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How Much To Convert To Salt Water Pool

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Salt Water Testing Strips

Should you Upgrade to Salt in the 2022 Season? Some Pros and Cons

To check your salt water PPM levels, youll need specialized salt water testing strips. Not that salt water testing isnt included in your regular 7-in-1 testing strips so if youre thinking of converting to a salt water pool, get a bottle of these salt water testing strips when you get your salt water chlorinator. Testing for salt water PPM is also different than testing for chemical levels in your pool.

Regular chemical testing with 7-in-1 test strips require you to swish your strip in the pool water and see how the colors change. To test for salinity, fill the included container up to the required level and then put in the strip and leave for five minutes. The color on the strip should start to fade, and the highest faded point should be your PPM reading. The way this works is that the strip has different resistances for salt concentration, the faded parts of the strip have had their requirements fulfilled and have done their job, while the unfaded sections means that there isnt enough salt in the water to cause them to fade, giving you an approximate reading of the salt level in the water.

P.S. Do not submerge the entire strip into the water! Only submerge the indicated section of the strip to get the proper readings!

Now that we have everything that we need to convert our pool into a salt water pool, its time to install our salt water chlorinator!

Saltwater Pool Conversion Steps

Converting your traditional chlorine pool to a salt system is not as difficult as you may think.

You won’t even have to drain your pool and refill it with fresh water.

Because saltwater pools also use chlorine , the transition can take place in four relatively simple steps:

  • Step one is to balance your swimming pool’s chemistry.
  • Install your saltwater chlorinator and check for leaks.
  • Next, add pool salt directly to your pool water .
  • Test your pool water chemistry, and keep it balanced.
  • If you’d like to work with a professional to install a new saltwater pool, or to convert your existing pool to use a salt water system, get in touch with a River Pools builder near you today:

    Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of a saltwater swimming pool. Let’s go over how much that might cost.

    Filling A Salt Water Pool For The First Time

    After the pool is built, it needs to be filled. Depending on your water supply, you may do it yourself with a hose for around $65, or you may need to hire a company to deliver the water. This can cost as much as $1,250 depending on how much water you need and how far it needs to travel to reach your property.

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    Saltwater Vs Chlorine Annual Operating Costs

    Depending on your specific situation, the cost could vary, but below is a chart that shows a general assumption for yearly costs for a saltwater vs chlorine pool.

    Keep in mind that weve only included the variable costs. That is, we havent included the costs that are common to both pools. Weve excluded many common costs such as pH chemicals, algaecides, pump running costs, filter costs, etc.

    Over the long term, assuming the saltwater chlorine generator system lasts about 10-12 years and your salt cell lasts 5 years, a chlorine pool will cost $100 to $300 per year less.

    If, however, you have a failure of the saltwater system or saltwater cell earlier, the saltwater pool costs will increase and will be even higher than a chlorine pool.

    30,000 Gal Salt Pool
    $ 353-$578 $ 270-$370

    Table shows the annual costs of salt vs chlorine pools. Excludes costs common to both pools.

    * If you use chlorine tablets in a chlorine pool, you wont need to add much stabilizer. You will need to add a little more for salt pools as the chlorine doesnt contain it.** Assuming the salt cell lasts 5 years. Weve annualized the replacement cost of $400 to $900.*** Assuming the salt system lasts 12 years before replacement. Weve annualized the replacement cost of $1500-$3000.

    Salt Water Pool Pros And Cons

    How to convert a Chlorine Pool into a Saltwater Pool

    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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    How Much Does Everything Cost To Convert Your Pool To Saltwater

    If you own a pool, theres no doubt youve heard about how great a salt water pool can be. You may be wondering how much it costs, and if its supposed to be so great, youre probably thinking it costs a lot. Luckily, it is a lot more budget friendly than you may think!

    But we can say that all day long- the best way to reassure you that you are making the best money moves for your wallet would be to show you! Were going to go through a few scenarios to help you get a good idea of how much it would initially cost.

    The basic conversion costs involved are…

  • the price of the saltwater chlorine generator

  • the cost of the actual salt to put in the water

  • installation costs

  • If you’re new to this, the most important thing to remember is that once you convert your pool, a salt system can save up to 40% or more over traditional pool chemical maintenance over its lifespan! A saltwater pool system eliminates the need to buy chlorine, shock, and algaecide, so it pays for itself pretty quickly and gives years and years of savings. Also remember, it’s not necessary to drain your pool or replace your other pool equipment in normal circumstances, and the whole start-up process usually takes about an hour.

    How Do Saltwater Pools Work

    How is this possible? Wont the swimming pool become a cesspool without a hefty dose of chlorine? No, because even though saltwater pools dont contain actual ocean water, they are set up to convert salt to chlorine by way of a component called a salt chlorine generator and a process called electrolysis.

    So, your pool is still sufficiently chlorinated, but instead of using copious amounts of chlorine, it is getting it via the addition of salt alone, which is placed directly into the water. From there, the generator does the rest of the work, save for a tablet or two of chlorine youll need to toss in each week.

    Will all of this salt make the pool feel too salty? According to Gary Crayton III, CEO of Pool Troopers, a pool maintenance and service company with locations in Florida, Arizona and Texasit will not. The amount of salt in saltwater pools is at a level equal to just 12% of the salt found in the ocean, he explains.

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    Factoring In The Size Of Your Saltwater Pool

    The size of your pool can play a major role in the total cost, and its one of the first things youll need to think about when tallying up your salt water pool cost. Not to mention, youll have to buy your salt chlorine generator based on how many gallons of water that the pool holds. The bigger the pool, the more expensive the generator.

    Once again, weve compiled a list of rough numbers that can give you a ballpark estimate of how much cost varies by size. Keep in mind that these numbers are for building an inground saltwater pool from scratch, not converting a traditional chlorine pool to saltwater.

    Pool Size
    16 x 32 $48,000 $70,000

    Most standard pools that youll find in a backyard are either twelve-by-fourteen feet, fourteen-by-twenty-eight feet, or sixteen-by-thirty-two feet.

    Generator Cell And Sensor Maintenance Is An Investment Of Time And Money

    Some things I Learned this Pool Season

    Saltwater generator cells require a cleaning every 90 days, or you will end up with calcium buildup. Skipping regular cleanings for six months or more shortens cell life, increases the likelihood that the cell will break, and the pool will eventually become swampy.

    The cell in a saltwater generator cell must be replaced every two to three years. The replacements are an investment of about $500 to $800 .

    You will also need to have a professional closely monitor and clean the sensor that determines how much salt needs to be added to the water, or you can end up with a serious chemistry imbalance.

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    You May Need A New Pool Guy

    Most pool companies exclusively service chlorine pools. Salt water pools are an entirely different process that require specialized knowledge for maintenance. If youre going to convert your pool to a salt water pool and you use a company for pool maintenance, it helps to choose a conversion company that also offers maintenance services. Pioneer Pools has you covered.

    The Salt Water Pool Conversion Process

    Converting a chlorine pool to a salt water pool requires three very important things a salt chlorinator system, something called a sacrificial anode, and pool salt. The salt chlorinator system is the system that will replace your traditional chlorine system. Its prepared with the pool salt to produce salt chlorine as necessary.

    The sacrificial anode is a device that will help to mitigate corrosion. Since salt is a corrosive substance, operating a salt water pool without a sacrificial anode will lead to rust buildup The anode acts as a little snack for the salt in your pool. It will begin to corrode the anode first, which is easy and inexpensive to replace. These anodes can last several years and preserve the integrity of your pool.

    How Much Does Saltwater Pool Conversion Cost

    Most people are able to convert their inground pools to a salt system for around $1,700 to $2,500 plus the cost of salt . This cost includes the salt chlorine generator, which can vary in price depending on the size and manufacturer.

    Read more:Inground Saltwater Pool Cost: Salt, Cells, Generators, and More

    Keep in mind that your salt chlorine generator is not a one-time purchase. You will need to regularly replace the cell and control board at a combined cost of about $1,200 to $2,000 every 3 to 7 years.

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    The True Pool Maintenance Cost Of Owning A Salt Water Swimming Pool In 2020

    by Katy-TX-Pool-Builder Katy-TX-Pool-Builder | Apr 13, 2020 | Pool Care

    Are you dreaming of floating in your backyard pool, relaxing and sipping your favorite cocktail?

    Of course, you are! But, if you dont have a pool in your yard yet, you have some important decisions to make before you can make this dream a reality.

    One of the biggest choices youll have to make is whether to go with a traditional chlorine pool or opt for a trendy saltwater version.

    Saltwater pools bring many awesome benefits, but how much will the ongoing pool maintenance cost? Dont worry, were here to give you all the details you need so you can make your decision and get started on your new pool installation project.

    The Downside Of A Salt Water Pool

    Salt Water Swimming Pool Cost

    With so many great reasons to have a saltwater pool, there has to be at least one drawback, right? And there is. Expense.

    • The initial purchase of a salt chlorine generator and pool conversion costs about $500 $2500.
    • Salt chlorine generators have a salt cell inside, which can last for 3-7 years and costs about $700 $1100 to replace.
    • The salt chlorine generator has a control panel that also lasts for 3-7 years, and costs about $500 $900 to replace.

    The life span of these components depends on how well-made they are to begin with, how well-balanced your pool water is, and on how well they are maintained.

    A lot of people do the math on their existing fresh water pool maintenance costs and time investment, and feel that the investment equals out over time. And many other people feel that its worth the additional cost to have a pool with water that looks and feels so nice, with no irritating chloramines.

    Since pool maintenance costs vary so much, depending on the size of your pool, your climate, and your preferences, salt water pool conversion may not be the right choice for everyone, and the cost can be a big drawback.

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    Salt Water Shotcrete Pool

    A salt water shotcrete pool comes in at the highest cost of $50,000-$100,000. These pools boast as pleasing to look at, but are not as durable as other materials. Buyers can choose from a wide variety of designs and installation is quicker than a gunite pool. They are prone to cracking, however, so are not as practical in areas at risk for deep freezes or earthquakes.

    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.

    Plug Type

    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.

    Fitting Type

    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.

    Pool Size


    Where to Buy

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    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.

    External sources:

    How To Convert A Pool To Salt Water

    UV Light For Freshwater Aquarium – Necessary? (#KaveManClips)

    Chlorine is by far the most common type of pool, but by no means the most popular. More and more people are switching to saltwater pools to reap the benefits of a natural and completely safe method of keeping their pool water clean.

    Making the switch from chlorine to saltwater is a big change, and a serious undertaking, but if you are committed, ready to do your research, and willing to put in a bit of effort then you can convert your pool to salt water without having to spend tonnes of money to hire someone else to do it for you.

    Advantages of saltwater pools

    Contrary to popular belief saltwater pools are not chlorine-free. Instead they produce their own chlorine from salt in a process that is known as electrolysis. Salt water pools are also significantly less salty than the ocean, about 90% less to be exact. That means they are less corrosive, and wont leave you covered in salt after a swim.

    Safer: Salt water pools are safer than chlorine pools because they dont require you to store dangerous or volatile chemicals, like chlorine. They reduce the risk of accidents but still produce water that is just as free from bacteria.

    Gentle: Sensitive swimmers know that chlorine is the primary cause behind red eyes and skin irritation. Salt water pools produce less chlorine and therefore cause less irritation.

    How to convert your pool to salt water

    1. Choose the right system

    The formula to determine the volume of your pool is:

    Length x Width x Average depth x 7.5

    5. Add salt


    Also Check: Salt For Pools Calculator

    Salt Water Pool Conversion


    • No Chlorine Smell: Salt water pools don’t have the same chlorine smell that is present in traditional pools.
    • Gentler on the Body: Salt water pools won’t irritate your skin or eyes like a chlorine pool.
    • Cheaper To Maintain Over Time: The annual cost of maintaining a salt water pool is often less than maintaining a traditional chlorine pool. Plus, without having to manually add chemicals and constantly check pH levels, the maintenance process is much easier.


    • Salt Water Causes Corrosion: If you have a pool with metal parts, a salt system can cause corrosion, which can lead to serious damage.
    • Higher Initial Cost: The initial cost of converting to salt water pool can be a lot for some to swallow.

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