Balance Your Pool Chemistry
You dont necessarily have to balance your phosphate levels, but with salt water pools, its a good idea because they act almost like a glue for contaminants that can cause scale build-up inside your salt cell.
They enter your pool from human contaminants, chemicals, rainwater and other various sources.
Most average pool testing kits dont come with phosphate testers, but they’re pretty cheap to buy.
A phosphate level below 200 is recommended. You can then purchase a phosphate reducer if needed.
If any of these levels are off, take the appropriate measures to correct them.
Starting Your Salt System
Before you adjust any of your chemical levels, it is essential to first test your water. We offer different pool water testing equipment on our site that you can use. Maintain your water between the following values:
Salt: 2700 -3400 ppm
Cyanuric Acid : 70-80 ppm
Total Alkalinity: 60-80 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 200-400 ppm
Water Chemistry For Saltwater Pools
Additionally, our blog article, Water Chemistry For Saltwater Pools, is available for pool owners to review. It is a chemical quick start-up guide for saltwater pools that guides you through adjusting your chemical levels.
Saltwater Concrete Pool Cost
If you choose a concrete saltwater pool, this will run you between $49,500 and $100,000. Theyre one of the most expensive, although they last a very long time with the right care.
They are popular because they are aesthetically pleasing. Except one disadvantage is that it costs more money to operate. Although most people dont care since concrete pools have a long life expectancy.
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What Is The Annual Cost Of A Salt Water Pool
If you hire a pool service company, the annual maintenance cost of a salt water pool is about $970 to $1,700 per year and $300 or more to open or close the pool. The average price of electricity, depending on where you live, will be from $780 to $1,200 a year. The pump must run continually to produce chlorine. Replacement parts and repair can run from $250 to $1,500.
What Might Prevent Conversion To A Salt Water System
One consideration of saltwater systems that needs to be taken into account is the price. They are more complex and more expensive than traditional chlorine systems. And although generally maintenance free, because of the complexity of salt water systems, if there are any problems, maintenance issues usually require hiring a professional technician. The composition of the various pool components will also play a role in whether youll be able to easily convert to a salt water system. Salt water can be corrosive to certain materials, so youll have to ensure your pool liner, masonry work and mechanical components are saltwater resistant. Aluminum and certain types of resin are much more capable of withstanding salt water damage than other materials. There are upgrade kits available that assist in preparing a pool for a saltwater conversion.
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What Materials Are Needed To Convert To A Saltwater Pool
As neat as it would be to just add table salt to your water, to convert your pool to saltwater, first you’ll need a few necessary components . You’ll need the following:
You’ll also need to be sure to have proper electricity available to power the system.
Choosing the Right Salt Chlorinator System for Your Pool
The main component of a saltwater pool system is the chlorinator. A salt chlorinator system consists of two major parts: the salt cell and the control board. The salt cell is where the electrolysis takes place that converts the salt in your pool’s water to chlorine. The control board controls how much chlorine is generated.
Which system you choose is largely a matter of preference and budget, as some systems come with considerably more features than others. But what is most important is that you choose a salt system that is rated for your pool’s water volume. The most common ratings are 15,000 gallons, 25,000 gallons, and 40,000 gallons. You’ll just want to choose a system that meets or exceeds your pool’s water volume, and you should be in good shape.
The Importance of a Sacrificial Anode
The anode is added to your plumbing and connects via a wire to whatever piece of metal equipment you’d like to protect. The corrosion is then redirected to an inexpensive zinc anode, which can be easily replaced every few years. This will help keep your pool rust-free.
Don’t Forget the Salt!
BONUS: You know what goes really well with salt? PEPPER!
Saltwater Pool Maintenance Cost
The total cost to maintain and keep a saltwater pool clean is around $40 a month, or $480 a year. It costs about $75 to $125 a month, or $900 to $1,500 a year for professional assistance.
Saltwater pools are easier to maintain than chlorine pools they can self-maintain better, which means you dont need as many chemicals. Also, there is less algae and scale as well.
You will spend around $100 for chemicals and salt each season for a saltwater pool. For a chlorine pool, you usually spend $300 or so for supplies per season. However, if you want to hire a professional to clean your pool, thats about $500 for the whole season.
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What About Choosing Your Salt System
Before you install your saltwater pool, you must determine the best saltwater system for your use.
The saltwater system needs compatibility with your current pool system, strong enough for the size of the pool, and durable enough for the longevity of your use.
Some of the factors that go into the size, strength, and quality of your system include:
- The number of people: The number of people who use your pool and how often it will be used impacts how hard the filter and chlorination system works. A more robust system keeps your pool cleaner.
- Pool size: One of the most critical factors. Larger pools require larger or stronger saltwater sanitization systems.
- Your pool environment: If you live in an area with frequent heavy rainfall or many leaves and other tree debris that could fall into the saltwater pool, you may need a more robust system for decontamination of the water.
- Compatibility: Luckily, most saltwater systems are compatible with current chlorine-only pool systems. Ask your salesperson of the saltwater system for compatibility information before making your final purchase decision.
Salt Water Pool Conversion
A salt water pool conversion is a lot easier than you might think. The addition of a salt system with a natural chlorine generator will transform any existing chemical chlorine pool so you can experience soft and luxurious water. Whether you are a residential pool owner or a pool service professional we will guide you through the simple step by step process.
The first step when considering converting your pool to salt water is understanding how the chlorination process works. The basic principle is that instead of adding chemical chlorine pucks or powder to your pool on a daily or weekly basis, your pool will produce chlorine naturally from the salt that is in the water by breaking down the salt molecules.
The salt water creates a more stable environment which means you will not only be able to create your own chlorine but you will need less chemicals and balancing. You will be decreasing your pool maintenance while being able to experience the benefits of soft and luxurious salt water. In addition, you also wont feel the harsh side effects of chloramines that cause things like red eyes, chemical odours and the sticky feeling that can be left on your skin after a swim.
We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of upgrading your pool to salt water as well as answer questions like how much it costs to convert your pool. We’ll start with the salt water pool conversion process including some helpful tips for keeping your pool healthy, sparkling clean and functioning properly.
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Salt Water Pool Conversion In 5 Steps
After you have purchased your salt system it’s time to install it in your existing pool plumbing system. It should be installed at the end of your plumbing after the pump, filter and heater right before the return valve to your pool. This ensures that the freshly chlorinated water that has passed through the salt system and cell enters the pool directly.
The ideal setup is to run your control panel and pool pump from the same power source and timer to ensure simultaneous operation. This keeps the entire system is in sync and ensures that the pump is running during chlorination. You can print off our salt water pool installation diagram for easy reference.
If you decide on a system that requires a more complex installation you will be required to do some basic plumbing and electrical work. It’s recommended that you hire a plumber or pool professional to complete the conversion if you arent comfortable with either of these tasks. If you want to try on your own you can follow our step by step guide on how to complete a salt water pool conversion.
1. Establish Location for Installation
In most inground swimming pools you will be adding the salt system in your existing plumbing that is fitted for 1.5-2.5 inches diameter. It should be installed after the pump, filter and heater and within proximity of the power source and control panel.
2. Plumbing, Flow Switch and Check Valve
3. Sacrificial Zinc Anode
4. Control Panel and Power Supply
5. Adding Salt
Salt Water Pools Cost Less To Maintain
While you may have been led to believe that all you need to do to maintain a salt water pool is throw in some salt every few weeks, its actually a bit more involved than that.
The good news is, salt water pool maintenance can cost a lot less than caring for a chlorine pool, which can be one of the most important deciding factors in making the switch. Exactly how much less expensive salt water is than chlorine over the lifetime of your pool depends on several factors such as where you live, the size of your pool, the quality of the equipment you use, and how well you maintain it.
The up-front cost of a chlorinator ranges from a few hundred to a thousand dollars or more. Long-term costs include replacing the chlorinator cellthe part that actually converts salt to chlorineevery five years or so, provided you maintain your chlorinator well.
Youll also still need to keep your water balanced, but another positive aspect of a salt water pool conversion is youll likely require fewer chemicals to keep the water balanced.
So while things like test strips or digital testers and a few chemicals will still have to be part of your maintenance budget, your monthly chemical costs will still be lower with a salt water pool, than with chlorine.
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Can You Convert Above Ground Pool To Saltwater
Many people these days are choosing saltwater pools over the traditional chlorine systems. Saltwater pools are said to be more eco-friendly because they keep your pool water fresh and clean while using fewer chemicals. The truth, however, is that saltwater pools still use chemicals, but smaller amounts. Still many people opt for the saltwater pool as they consider it easier on the eyes skin and hair. But what if you already have a conventional chlorine pool? Can you convert above ground pool to saltwater? Its definitely possible and in this article, well go over the steps youd need to follow.
Pool Enclosure Or Fence
Most homeowners insurance will require some fence or enclosure around your pool. This is to keep children and pets out and prevents accidents.
The enclosure or fence will cost anywhere from $1,200 to $22,000. Of course, this depends on the type and size. Or instance, is it a fence around an above ground pool? Or is it an enclosure for an indoor pool?
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Pool Water Delivery Cost
A 15,000-gallon pool will cost from $80 to $160 using your garden hose or $600 to $1,200 trucked in. While its entirely possible to fill your pool with a garden hose, it will take some time. A water tanker holds about 9,000 lbs. of water, and youll need a tanker and a half of water. It costs more to hire tankers, but it is much faster.
- City Water Having a pool can increase your water bill by about $4 to $20 per month, due to the 2 inches per week loss of water per day due to evaporation. The average price per gallon of water ranges from $0.002/gallon to $0.011/gallon .
- Well Water Well water isnt treated whereas city water is. The metals and minerals can stain your pool wall and possibly turn the water brown. You can filter the water before it goes into the pool with something like a Hayword Bobby filter on the end of your garden hose which filters out the impurities, or treat the water once its in the pool with a metal control treatment or water clarifier.
Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System
The Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System when combined with a sand or cartridge filter and pump will transform an existing above ground pool up to 15,000 gallons into a silky soft salt water pool. Enjoy sparkling clear water with no chemical smell and say good bye to red burning eyes, faded swimsuits and hair discoloration. This system is a standalone salt water chlorine generator that can be added to any existing above ground pool, pump and either sand or cartridge filter.
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Ladders And Diving Boards
You need ladders for your pool if you do not have stairs on both sides of your pool. Most of the time, the ladders are included in your total pool price. However, if theyre not, they cost about $70 to $200 each.
Diving boards are not recommended for fiberglass pools as these types of pools are not usually deep enough. If you want to add a diving board, they cost around $400.
The Upsides & Downsides To Installing A Pool On Pavers
There are a few different benefits and drawbacks to installing an above-ground pool on patio pavers. It is important to be an informed homeowner before you put in a major installation in your backyard.
In this table, we will describe the pros and cons of having an above-ground pool on pavers:
Now from this table, it is clear that having an above-ground pool on pavers has an equal number of benefits and drawbacks. So, it is often left up to the homeowner to make the decision that is best for them. However, if you are trying to hire someone to install the above-ground pool for you, they may be skeptical of installing an above-ground pool over your existing patio.
Whether you put an above-ground pool on sand or dirt instead of directly onto pavers depends largely upon your answers to the following questions:
Again, there are some pros and cons to installing an above-ground pool. Above-ground pools have been around for many years now and with them come innovations that make their installation as easy as possible.
Pavers might not be the best choice, but if you do go ahead with this option, then you must put down an additional layer first, so there isnt any major damage done once your pool is installed on top!
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Getting More Use Out Of Your Salt Cell
A salt cell will usually last about 3-7 years. Some of them are rather costly to replace, so you will probably want to take steps to make sure you get the most use out of them.
Keeping the pH level balanced will go a long way towards keeping your salt cell healthy. The scaling caused by unbalanced pH levels can lead to deposits and build-up on your generator, causing it to wear out more quickly.
But even when the pH levels are normal, you can still get calcium build-up.
Keep the blades of your salt cell cleaned off brushing and hosing off any visible scaling.
Stubborn build-up can usually be dissolved in a mild acid solution.
Salt Water Swimming Pool Installation Cost
A salt water swimming pool averages about $12,000 to $38,500 to install. Included in that price range are things like excavating, paving, lining, filling, and ladders. Exact costs will depend on the type and size of pool you build. Small, pre-fabricated facilities will fall on the lower end of this price range. Standard-size and large pools will fall in the middle to high end.
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How To Convert A Chlorine Pool To A Saltwater Pool
Perhaps you have a swimming pool, and it already uses a traditional chlorine sanitizing system to keep your pool water clean which is fine and all… but you’ve heard of all the benefits of saltwater pool systems and want to change over to the salty side.
Luckily, it turns out converting a chlorine pool to a saltwater pool is not only a fairly simple process, but relatively inexpensive as well! In this article, we’ll cover the basics of switching to saltwater and how you can easily do it yourself .
Removing And Installing Equipment
Removing the old salt system is pretty simple and most would follow these three steps:
- Shut off the power to the control box, then unmount it.
- Remove the flow switch from the tee mount, plug the tee tap or remove the tee and replumb the section.
- Unscrew the cell from the plumbing line.
If you have one of those flow through cells like the Hayward AquaRite, then those steps are simple. But if you have a CompuPool upside down U-shape or the AutoPilot manifold design, the removal of the cell and associated piping will likely require some PVC elbow grease.
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