Salt Water Chlorinators/SWG's

SWGs, salt water chlorine generators, chlorinators,
ozone generators, UV systems, . . .

Do you recommend SWG's?

Total votes: 37


Postby rojoromi » Mon 15 May, 2006 22:50

Going on three years with our generator. Central Valley CA. Hot summers!

Over the winter I have minimal maintenance with the SWG. I add minimal chlorine from mid Oct to early Apr. During the same period I add about 40lbs salt for my 24.5k gals every 4 weeks. We have an in ground heated spa that spills over into the pool and use it at approximately 2 days every other weekend during winter. My kids actually jump in the pool (about 50 degrees)!

During the summer, I have to add about 40 lbs of salt every other week. Plus I have to through in a packet of shock every 2-3 weeks. We use the pool almost daily from early May through late September.

We use an Aqua-rite generator and I have had problems finding any pool service that will maintain the generator and salt water levels as well as I would like them to :-( Picking up the salt is a hassle. I usually have my wife get it so that they will help her load it. Eight bags at 40 pounds each. In order not to discolor the Pebbletec (which I believe occured with one of my pool service trys) I always dissolve the salt first. Another hassle. I have rigged up a bucket with hose and let the pool return flush it out from the bottom of the bucket. This season is the first time I have had to really battle getting the chlorine levels up. Multiple shocks and almost no change in the readings :-(

Would I buy a SWG again even with all the hassles... the jury is still out. My wife likes it although she only deals with picking up the salt. She also likes the fact that we don't use a floater. We never really have had any smell, dry skin or eye problems to speak of. My kids and the neighbors never complain about those typical problems. They are all in the City's recreational swim program at the local school and they complain of all those typical problems found at that pool frequently.

Sorry for the wind, maybe you could read this by the pool:-)

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Salt Water Chlorinators/SWG's

Postby Pool Hacker » Sun 25 Jun, 2006 21:49

So far, so good with mine (after I modified it).

Salt Water Chlorinators/SWG's

Postby Guest » Wed 19 Jul, 2006 10:15


Why do you need to keep adding so much salt???

It was my understanding that it is mostly a one time addition of salt at start up and very little after that because salt does not evaporate.

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Salt Water Chlorinators

Postby Walter » Wed 19 Jul, 2006 14:13

We have 64+ pools we clean and 7 pools a month we build that we put SWG on. Like post earlier, they are expensive to repair. The true benefit from a SWG is that for people with sensitive skin to chlorine have little worries with the SWG.
We are a custom pool and spa builder. We can only offer suggestions with the information given. Don't hesitate to email me if you have a questions and I will answer it as best as I can or point you in the right direction.
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Salt Water Chlorinators

Postby kamkuda » Wed 06 Sep, 2006 18:35

Walter wrote:We have 64+ pools we clean and 7 pools a month we build that we put SWG on. Like post earlier, they are expensive to repair. The true benefit from a SWG is that for people with sensitive skin to chlorine have little worries with the SWG.

Why would that be. A SWG creates liquid chlorine.

SWG poll

Postby jimndottie » Sat 23 Sep, 2006 15:27

We are in Florida and they are very popular here. Have had one for almost 4 years along with an electric heater and would have one again. Very easy to take care of and no chlorine odor.

Good Luck!
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salt water chlorine generators

Postby poolnerd » Thu 28 Dec, 2006 00:10

Yes, the same form of chlorine, hypochlorous acid (HOCl) ends up in the water whether it comes from liquid, granular, tabs, gas, or even a SWG.
I believe that most homeowners are interested in SWG's because they believe they'll save time and/or money. Unfortunately, an SWG really does neither. Another oft-looked shortcoming is their inability to generate chlorine once water temp drops below about 63 degrees Fahrenheit. And besides corrosion of SS filter tanks, one should be aware of the possibility of corrosion in SS light niches, too.
On the other hand, one thing going for them is they do offer that "soft water" feeling, which some bathers enjoy. I guess, like anything in life, there are both the good and the bad to consider. Those of us in the business just need to be completely honest when selling these units.
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Salt Water Chlorinators

Postby dynamictiger » Thu 28 Dec, 2006 15:39

I am going to state up front that I am resident in Australia and have been for some time.

The number of pools on salt here is huge.

From my readings and postings on Forums and blogs it appears there is a general lack of understanding of the product in the US market. No particular thing, just a general lack.

Correctly installed and correctly maintained a salt chlorinator is the simplest pool chemical maintenance system available. The best pools for them have all plastic or fiberglass components including filter bodies (you can ignore gas heaters).

I have noticed Salt is sometimes bashed and blamed for all sorts of things from corrosion of metal fittings to destroying limestone. This does not happen in Australia and we use very similar products.

The fact is that many pools running Liquid Chlorine as sodium hypochlorite commonly have a salt count as high as a salt pool anyway.

As for expensive repairs, this is usually the cells. Being an older member of the pool industry I recall when teh recommended levels were 7000 ppm of salt not the 3-4000 recommended now. To get the cell to operate at these lower salt levels the manufacturers have increased the current and subsequent heat. To extend the salt life the salt level must be maintained above the manufacturers level usually by 2000 ppm this will extend the salt cell life and enable the chlorine production to be decreased by time or adjustment of the output resulting in cooler running temperatures and increased cell life.


Salt Water Chlorinators

Postby Guest » Tue 17 Jul, 2007 20:20

I have had mine for 3 + years and have had little trouble till recently and the company in Florida I'm in Ca. told me to check my phosphate levels they eat chlorine at production and low and behold as soon as I got that down I was back in business it works
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Salt Water Chlorinators

Postby chem geek » Tue 17 Jul, 2007 21:31

I keep hearing about phosphates eating chlorine on production, but I've talked to several chemists now about this and they say it simply doesn't happen. Instead I suspect that phosphates encourage faster or more algae growth (phosphates are a required nutrient for algae, along with nitrates and carbonates) and that is what uses up the chlorine. Maintaining a higher chlorine level would likely keep away the algae better. The other option would be to use 30-50 ppm Borates in the water as that is an algaecide (that's what Proteam Supreme is all about, though you could also use 20 Mule Team Borax from the grocery store). Another option would be a regular maintenance dose of PolyQuat 60 which is an algaecide. I suspect that any of these options would work as well as the phosphates, but until we have someone in a similar situation try that, I can't prove it. We DO have proof of Borates allowing SWG output to be cut way down, but that's about it.

As for SWGs, dynamictiger makes good points, but the limestone used in Australia is either fired or certified to be more resistant to salt. So on the one hand it's true that the proper application of materials is necessary around a pool that has more salt in it while on the other hand it is also true that salt can cause corrosion if improper materials are used. So the finger pointing goes on between PBs and SWG folks when either one could solve the problem by just being straightforward about what's going on and using better materials (and sometimes materials are used that would be a problem in ANY pool, but the SWG gets blamed because 85% of new installs are SWG). See this link for a blog about SWG problems in the Texas area, several threads in this link that debate salt issues and this thread where I try and talk about some of the science behind corrosion. Unfortunately, there are not definitive answers but as dynamictiger says the application (i.e. proper usage) is part of what is required.


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