How A Saltwater Pool Works
While salt alone does have minor capabilities as a disinfectant, creating a saltwater pool isn’t as simple as dissolving salt in a swimming pool and leaving it at that. Instead, a salt chlorine generator machine converts sodium chloride, or ordinary salt, into chlorine.
So, a saltwater pool does have chlorine. In contrast to a traditional chlorinated pool, though, saltwater pools produce a pure form of chlorine that’s delivered in a controlled way to prevent irritating byproducts called chloramines.
Salt is added directly to the swimming pool water. The pool water is drawn into the generator, where it passes through the salt cell. In the cell, metal blades coated in ruthenium or iridium are charged by electricity
After electrolysis, the water that leaves the machine is now chlorinated water.
Corrodes metal in the pool
Saltwater Supreme Above Ground Pools
- Premium 7″ Injection Molded Resin Curved Top Seats
- Durable and supportive, the uprights are coated with a protective finish.
- Two piece, multi-toned resin ledge covers come in a rich Chocolate color that perfectly conforms to the top ledges, giving a flawless look.
- Space Saver Support System for Ovals is easy to install, great to look at, and doesn’t take away space from your yard!
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.
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S For Converting An Above Ground Pool To Salt Water
Converting an above-ground pool to saltwater is an easy process. However, this process takes a significant amount of time and energy. If you are handy, you could use these steps and install the control box and drain the pool yourself.
However, some of these steps require work around electrical equipment, so it might make sense for some people to hire a professional electrician.
The steps for converting an above-ground pool to saltwater include draining the existing water, filling the pool back up with water, and installing the new saltwater filter and control box.
Keep reading for a list of simple steps for getting your pool ready for conversion to saltwater.
Choosing The Right Saltwater System
Now that you have known the right material to be used for your above the ground pool, it is time to make your pool more effective by choosing the right chlorine generator. The size and capacity of the pool are the factors that need to be considered before selecting a chlorine generator.
Another key factor to be considered is the plumbing system that your pool has. Generally, there would be no need for plumbing modifications before installation, but you need to add a simple piece called the sacrificial anode to the pool. The sacrificial anode is installed to bear any corrosion that attacks the pools metal components. The anode gets eaten by the saltwater, and so the other components are protected, and the anode is to be replaced from time to time.
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The Downsides Of Saltwater Pools
While upkeep is inexpensive, startup costs can be rather pricey. Saltwater pools have an initial cost of $800 to $1,000 for the chlorine generator alone. Salt cells need to be replaced every 3 to 8 years and each cell costs $300 to $600.
Starting up a saltwater pool requires many hundreds of pounds of salt to get the water to its correct levels. Bulk salt, too, requires a lot of storage space, so you’ll need a shed and a cart to move it around.
Salt cells must be cleaned frequently , using either a cell cleaning stand or a bucket. Cells are cleaned in muriatic acid, a hazardous chemical.
Saltwater does not work with all types of pools or pool equipment. Salt will corrode vinyl pools that have metal wall panels. It will also corrode some handrails and ladder bolts.
In cold climates, the chlorine generator may not be able to produce enough chlorine to winterize the pool. So, you may still need to resort to traditional chlorine additives during the winter.
The Water Feels Softer
Swimming in salt-water pools is an absolute delight.
For one thing, they lack the same degree of chemicals as we mentioned above. You can open your eyes underwater without them stinging. You walk away feeling clean and not chlorine-covered.
Many homeowners also feel more comfortable letting their kids play for hours in it. Thats especially true when the child has asthma. High chlorine levels may interact with asthma in a way that salt water doesnt.
The saltwater itself it special too, though. It boasts a soft and silky quality thats a pleasure to swim through. Speak to other salt-water pool owners and theyll go on about how beautiful it feels!
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Converting An Above Ground Pool To Salt Water
When converting an above ground pool to salt water there are a few things you’ll need to do like adding pool salt. The first is to determine the size of pool you currently have in gallons, since the filter, pump and salt water systems are rated based on the size or volume they can handle. Each component you purchase should be rated for your specific pool size, and we recommend purchasing units that can handle a larger pool than you own to ensure adequate circulation and handle increased sanitation needs when they arise.
Most above ground pools use 1.5″ hoses but if you have 1.25″ hoses you will need to purchase hose adapters specifically designed for above ground pools and salt water systems. This may also be necessary if you are upgrading to a larger filter pump system that requires increased circulation and movement of water.
After you’ve installed the complete salt water system or just the salt system to your existing filter pump it’s time to add salt to the pool water so the magic of chlorine generation can begin. You don’t need to drain your pool water, it’s just a matter of adding the appropriate amount of pool salt to the water as required by your specific salt chlorine generator. The salt water pool conversion process should be followed and then allow your pool water to circulate at least 24 hours before turning the chlorine generator on.
Intex Sand Filter Pump
The Intex Sand Filter Pump comes in various sizes rated for above ground pools up to 19,600 gallons in water volume size. A sand filter is the preferred method of filtration for salt water pools so you can be assured of crystal clear water and less hassle than a regular chemical chlorine swimming pool. The controls include six functions filter, backwash, rinse, re-circulate, drain and close system. Includes strainer basket and 25 foot power cord for expanded reach to anywhere in your yard.
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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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Diy Above Ground Pool Installation Tips
Can you tell the difference between a DIY above ground pool installation and a professionally installed pool? Probably not – here are some tips to help you with your above ground pool setup:
- – You can install an above ground pool yourself!
- – Buttress free oval systems allow for more space in your yard and a cleaner, finished look
- – True above ground pools are designed to be left up year round
- – When installing your above ground pool the ground must be properly graded and level
- – Never install an above ground pool below ground
- – You can install an above ground pool on a concrete base but only if it is a round model
- – Only above ground pools with resin components are recommended for use with a salt water system
- – Above ground pools are not designed to have a deep end
- – Never install a slide or diving board on an above ground pool because they are not deep enough
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What About Choosing Your Salt System
Before you install your saltwater pool, you must determine the best saltwater system for your use.
The saltwater system needs compatibility with your current pool system, strong enough for the size of the pool, and durable enough for the longevity of your use.
Some of the factors that go into the size, strength, and quality of your system include:
- The number of people: The number of people who use your pool and how often it will be used impacts how hard the filter and chlorination system works. A more robust system keeps your pool cleaner.
- Pool size: One of the most critical factors. Larger pools require larger or stronger saltwater sanitization systems.
- Your pool environment: If you live in an area with frequent heavy rainfall or many leaves and other tree debris that could fall into the saltwater pool, you may need a more robust system for decontamination of the water.
- Compatibility: Luckily, most saltwater systems are compatible with current chlorine-only pool systems. Ask your salesperson of the saltwater system for compatibility information before making your final purchase decision.
Draining The Pool Comes First
Use a garden hose or other hose and siphon the water out of the pool. Use a local storm drain or additional adequate space for all of the water from your pool. You may need to move the hose near the end of the draining.
Siphoning the water requires places one end of the hose in the pool and then sucking on the other end. Once the water starts flowing from the pool, gravity will continue emptying all of the water. Ensure a quick drain with a weight on the end of the hose that is in the water.
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What Is A Salt Water Pool
A salt water pool relies on salt water, not chlorine to maintain safe pool water. Technically, a salt water pool is not chlorine free. Instead, the salt water system automatically converts ordinary salt into chlorine, using less of the harsh chemicals usually required to keep your pool clean. With sensors to automatically generate and introduce more chlorine when your pool water needs it, salt systems require less maintenance, saving you time and money.
Salt water pools are safer than chlorine pools because you don’t have to store the chemical and since the chlorine is produced by the salt used in the system you are exposed to much less of it. For this reason, swimmers find that their skin and eyes are less irritated when they swim in a salt water pool. The low chlorine levels in the pool are gentler on your skin, hair and eyes. Many people also notice the smooth, silky, rain-water feel of a salt water pool. If the smell of chlorine bothers you then you’ll love having a salt water pool, where the offensive chlorine smell is not an issue.
Salt water pools are becoming a popular alternative to pool sanitation systems, like the traditional chlorine pool. With a salt water system from Pool Supplies Canada you can avoid the hassle and cost of chlorine while enjoying water that is gentler on your body.
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.
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Theyre Easier To Maintain
Think about the trials of maintaining an in-ground pool.
The waters at ground level! Without a cover, dirt and debris from the surrounding area can easily get blown in all the time. Nasty animals and insects might crawl into the water too.
All told, it requires considerable effort to keep the water clean and clear of detritus.
Gentle On Your Skin Eyes And Hair
Finally, when you install an above ground saltwater pool, you can say goodbye to the irritations some people experience when swimming in traditionally chlorinated pools. Salt pools wont irritate your skin, eyes, and hair in most instances. The water in saltwater pools is silky-smooth and makes your skin feel soft.
Did You Know?
Saltwater pools dont have that harsh chlorine smell that traditional pools do!
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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.
Health Benefits Of Salt Water Pool Systems
Salt water pools are safer than chlorine because you don’t have to store the chemical and since the chlorine is produced by the salt used in the system you are exposed to much less of it. This is why swimmers find that their skin and eyes are less irritated when they swim in a salt water pool. The low chlorine levels in the pool are gentler on your skin, hair and eyes. Many people also notice the smooth, silky, rain-water feel of a salt water pool. If the smell of chlorine bothers you then you’ll love having a salt water pool, where the offensive chlorine smell is not an issue.
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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.
Less Expensive To Maintain
You wont have to spend as much money to maintain an above ground saltwater pool, either. Thats because the typical life span of a salt cell is three to seven years. And when you use a saltwater system instead of chemicals, you will no longer have to buy chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, or as many shock treatments.
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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.
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