that are curious I went with Wet Edge. It was worth the cost to know the surface of the pool is as smooth as my counter top. The longevity of the finish was key, too.
 
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