The Cons Of A Salt Water Pool
Salt water pool conversion does come with a few drawbacks. Most homeowners feel that these drawbacks are so mild that they arent enough to change their minds. If youre willing to deal with a bit of a startup costs and some changes to your maintenance plan, its simple enough.
- Startup costs
- Specialized outside help
Its Difficult To Drain A Saltwater Pool
In most places, you can simply drain the water from a chlorine pool into the local sewer system. That is not so with a saltwater pool. Many towns and cities have banned the drainage of saltwater pools into the sewer system, which means that pool owners have to have saltwater hauled away in tanker trucks.
Other municipalities require pool owners to pump the salt water into their homes sanitary drainage system. Regulations tend to shift and change around this issue, so even if draining a saltwater pool into your sewer grates is currently legal where you live, it may not be in the future.
Maintaining Your Salt System
Even though these generators are great about maintaining a balanced chlorine level once youve found the right setting, you’ll still want to occasionally check the chemistry just to make sure everything is in balance.
Youll also want to keep it as clean as possible. Just like a chlorine pool, your salt water pool needs to be brushed and vacuumed and kept free of visible debris.
Your pump also needs to be maintained to keep water flowing which will maximize your salt cells effectiveness and make it last longer.
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How To Convert Your Pool
Unfortunately, it can be a little too common for people hear from their pool guy or pool store that it mightcost thousands for the equipment to convert the pool to saltwater, plus a few hundred more for installation.Don’t believe it for a second! We love that moment when you learn how quickly and cheaply you can convertyour pool on your own. Our mission is to help you enjoy your pool for once, and save some big bucks at thesame time! If you have some basic tools and knowledge, then you can change your backyard lifein about an hour! Use our expert knowledge and DIY resources to make it even easier!
Can I Make My Intex Pool Saltwater
But what you might not know is that they can be easily converted to become a saltwater Intex pool. Switching from chlorine to saltwater can be a great choice for pool owners who have sensitivities or children with allergies and for those who dont want to be caught up on the incoming chlorine shortage.
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Can You Change Your Swimming Pool From Chlorine To Salt Water
Youve had a chlorine pool ever since day one of being a pool owner. But, after seeing and experiencing salt water pools you decide its time for a change. The big question is, can you change pool from chlorine to salt water? The answer is yes! But, if you think all salt water pools are free from chlorine, think again. Salt water pools have a salt water chlorinator that is used to create chlorine. Instead of adding chlorine to treat the pool, you add salt. This creates a slight saltwater solution that your pool filters. During this process, the saltwater passes through a salt cell and gets a small electrical current. This creates a pools own chlorine which helps to keep it clean.
So why switch?
People make the switch from chlorine to salt water because the presence of salt in the water lowers the eye and skin irritation you may get from swimming in a regular chlorine pool. Also, the chlorine produced by a salt water pool is of higher quality than that of the chlorine found in a regular pool.
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 To Convert An Above Ground Pool To Saltwater
For the most part, saltwater pools are still overwhelmingly popular. Still, we come across many pool owners who have questions on how to convert an above ground pool to saltwater. Although the overall concept is the same as inground pools, there are slight differences that are definitely worth mentioning. Additionally, we also cover what a salt pool is, the benefits and drawbacks of having one, and how to size one for your pool.
In short, hopefully, this is a one-stop information shop for your questions about converting your above ground pool to saltwater.
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.
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Get Educated On Above Ground Pools
Want to read more about above ground pools? Weve got articles covering all the basics such as the best way to level an above ground pool, how to install an above ground pool liner, and what to do with your above ground pool in the winter. Or you might wonder if above ground pools can be buried or if above ground pools can have different depths. Make sure youre fully informed before you make a big purchase like an above ground pool. Happy swimming!
Starting Up The Salt Chlorine Generator
It is very important to start off with good pool water. Your water chemistry should start off at the following values:
Salt: 3,000 3,500 PPMFree Chlorine: 1.0 3.0 PPMpH: 7.2 7.8Cyanuric Acid : 50 75 PPMTotal Alkalinity: 80 120 PPMCalcium Hardness: 150 400 PPM
At start up it is best to shock your pool from an outside source like a standard granular pool shock. Then, wait until the chlorine level has returned to between 1 to 3 PPM before turning on the salt system. Now its time to kick on your salt system. We suggest setting the system to 50% chlorine production and let the system run for 24 hours. After 24 hours test your pool water with a good test strip to see if your free chlorine is between 1-3 PPM. If your chlorine is too high or too low, dial your chlorine product up or down in 10% increments and retest your chlorine in 24 hours. Repeat this process until the proper chlorine level is reached. The nice thing is that once the salt system is dialed in it is pretty much a set-it-and-forget system, because it is always there producing natural chlorine for your pool at the desired amount to keep your pool crystal clear. Salt systems also have a superchlorinate feature which shocks your pool. So if you ever run into demanding water conditions then this feature comes in handy to shock your pool and get your pool water looking clear again.
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Need Help Converting Your Pool To Saltwater
When I built my pool I installed a salt system and I can honestly say it is one of my favorite features of my pool. After the initial set up, I really did not had to worry about my chlorine at all. If you have decided that you want to convert your pool from traditional chlorine to salt then post any questions in the comments below and we would be happy to help. Also if you have already made the switch, we would love to hear about your experience. You can also always reach us by phone at 1-877-372-6038 with any questions.
Above Ground Salt Water Pool Cost
The cost to install an above ground saltwater pool is $3,000 to $8,000 depending on the size of the pool and the labor costs. Converting an above ground pool to salt water costs $600 to $1,200, which includes the salt water chlorination system, salt, and professional labor.
- The yearly cost of additives for your salt water above-ground pool runs from $250 to $750 a year, depending on the size of the pool.
- An above-ground pool usually needs to be replaced every 7 15 years, costing another $3,000 $8,000.
- When you purchase an above-ground salt water pool kit, all kits include the pool frame, the liner, the salt system, and the pump and sand filter. Most kits will also contain a cleaning kit, a ladder, a cover, and a ground cloth.
Inground Pool Comparison
- The total cost to install an inground saltwater pool ranges from $27,000 to $60,000.
- Concrete typically need to be replastered every 8 to 12 years for $6,000 to $10,000.
- Vinyl pool liners usually need to be replaced every ten years, but saltwater can break these down faster if the pH levels are not monitored continuously. A new pool liner costs $3,000 or more to install or replace.
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Installing Your Salt System
So youve made the decision to convert your pool to salt water and now its time to decide whether to hire an expert or DIY it.
If you decide to do it yourself, I say go for it!
You can do it in a weekend and it will save you at least a few hundred bucks, so why not?
Keep in mind that the task does involve some basic pool plumbing and electrical work, cutting and gluing PVC pipes, and using hand tools, though. So, if you are not comfortable with that, theres no shame in calling a pro.
If youre ready to get started on your own, heres what you need to do:
How To Change Your Pool From Chlorine To Salt Water
There are many things to consider when switching from chlorine to salt water, the first being the type of salt system. This is determined by the size of your pool. You also need to take into consideration how much you want to spend on a salt system. The price starts around $400 and goes up from there.
The next big decision comes in whether to do it yourself or hire a company to do it. With such a big job, its best to spend a little more and hire a professional. Flower Mound Pool Care & Maintenance can help you make the switch as well as make sure you are choosing the right equipment.
Depending on the size of your pool and the equipment chosen, making the switch from chlorine to salt water can cost anywhere from $1,200 to $1,500.
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Why Do A Salt Water Pool Conversion
Chlorinated pool water can be hard on you because of chemicals called chloramines. These compounds are created when the chlorine in your pool water comes into contact with things like urine and sweat, and they can be harmful in two ways.
First, they arent effective at disinfecting the water like chlorine, so water cleaning is inhibited. Second, they cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and lungs. Strong chloramines can build up in the air surrounding a pool, especially indoor pools. When the air is thick with these chemicals, it can even cause coughing or trigger an asthma attack.
Frequent exposure to chlorine can even cause some people to develop an allergy or sensitivity to the chemical. And for those who are already sensitive to it, swimming in a chlorine pool can cause rashes, hives, and itchy skin beyond the simple dryness you may experience from chlorine exposure.
If you have respiratory problems, such as asthma or allergic rhinitis, you may find your symptoms exacerbated by frequently swimming in a chlorine pool. If your pool is causing you discomfort, a salt water pool conversion could be just the solution youre searching for.
On the less serious side, if youre a blonde, youve probably experienced your hair turning green in a pool sanitized with chlorine. Colored hair can look great, but this probably isnt exactly the look youre going for. So why does it happen? Science!
Salt Water Testing Strips
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!
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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
Installing Saltwater Pool Extras
There are many extras you can purchase to enhance your swimming experience.
- Add a Salt Water Hot Tub Installing a hot tub salt water system costs$500 to $1,700. Any hot tub can be turned into a salt water hot tub, but you can get a molded, hexagonal tub for $3,000 to $10,000. For an inground hot tub, costs can reach around $20,000.
- Handicap Pool Lift A handicap pool lift is available for in-ground pools. One version with a seat that lowers into the water costs $3,355. There are many options for handicap pool lifts, making the pool accessible to nearly every person.
- Patio or deck a concrete pool deck can cost from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on size, design, and complexity.
- Pool Enclosure can cost between $6,000 $8,000
- Pool Fence costs from $600 $4,400
- Water Features
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