Filter's and Sanitizers? What to choose?

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tooomey
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Joined: Wed 27 Jun, 2012 23:36

Filter's and Sanitizers? What to choose?

Postby tooomey » Thu 28 Jun, 2012 00:19

My main question is what to choose? Hayward Salt System? Frog Mineral System? No System? I am getting my first in ground pool 18/36. I have had 4 different companies come out to give me pricing and they all seem to be pushing different things? They are all offering The Sta-Rite System Mod Media SM series Filter. Two are also offering Frog mineral system. One is pushing Hayward salt chlorination system. Last is not pushing any of them. Not sure if this matters but one is offering two main drains and others no main drains. I will be getting robot for cleaning. I am a newbie to pools and no nothing at this point so any help would be great. Its very hard for me to choose a system sense all have pros and cons. Who do I believe? One company says Frog has problems other says salt eats away over time??
I am sorry if this post is in the wrong place as I did not know where to put it.


TSH Tech

Filter's and Sanitizers? What to choose?

Postby TSH Tech » Thu 28 Jun, 2012 03:44

Before I begin, I'm going to give you the straight dope. I've been in this business for over 10 years, seen allot of products come and go. Everything said here is simply just another opinion.

Pool Floor Drains
This is an important topic, in recent years there have been changes to pool building that requires pool builders to install anti-entrapment floor drains. Now, what is that? Short story, it keeps people from getting stuck to the floor drain by the pump suction. Two floor drains is good, if it's 1 floor drain you are being offered, I hope(for safety sake) that it's a 32 inch three port anti-entrapment channel drain. If not, inquire about one.


Salt Water Chlorine Generators
I hate them. There's only 3 basic scenarios that I would apply a salt gen in a pool. 1) Salt gens are the solution for public pool. 2) Salt gens are the solution for people with skin sensitivity problems in their own home pools. 3) Salt gens are the solution for disturbed minded people that choose Pebbletech pool surfaces or tile their pools in porous flat-stone tiles that are algae magnets, to complete their Tuscany architecture look. Now I know what you are thinking, why do I hate them. Here's why; They never tell you up front that these things have a life span of a halogen light bulb. In pool hours, that's pretty short. Haywards Salt n' Swim line of entry level salt generators only come in two flavors, a 6 month and 12 month salt cell. Additionally, the hype and the pitch says you will never need to buy messy toxic liquid chlorine or mess with awful chlorinating tablets. True, but there's a tradofff. What the salt gen sales people don't tell you is ALL salt gens produce a byproduct of lye. Lye is highly alkaline which means you are going to have to buy cases of muriatic acid to keep your Ph down so your salt gen can make chlorine. Because if you don't, the salt gen will not make chlorine in a high Ph pool. Salt gens are chemical finicky. No phosphates are allowed, alkalinity must be adjusted correctly(after you dump bottles of muriatic acid in your pool), water hardness is critical to the life of a salt gen and oh by the way, you have to buy 14+ bags of pool salt every spring to recharge your pool with salt in addition to extra salt bags on hand to keep your salt level consistent during the summer months when your pool dilutes out from your automatic water filler. Sure, your days of buying messy toxic chlorine and tablets are over, but you need to buy a slew of other chemicals every month to offset the chemical mood swings the salt generator creates and maintain a chemically balanced pool just so your salt gen can operate correctly. How attractive is the salt gen now?
pros - chlorinated pool all the time, some skin sensitivity benefits, silky water "feel"
cons - extra chemicals to buy, heavy bags of salt to buy and store, high maintenance, low to moderate life span, cost to replace is high

Frog System
It's crap. I'll even tell the King Tech reps they have a sub par product concept. This system is dependent on the fact that you need to go out and buy $100+ worth of replacement bottles every time they burn out. As a pool service technician I have seen numerous abandoned Frog systems in pool equipment because the homeowners find it cost effective to buy a bucket of chlorinating tablets and liquid chlorine. In the real world, it's liquid chlorine and tablets that are going to save your pool, not the Frog system.

In Line Tablet Chlorinator
A good cost effective choice for sanitizing your pool and a very popular choice. Buy a bucket of chlorine tablets, fill up the hopper and just check on every week to make sure its full. During the summer time, you'll use more tablets compared to the cold winter months, where you'll see(estimated) one tablet last 2 weeks and your pool chlorinated properly.


Automatic pool cleaners
:thumbup: Great products; Polaris, Letro, Poolvernuegen pool cleaners are the most reliable.
:thumbdown: In-floor pop-up cleaners. Garbage. Crap. Don't do it. You'll thank me later.

filters
:thumbup: Sta-Rite makes great filters, especially their System 3 cartridge and DE filters. "Modular Media" is just semantics for "cartridge filter". Other great filters are Waterway, Pentair and Hayward.

Variable Speed pumps
:thumbup: Do it. This will shave your electric bill tremendously. This is a win/win.


I know my reply may seem a little brash, but I'm not sugar coating what is going to be a large permanent purchase in your back yard. I know you are new to this whole pool thing, but there are some sub par products out there, and then there are some excellent, quality products out there. I hope this helps maybe answer some things or give you something to think about.
Guest

Filter's and Sanitizers? What to choose?

Postby Guest » Thu 28 Jun, 2012 08:24

Pool Drains..... I will be getting 2 drains with 2 skimmers

In Line Tablet Chlorinator? No one offered this but I assume they have them and will ask about it. Any specific's I should ask for?

Robot..... They are offering Maytronics Dolphin dx4? I could bump up to dx6? Or could buy from someone else?

Pump.... Sta-Rite Dyna-Pro 1hp pump? Not sure if its variable speed?

Your not being harsh at all. This is exactly what I am looking to hear? More opinions are appreciated
tooomey
Pool Newbie
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Posts: 2
Joined: Wed 27 Jun, 2012 23:36

Filter's and Sanitizers? What to choose?

Postby tooomey » Mon 02 Jul, 2012 10:50

TSH Tech wrote:Before I begin, I'm going to give you the straight dope. I've been in this business for over 10 years, seen allot of products come and go. Everything said here is simply just another opinion.

Pool Floor Drains
This is an important topic, in recent years there have been changes to pool building that requires pool builders to install anti-entrapment floor drains. Now, what is that? Short story, it keeps people from getting stuck to the floor drain by the pump suction. Two floor drains is good, if it's 1 floor drain you are being offered, I hope(for safety sake) that it's a 32 inch three port anti-entrapment channel drain. If not, inquire about one.


Salt Water Chlorine Generators
I hate them. There's only 3 basic scenarios that I would apply a salt gen in a pool. 1) Salt gens are the solution for public pool. 2) Salt gens are the solution for people with skin sensitivity problems in their own home pools. 3) Salt gens are the solution for disturbed minded people that choose Pebbletech pool surfaces or tile their pools in porous flat-stone tiles that are algae magnets, to complete their Tuscany architecture look. Now I know what you are thinking, why do I hate them. Here's why; They never tell you up front that these things have a life span of a halogen light bulb. In pool hours, that's pretty short. Haywards Salt n' Swim line of entry level salt generators only come in two flavors, a 6 month and 12 month salt cell. Additionally, the hype and the pitch says you will never need to buy messy toxic liquid chlorine or mess with awful chlorinating tablets. True, but there's a tradofff. What the salt gen sales people don't tell you is ALL salt gens produce a byproduct of lye. Lye is highly alkaline which means you are going to have to buy cases of muriatic acid to keep your Ph down so your salt gen can make chlorine. Because if you don't, the salt gen will not make chlorine in a high Ph pool. Salt gens are chemical finicky. No phosphates are allowed, alkalinity must be adjusted correctly(after you dump bottles of muriatic acid in your pool), water hardness is critical to the life of a salt gen and oh by the way, you have to buy 14+ bags of pool salt every spring to recharge your pool with salt in addition to extra salt bags on hand to keep your salt level consistent during the summer months when your pool dilutes out from your automatic water filler. Sure, your days of buying messy toxic chlorine and tablets are over, but you need to buy a slew of other chemicals every month to offset the chemical mood swings the salt generator creates and maintain a chemically balanced pool just so your salt gen can operate correctly. How attractive is the salt gen now?
pros - chlorinated pool all the time, some skin sensitivity benefits, silky water "feel"
cons - extra chemicals to buy, heavy bags of salt to buy and store, high maintenance, low to moderate life span, cost to replace is high

Frog System
It's crap. I'll even tell the King Tech reps they have a sub par product concept. This system is dependent on the fact that you need to go out and buy $100+ worth of replacement bottles every time they burn out. As a pool service technician I have seen numerous abandoned Frog systems in pool equipment because the homeowners find it cost effective to buy a bucket of chlorinating tablets and liquid chlorine. In the real world, it's liquid chlorine and tablets that are going to save your pool, not the Frog system.

In Line Tablet Chlorinator
A good cost effective choice for sanitizing your pool and a very popular choice. Buy a bucket of chlorine tablets, fill up the hopper and just check on every week to make sure its full. During the summer time, you'll use more tablets compared to the cold winter months, where you'll see(estimated) one tablet last 2 weeks and your pool chlorinated properly.


Automatic pool cleaners
:thumbup: Great products; Polaris, Letro, Poolvernuegen pool cleaners are the most reliable.
:thumbdown: In-floor pop-up cleaners. Garbage. Crap. Don't do it. You'll thank me later.

filters
:thumbup: Sta-Rite makes great filters, especially their System 3 cartridge and DE filters. "Modular Media" is just semantics for "cartridge filter". Other great filters are Waterway, Pentair and Hayward.

Variable Speed pumps
:thumbup: Do it. This will shave your electric bill tremendously. This is a win/win.


I know my reply may seem a little brash, but I'm not sugar coating what is going to be a large permanent purchase in your back yard. I know you are new to this whole pool thing, but there are some sub par products out there, and then there are some excellent, quality products out there. I hope this helps maybe answer some things or give you something to think about.


Thanks for the good info. But i did talk with my pool guy again and mentioned the regular Clorinator which was also included in my package and he said although the frog is a more costly he recommended it because ease of use. It was a free upgrade anyways! If I don't like it he said he will come and take it out and put the inline Chlorinator in for free.
chem geek
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Location: San Rafael, California

Filter's and Sanitizers? What to choose?

Postby chem geek » Tue 03 Jul, 2012 20:41

The Pool Frog adds silver ions to your pool. Metal ions (such as silver and copper) can stain plaster pool surfaces. Chlorine kills bacteria MUCH faster than either copper or silver (see this post for a comparison table).

As for saltwater chlorine generators (SWCG), the newer cells do last longer and their on-time is not 24 hours so in practice one does get at least 3 years out of them, sometimes longer. It used to be worse, but you need to get a larger system than the minimum for your pool size. The price is not linearly proportional so you pay a little more for a larger system but it lasts a lot longer because the on-time can be cut way down. Also, read Water Balance for SWGs to learn how you can minimze the problems of rising pH and acid addition. An SWCG produces the same net chemicals as adding chlorinating liquid or bleach (see this post for technical details). The chlorine gas that is dissolved into the water produces acid that partly neutralizes the base (lye) coming from the other plate. The net result is the same as adding hypochlorite which is chlorinating liquid or bleach. Though upon addition that raises the pH, the usage/consumption of chlorine is acidic. So the key is to lower the Total Alkalinity (TA) level to minimize carbon dioxide outgassing that causes pH to rise and to have a higher Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level (along with a higher FC target) to protect the chlorine more from breakdown from sunlight which lets you turn down the on-time of the SWCG. Using 50 ppm Borates is an option to provide additional pH buffering without contributing the outgassing of carbon dioxide.

An inline chlorinator uses Trichlor tabs/pucks which increase the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level over time. The following are chemical facts independent of concentration of product or of pool size:

For every 10 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) added by Trichlor, it also increases Cyanuric Acid (CYA) by 6 ppm.
For every 10 ppm FC added by Dichlor, it also increases CYA by 9 ppm.
For every 10 ppm FC added by Cal-Hypo, it also increases Calcium Hardness (CH) by at least 7 ppm.

So even with a 2 ppm FC per day chlorine usage, using Trichlor increases the CYA by 36 ppm per month if there is no water dilution. The higher CYA level lowers the active chlorine level unless you proportionally raise the FC level. So for pools with longer pool seasons or with cartridge filters or where you don't get summer rain overflow or winter rain overflow, algae can grow by the end of the season or after a couple of seasons. Though one can use algaecides or phosphate removers to try and prevent this, the other approach is to manage the CYA level and the FC/CYA ratio. In my own pool I use only 12.5% chlorinating liquid and a small amount of acid. That's it. The CH, TA and CYA levels are adjusted at the beginning of my 7-month long swim season. When I first started out 9 years ago, I used Trichlor and ran into the algae problems during my second year when the CYA hit 150 ppm and that was only delayed until then because I have a mostly opaque pool cover and used Polyquat 60 but only every other weak. 3 ppm FC was not sufficient to prevent algae growth. That's when I learned about the FC/CYA relationship and since that time I've had no problems with my pool nor have the tens of thousands of members of the various pool forums that describe this. I suggest you read the Pool School for more info.

For pool professionals who have taken the CPO course, I suggest you read Certified Pool Operator (CPO) training -- What is not taught .

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