Things You Should Know Before Converting Your Swimming Pool From Chlorine To A Salt Water System
With the rise in customers becoming increasingly more health conscious, many people are asking us about converting their pool to a salt water system. While this is a healthier option, there are pros and cons that must be considered when you are thinking about making this conversion. In this article, we found some great information and we thought is would be great to share with you if you are currently thinking about making this major switch.
What’s better… a salt water pool or a chlorinated pool?
Boy, that question will bring out a dozen different opinions. Looking through the information available on the Internet alone (see ‘related links’ at the end of this aticle), one can easily become overwhelmed as passions seem to run both ways as to which is better, salt or chlorine.
Salt pool systems became popular because they’re very low maintenance — at first. They require very little in the way of expensive chemicals or day-to-day upkeep. And 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 you’ve converted your chlorine pool system to a salt pool system? Here are some things to think about…
Salt Speeds Up Wear & Tear
Any salt-rich environment is going to be hard on components. (Hang tight… there’s good news at the end of this post!)
Case in point:
I once bought a car that had spent its 5-year life on an island in the South Pacific. The last 4 inches of the trunk lid had literally dissolved away. This was a common occurrence, thanks to all the salt in the air.
Back to your 3-year-old salt pool system…
In that first 3 years, you will likely be faced with several issues:
- Chances are, the deck around your pool will turn to mush and need to be replaced.
- Not unlike the highway salt that destroys bridges and freeway supports over time, any concrete, brick or stone facing around your pool will likely become coated with a powdery flaking material and mortar will weaken and eventually fall out.
- A minor water leak around the pump in a chlorine pool system would be a simple nuisance that could be ignored without fear of further damage. But with a salt water system, your pump would likely seize up within a few days and need to be replaced.
- Don’t forget the diving board and access ladders. Metal parts and that nice chrome finish can disintegrate in a matter of months and the weakened structures may need to be completely removed after about a year.
- Pool lights, basketball hoops, even that nice looking lawn furniture, can all be destroyed by salt. Anything within 20 feet or so of the pool is destined to have an extremely short lifespan.
What About Chemical Savings?
Looking at the savings in chemicals over that same 3-year time period… yes, you will save on monthly chemicals that a chlorinated pool system requires.
But, after putting salt through your pool’s chlorine generator cell for 3 years, you will have decreased its life and a new chlorine generator cell will soon be necessary. That expense will pretty much wipe out any savings from chemicals that you might have initially experienced.
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