Salt Water Pool System Considerations
- The salt cell will need to be replaced every 3 6 years at the cost of about $500 to $800. Without a functioning salt cell, chlorine will not be created from the salt, and your pool environment will suffer.
- The saltwater that is splashed onto anything metal will eventually corrode that metal. It should be rinsed off as soon as possible.
- Saltwater will kill surrounding grass and some plants.
- A saltwater pool needs to be tested weekly with salt and pH levels rebalanced.
- Salt buildup must be cleaned off the salt cell and pool interior regularly.
- Salt can corrode specific metal rails, steps, etc., so dont install these in or near the 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.
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.
What Are The Benefits Of A Salt Water Pool
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How Do Salt Water Pools Work
A saltwater pool needs a salt water chlorination system to function correctly. The salt system contains an electrolyzer which generates chlorine from the salt and water as the salt water passes through an electrical current. The process results in fewer chloramines, which softens the water, is good for aching joints, and doesn’t smell like chlorine.
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted inground pool installation companies:
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.
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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 .
Ottawa Pool Builders Provide Tips For Switching To Saltwater Swimming Pools
Depending on your skin type, chlorine can be a tricky option for your pool. Too much, and it irritates your skin and eyes. Too little, and your pool chemical balance is off. That doesnt even begin to touch upon the unmistakable chemical smell, which some find off-putting. Thats why, more and more often, people are choosing saltwater systems for custom pool and spa designs. Saltwater systems provide a softer, gentler pool sanitizing option compared to traditional pools.
If you want to convert your swimming pool to saltwater, heres everything you need to know before making the switch.
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Why Would I Want A Saltwater Pool Anyway
So you havent had a chance to swim in a saltwater pool lately and feel the difference, huh? Dont worry, its simple: a saltwater pool has less irritating water. But these pools are a favorite of swimmers and pool owners alike, because theyre also easier to maintain and cut down costs over time.
Looking for the most affordable and reliable way to convert to a saltwater pool? The Salt Ways Eco-Friendy Salt Water Generator is the most cost-effective model on the market, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is self-regeneratingso no need to stock up on either chlorine or salt.
Decide How To Convert To A Saltwater Tub Chlorine Vs Bromine
There are two ways to get a saltwater hot tub chlorine generators and bromine generators. Chlorinators are more popular as they are at least half the price of brominators . There are also saltwater systems that can produce both chlorine or bromine depending on the type of salt you use .
Note: Only bromine generators should be usedin wooden hot tubs because chlorine has a bad effect on wood.
I cant give a simple answer to which is better, bromine or chlorine? This age-old dilemma also applies to saltwater systems. hoose what is more suitable for you based on the characteristics.
Chlorinator is my personal choice for saltwater hot tubs since it has significant advantages: the cost and the availability of the device and the cost of salt.
Tip: If you are still hesitant, buy a salt system in which you can use both salts and try it by yourself you can use theControlOMatic SmarterSpa.
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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:
Myth : Saltwater Pool Water Smells Strong And Tastes Like Salt
When you imagine owning a saltwater pool, you might assume that its like having a little piece of the ocean in your backyard. Its notand thats a good thing. A saltwater pool wont dry out your hair, make you smell like salt, and cover you in sand. As a swimmer, this pool type couldnt be more convenient.
And no, it doesnt taste like salt, eitherbut you shouldnt be drinking it anyway! And by the way, that includes your pets, too. This is not a water source for Fido, for his sake and yoursthe last thing you want to deal with is a dogs stomachache. Ill leave it at that.
If youre interested in saving the cost of operation significantly over time, the first thing to do is get a variable-speed pump. The 1.5 HP Blue Torrent Thunder Variable Speed In-Ground Pump is the way to go: it comes with a lifetime warranty, is available for rebates, and pays itself off in under a year. As customer Brian Turner says, delighted with the purchase first class service.
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How Does A Saltwater Pool Work
Saltwater pools need salt in the water and electrodes in the plumbing. When the saltwater passes through the cell, an electrical reaction occurs between the salt and the electrode. This reaction creates chlorine.
Salt cells are also known as saltwater chlorine generators or salt chlorinators.
This chlorine effectively sanitizes the pool water but is not harsh like concentrated chlorine.
Saltwater systems also have a superchlorination feature that shocks the pool.
Saltwater systems have only one-tenth the salinity of seawater, so you wont taste or feel the salt in the pool water. Instead, saltwater pools have softer-feeling water.
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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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!
Should You Convert Your Inground Pool To Saltwater
The benefits of converting your pool to a salt system are clear, but it might cause you more problems in the end if your pool is incompatible.
It might not be a good idea to switch to a salt system if your inground pool has any metal parts in the structure or if you have metal accessories. You might also choose to steer clear of salt if you have a plaster surface.
However, in most cases, unless your pool has metal walls that can corrode, a saltwater pool can make pool maintenance much easier and give you a better swimming experience overall.
Still thinking about your options when it comes to inground pools, and whether or not you’d like to use a salt system to keep it clean? Take our Pool Type Quiz, which includes a question about saltwater to help you figure out which type of pool best suits your needs:
If you’d like to learn more about salt systems, feel free to check out our guides below. Happy swimming!
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Check Your Existing Systems
The first step is to examine all of your existing parts and systems. This includes the pipes, interior pool material, pumps, and all other systems that either touch or are close to your water. I recommend this for one reason: You need to know if salt will hurt those systems before you convert.
Its possible to replace smaller parts early, but if your interior pool material is a bad choice for saltwater, then you may need to wait until you replace it to switch over. At that time, you can change to a material that works better with salt.
If all of your components are suitable for the conversion, then youre ready to proceed.
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.
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The Biggest Misconception: Saltwater Pools Are Chlorine
Lets start by busting the biggest misconception about saltwater pools a saltwater pool is not a chlorine pool. Wrong. Chlorine is required in both types of pools to keep the water sanitized it just gets added to the water differently.
A saltwater pool is a chlorine pool. The difference is instead of adding chlorine to the water, you add salt, and a salt-chlorine generator converts salt to chlorine.
Unfortunately, the chlorine created by the generator is unstabilized chlorine that dissipates more quickly. This means the chlorine in a saltwater pool doesnt have as much sanitizing power.
Why chlorine systems beat saltwater systems: the basics.
What To Consider Beforehand
Saltwater pools require a larger initial investment. But you will save on chlorine in the long run.
Saltwater systems are also more complex than chlorine pools. They have more parts, such as the circuit board, salt cell, flow sensor, and flow switch. So you may need to hire an experienced technician if you ever encounter issues with the system.
Salt is corrosive and has the potential to damage certain materials. It also creates high pH levels and calcium build-up in pool equipment. So you have to take precautions, such as balancing the water and maintaining salt cells.
You should also avoid using specific types of pool liner, heaters, lighting, fixtures, and masonry that will corrode over time. Instead, use a cupronickel heater, or install a sacrificial zinc anode that will absorb all the corrosion.
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How Much Does It Cost
Before we talk about advantages and disadvantages, lets address the most pressing question on your mind: how much will this cost?
Installing a new saltwater pool costs an average of $25,000 about $2,000 more than installing a traditional pool. This includes the cost of buying and installing a saltwater chlorination system, which runs between $500 and $2,500.
If youre converting a pool, the cost will vary depending on whether you have an aboveground or inground pool and how large it is. In general, you can expect to pay between $500 and $2,500. This will include costs like the purchase of salt and installation labor.
No matter how small or large your system is, its worth your while to hire an expert. This ensures that the conversion is done properly and that your system wont wear out or break prematurely. Plus, proper installation helps keep your pool safe.
Maintenance Is A Breeze
To an extent, salt water pools maintain themselves. A salt chlorine generator will gently clean the water by breaking the salt into sanitizing agents. This process is ongoing. Your pool is always cleaning itself in the background, and it requires no downtime. You wont need to retool water and chemical levels constantly because the pool equipment is able to manage it on its own.
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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!
Salt Pool Systems Became Popular Because:
- Theyre very low maintenance at first.
- They require very little in the way of expensive chemicals or day-to-day upkeep.
- The convenience of always being swim ready and always having soft water sure beats the harsh red eye and dry skin experiences that can result with a chlorinated pool system.
After a swim in a new salt water pool, most people could easily be convinced that a salt pool system is the way to go.But, how would things measure up 3 years after youve converted your chlorine pool system to a salt pool system?
Here are some things to think about
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