SWG Pool System stands for “Saltwater Generator” a.k.a Saltwater Chlorine Generator. It uses electricity to convert salt to chlorine. Once the chlorine in there gets used up, it turns back to salt, set to be reused.
With an SWG, you are yet using chlorine; the SWG just helps to add the chlorine for you. The salt levels will depend on what SWG pool generator you’ve got.
Typically, many are around 3,000 ppm. These levels aren’t as high as ocean water, which is around 35,000 ppm. While some people may be able to taste the salt, several others won’t be able to.
Adding salt while the SWG is working created an increased subjective quality of water.
The primary aim of Salt water generators is to produce modest amounts of chlorine non-stop. This is perfect for daily usage as it lets you use a bit lower FC levels than you need when adding chlorine manually.
Note: Adding salt to the pool hardly ever causes corrosion. We’ve had ours for 7 years now and haven’t faced such an issue, for once. Rarely any SWG owners in forums too have complained of corrosion.
Pros (vs. Bleach)
- Faster and Convenient — You no longer need to carry bottles of bleach around
- Consistency. You no longer need to “remember” to add chlorine to your pool
- The risks of facing challenges which will require SLAMing the pool is brought to a minimal.
- Improved water texture (from salt, which is used with no SWG)
Cons (vs. Bleach)
- The cost is paid upfront to get the unit.
- It is more difficult to SLAM the pool because of the higher CYA level.
- In rare cases, you may have to run the pump more, or at a higher rate, to generate enough chlorine
- Some pool swimmers might not like the taste of salt in the water
ALSO SEE: Muriatic Acid Dangers
How Salt Chlorine Generators Work
Saltwater generator systems use dissolved salt to create chlorine which in turn cleans the pool. So, it doesn’t make your pool chlorine-free. Instead, it breaks down salt to create chlorine used to clean your pool.
Saltwater Chlorinator makes hypochlorous acid (HClO) using sodium chloride (NaCl) or table salt and electrolysis.
The saltwater travels through an electric current producing chlorine gas (Cl2), but you are also forming sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and hydrogen gas (h2).
With electrolysis, dissolved salt is converted to sodium hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid (HClO), the sanitizing agents, used to remove the water of dirt and germs.
SWG System Vs. Traditional Chlorine
Salt water chlorinator cuts my pool maintenance by 90%. Chlorine is costly here and with the Texas sun, you will end up spending lots of money on it if you try to chlorinate the traditional way (not to mention the time and stress you will spend trying to maintain the chlorine level). A salt water chlorinator pays for itself in about 2-3 years.
I own the GoldLine AquaRite and in 6 years, it has never had a problem.
Pro Tip: If you do decide to get a SWG, I would suggest NEVER adding a stabilizer in your pool – regardless of what people or the chlorinator salesman tells you. That will bind up the chlorine and makes it inactive and algae will grow.
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