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Thread: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

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    We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    We just have a tiny above ground pool. We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine. It is a 4,000 gallon pool. If we add the solar salt to it and use the small filter...that should work, right? We just do not want to subject our 5 children to chlorine again. They spend HOURS in that water! It was also such a pain to keep all the chemicals right and expensive...even for a small pool. Thanks to anyone who will answer! Jennifer

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    Welcome to TFP!

    Salt alone doesn't do anything. Salt only works in combination with a SWG, a device that turns salt into chlorine. So a "salt pool" is really a "chlorine pool", more or less the same as you have now. There are some advantages to using a SWG, for example you can maintain a slightly lower FC level when using a SWG, compared to what you need to use when adding chlorine manually.

    Chlorine at the levels used in a swimming pool really isn't particularly dangerous. There is far more risk from accidents than from any effects of the chlorine. Likewise, all of the alternatives to chlorine carry similar risks, or much higher risks, compared to chlorine, in addition to being more expensive.

    Maintaining a pool does cost something, but it probably doesn't need to be as expensive as what you have been paying. I don't know how you were maintaining your pool, but if you were following any of the common pool store advice we can save you a lot of money by showing you less expensive alternatives.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Shelley N's Avatar
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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    We added salt to our AGP a few summers ago. Our goal was to improve the "feel" of the water. It was nice, but the rust we are experiencing now around the track of the wall is terrible and will ultimately cause the death of the pool before it's time.
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    I've been very satisfied adding liquid chlorine manually. At 10% it doesn't take much and isn't hard to find at a reasonable price.
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    Welcome to tfp, jdempsey

    The posters above have got you covered! Just to add to JasonLion's comments about chlorine, if you do not have a sanitizer (chlorine is the best one) in your pool, not only algae but bacteria and viruses can also live in your pool. That is much less safe than a small concentration of chlorine, in fact most municipal water supplies have concentration of chlorine that is similar to what you need to maintain in a pool.

    Maybe you could give us more details on these two comments..."subject our kids to chlorine" and "pain to keeps the chemicals right and expensive"... and we might be able to help...a lot!
    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: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    pain to keeps the chemicals right and expensive
    Sounds like something I said during year one going to the pool store!

    I now spend less in total (including electricity to run my pump 24/7) than I did at the pool store.

    Oh - also, when I first got my kit I was still frustrated because I had yet to figure out what my #s were and how to manage everything. It took about 2-3weeks until I felt that I had everything under control and maintenance then became easy.
    Aaron
    [ Vogue Vectra 24' AG | Hard plumb: Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 1HP 2-speed, 27" sand filter & Pentair MiniMax 100 NG | Taylor K-2006 | Central IL ]
    Powered by: TFP, PoolMath & TFTestkits

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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    Thanks, everyone! I agree viruses/bacteria...bad! We will just continue to use the chemicals we have. I swam competitively in high school and the chlorine was terrible on my hair/skin. We have a couple of kids with very sensitive skin and it seems like chlorine makes it worse. They take showers and rinse off afterwards, but complain of itching. The levels, when I test, say they are normal. Since we use well water, it seems like I have to add so much stuff... algae control, ph balancer, chlorine (pretty expensive)...I guess I was thinking/hoping salt water pools had to be more like the ocean...healthier to swim in.

    We are considering building a salt water, lagoon pool within the next year...but if I can't figure out a small ABG pool...I'm terrified thinking about a big in the ground one. I think I better go to pool school. Jennifer

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by jdempsey
    I swam competitively in high school and the chlorine was terrible on my hair/skin.
    Commercial pools are quite different than residential pools in this regard. For example, in residential pools it is typical to have CYA in the water which can reduce the active amount of active disinfecting chlorine in your pool, while still having adequate FC in reserve ready to spring to action when needed. Compare this to a commercial/public pool where CYA is less common (not allowed in indoor commercial pools I believe) and therefore the line between having enough disinfecting chlorine and having too much is really close. Hence one reason why a properly chlorinated residential pools can to be much easier on skin, hair and swimsuits compared to many commercial pools. In addition, low or high ph can also cause skin and eye irritation.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdempsey
    Since we use well water, it seems like I have to add so much stuff
    Using well water can be challenging (I use it as well) but the challenges are typically high Total Alkalinity (TA), high Calcuim Hardness (CH) and high metal content (such as iron). All of those can be managed, and the methods should not be too expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdempsey
    .... algae control, ph balancer, chlorine (pretty expensive)...
    Your are putting things in your pool you do not need, or have a much cheaper alternatives.

    Quote Originally Posted by jdempsey
    I guess I was thinking/hoping salt water pools had to be more like the ocean...healthier to swim in.
    If by saying "salt water pool" you are refereing to using a salt in your pool in conjunction with at Saltwater Chlorine Generator (also known as a swg or swcg) then the salt level will be about ~3500 ppm and hardly noticable. If you are refering to salt in concentrations found in ocean water, the salt concentration is 10X higher. Salt concentrations this high destroys pool equipment and can be very hard on skin/hair etc.,and would still require a sanitizer. Which are you refering too?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdempsey
    The levels, when I test, say they are normal.
    What are the levels? We cant help if we don't know them. See my sig for a discussion on test kits, I like my tf100! Also, see this link: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...efore_you_post

    Quote Originally Posted by jdempsey
    I think I better go to pool school.
    Great idea! Here are a couple of links to get you started:
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ary_pool_guide
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-...ater_chemistry

    From what you have shared with us so far, I believe this board can help you help yourself to get much more satisfaction out of your pool while spending less money. Let us know if you have questions and please post test results when you have them.
    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: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    Sometimes the collective helpfulness here seems close to bullying...

    I would think pH is a more likely culprit of irritation than chlorine, but you really have to test for everything to see where you stand. Pool stores here test for free if you take in a sample. Take their free advice and go the the grocery/hardware store to buy the supplies you need to fix it.
    35k inground Plaster w/ attached spa, 2hp Pentair single speed pump, EasyTouch with Intellichlor, 48 Sqft DE filter, BBB managed

    Need a heater!

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    Sometimes the collective helpfulness here seems close to bullying...
    That's interesting. Why do you feel that way?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    Quote Originally Posted by Locksmythe
    Pool stores here test for free if you take in a sample. Take their free advice and go the the grocery/hardware store to buy the supplies you need to fix it.
    I bought the tf-100 before my pool was filled. I have never had my water tested at the pool store. My test results are more accurate and I never waste time driving and waiting, I'm sure I've paid off the kit just in saved time / convenience considering I've prob done 50 - 100 test during that time.
    DONE, 20 x 40, inground gunite, 30" raised bond beam with 3 12" sheer descents, 8' diving board, pentair 420 cartridge filter, vs-3050 pump, intellechlor ic-40, auto cvr, Tahoe blue pebble tech, 6ea 4' x 12.5' & 2ea 1' x 12.5' helicol solar panels, legend robotic cleaner.

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    Shelley N's Avatar
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    Re: We want to add salt to it this year instead of chlorine

    "I bought the tf-100 before my pool was filled. I have never had my water tested at the pool store. My test results are more accurate and I never waste time driving and waiting, I'm sure I've paid off the kit just in saved time / convenience considering I've prob done 50 - 100 test during that time."

    I agree 100%
    Shelley
    Denver, CO

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