Pick A Salt Chlorinator
There are many ways to pick a saltwater chlorination system. The best system is large enough to work with your pool, reliable enough not to need replacing for a long time, and reasonably affordable on your budget.
If youre hiring people to install your saltwater chlorination system, as most people do, they may be able to recommend specific manufacturers or systems to you. I am not going to do that myself because I have no stake in which system you buy. Instead, I strongly encourage you to evaluate your own options and needs, read reviews, and make your own decision there.
You should know that chlorinators vary in their features. Almost any system will let you change how much chlorine they produce, which makes it easy to adjust your pool, but advanced systems can also offer automatic cleaning, freeze protection, flow control, digital readouts, and other helpful information.
Salt Water Vs Chlorine: Which One Is Better
When youre looking to obtain the right pool for your home, its important to understand the many differences between salt water pools and chlorine pools. When you select a salt water pool, youll be required to add salt to a chlorine generator, which will convert the salt into chlorine thats filtered into the pool. On the other hand, chlorine pools require owners to place chlorine directly into the pool water on a regular basis. Even though both pool types provide similar results and swimming conditions, there are some key differences that you should be aware of if you want to determine which option is better for you.
Powerful Benefits Of Salt Water Pools
If you have ever swam in a salt water swimming pool you may have noticed the silky smooth feeling of crystal-clear water. One thing you wont notice is the foul odor of chlorine, itchy eyes, and dry skin. Here are some of the most obvious benefits of a salt water pool:
Healthier skin and eyes A salt water pool makes swimming much more pleasurable with many benefits for your skin and eyes. The chlorine levels are stable in a salt water pool without the presence of chloramines. The salinity level in a salt water pool is close to the salinity level of your natural tears, this is why it does not hurt when you open your eyes underwater in a salt water pool, as long as the pH level is within a healthy range. A pH level between 7.2 to 7.8 is in balance and ideal for eye comfort, anything outside of this range and you may experience burning, uncomfortable eyes from your pool water.
Better for your hair the salt water system is much healthier for your hair, especially for any blondes that have ever experienced green hair from swimming in a chlorine pool. Even a well-maintained chlorine pool will leave your hair dry and can fade hair coloring. If youve been used to having to wash the chlorine out of your hair as soon as you get out of the pool, you wont have to worry about that with a salt water pool system.
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Salt Water Pool Heater
Inground salt water pool heaters cost between $550 to over $10,000, with most pool owners spending from $2,200 to $3,500, and another $400 to $500 for installation. What drives the difference in heater prices for pool heaters is how much water you need to heat, and what the rise in temperature is from the average coldest temperature to the desired water temperature. A heater for an above-ground salt water pool costs from $50 to $200.
- Electric tankless water heaters are suitable for small pools that dont need for the temperature to rise too much, and these generally start between $500 and $600.
- Larger and more powerful electric pool water heaters average between $1,500 and $3,500, while the similar gas-powered pool water heaters fall between $800 and $2,500.
- Electric pump water heaters cost anywhere from $2,500 to$10,000 and these work in hotter climates and transfer the heat in the air to the water in the pool, and they do so very economically.
- A salt water pool heater for your inground pool will cost $50 to $250 per month in electrical costs.
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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Are Saltwater Pools Less Maintenance
Many people are interested in saltwater pools because they seem like less maintenance. While its true you wont need to add chlorine to your pool, saltwater pools still require some maintenance.
Youll need to add salt to your pool when you open your pool at the beginning of the season and possibly once or twice throughout the summer.
Both types of pools require that you test the water regularly to regulate the pH and chlorine levels. Its especially important to keep your water chemistry right. Too much chlorine or off-balance pH is hard on your pools components and surface. Too little chlorine and your pool water is not properly disinfected.
Youll need to inspect your pools salt generator monthly. Its also a good idea to rinse your deck, patio furniture and pool components with fresh water weekly.
What’s A Salt Water Pool
A salt pool has a salt cell that creates its own chlorine by causing an electrical reaction between the salt and the electrode.
So, instead of manually adding chlorine to your pool once a week, your pool is creating its own naturally. The difference is, though, that it is higher quality than the chlorine you can buy and it doesnt cause the same reactions to the skin and eyes.
It also doesnt produce those nasty chloramines people tend to have trouble with.
And you will never taste it because it doesnt even contain as much salt as human tears.
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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.
Should I Balance My Chemicals
Yes, we always want the chemicals in our pool to be balanced. The main areas are the chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, CYA, and metals. If the order is important to you, we would go CYA, pH, chlorine, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and lastly metals. The order does matter. Effective and maintained chlorine levels kills the organic matter in the pool. We make our chlorine effective by first adjusting the CYA and pH. They’re the batteries that give our chlorine the “oomph” it needs. Everything else is easy to adjust.
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Pros And Cons Of Converting To A Saltwater Pool
Pool owners have many positive and negative aspects they should consider before they convert their pools to salt systems. While swimming in salt water is considered more enjoyable than swimming in traditionally chlorinated pools, the costs of initial installation and keeping up repairs can be off-putting to some homeowners. Here are some of the pros and cons of converting to a saline pool system.
MaintenanceMaintaining your saline pool is easier than maintaining a chlorinated pool. Because your salt system converts the salt to the needed chlorine, you are not having to constantly add more chlorine to your pool. This makes maintenance much easier. You still have to check your pools water for the appropriate chemical levels, but you do not have to be constantly pouring in buckets of chemicals to keep your pool safe.
Softer WaterAlthough saltwater pools do still contain chlorine, their water is much milder than in traditional systems. They are also not nearly as salty as you might imagine, having a salt content that is more like that in human tears than ocean water. This makes for a much more pleasant experience with swimming because opening your eyes underwater will not sting or burn the way it would if you opened your eyes in a conventional pool system.
Saltwater Pool Conversion: Cost Steps Pros Cons
Are you envious of your neighbors who have saltwater pools but not sure how to switch from chlorine to a salt system?
We’re big fans of saltwater pools for several key reasons, like:
Salt pools are easier to maintain.
They are gentler on the eyes and skin.
They don’t give off a strong chlorine smell.
But you might be wondering, “how much does a saltwater pool conversion cost, and what are the steps that I need to take to convert my pool?”
As fiberglass pool manufacturers who service pools for customers in our area, we’ll walk you through the process of switching from a traditional chlorine pool to a saltwater pool and give you a rough estimate of the costs. By the end of this article, you should feel more confident about making the switch and understand the pros and cons of converting to a salt pool.
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Salt Water Pool Vs Chlorine Pool: Pros Cons Comparisons
If youre in the market for a new pool, theres a lot that youll need to consider when choosing a type of pool. The two main pool systems that you can select from include a salt water pool and a chlorine pool. The main difference with these pool types involves the amount of maintenance and testing that needs to be done with the water. When you select a salt water pool, the generator inside the pool will maintain the chlorine levels for you, which means that the water wont need to be tested as often. On the other hand, chlorine pools require you to manually add chlorine to the water on a weekly basis.
Before you choose a pool for your home, its important to understand how these two pool types differ if you want to make the right decision. Even though both pool types provide homeowners with numerous benefits, they work very differently.
This article will go into greater details about the pros and cons of these types of pools while also providing you with an in-depth comparison.
What Are The Drawbacks Of A Saltwater Pool
While saltwater pools are pretty great, theyre not without inconveniences. Because the greater circulation system can be a little more complicated with the addition of the salt cell, it might be harder to fix any problem that arises without calling in a professional. Plus, they take a little more energy to run than a chlorine poolwhat amounts to about $35-$50 a year. Thats what Id call a minor inconvenience, especially if you have a variable-speed pump.
Although saltwater pools are cheaper than chlorinated pools over timeand thats a big deal if youre thinking long term like I recommendtheres also a major up-front cost to get your saltwater pool converted: a saltwater generator costs between $400 and $1,800 and the installation can be $300 to $500, unless you can do it yourself. Plus, youll want to install a sacrificial anode on the equipment, which only an electrician should do for safety purposes. This will keep your system from corroding due to salt exposure.
My recommendation? Get a salt chlorine generator you can trust, like the Salt Ways Eco Friendly Salt Chlorine Generator, which is the most cost-effective model on the market and comes with a lifetime warranty. Plus, it self-regenerates, meaning you wont have to buy chlorine or salt ever again. Why wouldnt you make maintenance as easy as can be?
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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
How Much Do Saltwater Above Ground Pools Cost
The cost of a saltwater pool is initially more than that of chlorine pools. Thats because the installation and initial purchase for a saltwater chlorination system can be around $1,000 to $2,000 depending on your pool size. However, in time, it could save you money since you wont have to buy chlorine tablets as often.
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What About The Pool Liner
If you have an inground pool with a galvanized wall behind the liner, and your liner springs a leak, the wall could potentially corrode due to the salt in the water.
Salt can also cause an issue for above ground pools, which tend to have metal parts make up the top of the pool. These metal parts, when exposed to salt, can rust over time
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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Saltwater Pools Come With Health And Environmental Concerns
Human skin absorbs sodium, salt, and chlorine from a saltwater pool. Providers have linked numerous health concerns to sodium being absorbed through the skin.
Providers have also linked higher heart mortality risks to sodium absorption through the skin, particularly among people with:
- High blood pressure
- Circulatory issues
- History of stroke
Pets can also get sick from drinking saltwater and concerns that saltwater systems damage the environment have even led to Ban the Brine movements.
These movements have resulted in the banning of saltwater pools in some areas, including Los Angeles County in California.
Saltwater Pools Need Special Components
Salt water can corrode anything in or around your pool that contains metal. If you have any existing pool with lights, handrails, ladders or diving board components made from galvanized steel, youll need to replace these components with ones that are rated for use in saltwater pools. This is especially true if you have a pool with an automatic cover. Youll need to make sure the parts on your pools cover will not corrode with salt water.
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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.