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Thread: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

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    Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    Hi All,

    I'm in the process of deciding what pool to build here. I'm really hoping to get to use natural slate for the coping, etc....and some copper scuppers.

    What is the status of slate and saltwater chlorine generation? Is slate like most flagstones and limestone and struggles to survive around
    a saltwater pool? Also copper scuppers....is the salt concentration just too high for them?

    At this point I'm leaning slightly toward traditional chlorine.

    Thanks,

    B.S.
    15x25
    12000 gal above ground pool
    1 hp pump sand filter

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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    Why would you want copper scuppers?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    The copper will be just fine. Copper can't handle ocean levels of salt, but modern SWG salt levels around 3,000 ppm are fine. But slate is marginal for any pool. Slate in general tends to flake, and contact with water accelerates that process, with or without salt. Some kinds of slate will last longer than others, but I don't know of any kind that will last the life of the pool.
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    Jason, would the copper scuppers still be just fine if the pH got too low?

    I know low pH is kinda' unusual for a SWG pool, but still thought I'd ask.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    Yes, copper can be damaged if the PH goes below 7.0, especially if you go way below 7.0 and stay there for a long time. But you should never let the PH get that low. With a SWG, PH tends to go up if it goes anywhere, so low PH is not something that needs to be worried about here beyond the general rule of never lowering the PH below 7.0.
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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    I have been to pools with slate, and maybe its just the 4 or 5 pools I have been to but:

    1. slate gets HOT, hot enough to burn little feet.
    2. Slate "flakes" and the flakes are sharp enough to cut the bottoms of your feet.

    So I am not a fan of slate.

    I have no opinion of the copper scuppers, but copper in a pool seems a bad idea
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    The copper scuppers may need a periodic polishing of you are looking for a bright coppery color. Brass, OTOH, is a better material, IMHO.

    Skip the slate. It will flake. The water and thermal changes will do it in before anything else.

    Scott
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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    Thank you!!!! For the input.

    I know we can go with a slate look tile on our water feature return wall where the scuppers will be placed......do that then.

    For a coping material the wife wanted a thick slate, or at least that look. Is there a good substitute that would work for coping that would give
    her a look like that but would be more durable than slate?

    Oh and copper scuppers....why would we want them? They're beautiful! I see copper used a good deal in pool pictures but you can never tell from a photo
    if the pool you are looking at is SWG or standard Chlorinator.....so I was wondering about the affects of SWG systems on copper. But we are also considering a stone
    scupper too.

    Thanks!!

    B.S.
    15x25
    12000 gal above ground pool
    1 hp pump sand filter

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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    What about stamped concrete made to look like slate? Just an idea.

    The salt content of a pool is 90% less salt than the ocean. Ocean water is about 3.2-3.8% salt, and at 3000ppm salt level in the pool, that's 0.3% salt.
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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    I have no idea about saltwater pools other than what I have witnessed here in Texas with three neighbors.

    All have Oklahoma flagstone coping, all different pool builders, all have salt water pools.
    The oldest pool is 6 years old, the newest is 3. All three pools have had to have their coping replaced due to damage. All three builders have said it is from the salt water. One of the builders will not install salt water pools anymore unless the owner signs a release of warranty on coping.

    I tend to think that any problems with salt water and stone (or any other material) are due to the owner not keeping the proper balance in their pool or not hosing the saltwater off of items around the pool periodically. Another part of me questions if the salt and flagstone are not compatible by nature.

    I know this has nothing to do with the copper question but maybe can start some theories.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Slate....Copper and Saltwater

    The soft flagstone often used in Texas is not suitable for use with pools, salt or not. I have never understood why it is so popular when it is constantly failing.
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