SWCG v. Regular Cholorine System Intitial price difference

psualum

Bronze Supporter
Dec 28, 2016
49
Douglassville, PA
#1
I'm an in-ground pool newbie getting ready to have a pool installed at our home this Spring. We negotiated price, plans, etc prior to finding this forum (its awesome by the way). The system quoted by the PB is for a regular chlorine system with a frog. I've certainly seen the negative comments on the forum regarding the frog and have also seen a ton of positive comments from posters and friends of mine who have SWCG's that has pursuaded me to explore the option of making the change in equipment now and going with a SWCG. I also understand from reading the forum that long term the SWCG is not necessarily more expensive when compared with daily chlorine, chemicals, etc. So, my question is not based upon the lifetime cost of the system, but more what I should expect the "upcharge" to be if I were to change out the equipment to a SWCG. The question is to just make sure I've budgeted enough $$$ for the build out as the costs keep mounting (i.e. Need for retaining wall, need for relocating my septic line, need to completely redo the fencing around my property, etc.).

Also, I'd love some suggestions specifically related to my pool as to what SWCG equipment you would recommend for my pool build. Currently looking at a 650 square ft free-form pool (may upsize to 700-750)....still up in the air. Our proposal provides for an electric AquaCal SQ120R 120,000 BTU heater if that makes any difference. Also quoted Aquabrite finish.

Thanks in advance and let me know if you need any more into to help in making your suggestions!

Happy Weekend to all!
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
10,530
Bedford, TX
#2
P,

Whatever SWCG you buy, make sure it is 2 x the size of your pool. So if your pool is 20K gallons, then you need a SWCG rated at 40K..

This is because they rate SWCG's when running 24/7 at 100% output. You really don't want to have to run them full out all the time.

My guess on cost is that the SWCG system will cost your PB about $1.5K and he'll sell it to you for $3K.. But this is just a guess...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
2,931
Long Beach, CA
#3
As Jim said it is important to at least double the rating size of SWG compared to the actual gallons in the pool.

You want to stay with the same brand of SWG as the rest of the equipment if you have any plans for automation. If there isn't a plan for automation, then there are many brands of SWG to consider.

Expect to pay from $1000 to $3000 depending on your contractor and system you decide to get.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,094
Franklin, NC
#5
Ping just to clarify, would that be $1000-$3000 above the cost of the regular chlorine system quoted with my pool (i.e. Frog). Sorry if these seems like a dumb question.
Probably. Remember, the pool builder is probably getting a "deal" on the Frog hardware because they know you will then be locked into purchasing stuff down the road (kind of like the razor handle is free, because it only fits one manufacturers blades). So thte Frog stuff may be little to no cost to him, but for the SWCG expect to pay full retail plus additional labor (including planning).

Expect push back from the builder. They seem to like to do things one way and discourage clients from doing other things.

A recommendation on a SWCG may depend on other equipment you plan on getting. One speed pump, two speed pump, variable speed pump, manual valves, automated valves, complete automation system, type of filter, brand of heater and other little details may factor into the equation.
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
#6
That would be the cost, instead of the frog system. Not sure what thay would charge for the frog.

- - - Updated - - -

How long do you think your swimming season will be? That might be a factor in this decision. Also, do you plan to keep the pool open all year or do a traditional closing?
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
#8
Hhmmm... 6 months. So a SWG makes sense. That's good then. I will tell you this; I really like the convenience of my SWG, but if I didn't have it, I would do plain bleach (liquid chlorine) before I would even consider some alternative sanitizer.
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,558
Sydney, NSW, Australia
#9
Just a heads-up that the frog system is not a regular chlorine system, but rather relies on metal ions together with chlorine to help prevent algae. This thread is worth reading, along with others you'll find: Pool Frog question/opinions

I love SWCGs because I prefer not hauling chlorinating liquid. You could let the PB get his kickback from frog, then cut it out and replace it with a SWCG for under $1500 if you DIY. If your PB doesn't balk at the change, he probably gets the SWCG cheaper than retail and it's easy for his pool plumber to add it when doing the rest of the plumbing, but it makes sense he'll want to make money, so the cost would be higher. I saw you mention a two-speed pump, which means a two-dial timer or two-speed pump timer. You can run the SWCG off the same low-speed timer and make everything work well. Good luck and congratulations on deciding to put in a pool! :)

You'll find it useful to provide pool gallonage and features, with the full equipment list here. There are people here with a ton of experience, and they'll steer you toward trouble-free equipment choices. Part of what makes TFP a great forum is that the experts and mods don't let any hogwash go unchallenged. You can say 'proposed' and add the pool description in a signature, then modify the signature if/when things change. And don't worry, people here respect that it's your decision at the end of the day :)
 

psualum

Bronze Supporter
Dec 28, 2016
49
Douglassville, PA
#10
Thanks all!

Needajet, thank you for the info regarding the timers, etc. With regard to the signature, I will update that but don't know exactly what the pool gallonage will be yet. Don't have the drawings back yet. I will go in and try to add what I know though, which I'm sure will change. Any thoughts on Pentair vs. Jandy?
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,558
Sydney, NSW, Australia
#11
Hayward, Pentair, Jandy all good. If you're talking SWGs, all get good reports here. Circupool sometimes gets recommended here, though you'll find older threads from when Circupool SWCGs were made by CompuPool (pre-2012), when they had more than their share of problems. There are several active members here that are happy with Circupool, but the others are the market leaders.

As earlier mentioned, if you want to eventually automate, choose the preferred automation system first, even if you're not buying it now. Then work back to select pump, then SWCG, then anything else, e.g. heater, acid dosing, lights, etc. The automation system will be the most trouble free and easy to install if the components are all from the same brand.

Great to see the signature! Thanks :) You can enter '20-25K' gal for now.