SWG Experienced -> what are the pros and cons of SWG vs. non-SWG ?

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Re: SWG Experieenced -> what are the pros and cons of SWG vs. non-SWG ?

Just some starters to get this going:
PRO:
- Automatic chlorination; relief from manual feeding of bleach
- Lower FC level required for normal day-to-day operation
- Some owners claim slightly better "feel" of water to skin

CON:
- Initial cost
- Higher CYA means higher SLAM FC level if a SLAM is ever required
- May increase pH overtime via aeration
 

PSW

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Feb 13, 2012
728
Phoenix, AZ
I agree with the points made above by Texas Splash, although not sure about the "higher cya means higher slam fc level...." comment, but it's likely just the wording throwing me off.

PRO
-A salt chlorination system will help keep your FC level more consistently balanced, less spikes and drops that can lead to problems.
-Heading out for vacations and trips away from home will be easier to manage, your chlorine will continue to stay balanced.
-This more consistent balance of chlorine will significantly reduce the "chlorine smell", red eyes, and bleached clothes.
-I would agree with the Hayward AQRITE-15 being your best choice, top selling system on the market and the replacement salt cells (OEM or generic) are the most affordable.
-Doesn't have a CYA or Calcium byproduct that is found in most tablets or shock.

CON
-Higher upfront cost and you will also need to replace the salt cell within 3-5 years on average. These higher upfront and replacement costs are somewhat minimized by not having to purchase other forms of chlorine.
-A heater with a copper heat exchanger will corrode more quickly, it's recommended to have a cupro-nickel heat exchanger.
-Same thing with stainless steel rails or steps, they may corrode a bit quicker, hopefully some others can attest to whether this has been an issue for them or not.

From my personal experience, the apartment pool I frequent utilizes a SWG and I love it. When I get in any pool it's the first thing I notice, are they using a salt system or other typical chlorine methods. I always find it to be immediately noticeable, and significantly nicer. Hopefully this helps!
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
Based on my experience the only con is that you tend to forget to test regularly. I now have a routine where I check something everyday.
 

aussieta

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
i would add that i am not a fan of the salt taste
i now keep my swg lower than 3000ppm salt
also the csi is much lower with salt
my fill water is 30ppm ch and 30ppm ta
so i need to add a lot of ch
if i was starting from new i would consider an automated liquid chlorine dispenser
although lugging drums of liquid chlorine would annoy me pretty quick
swg or liquid dispenser only two easy choices
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,769
Tucson, AZ
Hi guys,

Before pulling the trigger on a:

Hayward AQR15 Goldline AquaRite Electronic Salt Pool Chlorinator Control Box Complete with 40000-Gallon Cell


What are the pros and cons of converting to SWG in your experience?

Thank you all for sharing your experience!

-JJ
I think everyone here has given you the comprehensive list of pro's and con's. But I would like to request the following - can you give us specifics (or better yet, fill out your signature line according to these instructions)about your pool and where you live?

Before you pull the trigger on an expensive item like an SWG, it would help us help you greatly if we knew more about your pool and what's in and around it. One reason is this - sometimes pool are or were constructed without taking salt into consideration. Salt is great in my opinion (I have an SWG), but you want to make sure that it will not damage anything like an aluminum track for a liner or soft stone. So, if you can provide us with more information about your pool, folks here can be a lot more specific.

Good luck and I hope you choose to convert to an SWG!!

Matt

PS - Oh, and WELCOME to TFP :wave:
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,395
Tucson
Nobody here mentioned the biggest con to salt, the fact that it can cause serious erosion to stone surfaces. This is particularly true for softer more porous stone and in dryer and hotter climates, where there is less rain to wash salt away.

I have been using the same SWG you are considering for ten years. The cell lasted 7+ years before needing replacement at $400, making my chlorine cost less than $57 per year. The common input resistor failure occurred at about 9 years. A $2.50 part and 15 min with a soldering iron put everything right again. If my whole SWG failed tomorrow, I would purchase the exact same system to replace it.

But, I might buy it here to save a couple dollars.
Hayward AQR15 AquaRite Pool Salt System 40K | Pool Supply 4 Less
 

jumbojet8

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2015
71
Bradenton
Thanks so much guys!!! I really appreciate it!

The pool is in Tampa Bay FL, but does get some shade part of the day due to house position.

Sun does not begin to hit pool until Noon-1PM ish.

No aluminum rails in pool.

Gunite/Concrete.

8,000 approx. gallons.

Located inside of a screened cage.

Pentair pump.

------------------

Do these stats create any adjustments I should consider ?

Thanks all!

-JJ
 

pabeader

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
May 14, 2015
4,349
Cartersville Ga
Just a side note: I have not had to adjust my pH in 3 months. I just kept adjusting down with MA and let TA go however far it needed to, to allow my pH to settle in.
 

ComputerGuyInNOLA

LifeTime Supporter
Oct 20, 2012
647
Mandeville, Louisiana
The good thing about the SWCG you chose is it is way oversized for your pool volume. This means less run time to generate the chlorine needed to sanitize your water. This should extend your cell life considerably. I believe keeping your water balanced year round goes a long way in keeping a SWCG in top shape. I still have not acid washed mine after three years but it never has any calcium buildups. Same goes for the flow sensor. It always looks new when I inspect it. I keep a close on my PH, CH, and TA levels and it pays off. And I love never having to buy chlorine.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
15,769
Tucson, AZ
The good thing about the SWCG you chose is it is way oversized for your pool volume. This means less run time to generate the chlorine needed to sanitize your water. This should extend your cell life considerably. I believe keeping your water balanced year round goes a long way in keeping a SWCG in top shape. I still have not acid washed mine after three years but it never has any calcium buildups. Same goes for the flow sensor. It always looks new when I inspect it. I keep a close on my PH, CH, and TA levels and it pays off. And I love never having to buy chlorine.
Excellent point.

Even with my high CH levels (~750ppm) I almost never have any scale inside my cell. I acid cleaned it once and there wasn't even a single bubble generated. This is due to following the TFP recommended ranges and always keeping my CSI balanced and a bit negative...At least that is the most plausible explanation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
If you are using 50 ppm Borates then that makes a big difference since it cuts down the amount of pH rise at the hydrogen gas generation plate by about half due to the strong pH buffering of the borates as the pH gets higher.
 

jumbojet8

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2015
71
Bradenton
Thanks for all the great info!

Can you point me to the info on what I should be testing with and for the recommended ranges of each test ?

Thank you!

-JJ
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,395
Tucson
Thanks for all the great info!

Can you point me to the info on what I should be testing with and for the recommended ranges of each test ?

Thank you!

-JJ
For water testing there are only two test kits that we consider acceptable. Of these the best far and away it the TF-100. Although both of the recommended kits use the same Taylor reagents and provide the same tests, the TF-100 gives you more of the ones you will be using the most. When you order your test kit, I highly recommend that you purchase a SpeedStir. I didn't get one until my second year. Now I don't know how I could be without it. It makes testing so much quicker, easier and most importantly, much more accurate.

TFTestkits.net

To understand the recommend ranges, I suggest you spend some time reading and studying Pool School while waiting for your new test kit. It can take some time and several times reading everything before it all fits together and starts to make sense.