I have an umbrella sleeve in my new pool's baja and now that it's time to use the pool, I just realized that putting a pole in there might not be the best idea due to the obvious reason; corrosion. My concern is of course not the pole itself but the pool and it's chemistry. This is of course related to aluminum based umbrella poles as they are the most common ones. I know about the swelling problems with wooden based umbrella poles and would not use them of course. I also don't like the look. Anyway, back to aluminum, I read that it is not an issue to use aluminum in non salt based pools. And I read that it might be controllable in salt based pools if chemistry is kept in balance. But I also read about horror stories with aluminum based pool stairs which are rusting for some folks. I also read about different types of aluminum grades such as the ones used for boats but I am pretty sure that umbrella poles are not using such grades.
I found some umbrellas from Ace Evert which claim they are "Rust- free 'Powder -Coasted' Aluminum pole and ribs" but I am still wondering if they can handle water which has salt in it. I sent them an email with no reply so far. Will post their answer if I get it.
I also found a pole protector type of sleeve which would prevent the bottom of the pole to touch the water but that was just 15" long and my baja is 18" deep. I also don't know how and if it would work with my existing sleeve.
I thought about making my own sleeve using pvc but that might just look really ugly and may not completely be waterproof thus making it useless.
I would like to know if you have any recommendations or ideas. I also would like to know if you know of any umbrellas with plastic poles or other materials which don't alter the water's chemistry? I read that some exist but can't find anything online other than some extremely expensive commercial grade ones. There must be something out there to cater to salt water pool owners.