Thinking of an SWG, which one to get

coolpoolnj

Member
Jun 8, 2015
15
Freehold, NJ
Hello All,

I have decided to go with a SWG for my pool and hope to have it installed soon prior to this season. Although, I love this site and have a learned a great deal, the daily need for pool testing and carrying tons of bleach thru walmart/costco has made my decision easier. There were days last summer where was placing 1-2 bottles of 121 oz bleach and still had blooms of algae.

I recently had a pool company to come out and give me an quote on install..

They are either recommending the AQR940 or Pentair IC40. I have seen lots of recommendations on this board for the AQR15, however I haven't been able to obtain much information regarding the 940. The pool person was stating the Hayward's control panels are notorious are breaking down and they are commonly are replacing them. Although it comes with a 4 yr warranty, it is a pro-rated warranty and there might be out of pocket costs to replace if the system goes bad. The Pentair comes with a full 3 yr warranty and all parts will be covered should the cell malfunction. Both units would cost the same price installed.

My questions are: Does anyone have any more info on the AQR940? How is it in efficiency as compared to the Pentair? Apparently, it has a larger cell which may give it an edge over the Pentair. Anyone have any knowledge of how much it would cost to professionally install these units in the North east. I am getting quotes in the $2K range.

Thanks
 

Nectarologist

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2015
497
New York
Hi. I was hoping to install one for this year as well. When I priced it at the end of last year it was $1,800 for the Pentair IC40 (without tax). So it's a lot of dough but it seems to be about what places are charging. The one place I talked to won't install something I buy so it's hard to get an install price only (no one seems to want to do it; I don't blame them). I'm in NY but only 2 miles from NJ and the pool stores I've been to are in NJ. At that price I may need to wait until next year though. It seems easy enough to do myself but even the cost of the unit is expensive online. I need a robot first. Sorry I can't help on the AQR940.
 

coolpoolnj

Member
Jun 8, 2015
15
Freehold, NJ
Yes, I am in the same ballpark; I received $1900-$2K plus taxes. That includes the unit, install, anode and the initial salt. I was looking into buying the unit online and having someone install it, however it takes a big risk. If the unit fails, the manufacture will not honor the warranty. There are lots of reviews on Amazon where the units became defected within the first few months and they were out several hundred dollars. This is the reason why I am considering the Pentair as I am getting a 3 yr full warranty.
 

LFrankow

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2012
512
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Hello All,

There were days last summer where was placing 1-2 bottles of 121 oz bleach and still had blooms of algae.


Thanks
A couple of questions for you;

What was your bather load during this period(s)?

What was the weather like continous hot sunny, rainy overcast?

What was your cya level at this time?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
11,393
Bedford, TX
cool,

I have a SWCG and find it much easier, but... buying a SWCG will not keep your pool from turning green. You still have to test at least once a week and you have to ensure that you keep your FC high enough to prevent an algae outbreak. Same thing you have to do with a chlorine pool.

I'm guess your pool is about 30K gallons. If so, you are at the very limit of the IC40. Your SWCG, no matter what brand you buy, needs to be 1.5 to 2 x the size of your pool. It might not be a major issue in NJ, but here in Texas, you would have to run the IC40 at 100% for 18 to 20 hours a day, just to keep up with the chlorine demand in the middle of the summer.

Both the 940 and the IC40 are rated for 40K gallon pools. But that rating is based on running 24/7 at 100% output. With a Single speed pump you will be worried more about your electrical bill than the cost of a SWCG...

That said, you'd have a hard time prying my SWCG away from me, I love it..... :p

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
 

coolpoolnj

Member
Jun 8, 2015
15
Freehold, NJ
A couple of questions for you;

What was your bather load during this period(s)?

What was the weather like continous hot sunny, rainy overcast?

What was your cya level at this time?
My CYA last summer ran between 50-60; The bather load was average. We are a family a 4 and then the occasional guests, kids parties, etc. This 1-2 bottle requirement did occur in the midst of Summer months(mainly July/Aug) where temps were high and we did have some occasional rainy days.

- - - Updated - - -

cool,

I have a SWCG and find it much easier, but... buying a SWCG will not keep your pool from turning green. You still have to test at least once a week and you have to ensure that you keep your FC high enough to prevent an algae outbreak. Same thing you have to do with a chlorine pool.

I'm guess your pool is about 30K gallons. If so, you are at the very limit of the IC40. Your SWCG, no matter what brand you buy, needs to be 1.5 to 2 x the size of your pool. It might not be a major issue in NJ, but here in Texas, you would have to run the IC40 at 100% for 18 to 20 hours a day, just to keep up with the chlorine demand in the middle of the summer.

Both the 940 and the IC40 are rated for 40K gallon pools. But that rating is based on running 24/7 at 100% output. With a Single speed pump you will be worried more about your electrical bill than the cost of a SWCG...

That said, you'd have a hard time prying my SWCG away from me, I love it..... :p

Thanks for posting,

Jim R.
Thanks for the reply. I think I am about 27K gallon pool and I am ok with testing the pool a couple of times/week and doing touch ups and maintaining balance on a weekly basis. It got really burdensome to check the levels daily and to keep up with the bleach requirement. I did have dates where I lapsed with my checking and required 2 SLAMs during last summer.

I asked the pool person regarding the IC60, but they stated it might be overkill in the Northeast
 

LFrankow

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 27, 2012
512
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Well with chlorine or an swg you are going to need loads of either to keep up with the dog days of summer, 30k gal pool.
I can't imagine that working with 12.5k gal here, and it happens every summer.
I sized my SWG 2 X working good so far.
 

peterdaly

Well-known member
Aug 14, 2013
188
Fayetteville, NY
I am happy with my Autopilot, which will adjust chlorine output as water temperature fluctuates.

Blows internal fuses a couple times per season, usually during storms, but otherwise seems like a solid unit.

I think my local dealer sells them for something like $1500 installed for the 40k cell. I know it's much less than $2k.

Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk
 

kcindc

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Sep 2, 2011
1,282
Fairfax, VA
My pool is about your size and I live a little further south. I strongly recommend the Circupool RJ60. Me (middle aged lady) and my son (just a couple a months of general construction experience) installed it in a few hours. The most difficult part is measuring and cutting the plumbing. The electrical was pretty easy as I had an extra unused timer.

I think the kit came with a few connectors to match several sizes of pipes. Parts to install were less than $100 (pipe, pipe adhesive, conduit to protect electrical line).

The IC60 only produces about 2.0 lbs of chlorine a day and the RJ60 produces about 3.1 lbs of chlorine a day (FYI, the amounts are always based on running 100% 24 hours a day). The IC60 would struggle at the height of the season and you would need to run your pump 24 hours a day and the cell turned to 100%. So, if you are looking at Intellichlor, I would suggest installing two cells.

Here is a handy table that compares various systems. Compare Salt Pool Chlorine Generators - Price - Capacity - Chlorine Output - Warranty
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,574
Sydney, NSW, Australia
If you go Pentair and contractor-installed, get the IC60 and nothing smaller. It will suit your pool better and unless you plan to move house soon, the economics are better because the cell will last longer. You can always turn it down (run it at lower %), so the suggestion that it's overkill is not correct.

Installing yourself is a good option, and people here will walk you through it if you like. If you go this route, Circupool SWGs have performed well for several experienced members here, and they have a good warranty for DIY.

Here's a rough idea of how much pump run-time with the SWC set at 100% for a 27,000 gallon pool. This is very approximate because pools vary a lot, but "average day" is in the ballpark for many people, and "big day" might cover a scorcher with a kid's birthday party thrown in.

SWC brand & modelPump run time for average day (2.6 ppm FC produced)Pump run time for big day (4 ppm produced)
Pentair IC4010 hours15 hours
Pentair IC607 hours10.5 hours
Hayward AQR94010 hours15 hours
Circupool RJ604.5 hours7 hours

That's great advice from several posters above because once a pool is algae-free, 4-6 hours is often enough pump run time for skimming and filtration. For big days, many of us leave the pump and SWC set at the same timing and pour some chlorinating liquid in before and after the party to cover the extra bather load. Or you can run the SWC longer for cheaper chlorine and for the convenience of pressing a button or two, but also remembering to turn it back down! :)

The Hayward 900 series is the same output as their conventional SWCs, but the electrolytic cell is engineered to last longer. I don't think it's a good option because Hayward doesn't make a large enough SWC for your pool, unless you prefer longer pump run time for another reason.

Good luck with your decision, and I think you'll be very happy with a salt water pool. Here's another site with some comparative information: Compare and Review Saltwater Chlorine Generator Prices and Features
 

Swampwoman

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Apr 27, 2012
3,845
Grand Rapids, MI
The pool person was stating the Hayward's control panels are notorious are breaking down and they are commonly are replacing them.
Just so you know, be a bit leery of that pool tech as their info is a bit outdated, though at one time accurate if they didn't know the simple $5 fix. Since many TFPers know about the simple $5. Fix...the fact that a tech doesn't concerns me a bit. There was a small part (bad capacitor, in essence) that would go out on the Aquarite but Hayward remedied this - I confirmed this last year on my install.

The install is pretty simple if you DIY. I had my regular electrician do the box it and that was likely overkill. I had the pool techs plumb the cell and flow switch. About 20 min labor ;)

Aquarite with a T15 cell nets 7.8 ppm FC if needed in my 24k gallon pool....yours is a bit bigger at 27k but IME if you follow TFP specs you will need less FC, eg maybe 1-1.5 ppm per day. So you would be covered.

Nothing wrong with the other options cited but I just wanted you to know that I'm very happy with the AQ T 15 setup and I wanted to give you a heads up of possible tech-knowledge deficit ;)
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
2,940
Long Beach, CA
The Hayward AQR940 is an extended life cell. It is rated to produce 725lbs of chlorine over its lifespan compared to 580lbs of chlorine for the normal T-15 sized cell. The warranty should be 4 years and not pro-rated for the AQR940 cell. The T-15 cells have a full 3 year warranty. Both cells will produce the same amount of chlorine in a 24 hour day.

You should be able to do a self-install with the Hayward unit and receive the full warranty if buy it online. You always want to double check this with whomever you buy it from.

If you decide you want to get the Pentair SWG, get the IC60. It will make more chlorine each day and it will reduce your pump run times. If you do get Pentair I would have it "professionally" installed so you get the full warranty as a self-install will only come with a 60 day warranty.

If you want more information about other systems ask and you shall receive.
 

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