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Unapologetic Old
School Curmudgeon
Picture of Lord Vaalic
posted
Is a salt water pool better? No chlorine? What are the pros and cons


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Posts: 8418 | Location: TN | Registered: December 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My cousin has gone saltwater and loves it, other than that, I got nothing for you.


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Posts: 2148 | Location: Western New York  | Registered: April 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Good enough is neither
good, nor enough
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Yes, saltwater is easier to maintain and better for your skin etc. i think the majority of pools going in now are saltwater.



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Posts: 1502 | Location: Kansas City, MO | Registered: November 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You’ll float better in salt water too
 
Posts: 2527 | Registered: December 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Quirky Lurker
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Absolutely! A salt water pool still,has chlorine, but it is generated by a cell, so you dont have to add it. It is much cheaper to operate and the water lacks the chemical feeling of chlorine pools. Depending on the season, I test the water weekly, biweekly or monthly. In most cases the PH is the only thing that needs frequent adjustment, but it is as simple as adding a cup or two of acid. Ive had both and highly recommend a saltwater pool.
 
Posts: 786 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 20, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
St. Vitus
Dance Instructor
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If I was starting out with a new setup then yes. I have had my pool for over 20 yrs and the change over was not worth it cost wise.
 
Posts: 4525 | Location: basement | Registered: April 06, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Eating elephants
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We have a 24' above ground. Haven't ever had a pool before.

To convert from chlorine to salt and add a skimmer would cost me about $2k. Based on what I was told, that would change the up keep from weekly filter washouts taking about an hour to monthly back flushes taking five minutes. Next major cost would be about 5 years down the road to R&R the cell.

I was all about it until I kept researching. Pools that are converted are more prone to corrosion issues so I won't be converting. Not just the pool, but think about the surrounding deck, patio equipment, etc.

If going with new construction, I would go salt water. For existing, I have opted traditonal.

From 30K' view, the costs are similar enough to be negligible, chlorine is more of a pay as you go where salt is buy once then cry again at cell R & R time. The biggest advantage of salt based on my research was reduced time spent doing filter flushes etc.
 
Posts: 2590 | Location: in the Atlanta metro area | Registered: September 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Wishbone
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Ozone > Salt > Chlorine
 
Posts: 806 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: November 23, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Savor the limelight
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If you are talking about a true salt water pool, salinity as high as ocean water, I don't have a clue.

My pool has a chlorine generator which requires salt in the water. The level of salt required is so low, you can not taste it. The way it works is there is a cell that contains long thin titanium plates. The cell is placed after the pump, filter, and heater. Electricity current is run through the plates and as the water flows through the cell, some of the NaCl and H2O gets converted to H and NaCl or sodium hypochlorate; the same stuff as the liquid chlorine you buy in the jugs from the pool store. As the sodium hypochlorate disinfects, it gets turned back into NaCl so the level of salt doesn't change. You only have to add salt when it rains which happens a lot in Florida.

The water is not any softer and there's still chlorine at the same level it should be if you were to add it yourself. It's easier to maintain the right level of chlorine and the level of chlorine inside the cell is so high, it effectively super chlorinates or shocks the water.

I find it's easier to maintain a consistent chlorine level once it's set up. You still have to maintain the balance of other chemicals, so you still maintain pH and alkalinity. You also need to maintain stabilizer levels. The best thing is I've been able to leave for two months in the summer and the pool is fine when I come back. The longest I've been able to go without the generator or paying someone to take care of my pool is two weeks.

Cost wise. Buying chlorine is cheaper in the long run. The price of the generator, replacement cells, salt, and electricity is a bit more expensive than just buying jugs from the pool store. However, if the generator lets you get away with not paying someone to take care of your pool while on an extended vacation, then the generator is cheaper.
 
Posts: 4126 | Location: SWFL | Registered: October 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of BigWhup
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quote:
Originally posted by trapper189:
If you are talking about a true salt water pool, salinity as high as ocean water, I don't have a clue.

My pool has a chlorine generator which requires salt in the water. The level of salt required is so low, you can not taste it. The way it works is there is a cell that contains long thin titanium plates. The cell is placed after the pump, filter, and heater. Electricity current is run through the plates and as the water flows through the cell, some of the NaCl and H2O gets converted to H and NaCl or sodium hypochlorate; the same stuff as the liquid chlorine you buy in the jugs from the pool store. As the sodium hypochlorate disinfects, it gets turned back into NaCl so the level of salt doesn't change. You only have to add salt when it rains which happens a lot in Florida.

The water is not any softer and there's still chlorine at the same level it should be if you were to add it yourself. It's easier to maintain the right level of chlorine and the level of chlorine inside the cell is so high, it effectively super chlorinates or shocks the water.

I find it's easier to maintain a consistent chlorine level once it's set up. You still have to maintain the balance of other chemicals, so you still maintain pH and alkalinity. You also need to maintain stabilizer levels. The best thing is I've been able to leave for two months in the summer and the pool is fine when I come back. The longest I've been able to go without the generator or paying someone to take care of my pool is two weeks.

Cost wise. Buying chlorine is cheaper in the long run. The price of the generator, replacement cells, salt, and electricity is a bit more expensive than just buying jugs from the pool store. However, if the generator lets you get away with not paying someone to take care of your pool while on an extended vacation, then the generator is cheaper.


To add to this correct information, I converted my pool this year, cost about $1400 for the control box, cell, salt and labor. I have been adding abut a 40lb bag of salt a week at $10 a pop, and do need to add stabilizer. We've had a ton of rain this spring which reduces the salt level in the pool.

We do like the water a lot better than with the std chlorine. I am not convinced it is less expensive at this point, but I think it will be in the long run, at least my pool lady tells me that and she has a salt pool.

You do have to clean those cells after about 500 hours, which means removing it and soaking it in acid water solution, then rinsing it out to get the gunk of the fins inside the cell. Not a big deal but something a chlorine pool doesn't require.
 
Posts: 1241 | Location: South Carolina | Registered: August 06, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have the chlorine cell like trapper has above but my experience is a little different. I believe it is cheaper to run than buying all of the chlorine and shock products. Salt is cheap and the system uses salt to produce the chlorine. I run a lower level of chlorine then my brother in laws traditional pool and the water does have a softness to it. Crystal clear with no smell of chlorine, it's nice. I test the water a couple times a week and adjust the generator to keep it 3-5ppm. Simple.

As Trapper said the rest of the chemical balancing is the same. For me I usually need to lower PH once a week.


JC
 
Posts: 822 | Location: Roswell, GA | Registered: June 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had both over the years, salt is much better, no chemical smell, skin dryness, eye burn, lung effects. It's balance is not effected by the sun.
Would be my automatic decision if I ever built another pool...
 
Posts: 6087 | Location: 18 miles long, 6 Miles at Sea | Registered: January 22, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a saltwater pool at home and maintain a standard chlorine pool where I work. A saltwater pool is so much easier and safer to operate. It is much more hands off than a chlorine pool and the saltwater is better for your skin and hair.
 
Posts: 777 | Location: Virginia Beach, VA | Registered: February 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Funny Man
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We have a salt water pool after doing all the research prior to building. We have been very happy with the water and lack of chemicals. Add a little salt, maintain the PH and the cell generates the chlorine needed.


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Posts: 6043 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: June 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My son-in-law is converting his pool to salt water this year. He believes it will be cheaper in the long run. If not he would not be doing it. He is Scottish. Smile
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Posts: 1062 | Location: Between Rock & Hard Place (Pontiac & Detroit) | Registered: December 22, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Alienator
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quote:
Originally posted by sig77:
Yes, saltwater is easier to maintain and better for your skin etc. i think the majority of pools going in now are saltwater.


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Posts: 5427 | Location: NC | Registered: March 16, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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When I was looking at it I was told that your source water should be a consideration. Here in Vegas our water has tons of minerals and that supposedly doesn't play well with the salt water systems.
Frankly I've never even noticed a chlorine smell when my pool is in proper range. You don't need to have it at the level of a public pool.
 
Posts: 1079 | Location: Las Vegas | Registered: March 18, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I took out our 12'X24' oval Doughboy this year.

I doubt I would ever put in another pool, but if I were to, it would be a saltwater setup.


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Posts: 11450 | Location: MI | Registered: July 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As has been said, a salt pool still uses chlorine to disinfect. The biggest downside to a salt pool is that you will get the PH creeping up due to making Nacl as you make CL, almost in equal amounts and Nacl is basic. I add about a cup of acid per week, which is no big deal to me.

I have had both kinds of pools and to me the salt pool is much easier to maintain. If you have a vinyl pool you can keep the calcium hardness lower and you won't have much of a problem with scale developing in the chlorine cell. If you have a gunite pool you won't have that option as it will cause other problems.

I keep the calcium levels as low as I can and have to clean my cell about every 18 months. Not a big deal, just soak it in a solution of acid/water. Just be careful with the acid.

If you have a chlorine smell around your pool it isn't due to a high CL level, it is due to having chloramines in the water. Chloramines are formed from CL and body oils/urine, etc. You need to shock the pool to get rid of them. Don't use the Superchlorinate button on your salt controller as it raises the CL level too slowly. Go to Lowes and get a bottle of the lithium shock for $4-5 and dump it in the pool. In 30 minutes resume swimming. You can use 2-3 gallons of bleach as well and wait a day or 2 for the CL levels to come back down. The bleach method actually costs more.

Get a good test kit and you can test for chloramines.
 
Posts: 679 | Location: Alabama | Registered: January 05, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is there enough salt in the system that it would effect the concrete patio around a pool like road salt would a driveway or sidewalk?
 
Posts: 75 | Registered: June 07, 2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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