Choose The Right Salt Chlorinator
Salt chlorinators are rated for use in specific sizes of pools, usually in gallons. To find a chlorinator that will effectively generate enough chlorine for your pool, choose one that is rated for a pool at least 1/3 larger than your pool.
If you choose one that is rated for your pool size, your salt chlorinator will have to work at 100% output at all times. This will result in higher energy use and place more strain on the salt cell, which will limit its lifespan.
To calculate the size of your pool in gallons, measure the dimensions in feetlength, width, average depth. To find the average depth, add the depth of the shallow end with the depth of the deep end and divide by two.
Next, multiply the width by the length by the average depth, and then multiply by 7.5 to find the gallon capacity of your pool x 7.5.
Saltwater systems also come with added features, like system control and diagnostics. So choose one based on your budget and preferences.
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How To Convert A Salt Water Pool To Chlorine
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If you prefer a traditional pool, a chlorine pool may be right for you. Unlike salt water, chlorinated water requires weekly testing. However, you can easily adjust the water with chemicals and no longer have to replace the expensive salt cell every few years. The conversion also requires a little plumbing work. With a few pool supplies, you can then maintain a great chlorine pool.
How Much Does It Cost To Convert To A Salt Water Pool
When it comes to converting a pool to saltwater, the biggest expense is the cost of a chlorine salt generator. Most saltwater chlorinators run between $800 to $1,200. Youll also need to replace the cell every three to seven years, which can cost anywhere from $600 to $900.
The right model for your pool will depend on your pool size and the various features you want. Aside from that, your main costs will be salt and chlorine but as we mentioned, you wont need nearly as much chlorine as you did before. You can get extra-large salt bags for $10 to $20 apiece. The price of chlorine depends on whether you get liquid chlorine or chlorine tablets, but you probably wont need to spend more than a few hundred dollars each year.
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What Is A Saltwater Pool
One of the biggest misconceptions about a saltwater pool is that they don’t use chlorine to keep the water clean. This is not the case, as chlorine is still used as a sanitizing agent. The difference is that with a saltwater pool the salt works with a salt cell to produce the chlorine for you as it is needed. This not only means you won’t have to handle liquid chlorine or chlorine tablets, but your pool will generally have lower chlorine levels than it would with a traditional system.
As the chlorine is regulated through your salt cell and its connected automation system, your pool will not experience the constant seesaw of spikes and drops commonly associated with traditional chlorine pools. For a more detailed comparison, check out our breakdown of chlorine vs. saltwater vs. mineral pools.
What To Know About Salt Water Systems For Pools
One of the main assumptions about salt water pools is that theyre extremely salty. In fact, the salinity of a salt water pool is much lower than the ocean. This means its much gentler on your eyes, hair, and skin than a swim at the beach.
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Another common misunderstanding is the belief that salt water pools are entirely chlorine-free. They arent! With a salt water swimming pool, youll still need some chlorine to clean and balance the water. Even so, youll need far less chlorine than you would with a regular pool.
Chlorine is present in all tap water and with a salt water pool, chlorine levels wont be much higher than in water from your tap. That being said, its still important to make sure your pets dont drink the pool water, as the salt and other stabilizers can be toxic if too much is ingested. If you, your pet, or any other swimmers swallow a bit of water by accident, you probably dont need to worry. But as with all types of pool water, its something you should avoid.
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The Cost Of Conversion
Your pool is already built for a chlorine system. All the existing equipment wont be compatible with a salt water pool. New equipment needs to be installed for your salt water pool to work. Many homeowners find that the cost of conversion isnt as much as they had anticipated. In the long run, most homeowners find that its cheaper to maintain their salt water pools. They think of it the same way theyd think of installing solar panels its an investment in the future that will, sooner or later, become less expensive than their previous system.
Cost Of Saltwater Pool Equipment
|Type of Pool Equipment|
Installing additional pieces of equipment can make your new saltwater pool more enjoyable. A new pump, a heater, and some filters would be ideal additions.
Lets use this section of the article to go in-depth on the pieces of equipment you can add to your new pool. Find out what those additional items do and how much they cost depending on the type of pool you have.
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Equipment Costs For A New Saltwater Pool
Pools that are initially built with a saltwater generator setup typically have an overall cost anywhere from $1500 to $3000 more due to the cost of the equipment.
Saltwater pools cost $1500 to $3000 extra upfront.
This is quite a lot more money up front than a chlorine pool.
However, you will also end up paying less ongoing costs over the life of the salt cell. With a chlorine pool, you would spend money on chlorine and the gas and time it takes you to go to the pool store and buy the chlorine.
And then you have the inconvenience of adding it multiple times per week every for the life of the pool.
Pools: Skip The Saltwater And Stick With Chlorine
Lets talk about pools! Have you been tempted to convert your chlorine pool to a saltwater pool? You might want to hold off.
We promise there is someone else reading this article right now who has already made the conversion and is considering converting back to a traditional chlorine system. Heres why.
Theres a lot of buzz out there right now about how saltwater pools are better than chlorine pools, but that isnt necessarily the case.
Although saltwater pools are touted to be easier on your eyes and skin, they come with a whole host of other issues you need to consider before committing to a saltwater system.
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Things To Consider Before Switching From Salt Water To Chlorine
One of the main differences you may notice when you switch from salt water to chlorine is the feel of the water. With salt water, the issue of red eyes and skin irritants is much lower, despite the presence of chlorine. Also, with regular chlorine pools some people report issues of swimsuits fading and blonde hair turning color. If these types of things dont faze you, then the switch to chlorine may not be as difficult.
In the end, it comes down to what types of things youre willing to deal with when it comes to your pool. If the salt water maintenance and damage is too much to bear, then it may be time to think about switching from salt water to chlorine.
But, if you cant deal with the smell of the chlorine or some of the irritants that some people have problems with, then you may want to stick with your salt water pool.
While both types of pools require cleaning and maintenance, keep in mind that you should always have shock and chlorine on hand to keep your pool in optimal shape with a chlorine pool. The same rules apply as with salt water pools when it comes to skimming it to get out debris and vacuuming it regularly to keep algae out.
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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Prepare The Hot Tub For Conversion To A Salt Water Tub
Now you need to prepare the spa for the saltwater system installation. For the system to work properly, you need to start it with fresh, clean water. Contamination and residues of hot tub sanitizers will interfere with the operation of the saltwater system.
1.Clean and drain a hot tub
Clean the hot tub with a hot tub cleaner before draining to remove contaminants from inside of the spa plumbing and jets. Drain the water and clean the surface.
2.Refill the hot tub
Refill the hot tub as usual but use a hose with a filter to ensure maximum water purity.
3.Check hot tub water chemistry
saltwater systems require balanced and pure water to start and work correctly. Check the water with test strips and balance the water if needed .
How To Convert Your Pool To Salt Water The Easy Guide
Salt water pools have been around for several years however, they have grown in popularity in the last few years. Salt water pools have become very popular largely because they are quite inexpensive to maintain and they are much easier on your eyes, hair and skin.
Also, salt water is a much healthier option.
Converting your pool into a salt water pool is an effective way to maintain the chlorine levels and ensure that your pool is safe for use all year round. However, you may think that changing your pool to a salt water system is a hassle.
But you will be quite surprised to know that the conversion process is quite simple. And, if youre considering converting your pool to a salt water one by yourself, then read on to know everything about the process.
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Preparing Your Pool For Conversion
We only need to balance our pool water in order to convert it for use with a salt water chlorinator! Contrary to urban legends, theres no need to drain and completely change out our pool water if we want to convert it. The first thing we need to do is to balance our pool water to the following levels:
- Free Chlorine: 1-3 PPM
What Is A Salt Pool
OK, so I promised to explain more about how a salt pool is the same as a chlorine pool so lets start with that. A salt pool simply uses a device called a salt water cell generator that uses electricity to convert dissolved salt into chlorine and then injects it directly into your pool.
Sounds a bit easier than actually having to physically add chlorine tabs or liquid all the time.
Everything else is the same with respect to maintenance and additional chemicals required to keep your water balanced. Check out our other article for a more thorough comparison and benefits comparison of traditional chlorine pools and salt pools.
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Quick Facts About Saltwater Pools
- Saltwater pools have about the salinity of tears, about 1/10 the salinity of sea water
- Another byproduct of a salt chlorine generator, sodium hydroxide, naturally raises the pH level of the water, preventing it from becoming acidic
- When the water is correctly pH balanced, acids cause the water to naturally restore the salinity levels. This means that you dont need to continually add or monitor salt levels once you are at the correct salinity for the first time
- Because the salinity of a salt water pool is similar to the level in our own bodies, it doesnt sting or irritate the eyes
- Salt water pools are preferred for people with asthma and allergies, because they dont have irritating chloramines
- Salt water will corrode metal, and shouldnt be used in pools with metal walls, or handrail, ladder, and other pool features that have metal components or anchors.
- Salt is abrasive on the inside of pool shells lined with concrete, gunite, or plaster
How To Convert Your Pool To Saltwater
Thats all fine, youre probably thinking, but how do I convert my pool to saltwater? The good news is that salt water pool conversion is a fairly simple process and likely more affordable than you think.
After youve tested your water, balanced its chemistry, installed your saltwater chlorinator, and connected it to your pool pump, you can begin adding salt. You should look for granulated, non-iodized salt with 99.8% NaCl or higher.
When you enter your current water chemistry into Pool Calculator, youll know how much salt to add. In most cases, youll be starting with zero salinity, but if your water contains a little bit of salt, our app will tell you exactly how much more you need. Check the user manual on your salt chlorinator for specific directions on how to add salt. Since the salinity of salt water pools is relatively low, you only need to add salt a few times per year.
After adding salt, power on your saltwater chlorinator and let it run for 12 to 24 hours until it dissolves completely. Test your pool water again to ensure your salt and chlorine levels are balanced. If the chemistry looks good, you can go ahead and jump in!
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How Does A Salt Chlorinator Work
Salt chlorinators convert salt into a self-regenerating supply of pure chlorine for soft and safe water. Haywards chlorine generator systems convert dissolved salt into the perfect amount of chlorine for your pool. Our systems create water that is silky-smooth and sanitized for a pleasant, healthful swimming experience for your family.
Heres how it works: You add pool-grade salt to your pool and wait until it dissolves. Power is applied to the chlorine generator to convert the dissolved salt into chlorine. Fresh, pure chlorine treated water is returned to the pool for complete sanitization and swimming comfort. Its as simple as that!
Haywards salt chlorination system is less work for pool owners, is easier on your familys budget, and is a more convenient sanitization method than traditional chemical chlorine sanitization. Click here to learn more about the benefits of salt chlorination.
How Much Does It Cost
Before we talk about advantages and disadvantages, lets address the most pressing question on your mind: how much will this cost?
Installing a new saltwater pool costs an average of $25,000 about $2,000 more than installing a traditional pool. This includes the cost of buying and installing a saltwater chlorination system, which runs between $500 and $2,500.
If youre converting a pool, the cost will vary depending on whether you have an aboveground or inground pool and how large it is. In general, you can expect to pay between $500 and $2,500. This will include costs like the purchase of salt and installation labor.
No matter how small or large your system is, its worth your while to hire an expert. This ensures that the conversion is done properly and that your system wont wear out or break prematurely. Plus, proper installation helps keep your pool safe.
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Other Factors That Can Impact Your Salt Water Pool Cost
Depending on the necessary preparation, a contractor might charge you more for your project. The cost to prepare the ground alone can easily go up to $20,000. One way to lower your saltwater pool costs is to level the ground before getting a quote from a contractor.
Costs can quickly add up if your contractor needs to build retaining walls, remove trees, or level the ground.