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Thread: Was converting above ground to salt a bad idea?

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    Was converting above ground to salt a bad idea?

    We converted our 18'x52" above ground pool 3 years ago. Last year I noticed the top rails were rusting. This year it's worse. Our deck hangs over the part of the rail were its rusted. Was it a bad idea to have done this? Did I void the warranty? How can I change it back without empty the pool? Also I've had replace the bearings in the pump 2 times since I've had the pool. Is the salt affecting that too?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    SouthWest Alabama

    Re: Was converting above ground to salt a bad idea?

    You probably did void the warranty. Most mfg's have a clause in the warranty that voids it if you add a swcg.
    Having said that, there are literally thousands of people here with a swcg that have had no problems.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    linen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Twin Cities, MN

    Re: Was converting above ground to salt a bad idea?

    You have to drain to remove the salt...but I wouldn't. The rusting top rail may be due to being sheltered from the sun and therefore not drying out as fast as the rest or the rail. I highly doubt the bearings are being significantly effected by the saltwater or there would be more reports of the that on this forum.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Was converting above ground to salt a bad idea?

    Is there anything I can do to stop it from further rusting? Should I replace them?

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    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Ft Lauderdale, Florida

    Re: Was converting above ground to salt a bad idea?

    Which salt system are you using? And what salt level are you maintaining? Excessive salt levels, greater than 6000 ppm, can cause corrosion, even to your pump bearings.
    Is the part of the rail that's rusted also a section where people stand on the deck and drip pool water around that area? This may cause a higher concentration of salt to end up on your rail. Do you normally rinse off that part of your deck or get regular rainfall? This would normally dilute and rinse off the salt.

    At this point, how bad is the rust? Rust through the top rail? Is it possible to sand it down and spray some rustoleum on it, as a fix?
    Sean Assam -
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators

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