Someone tell me one reason to not get a SWG

gqjeff

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
203
IL
I am only a 3 week pool owner and after reading this site seems this may be the way to go. I currently using tri chlo tabs in a Nature 2 without the copper cartridge. I just removed that 2 days ago after reading on this site. What a crock I was sold this nature 2 in the first place. Looking at the Aqua trol model.

thanks, Jeff
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
I can give you 3 reasons for concern on SWG's

1, They tend to cause more corrosion problems, this is a problem if you have any low quality stainless steel parts.

2, There is a certain degree of instability in the models being sold, and some question of long term availability of replacement cells etc. Just try looking for replacement cells for models that were on the market 5 years ago, this issue may be improving though.

3, It adds one more thing you need to test for when doing water testing.


Ike
 

Butterfly

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 30, 2007
10,045
South Carolina
Um, I do not have an AG pool. But, if I did, I would seriously look at the Intex SWG:
You may have already seen this, but here: intex-swg-t1090.html

I'll maybe be back later if I can think of a reason (why I would) not go with a SWG.......

..just my .02
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
I'm not sure I agree with any of these :oops:

Isaac-1 said:
I can give you 3 reasons for concern on SWG's

1, They tend to cause more corrosion problems, this is a problem if you have any low quality stainless steel parts.

This really hasnt been shown to be true. Chlorine is more of an issue with stainless steel as compared to the low amount of salt used for SWG.

Isaac-1 said:
2, There is a certain degree of instability in the models being sold, and some question of long term availability of replacement cells etc. Just try looking for replacement cells for models that were on the market 5 years ago, this issue may be improving though.

Do you have examples of this?

Isaac-1 said:
3, It adds one more thing you need to test for when doing water testing.

Salt might need to be tested a couple times a season, no more.

I disagree with gettng an Intex SWG as well. They are really not designed for permenant pools. I dont believe you cant run an Intex SWG when the pool is being used, either. There are affordable SWGs on the market that are designed for permenant pool. I have a SWG and would not give it up. Best thing i ever bought for the pool.
 

gqjeff

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
203
IL
Upfront costs are not that bad looking at 500-600 for the aqua trol. Testing for salt is not a problem I have a conductivity meter I use on my reef tanks. Its super accurate as well. Plus salt level should not drop much as only splash out and things like that lower salt. Salt will not evaporate. Also corrosion is not going to be bad at that low or salt level. Keep them coming though please.
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,423
Pleasanton, CA
Having had one going on 5 years now and still on my first cell, I would certainly do it all over again. I haven't had any corrosion problems (SS light and rail) nor any concrete problems. I am still on my first cell and seems to be producing just as much chlorine as on day one.

The only negative that I have experienced is rising PH but contributing to that is high TA fill water and high evaporation (solar) so I can never get TA to stay on the low side. But an acid doser was a solution to that problem.

Staying with trichlor pucks means that eventually you will have a CYA problem unless you backwash a lot or replace the water periodically. Going to liquid chlorine is a solution for some but that means a lot of jugs of chlorine which has it's negatives too.
 

Malibu07

Well-known member
Jun 20, 2010
212
Southeast VA
I'm glad to see some positive posts on having a SWG. I'm having a pool built now and I plan on putting a Hayward SWG. All the people I know that own them swear by them and wouldn't do it any differently.
 

Beez

LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2009
785
Dallas, TX
There is no reason not to get a SWG. You don't have a problem with the cost and you clearly want one, so what are you waiting for? :hammer:

However, since you asked the question I will tell you why I don't want a SWG. I have a very low chlorine demand(1ppm/day) & I only use the pool on the weekends. Both of these factors together allow me to add bleach only twice per week. For me, it just can't get any simpler than that and it is super cheap.

Now pull out that credit card and get to shoppin... :whip:

:wave:
 

Steve456

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 3, 2008
132
Texas
From our experience a SWG is the way to go; but perhaps not immediately. You will gain important knowledge on pool maintenance if you follow the BBB method for one year. You will understand how much Cl your pool requires every day. You will gain knowledge of the chemical balance of your fill water. You will have the opportunity to consider units other than the Aqua trol.

You have learned a lot in three weeks; you will continue to learn over the entire summer!

For example, in a SWG do you want a digital display or idiot lights?
How much do you want to spend?
Do you want temperature compensation?
How much Cl generating capacity do you require?
Do you want to DIY or have a local pool store install?
Are you satisfied with the warranty?
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
If you want one, get one. I got one from the git go. Lugging all that bleach is a pain, most likely. Get the SWG and dont look back. BBB is more about testing you own water and knowing what to do with the results. Just becasue you dont use bleach doesnt mean you are not a BBB'er :wink:
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
bk406 said:
Isaac-1 said:
I can give you 3 reasons for concern on SWG's

1, They tend to cause more corrosion problems, this is a problem if you have any low quality stainless steel parts.

This really hasnt been shown to be true. Chlorine is more of an issue with stainless steel as compared to the low amount of salt used for SWG.
Most people do not have problems with their SWG pools, but it is not true that the increased salt levels do not increase the risk of corrosion. Increased salt increases conductivity which is a factor in metal corrosion. Also, increased chloride levels affect stainless steel's ability to reform a passivity layer. Splashed-out salt can crack soft stones (e.g. soft limestone) or can corrode aluminum rail tracks. Whether these are problems in a specific pool depends on the specific materials used and, for stones, the environment in which they reside (e.g. evaporation rates, whether there is dilution from summer rain).

My pool builder adds a sacrificial zinc anode to the bonding wire for any SWG pool that uses an automatic pool cover where the aluminum header has contact with the water (i.e. for "vanishing" covers). He got fed up with the corrosion issues and was told by the cover manufacturer to use this technique which now works for his customers. Some gas heaters with copper heat exchangers are not warranteed for SWG pools so many modern gas heaters use titanium or cupro-zinc alloy which are more resistant to corrosion . Some inexpensive stainless steel or zinc screws in light rings or the light rings themselves corrode faster in SWG pools.

Again, most people don't have problems, but it is incorrect to think that higher salt levels don't have potential for problems and for those that do, they probably wish that they at least were cautioned up-front. There are several threads on this and other forums going into this in more detail.
 

bk406

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2009
2,690
Central Massachusetts
What you say may be true, but in reality, my opinion is the risk is negligable.

chem geek said:
Some gas heaters with copper heat exchangers are not warranteed for SWG pools
Do you have a specific example of a brand(s) that are not warrented for SWG?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
The Jandy LT/LX owner's manual has a limited warranty that states the following:

... This warranty does not cover failures or malfunctions resulting from the following:
:
3. Not maintaining a proper chemical balance in your pool and/or spa [pH level between 7.2 and 7.8, Total
Alkalinity (TA) between 80 to 120 ppm, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) less than 2000].
:
This Hayward heater talks about the advantages of cupro nickel:

Cupro Nickel provides improved durability and longevity against the damaging effects of erosion that can occur under high-flow conditions, corrosion from occasional pool chemical imbalances, and is ideal for salt-water based pool systems.
This Sta-Rite heater also talks about the advantages of cupro nickel:

The Sta-Rite Max-E-Therm® Pool and Spa Heater Sta-Rite Heavy-duty heater is equipped with Cupro-Nickel heat exchanger that makes it less susceptible to chemical corrosion and is especially designed to work with salt water pools.
This Rheem heater talks about the benefits of cupro nickel, but not specifically about salt (corrosion resistance is improved against multiple sources of corrosion):

Rheem heaters are available with an optional cupro-nickel fin tube heat exchanger for added protection against aggressive water chemistry, which has been known to attack copper heat exchangers and cause premature failure. Cupro-nickel's major advantage over standard copper is that it's more tolerant of bad water chemistry and is more resistant to erosion, thanks to a harder surface and a wall that is approximately 50% thicker. When you are unsure of your ability to maintain the pool or spa water chemistry, a cupro-nickel heat exchanger is a cost-effective way to protect against premature failure.
In practice, the gas heater manufacturers have reduced their liability by lowering their warranty periods to only one year (from two years for heat exchangers and 5 years overall). It's much easier to simply have a warranty expire rather than point fingers to improper water chemistry.

Now realistically, a low pH (say from Trichlor without proper pH balancing) is going to do more harm to a copper heat exchanger faster than a high salt level so we're not talking about any sort of absolute no-no. The point is that there is a spectrum of risk since pool water is a corrosive environment to begin with so you need to use appropriate materials in the pool. This is why you don't see much naked steel or zinc in pools. Increasing the salt level increases conductivity which increases metal corrosion rates generally so the corrosion-resistant quality of materials that is used needs to be ramped up a bit IF they are on the border already.

There are ways to mitigate corrosion issues, regardless of salt level, though for specific situations the need for mitigation is increased when salt levels are higher. The following are examples reported on this and other forums along with mitigation strategies.

  • Aluminum in contact with water (e.g. "vanishing" safety cover header) -- zinc (or magnesium) sacrificial anode buried in moist soil and connected to bonding wire[/*:m:3n90n0ww]
  • Zinc-plated (i.e. galvanized) or low-grade stainless steel screws (e.g. in pool lights or in Intex pools) -- replacement with high quality stainless steel screws or zinc sacrificial anode connected to bonding wire[/*:m:3n90n0ww]
  • Soft stone for coping and hardscape (e.g. soft limestone) -- sealing stone annually or using harder stone or regular rinsing of splash-out[/*:m:3n90n0ww]
  • Aluminum railing on top of coping (e.g. for safety cover) -- rinsing splash-out or use of stainless steel instead of aluminum[/*:m:3n90n0ww]
  • Steel mounts in diving boards or steel in patio furniture -- covers for mounts or use of stainless steel or rinsing of dripped water[/*:m:3n90n0ww]
  • Stainless steel in pool with no CYA (e.g. many indoor pools) -- use small amount of CYA (i.e. 20 ppm) to moderate chlorine's strength[/*:m:3n90n0ww]
  • Copper heat exchanger in gas heaters -- cupro-nickel alloy or titanium for heat exchanger (and upgraded headers as well) or zinc sacrificial anode connected to bonding wire[/*:m:3n90n0ww]
  • Stainless-steel filter units (rare these days) -- use of plastic filter units or zinc sacrificial anode connected to bonding wire[/*:m:3n90n0ww]
 

gqjeff

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
203
IL
Ok thanks so far. Still looking like a really good option to me. I am going to check tonight when I get home form the office and see what my heater says as far as the internals go. Also I was trying to find somewhere to bond my pool but I can not find anything in particular that looks like it was made for that any suggestions?
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
bk406 said:
I disagree with gettng an Intex SWG as well. They are really not designed for permenant pools. I dont believe you cant run an Intex SWG when the pool is being used, either. There are affordable SWGs on the market that are designed for permenant pool. I have a SWG and would not give it up. Best thing i ever bought for the pool.
There are many here that run the intex and it works just fine. The 2009 and older models are not UL listed, so you are correct that you should not run the SWG while in the pool. I certainly agree it is a no-frills SWG, but for us the 2009 model works great as my pump fires up at 6:30 am and the SWG runs from 7-11am...pump shuts off at noon. We generally swim in the afternoon. IMHO For $140...it would pay to try it out. The 4hr run time easily keeps up with the chlorine demand and tends to raise my FC about 1-2ppm over a 7 day period (with 4 kids playing in the pool for 2-3 hrs almost every afternoon, one which is a 2.5 year old that every once in a while says "Daddy...I pee pool :shock: ").

The 2010 model produces about half the chlorine as the older models, but I believe it is UL listed, so you would just need a longer run time.
 

gqjeff

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
203
IL
Can you run your pump when the SWG is not in use? I know on the aqua trol the pump plugs into the unit itself and timer turns it on according to what you set the timer for. I like the pump running when people are swimming...
 

dmanb2b

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 4, 2009
3,734
NY
Yes it can and is true with all SWGs...water passes through the cell regardless of whether it is generating chlorine or not. You should not be plugging your pump into any swg unit...it may be fine as an accessory outlet, but the pump should be on it's own dedicated GFCI circuit.
 

gqjeff

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 19, 2010
203
IL
The SWG will be plugged into the 20 amp GFCI that I have the pump plugged into now. Then the pump itself plugs into the SWG according to all the reading I have done on the Aqua Trol. You can choose standard plug in model or twist lock plug in model. That's why I am wondering if the timer has to be on for the pump to run or can u manually bypass the SWG timer.


http://www.poolproducts.com/SPP/product ... ly_id=1792
 

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