Selecting Your Salt System
Before purchasing your salt system, there are a few things you want to consider. First, make sure you know how many gallons of water your pool holds. If you are unsure, you can check a pool volume calculator HERE.
Next, you want to determine which type of plug setup you have for your pool area. Lastly, think about how you intend on installing it to your pool.
There are two different types of plugs for above ground salt systems: the standard 3-prong and twist lock. Selecting the wrong type of cord can delay your installation. You can determine which plug you need by looking at your current above ground pool set up.
You can find the three-prong plug on most household appliances. The Twist Lock plugs arent as popular and you typically see more of them in the Northeastern part of the US.
Depending on the make and model of the salt system, you can mount the cell to your plumbing lines one of two ways, the return jet or the hose/pipe . With the use of adapters and flex hose, you install the RJ units vertically under the return jet. There is an additional elbow that hooks into the return line. Because of the design, there is no need for a flow switch.
The HP units install directly into PVC pipe or pool hose. You have the ability to install these units vertically or horizontally. In some salt systems like the Pureline Crystal Pure, the cell easily plumbs in-line and has quick disconnect unions for easy access.
Where to Buy
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
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 .
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Fiberglass Salt Water Pool
Fiberglass salt water pool material is more resistant to algae and maintains its coloring well. The shell comes already made so installation is quick. However, buyers are limited on the size and shape of a pool and may experience a more slippery pool bottom. The maintenance of a fiberglass salt water pool is easy. The main thing you have to do is make sure it has enough salt to keep the levels right. A fiberglass salt water pool cost is $10,000-$25,000.
Salt Water Pool Pros And Cons
Salt water pools have some definite advantages over chlorine pools. However, there are some disadvantages as well. Most people find that the advantages of a salt water pool outweigh any potential negatives. Salt water pool pros and cons include:
Cells in chlorinator need to be
replaced every few years
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Salt Water Pool Cleaning
Salt water pool cleaning helps to keep your pool crystal clear and ready for swimming. In addition to skimming leaves, bugs and other debris, pool owners will need to remove debris from the skimmer, baskets, and the automatic pool cleaner. Also, the pool will need to be vacuumed and the walls brushed with a stiff brush. The filter will need backwashing and salt cells should be routinely cleaned to avoid build-up.
Salt Water Pool Maintenance
Salt water pool maintenance costs about $45 per month if you do it yourself, and $80 to $150 per month if you pay a cleaning service. You can save on this cost if you close the pool for a few months every winter for around $300. Your salt water pool will need to be cleaned regularly from debris that falls or blows into it, dust that settles in the water, and salt buildupsalt solids can collect on the bottom of the pool.
Depending on the price you pay, weekly services can include:
- Water testing and balancing
- Vacuuming the pool
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Check Your Existing Pool Water
Most pool cleaners are compatible with chlorine, so you wont need to drain them or change your water before you convert.
However, some common antibacterial products are not compatible with chlorine. In particular, polyhexamethylene biguanide does not work with chlorine cleaners. If youre currently using this, your only options before converting are switching your pool water or burning it out with excess chlorine. The second option is more affordable, but it takes several days.
What’s A Salt Water Pool
A salt pool has a salt cell that creates its own chlorine by causing an electrical reaction between the salt and the electrode.
So, instead of manually adding chlorine to your pool once a week, your pool is creating its own naturally. The difference is, though, that it is higher quality than the chlorine you can buy and it doesnt cause the same reactions to the skin and eyes.
It also doesnt produce those nasty chloramines people tend to have trouble with.
And you will never taste it because it doesnt even contain as much salt as human tears.
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How Much Does A Salt Water Pool Cost
The average cost for a new salt water swimming pool is between $25,000 and $80,000. Note that installing a salt water swimming pool will cost a bit more than installing a traditional chlorine pool. This is because the price of a salt water pool includes the salt water chlorine generator, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500 depending on the size of the salt water pool.
Salt water pools are great in that they don’t require chemicals like a traditional chlorine pool. Instead, through the work of a salt-chlorine generator, a salt water pool will make its own chlorine. Without additional chemicals, you get fewer chloramines, which is much better for the skin, hair, and eyes.
Here are some of the average costs of saltwater pools based on size:
- 10′ x 16′ – $15,000 to $25,000
- 10′ x 30′ – $25,00 to $42,000
- 12′ x 24′ – $27,000 to $50,000
- 14′ x 28′ – $36,000 to $55,000
- 16′ x 32′ – $48,000 to $70,000
Along with the construction of your pool, you will also need to install a pool pump and filter. Here are the average costs for pool pumps and filters:
- Pump – $150 – $800
How To Convert Your Pool Into A Salt Water Pool
One of the questions that we get a lot from our blog readers here at Mr Pool Man is how to convert their existing traditionally chlorinated pool to a salt water pool. Is it as simple as attaching a saltwater chlorinator to the system or does it entail something more? Well, were here to answer those questions and more with our guide to converting your traditional pool into a salt water pool!
Before we dive in, hereâs our resident pool guru, Tom, with an overview of our favorite saltwater chlorinator, the Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator. Its also the chlorinator that well use as the basis for our conversion guide.
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Saltwater Pool System Maintenance Costs
Youll pay less than $100 a year for the necessary salt and chemicals for your saltwater swimming pool maintenance. In contrast, you are likely to spend anywhere between $350 to $900 to maintain a standard chlorine pool.
Every 3 to 5 years, youll need to consider an additional $250 to $800 for the salt cell replacement. The power required to run your saltwater system adds $40 to $50 to your annual utility bill.
Calculating How Much Salt To Add
Use the calculator below to figure out how much salt to add or water to replace in your pool. All you need to do is plug in your pool volume and your current salt levels and hit calculate. I already plugged in the ideal salt level of 3,200 ppm, but if you feel strongly that you want it to be lower or higher, you can adjust it as needed.
And its as simple as that!
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What Sized Chlorinator Do I Need
The Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator comes in three sizes: the WTA25, WTA35, and the WTA45.
While it would be tempting to pick a salt water chlorinator thats just right for your pool, here at Mr Pool Man we recommend sizing up! The size and capacity recommendations are there for normal pool operation, but really, lets admit it, theres really nothing normal about the heat waves we get here in Australia. The hotter it is, the more chlorine is needed to keep your pool sanitised and chlorinated.
Not to mention that the hotter it is, the more people want to jump into the pool, which causes a greater need for chlorine and chlorination. You can always turn your salt water chlorinator down for normal or cooler days, but theres no way to cause a chlorinator to go above its rated maximum for those high-demand days.
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 Your Pool To Salt Water
Although salt water pools have been around since the 1970s, their popularity has grown rapidly in recent years. This is due in large part to their reduced cost in upkeep. Theyre also easier on your skin, hair, and eyes, and youve probably heard salt water is healthier than chlorine, too.
Maybe youve been thinking about salt water pool conversion to take advantage of all those benefits. But what a hassle that change would be, right? Actually, the conversion process is fairly simple, so if youre thinking of doing it yourself, youre in luck.
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
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Installing New Pool Equipment
This is the simplest step, and will only require three steps. First, power down and unmount the salt chlorinator control unit. Secondly, the flow switch needs to be removed, and the tee tap needs to be stopped. The section will need replumbing, too. Thirdly, remove the cell and youre finished.
For any further plumbing repairs or questions about chlorinators, contact a Texoma pool company near you.
Using A Saltwater Calculator
Salt charts are great tools for pool owners. In fact, most manufacturers provide salt charts for their salt chlorine generators inside the manual. However, if you misplaced your manual or simply dont like using the salt chart, you can use a salt water calculator.
Most of the major manufacturers like Hayward and Pentair have swimming pool calculators. Much like a regular calculator, you still have to input the correct number of gallons in your pool and you still have to measure your current salt levels, as well.
Its literally the same process. Below are examples of online calculators you can use to help streamline these calculations. Again, make sure you pay close attention to the parameters of the calculator. Some calculators determine how much salt you need to bring your pool to 3200 ppm while others will calculate to 3400 ppm.
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Salt Water Pool Test Kit
A salt water pool test kit costs about $15 to $55, and saltwater test strips cost $11 to $25 for 40. A test kit lets you know if you need to rebalance the salinity and pH level of your saltwater. To keep a healthy pool, the water should be tested once a week. Not all salt water pool test kits give results for the salinity of the water, so check to make sure the one you want to purchase gives that result.
Making Salt Water Pool Maintenance Simple
Even though keeping the water clean in a salt water swimming pool is easier than a traditional pool, maintenance is still critical! Youll need to test your water regularly to make sure its balanced and adjust the chemistry as needed.
We recommend testing your pool water about once a week to check the chlorine and pH levels. Every month or so, test the salt level. Some salt systems have displays that indicate the salinity, but a test strip will give you the most accurate reading.
Additionally, keep your filter, pump, and other pool equipment clean, just like you would with a chlorinated pool. Lastly, the chlorinator cell should be cleaned several times a year to prevent salt buildup and corrosion. A zinc anode can also help to minimize corrosion in a salt water pool.
You dont have to be a chemist to own a salt water pool! Pool Calculator will do the math for you. Just track your water test results, and well tell you exactly how much of each pool chemical additive you need. Keeping your water clear, balanced, and healthy has never been easier. Download our friendly mobile app for desktop, Android, or iOS mobile device to get started now.
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Cost To Convert A Pool To Salt Water
The cost to convert a pool to salt water will vary depending on the size of your pool and whether you hire a professional to complete the installation. There are salt water systems designed for every size of pool ranging from 5,000-100,000 gallons so you can be sure to find one that works for your specific pool.
We recommend purchasing a salt water system that is rated for pools approximately 15% larger than specified to ensure that you have adequate chlorine production during higher pool usage, increased sunlight hours and during superchlorination that reduces the need for shocking.
The price for a basic is about $300 and can be installed in as little as 30 minutes by a handy pool owner. The advanced units can cost upwards of $1,500 and include features like self diagnostics, automatic chemical feeders and a control panel that will automate all of your pool hardware. The automated pool systems are a bit more complex to install but for most pool owners the upfront cost is worth the very low maintenance down the road.
If you install the system yourself you won’t need to hire a pool service company but we recommend a professional for complicated systems to ensure it is installed correctly. A pool technician will charge approximately $250-$500 to install a salt water system but this of course will vary with geographic location and the complexity of the system.
Salt Water Concrete Pool
A salt water concrete pool ” rel=”nofollow”> gunite 6) is probably the most versatile of all of the pools. There are many designs to choose from and you can expect your pool to be long-lasting. These pools are very aesthetically pleasing which makes them popular. The drawbacks are that they are expensive and take a longer time to install. Expenses to operate these pools are higher and walking in the pool is rougher than on other materials. A salt water concrete pool costs $49,500-$100,000.
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A Salt Water Chlorinator
The first thing youll need is a great salt water chlorinator! As we mentioned earlier, well be basing this guide on the Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator, but this guide is suitable for almost any brand out there.
The reason why we picked the Water TechniX Atomic is simple, its robust, designed and assembled right here in Australia, and it has the longest warranty period of all the salt water systems out there. It also has the best price-to-performance ratio that we know of, making it one of the best, if not THE best, salt water chlorination system out there.
The Atomic features analog timers and an analog control panel. Now you might be asking why analog when were already living in the digital age. The answer is simple: salt water doesnt play well with electronic components. There was a point in time where salt systems used high end LCD screens to show every sort of conceivable data about the functioning of the chlorinator, but in the long run, it only served as another point of failure which could lead to hundreds of dollars in repair costs. And to be honest, we dont really spend a lot of time sitting down and staring at the control panel of the chlorinator.