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Thread: First Pool and its Salt Water

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    First Pool and its Salt Water

    Hi everyone. I am looking at purchasing my first home and it has an in ground vinyl pool. I don't where to start to get the pool "up to par". The pool is currently green and the system is shut off. It has a cover of some sort on it which appears to be a safety cover? I did read several threads in the just getting started section already and also went and read thru the pool school.

    I stopped by today and talk to some pool maint. guy for my community pool. He told me that salt water systems are a pain and costly. Told me I should convert over to a chlorine pool. He said the salt water will make the pump go out every 2 years or so and its expensive to repair. I thought I read somewhere that people said the opposite. They said a salt water pool is costly to start up but then its lower maint. and cheaper.??

    Anyways below is a picture of the system. It appears to be a salt water pool with a sand filter. I just dont know what each valve goes to what and what it does. Any knowledge on where I should start would be greatly appreciated. I was thinking by the time I purchase it I will need to make the water clear and then winterize it.


















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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Welcome to TFP!
    Salt will not destroy the pump. Since it's already there, there's no reason at all not to use it. If you end up buying that place, you'll love it.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
    TF Test Kits -- PoolMath -- Pool School
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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    Welcome to TFP!
    Salt will not destroy the pump. Since it's already there, there's no reason at all not to use it. If you end up buying that place, you'll love it.
    Would you say the maintanance is lower and cheaper? I had a strange feeling the guy wanted to make some money and have me convert over to chlorine for some reason.

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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Since the salt system is there, yes, it will save you money. You will not have to go buy chlorine to add to the pool. The salt system converts the salt in the pool to chlorine and you just adjust the system to keep the pool with the proper amount of chlorine in it.

    With the cover on the pool and the water being greeen, you'll have to "open" the pool up and treat it. It will take some pumping and filtering to clear out the water. If the pool water level is full, the pool should be in good shape as far as not having any leaks. You'll have to turn on all the equipment and evaluate its performance. You can have a pool inspection done before buying the house, prices vary depending on the inspector.
    32' x 15', 25k gallon gunite IG pool, California Quartz plaster in Tahoe color
    Pentair equip (Intelliflow VS+AU pump, DE filter, IC40 SWG)
    Spa wall removed to make "seating" area

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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Marauder
    Since the salt system is there, yes, it will save you money. You will not have to go buy chlorine to add to the pool. The salt system converts the salt in the pool to chlorine and you just adjust the system to keep the pool with the proper amount of chlorine in it.

    With the cover on the pool and the water being greeen, you'll have to "open" the pool up and treat it. It will take some pumping and filtering to clear out the water. If the pool water level is full, the pool should be in good shape as far as not having any leaks. You'll have to turn on all the equipment and evaluate its performance. You can have a pool inspection done before buying the house, prices vary depending on the inspector.
    thanks for the reply. The home will be bought under a foreclosure so everything is sold as is. The water level is still full as I can tell when lifting up the safety cover to peek.

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    To clear and start up that pool, you will have to use chlorine. FYI, so you don't go into this thinking the SWG will ever produce enough chlorine to clear it.

    Salt water pools are chlorine pools, just different sources of the chlorine.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    To clear and start up that pool, you will have to use chlorine. FYI, so you don't go into this thinking the SWG will ever produce enough chlorine to clear it.

    Salt water pools are chlorine pools, just different sources of the chlorine.
    So I will need to go buy chlorine and dump it directly in to the pool correct?

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    Puffin's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Are you buying this place already or are you just considering it?
    Earlier this year, I went through something similar when I bought my house. I would say it is definitely worth contacting someone to inspect it. I ended up going to a local pool builder. They'll give you an idea of what work might be needed and condition of the equipment. Also, I'd recommend getting a pressure test of the plumbing, last thing you want to find out after buying it is you have a leak in the plumbing. Depending on the situation you might be able to negotiate some pool repairs if needed. (but the fact that someone took the time to close it, is a good sign.)

    Something that might be worthwhile (seemed like it to me) was to buy or have the seller pay for the pool coverage option on a home warranty. I'm not sure if they cover SWG, (I don't think mine does) but at least it will cover the pumps, filter, timer exposed plumbing. (maybe the liner, I'd have to look)

    As far as the SWG, it will add complexity to the pool. So your learning curve might be a bit steeper than it would be otherwise. But, they can be really nice since they automate routine chlorine dosing and in the end cost about as much as using bleach. I've been considering getting one.

    Read the Pool School section on this sight (button to the upper right of the page) to get some more info about pool ownership and what to expect. Also, to learn so you can speak intelligently about the pool to the seller and others. Good luck
    19,600 gal, Vinyl, Grecian L, StaRite Dura-Glas 1 HP pump, 3/4hp booster, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Cartridge filter
    The Pool Cleaner 4x, PoolSkim

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    Puffin's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    lol, I must type to slow.

    SWG is really for regular day to day maintenance amounts of chlorine. To shock, you'll need to add chlorine through other means (bleach is a great way to go, its cheap and readily available)

    Oh yea, I forgot, you'll need a good test kit. The two they most discussed here are the TF-100 (in your case you might want the XL, which has more of the reagents you need for shocking) and the Taylor 2006.
    19,600 gal, Vinyl, Grecian L, StaRite Dura-Glas 1 HP pump, 3/4hp booster, Pentair Clean and Clear 420 Cartridge filter
    The Pool Cleaner 4x, PoolSkim

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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    No negotiating on a foreclosure, all is "as-is". But an inspection is still good so you know what you've got. If the pool is full, chances are there are no leaks...
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Puffin
    Are you buying this place already or are you just considering it?
    Earlier this year, I went through something similar when I bought my house. I would say it is definitely worth contacting someone to inspect it. I ended up going to a local pool builder. They'll give you an idea of what work might be needed and condition of the equipment. Also, I'd recommend getting a pressure test of the plumbing, last thing you want to find out after buying it is you have a leak in the plumbing. Depending on the situation you might be able to negotiate some pool repairs if needed. (but the fact that someone took the time to close it, is a good sign.)

    Something that might be worthwhile (seemed like it to me) was to buy or have the seller pay for the pool coverage option on a home warranty. I'm not sure if they cover SWG, (I don't think mine does) but at least it will cover the pumps, filter, timer exposed plumbing. (maybe the liner, I'd have to look)

    As far as the SWG, it will add complexity to the pool. So your learning curve might be a bit steeper than it would be otherwise. But, they can be really nice since they automate routine chlorine dosing and in the end cost about as much as using bleach. I've been considering getting one.

    Read the Pool School section on this sight (button to the upper right of the page) to get some more info about pool ownership and what to expect. Also, to learn so you can speak intelligently about the pool to the seller and others. Good luck
    have not bought it yet but definately want the property and trying to work out final details.

    I even thought about hiring someone to just take care of it initially then I will maintain it afterwards.

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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    you guys are all great!! thanks for all the quick reply and suggestions! this is the reason I love forums, i even use forums for all my cars and make DIY threads.. Hopefully I will be able to contribute back one day!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Quote Originally Posted by VIPNiSS

    So I will need to go buy chlorine and dump it directly in to the pool correct?
    Yes. You will have to shock the pool to clear it, that requires large doses of chlorine (bleach). Read about shocking and clearing swamps in pool school. Then read the green pool threads in the forum, you'll find invaluable information in the threads (what to do, what not to do... seeing how others progress through shocking will answer many questions you didn't know you had).

    Once it's done shocking, the SWG will chlorinate it daily but there's little effort in "converting" to a chlorine pool from SWG should you choose to do so. Really all the conversion is, is adding bleach/liquid chlorine instead of running the SWG. No big deal.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    XsAllOverIt's Avatar
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    Re: First Pool and its Salt Water

    Don't listen to anyone that indicates an SWG is no good and too costly especially since you already have it. It is a wonderful addition for less pool maintenance and won't do any damage to any of your other equipment. Good Luck!
    18 x 36 Inground Gunnite, White Plaster 21K gallon
    18" raised spa, 8' Diameter (620 gallon)
    Triton II Sand filter, Intellichlor IC40 SWG
    Pentair Pump, Max-E-Therm 400 BTU
    Lamotte ColorQ PRO 7-Plus test kit
    TFT-100 test kit

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