Salt Water Pool Quick Answers:
Salt water pools have become more popular among homeowners in recent years, and for good reason. A salt water pool is just as clean as a chlorinated pool, but with many other benefits no chlorine smell, healthier water, and fewer chemicals, to name a few. If youre a pool owner and are interested in salt water pool conversion, youve come to the right place.;
And heres the good news converting a chlorinated pool into a salt water pool is probably easier than you think, whether youre working with an above-ground swimming pool, an inground pool, or even a hot tub.
Lets explore everything you need to know about going salty, including the advantages of salt water pools, the type of pool systems youll need, how to convert a pool to saltwater, the cost, and pool maintenance requirements, and how to test and treat the water.
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.
Maintaining A Salt Water Pool
Maintaining a salt water pool is similar to maintaining a traditional chlorinated pool in many ways. Pumps and filters must be regularly checked and cleaned to assure they remain in proper working order. The pool needs to be skimmed to remove surface debris on a regular basis. Water chemistry strips can be used to test the balance of the water to assure that its clean, and salt is added as needed. Alternatively, you always have the option of hiring a pool company to stay on top of the maintenance of your behalf.
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What Exactly Is A Salt Pool
Before the critics jump into the comment section to correct us, we understand that the name itself may be a tad misleading. A salt pool is an alternative option to the standard chlorinated swimming pool.;As water passes through the cell, electrolysis occurs.
Electrolysis is the;process in which the salt and water split into hydrogen and hypochlorous acid and converts to chlorine. Sure, you are still using chlorine to sanitize your pool, however, its just in a different form.
Another thing that might be misleading is the idea that a salt pool mimics water you find at the beach. Although I do love the beach, this is inaccurate. To compare, ocean water is at 50,000 parts per million while a salt pool sits close to 3,000 ppm. Therefore, it is only a fraction of the amount of salt you find at the beach. The cool thing about salt systems is once the chlorine finally breaks down, it becomes salt again.
The chlorine produced by salt is a higher quality than the traditional chlorine. By converting to a salt pool, you no longer need to purchase chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, or shock.
What Are The Benefits Of A Saltwater Pool
Since salt cells create chlorine automatically, saltwater pools require less maintenance than traditional swimming pools.
With saltwater pools, you dont have to stock up on or add chlorine ever again. You will save plenty of money and time that would have gone to adding chlorine to your pool.
You can avoid the risks of handling and storing unsafe chemicals. You will also avoid the potential health risks of prolonged exposure to toxins in heavily chlorinated pools.
And since saltwater is relatively gentle, you wont have to worry about itchy skin, burning eyes, dried out hair, or that strong chlorine smell anymore.
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How Salt Water Pools Are Easier On Your Hair Skin And Eyes
If you have a chlorinated pool, chances are high that your kids have picked up a few pairs of swimming googles over the years. Opening your eyes underwater in a chlorinated pool is painful after all, youre allowing chemicals to come into contact with some of the most sensitive tissue in your body. Salt water is saline, and saline is the main ingredient in eyedrops and contact solution. Salt water pools are a lot gentler on your eyes, skin, and hair because theyre naturally biocompatible.
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, here’s 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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Salt Water Pool Cost Estimator
The cost to build an inground saltwater pool is about the same as a traditional pool that’s chlorinated plus $1,100 to $2,200. The extra cost is attributed to the price of the salt system, installation, and bags of salt.
Cost To Install Salt Water Pool
- Size The size of the pool will determine much of the price, as your salt system is bought based on how many gallons the pool holds. Oversizing your salt system can prolong the life of the system as it doesnt have to run as frequently.
- Location The more grading and excavating you need to have done, the more it will cost. If the ground is level to begin with, and the only groundwork that needs doing is excavating for the hole, youll save some money.
Water For Pools Delivery Cost
The cost to fill a pool with water ranges from $60 to $1,250, depending on the source.
- City water is the least expensive and most common choice at an average cost of $0.004 per gallon. For 15,000 to 30,000 gallons, you’ll pay between $60 and $120. In areas like California, where drought is common, you may pay overuse fines of up to $100.
- Well water can be chemically unstable. You may have to use half well and half transported water to save money. For 30,000 gallons of transported water, expect to pay about $1,250, including delivery.
Hire a Pro to Install Salt Water Pool
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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.
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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Best Salt System For Above Ground Pools
If you are looking for a salt system for your above ground pool that wont break your pockets, we recommend the Pureline Crystal Pure. The Crystal Pure is a reliable salt system that frees pool owners from intense chemical maintenance while giving swimmers a break from traditional chlorine. The Crystal Pure generator cell easily plumbs in-line and has quick disconnect unions for easy access.
Myth : Saltwater Pools Need No Maintenance
Oh, boy. Saltwater pools need less maintenance for sure, and they require maintenance less frequently, but they absolutely need consistent care. And when you have a saltwater pool, you might have less chemicals to worry about. But you still need to make sure your:
– pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.8
– Free chlorine is between 1 and 3 parts per million
– Salinity level is between 3,000 and 3,500 ppm
– Stabilizer is between 70 and 80 ppm
– Calcium is between 200 and 400 ppm
Its not a lot, but it certainly does take some time. Make sure to check your levels every other week. Still sound like a lot? Compare that to the frequency of maintaining a chlorinated pool… thats half!;
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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 .
Life With A Salt Water Pool
Now that youve completed your salt water pool conversion, what will maintenance be like? Your salt water chlorination system only creates chlorine from saltit does not balance your water. Youll still need to test your water regularly, sometimes adding chemicals to balance it.
These chemicals are the same ones youd use in a chlorine pool. But remember, your water will no longer require the large amounts of maintenance chlorine for sanitizing.
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Gentler Softer Water For A Smooth Swim
Although saltwater pools use the same type of chlorine that youd find in any chlorine pool, the fact that theres less of it, that its super stable, and that its complemented by salt all work together to make the water similar to the salinity of the human tear duct. The result? No stinging eyes, skin, nose, or throat.
Want to dive even deeper? When chlorine is unstable, it creates what is called a chloramine when it attacks a contaminant in your pool . After the contaminants themselves, chloramines are the bad guys of your pool. Theyre super irritant to your body, they smell like chemicals, and they work to limit how much work chlorine can do. Thats why pool shock is so important. But unlike a chlorine pool, the stable chlorine of a saltwater pool helps to prevent the creation of chloramines. So thats one step effectively skipped. Nice!
Setting Up Your Control Box
Depending on the model, the control box usually hangs easily enough on a couple of screws. Then, its power wire will connect to the same power source as the pump .;
Usually this means disconnecting all power for safety, tracing the pump’s power cord to where it is plugged in, and connecting the salt system’s cord right there the same way. Be sure to follow all instructions in the manual, follow all local safety codes, and ensure this is done by a qualified person. You can also check this out in more detail in a future update, when we cover How to Install a Saltwater Chlorine Generator!
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Myth : My Saltwater Pool Will Be Free Of Chlorine
Ive already touched on thisbut since its the biggest myth about saltwater pools out there, I want to make it crystal clear. All saltwater pools have chlorine. However, its such a stable amount of chlorine that youll hardly detect it in the water. Plus, youll never have to actually distribute chlorine or other sanitizing chemicals to your pool. The salt generatorinstalled between your pool filter and the pool itselfwill take care of that.
Salt Water Pool Vs Chlorine Pool Cost
The difference in the cost of a salt water pool vs. a chlorine pool lies mainly in the cost of chlorine and the initial purchase of the salt system. Both pools use chlorine to keep algae and other bacteria away, providing a healthy environment for swimming.
A salt water pool creates chlorine with a chlorine generator from the salt added to the water. The cell which is the part that generates the chlorine will need replacing every 3 6 years at the cost of about $800. You will also need salt a few times per year at an average price of $10 per 40-pound bag.
In comparison, a chlorine pool needs to have chlorine added quite often. How often depends on the size of your pool and the results of your weekly water testing. Its typical to go through 1 2 buckets of chlorine tablets a year at the cost of $100 to $755 in addition to other balancing chemicals.
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To Drain Or Not To Drain
The good news is, you dont have to drain your pool. However , if you currently use an antibacterial agent in your pool, draining the pool may be a good idea.
The active ingredient in this type of pool sanitizer is polyhexamethylene biguanide, a chemical that is not compatible with chlorine. Because your salt water pool will contain chlorine, if this agent is not first removed from the water, your pool water will not be properly balanced, and the chlorine will be less effective at keeping your water clean.
You have two options in this casedrain your pool and start from scratch with new water, or burn the antibacterial agent out of the water with a high dose of chlorine.
This option will turn your pool water white, and it will take several days to dissipate. Once it does, you can begin the salt water conversion process.
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
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Choosing A Salt Chlorine Generator
The salt chlorine generator is the largest investment you make in a salt water pool, so its important to choose the right one. Although theres no need to spend more money than you have to, an inadequate or low-quality generator wont work well or meet your needs in the long run. Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for a salt chlorine generator:;
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
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.
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