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Thread: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

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    Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    I have not set up my above ground pool and this is my first pool....it has a plastic liner.....any how don't have any information on water but I what we r wanting to do Is not use any chemicals and make the pool salt content the same as the ocean which what I have heard is 12% salt..... It will hold 1,950 gallons of water. We plan on using Himalayan sea salt......

    how much salt will we need to make our pool like the ocean and is it possible to not use any other chemicals. We would be using tap water to fill and obviously it will have the chemicals that are already in it.

    We live in Owensboro, ky

    Sorry I don't have more info about my pool
    12' x 20' kidney-shaped inground pool; one skimmer basket, 3 return jets.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Welcome to TFP!

    Ocean water has a salt level of about 35,000. You can use the Pool Calculator to figure out how much salt you need using that as your target level. Not all pool equipment is safe to use with that salt level. The plastic/vinyl liner will be fine, but some of the metal parts may well have problems. Most pool heaters will deteriorate rapidly with salt at that level, and metal screws, often used as part of the skimmer, tend to have problems.

    It is not possible to not use any chemicals at all for longer than two or maybe three days. After that algae will start to grow and the water will become unsanitary and not look at all good. At the very minimum you will need a sanitizer, most likely chlorine, and if you want to keep the water for more than three or four weeks you will need to balance several other levels as well.
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    I see alot of ppl wanting to do this. I really hope people dont believe that having that much slat will keep tha water sanitized. It will not. In order to maintian proper sanitization you will have to add chemicals as Jason advised. Salt alone does nothing.
    16 x 32 Grecian Vinyl. Salt-Aqua Plus PS-4, Hayward Pro Series Sand Filter, Hayward Ecostar SP34000vsp, Gulfstream HE-125-T-A Heat/Cool heat Pump

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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    We have a son with special needs and cannot use chlorine ...... What other sanitizer can we use that does not turn to chlorine.....we will not have a heater.....I am not asking to be ornery I really don't have a clue except what we can not use and that we want it to be a high sea salt content....Also can u use a sand filter with the salt? What are the benefits to sand filter?
    12' x 20' kidney-shaped inground pool; one skimmer basket, 3 return jets.

    Purex Triton 'WhisperFlo' pump, model WFE-6, 1.5HP
    Purex Triton 2000 Series , model SMBW2072 (DE filter)
    Polaris 360 cleaner

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Hi, welcome to TFP! Could you describe why chlorine is not an option for your son? It will help us to recommend if another sanitizing system would work best for you.

    Also, can you give us your best guesstimate on the size of the pool such as depth and radius? 2000 gallons is a very small pool. Does your pool have a pump and a filter?
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Chlorine is hard on immune system and neurological function. That's the biggest reason. We have been recommended by his doctors to not use any chlorine in his pool. He will be spending 2-3 hrs/day in the pool, weather permitting, to increase range of moton and mobility. We can see a definite decrease in function when he has been in a chlorine pool.
    12' x 20' kidney-shaped inground pool; one skimmer basket, 3 return jets.

    Purex Triton 'WhisperFlo' pump, model WFE-6, 1.5HP
    Purex Triton 2000 Series , model SMBW2072 (DE filter)
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    The great majority of public pools manage their chlorine very badly, allowing significant levels of chlorine byproducts to accumulate. Several of the more common chlorine byproducts are respiratory irritants or worse. In a properly managed outdoor residential pool, it is easy to keep the chlorine byproducts to exceeding low levels, leading to a completely different experience. There is a true chlorine allergy, but it is exceeding rare. Nearly everything else people associate with chlorine is actually an effect of the chlorine byproducts common in public pools.

    There are three EPA listed sanitizers: chlorine, bromine, and baqua. Bromine is very similar to chlorine, and most people who are sensitive to chlorine are also sensitive to bromine. Baqua does not have the same issues, but it is far more expensive and frequently becomes very problematic and difficult to maintain after the first or second year.

    Sand, sand filters, and pumps are generally fine with ocean salt levels. The problems are usually with screws (typically in skimmers or ladders) and heaters. They do make screws that are suitable, but not everyone uses them and it is difficult to tell in advance which kind you are getting when you buy pool parts.
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy.ratliff
    we want it to be a high sea salt content
    If I might ask...I am curious why you want the salt content so high? It tends to dry out skin.
    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: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    pool is an intex brand. 12' diameter, 36" deep. we have never used a public pool, always residential, and we still see a negative change in him. we are looking to gain benefit from the minerals in sea or Himalayan salt. weve heard that salt just turns to chlorine, so its pointless to do it that way. our logic is that if this is true, the ocean would be chlorinated, and it obviously isnt. however, we have heard that using sea salt will not turn to chlorine. any thoughts?
    12' x 20' kidney-shaped inground pool; one skimmer basket, 3 return jets.

    Purex Triton 'WhisperFlo' pump, model WFE-6, 1.5HP
    Purex Triton 2000 Series , model SMBW2072 (DE filter)
    Polaris 360 cleaner

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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    our pool has a summer escape skimmer and pump filter. that is really all we know about it. i am sure that it is designed for chlorine, or something like it.

    the pool calculator said it will hold 2500 gal but the spec on the web site says 1950 gal.
    12' x 20' kidney-shaped inground pool; one skimmer basket, 3 return jets.

    Purex Triton 'WhisperFlo' pump, model WFE-6, 1.5HP
    Purex Triton 2000 Series , model SMBW2072 (DE filter)
    Polaris 360 cleaner

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    The only way salt converts to chlorine is through the use of a salt water chlorine generator, SWG, that uses electricity to break the salt down into chlorine ... if you do not have a SWG then you will just have a pool of salt water (whether it is sea salt or not). However the salt alone will not prevent organics from growing or kill any contaminants ... that is what the chlorine is for. If you do not want to use chlorine (or the other options mentioned) the only real option to keep the water safe would be to drain, clean, and refill the pool every few days.

    You may be able to prevent algae from growing for a little while, but at the expense of adding other chemicals to the pool ... and then still bacteria and viruses would not be killed.

    I would suggest reading pool school a bit more and maybe trying the methods described here to diligently maintain the pool at low levels of chlorine. You can still add all the salt you wish.

    I understand your concern, but am struggling to come up with an alternative that will be safe for your family.

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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Your only option, should you not want to use chlorine, is to use PMHB (baquacil) or bromine. Salty water alone will not suffice. For what it is worth, the world's oceans are full of both algae and bacteria, despite their salinity. By using no sanitizers in the water, you put your child and your family at much greater risk for harm due to the growth of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogenic lifeforms that absolutely would flourish in the water than from any chemical sensitivity to chlorine. Horrible and even fatal organisms such as N. fowleri exist in such environments.

    Because of these considerations and your physician's recommendation that your son not be in an environment with chlorine, a swimming pool may not be the best thing for your child.

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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    If your area has a Physical Therapy clinic with an aquatherapy program I would recommend that you contact them and ask how they maintain their aquatherapy equipment. Some clinics use pools and some use individual tanks that are drained and sanitized after each use.

    We recommend chlorine as a sanitizer since it is the safest, most effective sanitizer used. Chlorine baths are used to treat severe burn patients on a daily basis. Patients with extensive 3rd degree burns have compromised immune systems and are especially vulnerable to air born bacteria and viruses.

    It is important that a sanitizer be used in the pool to prevent any transfer of bacteria and viruses between your son and whoever is in the pool with him. You can try the baquacil system, but it is very important to stay on top of the water chemistry. Since your pool is very small you can drain and refill it every 6 months if you keep it up year round. You may also want to look into upgrading the pump and filter to a 1/2 hp pump and a small sand filter to help keep the dirt and leaves out of the pool.
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    Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Would a UV Light help these folks out? I know it's a bit controversial as to the total sanitizing effect, but maybe it would help in some way? Perhaps it's worth looking into in this circumstance. I admit I am a total newbie to pools but one PB we met with mentioned them and I know they are used to treat well water to make it drinkable, so maybe it would have some type of benefit here.


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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Quote Originally Posted by Stilly
    Would a UV Light help these folks out? I know it's a bit controversial as to the total sanitizing effect, but maybe it would help in some way?
    No, it would have no significant effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy.ratliff
    weve heard that salt just turns to chlorine, so its pointless to do it that way.
    Salt is made out of sodium and chlorine. However the form chlorine takes in salt is very different from the form of chlorine used for pool sanitation and the effects they have are also different.
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    We do not mind keeping up with the balance of the water just needed to know the alternative to chlorine and anything that turns to chlorine.Does Bacquacil turn to chlorine. If u shock with one of these sanitizers every few days or once a week as mentioned at the beginning how long is it in the water?
    Also have you heard of Nature two mineral sticks?
    And would that work well with a uv sanitizer ? Even though they are not favored.
    12' x 20' kidney-shaped inground pool; one skimmer basket, 3 return jets.

    Purex Triton 'WhisperFlo' pump, model WFE-6, 1.5HP
    Purex Triton 2000 Series , model SMBW2072 (DE filter)
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Also keep in mind that most municipal water has between 1 and 4 ppm chlorine. This is similar to the levels you'd keep in the pool.

    The water you use for drinking, bathing, and etc has similar chlorine levels to a pool.
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Actually tap water has a far far higher active chlorine level that any outdoor pool ever will. The CYA in an outdoor pool effectively deactivates a fair portion of the chlorine.
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    A good reference might be the World Health Organization's Guildelines for Safe Recreational Waters, including swimming pools. It touches on chlorine, bromine and UV lights, etc. They do list UV Sanitation as a recommended sanitizer, as long as another sanitizing agent is used to provide a residual sanitizer in the water, such as Bromine or chlorine. I understand that it would only be needed in a much smaller amount than typical use, perhaps as little as .5ppm of chlorine. Maybe this smaller amount would not have any adverse affect on your son. They do not recommend Ozone due to problems associated with inhaling any residual effect. http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_hea ... thing2/en/

    "Chapter 5 "managing water and air quality" is the chapter that touches on sanitizing. Chapter 3: "Microbial Hazards" touches on all of the pathogens that can be transmitted through non-sanitized water, so it is important for you to know how these would affect your son's health, as well, if not sanitized accordingly.
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    Re: Make the pool salt content the same as the ocean

    Baquacil does not turn into chlorine, in fact folks who want to convert their pools from baquacil to chlorine use a lot of chlorine to break down the baquacil. Baquacil is the brand name for Biguanide. You may want to ask your doctors if they have any thoughts on biguanide in the pool. As an fyi, we have many members who have converted from baquacil to chlorine and have documented the process in various threads. You may want to look at one or two just for the entertainment value if nothing else. It is an interesting chemical reaction that takes place.

    Overall we do not recommend mineral packs due to the problems of staining from copper and other metals. They are effective for retarding the growth of algae but the kill time for bacteria and viruses is too slow to be used as a sanitizer. All the mineral pack companies require a residual sanitizer of chlorine or bromine, so I don't know if they are compatible with baquacil.

    I don't think a UV system would be helpful for you. Generally an outdoor pool gets more UV exposure from sunlight than from a UV system. UV systems are more effective on indoor pools, however they also require a residual sanitizer, and you would need to upgrade your pump and filter in order to plumb it into the system.

    The Nature 2 mineral stick is only for use in spa systems, and also requires a residual chlorine or bromine for sanitation. The heat used in spas plays into the equation when determining what works for a spa vs what works for a pool.
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