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What does a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (S.W.G.) do?

It simply turns the Salt that you have added to the water into Chlorine, this is a chemical reaction caused by the use of electricity, once the Chlorine is used it then turns back into Salt and the same process is then repeated. You are still Chlorinating your Swimming Pool but the Generator does the work of dosing it for you. 

What to Consider? The level of Salt needed depends on the model of Generator that you have, but it is generally around 3.000 ppm (sea water being about 35.000 ppm). The majority of people find that they can barely taste the Salt but say that by adding it, the feel of the water is improved.

With a S.W.G. (Salt Water Generator) Chlorine levels can be kept at a slightly lower level than when Chlorinating your Swimming Pool with Tablets or Granules.

There is some debate about damage that may be caused by the use of an S.W.G.; namely corrosion on some materials used in Swimming Pools. The reports of damage are very rare and are usually associated with the Chlorine level having been allowed to be too high for a long period of time and a softer type of natural stone being used above the water line (sandstone, limestone etc.), where it may be continuously splashed. The debate continues as this is not fully understood as yet. 

The benefits of an S.W.G. are:

  • No need to handle heavy loads of Liquid or Granular Chlorine
  • Less likelihood of having to "shock" the Swimming Pool
  • Better feel to the water from the Salt
  • You will cut your Chlorine costs by more than half 

The only real downside of having S.W.G. installed in your Swimming Pool can be the up-front cost. 

Generally the S.W.G. cell needs to be checked over by eye once every season. If any of the plates have a crusty or flaky appearance then the cell needs to be cleaned according to the instructions. This build-up on the plates usually indicates that the waters’ balance has not been maintained, fixing this will avoid a continuing problem.

The cell of an S.W.G. lasts around three to five years, although this will depend on usage and good maintenance of water balance. Most models can have a cell replaced without having to buy a whole new unit, this is something to take into consideration when choosing your S.W.G.

An S.W.G. produces Chlorine only whilst the Pump is running and the amount of Chlorine produced is controlled via a percentage switch/dial, so you need to take into account the possibility that the Pump may need to run for longer periods. As always Chlorine usage depends on many things; pool usage, pool parties, storms and debris to name but a few.