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Thread: Salt enhancer?

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    lka674's Avatar
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    Salt enhancer?

    I've been reading that non SWG pool owners can still add some salt to enhance the feel of their water....

    When beginning the research and discussion of building our pool 2 years ago, ALL of the builders we met with encouraged us AGAINST a SWG (we originally wanted it) b/c of it's corrosive nature and the fact that we would have and do have a flagstone beach entry and pool decking, water features, etc, etc. They even went so far as to say they no longer even will BUILD a pool if the owner is requesting salt water.

    Anywho...to get to my question...if we add "some" salt to the water (as I've been reading makes a non SWG pool have that fresh and clean feel on your skin), will that small amount of salt have the same corrosive properties? We live in an already extremely hard water part of the country and we pretty much HAD to put in a salt water softener to avoid damage to our home piping, etc...the outside water though (of course) does not filter through that softener so it's hard, hard, hard....not sure how much this matters, but I think it contributes to that icky skin feeling and needing to get a thorough shower immediately after getting out of the pool.

    Anyone have any expert knowledge on this topic?? Much appreciative!
    Laura
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    You have a lot of soft stone, which will react with salt to some degree. Putting sealer on the stone helps, but I am not sure about how the beach entry might be sealed.
    19204 Gallon L Shape with a 10X10 2nd Step Baja Ledge. Intellichlor IC-40, IntellipH, Cartridge Filter, Pentair Heater/Chiller (Heat Pump). Tons of Deck with Deck Jets. Construction Complete 6/5/17.

    "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it!"

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    lka674's Avatar
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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    Yeah...sorta what I thought. I did have the entire pool deck and part (we back washed and just waited to turn the autofill back on so that we wouldn't have a sealer line at the beginning of the entry) of the beach entry sealed with a permanent sealer..but not the majority of the beach entry. And to anyone who asks...the sealer works GREAT, however it does make flagstone easily slippery when wet and it makes the stones get even hotter than they normally would. All kids coming to my house MUST wear pool shoes at all times...it can get that slippery.
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    Hard water is also corrosive because it increases the conductivity of the water, but usually it's still the sodium chloride salt level that dominates. The level of salt where most people say they feel the benefit is in the 1500-2000 ppm range compared to the 3000 ppm that is typical of saltwater chlorine generator pools. The rate of degradation of salt materials will be slower at the lower salt level, but it depends on a lot of factors such as how much splash-out you have, the rate of evaporation, the nature of the salt (magnesium chloride being the worst of the typical salts found in pool water; magnesium sulfate is even worse but sulfates are typically only added from dry acid, sulfuric acid and MPS non-chlorine shock), whether you have summer rains to dilute splashed-out salt regularly, the softness of the stone you are using, etc. For whatever reason, Texas does seem to be one of the places with more problems of this type, possible due to the use of softer stones and the hot relatively dry summers (though you do get some rain in July-August) with some evaporation (though your relative humidity is moderately high). Since your water is hard, it is probably high in both calcium and magnesium so the magnesium chloride may be a key part of the problem (magnesium sulfate is even worse, though based on this report it doesn't look like sulfates are extraordinarily high).
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    lka674's Avatar
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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    Thank you ChemGeek!
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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    lka674's Avatar
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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    ChemGeek,
    Is there a way to to test our magnesium level and reduce it if in fact it is too high? Would adding salt be the only solution to the mag chloride too? Excuse me if this is a silly question, I am ignorant when it comes to chemistry period, but trying to learn and starting to really enjoy the challenge.
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    You can only easily reduce the salt level in the pool via water dilution. You can reduce both calcium and magnesium via water softeners, but that is only worth doing if water hardness is very high (say, well over 500 ppm) and even then you can see that this is a relatively minor component of total TDS. It's really added salt, including cumulative use of chlorine, that determines the salt level.

    So regular water dilution is a way of keeping the salt level in check. The problem isn't something one would worry about over one or two or even several seasons in a residential pool. It's something that would only become an issue over many years IF there were no water dilution. In my own pool I use winter rains to overflow the water in the pool (to the sewer) and after 9 years my salt level remains fairly stable in the roughly 800-1400 ppm range.

    Also, you really don't need to worry about this unless your salt level gets very high AND you have soft stone coping and hardscape around the pool. Also note that even with soft stone you can mitigate any issues, even with an SWG with 3000 ppm salt, by simply sealing the stone annually and/or rinsing off and diluting any splash-out. We have concrete around our pool, but use a sealant on it annually to protect it though that is mostly from standard weathering (rain, temperature and sunlight). There is an area of the pool where my wife gets in and out of it every day so has dripped water and I see no difference in the quality of concrete in that area. Of course, I'm not living in Texas with that weather nor using whatever soft stone materials that are apparently popular there.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    lka674's Avatar
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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    I do have soft stone, unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier (it's common here inTX)...flagstone everywhere...pool deck, zero entry to pool, coping....yada yada...I wanted a SWG! Booo!
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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    frogabog's Avatar
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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    While I don't have a pool such as yours, I've recently switched to SWG after two very happy seasons of BBB with bleach. I post here in hopes of making your yearning for SWG a little less painful.

    I'm just not convinced it's better (yet). The time I spend testing and adjusting, or restarting the SWG (so far, still new to it and it's not dialed in just yet) is loads more than the 2 minutes I spent in harmonious peace watching the bleach go into the water every night. Once I get the pump timer and time to operate the SWG each day dialed in, I suppose it'll be nice and I could be away from the pool for 24+ hours without much worry. But I doubt I'll ever be convinced it's that much better than floating a bottle of bleach, a dollar store measuring device, the night sky, and a pool light. That's good stuff!
    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: Salt enhancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    I doubt I'll ever be convinced it's that much better than floating a bottle of bleach, a dollar store measuring device, the night sky, and a pool light. That's good stuff!
    That makes me feel better. I've been thinking about a SWCG because of my usage during this heat. On sunny days I've been going through about 5.5ppm. Today is cloudy and if the sun doesn't come out much it will likely be closer to 2.5-3 (CYA of 60). But on the upper 90s and 100 degree days with intense sun it uses so much chlorine that I think a SWCG would be far cheaper. I came up with an estimate of $150/yr savings assuming I could average 4 years out of a cell.

    At $13 per case I really don't notice how much I spend in total on LC. I'll have to come up with a good estimate of how much I've used so far this season.
    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: Salt enhancer?

    Speedo, 5.5 ppm FC per day on hot sunny days is an awful lot. I wonder if maybe you should be up closer to 80 ppm CYA to try and not use quite as much chlorine. Either that or maybe you're a candidate for some sort of supplement though you could see if 50 ppm Borates helps as a mild algaecide (assuming the extra demand is from nascent algae growth) Anyway, your economics may swing you toward an SWG more than most.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    lka674's Avatar
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    Re: Salt enhancer?

    Quote Originally Posted by frogabog
    While I don't have a pool such as yours, I've recently switched to SWG after two very happy seasons of BBB with bleach. I post here in hopes of making your yearning for SWG a little less painful.
    Thank you....sorry things aren't so harmonious with your SWG. I'm actually glad we didn't go with the SWG, but I would like to find a happy medium. Yes....I want to be able to have my cake and eat it too....which is I why I depend upon all of you! Hehe
    Pool grand opening Sept 2010. 100% sun exposure. Beach entry with fountain, IG gunite pool, approx 11,000g. Hayward HK sand filter. Intelliflow VS 350 pump w/ max flow rate 160 gpm. Dolphin (cordless) M5 Liberty pool cleaner. The pool has waterfall at one end with a tanning ledge and a spa at the other end that has a spillway into the pool and there is a water shear falling from the pool equip wall into the spa. DH did a beautiful job of designing it himself!

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