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!
Drain Part Of Your Poolor Dont
So you didnt opt in for the skimmer cover and youre expecting a tough winter, huh? Hey, you do you. Lowering your water level will help big time to prevent freezing damage, but dont lower so much that your pool walls are extremely exposed and could crack. Just under the skimmer should do the trick.
All you have to do is lower the water level of your pool with a submersible pump. Be sure to watch it working, so you dont accidentally remove too much water. That would be seriously, ah, draining.
Be sure to check with your local authorities about where that water you drain should goespecially since its just been chemically treated. The last thing you want is fees and environmental damage on your hands.
Zero In On Calcium Hardness
A frozen pool might be the ultimate in hard water, but its calcium hardness were worried about. Hard water deposits calcium in your pool and plumbing, forming an unsightly, crusty build-up over time.
Conversely, if your water is too soft, it will try to draw the calcium it needs from inside the pool, which can damage tiled pools in the process by feasting on the plaster and grout. Too-soft water can also corrode metal.
Plaster loss might not be a concern for above ground pools with vinyl liners, but avoiding metal damage definitely is.
If your waters too hard, you can purchase chemicals to lower the hardness, or just dilute your pool water with fresh water that isnt hard. Water too soft? You can boost the level by adding a calcium hardness increaser or simple calcium chloride.
The ideal calcium hardness range is 175 ppm to 225 ppm, or 200 ppm to 275 ppm if you have a concrete or plaster pool.
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Are Saltwater Above Ground Pools Worth It
Saltwater pools are more expensive than traditional chlorine pools to set up, but the features they offer may make them worth it to you.
Saltwater pools are cleaner and safer to use than a traditional chlorine pool because you dont have to rely on strong chemicals to keep your pool clean.
Another benefit of using saltwater instead of chlorine is that theres no need for an automated chemical feeder. This means less maintenance for you as well as reduced energy consumption from your pump and filter system.
Look Forward To Next Year
Well, now its done. Another great season has come to a close: our bathing suits are back to the back of the closet, our floaties are properly deflated, and now we have something to look forward to. Since you took the time to close your pool the right way, the first day of next years pool season is going to be a splash. Until then, its all about gingerbread, snowmen, and very light energy bills. Enjoy.
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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:
Use A Winter Closing Kit
If youre not in the mood to break out your lab coat and beakers, grab a winterizing chemical kit for your above ground pool. Follow the directions on the label, and youll be good to go.
Note: Some winter chemical kits dont require you to run the filter when you add them. Double-check the directions and verify which type of kit you have. You might be able to skip a few steps when finishing your close.
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S To Converting Your Pool To Saltwater
Once you have converted to a saltwater swimming pool, continue maintenance as usual. This will help to assure clean, clear water and extend the life of your pool equipment.
Turn On Your Saltwater System And Monitor The Water
Once you have achieved your saltwater level, you should then proceed to turn on your saltwater system and take your time in monitoring it. Most saltwater systems can track the level of salt in the water. If your specific design cannot do this, then purchase a monitoring system and install it. Once installed, you can always maintain your salt water above ground pool at a minimum salt water level.
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Saltwater Above Ground Pools: A Buyers Guide
In recent years, above ground pool owners have been looking for alternatives to traditional chlorine pools. Some are motivated by health concerns since traditional chlorine can cause eye and skin irritation for sensitive folks. Others seek a more natural or cost effective system for their swimming pools. Salt water pool systems have quickly become one of the most popular alternatives to chlorine. If you’re considering starting your new pool off with salt or even just switching your pool to a saltwater sanitation system, there are several factors you’ll want to be aware of to save you both time and money.
Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to realize that not all types of pools can accommodate saltwater systems. Certain above ground pools, in particular, may not be able to make the switch without serious side effects which we’ll be covering further below.
Maintaining Your Saltwater Pool
As noted above, saltwater pools are fairly easy to maintain, provided you regularly check the chlorine and pH levels. For best results, you should test these levels about once a week. Test strips and drop test kits both provide accurate, inexpensive results. If the chlorine levels are too high, you have several ways to bring them down, including all of the following:
- Lowering the output on the chlorine generator
- Add chlorine neutralizing chemicals like sodium sulfite
- Siphon off a portion of pool water and replace with fresh water
To lower excessive pH levels, you can add muriatic acid. To raise low pH levels, by contrast, you can add either soda ash or sodium carbonate. However, you shouldnt expect to have to raise the pH, since the continuous production of chlorine typically raises the pH as a side effect.
Incorrect chlorine and pH levels can increase the risk of damage to all pool types, including above ground resin pools. So you can do all of the above… or if you like to make things easy, you can just use Pepper instead.
Pepper is a special blend of multi-action products designed to work specifically with the unique demands of salt water pools. Regular use of Pepper will
- increase the life and performance of the salt generator
- improve sanitizer effectiveness
- limit troublesome pH fluctuations caused from generating chlorine
- inhibit calcium scale formation inside the salt generator, on the pool equipment, and surfaces
- helps maintain low phosphate levels
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Winterize Pool Lines And Skimmer
This is probably the most important step in the pool winterizing process. Failure to properly winterize pool lines can result in cracked pipes and expensive underground repairs. First, remove the eyeball fittings from all return lines and also remove the skimmer basket. Then use a Cyclone blower or a small air compressor to force all water from the intake and return lines. Once the water has been cleared, plug the skimmer with a collapsible skimmer guard, and plug the return lines with threaded pool plugs or expansion plugs. Once the skimmer and returns are plugged, turn off the blower/air compressor.
Done properly, no water should be able to enter the pool plumbing. Even so, non-toxic pool antifreeze is good insurance against damage in case of a faulty plug. Its also good to use if youre not certain the pool lines have been completely cleared. Follow manufacturers instructions for adding antifreeze to your pool lines. DO NOT leave antifreeze in pool equipment it can gunk up filter media and damage o-rings and gaskets.
How To Convert A Pool To Salt Water
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
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Shock The Pool Before You Close
Sure, you could whisper a dark secret into the filter or perform the lambada, but thats not the kind of shock youre after. Add pool shock to power up your sanitizer for the winter. Consult the directions for each to make sure youre adding the right amount for your pools capacity.
Tip: If youd rather use regular shock, just make sure you add it to the pool the night before you want to close it so the shock has time to work its magic.
Take Precautions For Your Pool Liner
If you have a vinyl liner, youll be happy to know you can use a salt chlorinator system in your pool without taking any extra precautions. The liner will be exposed to lower levels of chlorine, so it may even extend your liners lifespan.
However, many inground pools have galvanized walls behind the liner. If your liner springs a leakeven a small leakallowing salinized water to seep out against the steel wall, the wall will eventually corrode.
Similarly, above ground pools with a lot of metal parts can rust over time due to exposure to salt water. If you have a resin above ground pool, you can make the switch without this concern.
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Salt Water Above Ground Pool Systems
The following salt water pool systems include a complete system that is ready to be retrofitted to any above ground pool up to 15,000 gallons. If you have an existing pump and filter, either cartridge or sand, you can simply add a stand-alone salt water system to the pools circulation. Whether you are adding a complete salt water above ground pool system, filter pump or only the salt system be sure to choose the model that is rated for your specific pool gallonage and subsequent flow rate to ensure proper turnover and circulation requirements.
Drain The Water From Your Pool
Use a pool pump or a hose to entirely drain water from your above ground pool. There are pumps in the market that are specifically designed to remove water from above ground pools. These pumps can either be purchased or rented from your local pool supply store. You should take note of your citys regulations when it comes to dumping large amounts of water in alleyways and streets. If you are uncertain, it is advisable to seek guidance from your local water conservation department.
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Test & Balance Your Pool’s Chemical Levels
Once you know how many gallons of your pool holds it’s time to test your water. The amount of water in your pool will help determine how much of each chemical you’ll need to add after you’ve tested the water for it to be properly balanced.
Here’s what you’ll need to test for and their ideal range:
Your water needs to be completely balanced with all the ideal levels before turning the salt chlorinator on. Read more on testing your water here. An existing pool converting to chlorine will have a salt presence already. you’ll want to know your starting salt level after all the rest of your chemicals are balanced so you know how much salt to add in the next step.
If pool maintenance seems confusing or just isn’t your thing, now is also a good time to add E-Z Pool to your backyard living style. The combination of these two products takes out the need for adding a bunch of different chemicals to your pool to balance out your levels.
Labor Cost To Install Saltwater Pool
The labor cost of a saltwater pool installation runs from $8,000 to $30,000. The lowest price doesnt include the excavation, but it does include all installation work. Excavation costs about $9.22 per cubic yard to a 6-foot depth, so it would cost about $920 to dig a hole big enough for a 15 x 20 pool and $1,230 for a 20 x 30 pool. The highest cost is usually all-inclusive and includes the patio, fencing, plumbing, and electrical work.
Above-ground pool salt systems are much easier to set up, and can sometimes be installed in less than an hour, or have it installed professionally for $300 $500.
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Use Elbow Grease To Clean Your Pool
Bye bye, potential food for algae and mold. First, give your pool that usual skim with a net on a telescopic pole. Next, use a brush to scrape down the bottom and sides of your pool, especially trouble spots that are especially susceptible to these unsightly growths. This will both dislodge any microscopic spores that might bloom later if left alone and help your pool shock work extra hard in a few steps. My top recommended brush is the only one like it on the market, thanks to a patented 360 degree brush head perfect for getting trouble spots. Plus, it was developed by longtime pool servicers who were tired of aches and pains that resulted from brushing stairs and other corners.
Next, vacuum your pool floor with a reliable and heavy-duty model like the Blue Torrent MyBot Robotic Cleaner to pick up debris that mightve settled on its surface. Since you can easily run this robotic cleaner without the back-straining force of a manual vacuum, feel free to sit poolside with a cold can for this step. Thats the life.