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Thread: Converting chlorine to Salt water

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    teppy's Avatar
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    Converting chlorine to Salt water

    Forgive me if I didn't search correctly on this topic, or if the info is right under my nose and I'm not seeing it.

    I think I may want to convert my chlorine pool to salt water. I switched to the BBB method not long after my pool was started up because of the great info here regarding the high CYA levels due to the tablet feeder that I was using. My pool is great and has been all summer. I'm just getting tired of going out there to do the clorox thing all of the time. It would be nice to not have to worry about being here to add clorox every other day.

    Could I please get some feedback/information on how much of a big deal it is if any to switch? Someone told me that all of my plumbing has to be re-done and that the pump may have to be changed out to be compatible with a salt system. Is this true? I thought that all we had to do was buy a salt generator and have it installed. And, of course buy the bags of salt too.

    I have a pentair challenger 1.5 hp pump with a polaris 280 booster pump. My pool was completed last November '07.
    Thanks,
    Stephanie
    17,000 gallon roman shaped gunite pool-AquaRite goldline SWG

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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    I think the SWG will be all you need to do, but I know someone will be along to correct me if I am wrong. You will be adding acid on a regular basis with a SWG, I add quite a bit and hope that the acid demand will decrease after the first year. Even with the trouble of adding the acid, we love having the salt water pool.
    15K gallon gunite pool and spa spillover - medium gray plaster, 2.5HP Hayward pump, Cartridge filter, Goldline Aquarite SWG, Jandy RS8, Polaris 280

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    teppy's Avatar
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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    well, I add acid every time I add the clorox as it is now. I've been told that its because of the new plaster and that I could have to do it for the first year. I think that part of it may be due to the constant aeration because of the two sheer descents that run. I keep my ph at 7.4, so if I went a few days or even a week without adding acid, I think that I would be OK. It may only go up to 7.7 - 7.8 or so. I just am getting tired of adding stuff every other day as it is now.
    17,000 gallon roman shaped gunite pool-AquaRite goldline SWG

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    Switching from chlorine to a salt system (we call them SWG, Salt Water chlorine Generator) is very easy. All you need to do is install the SWG and add salt.

    Fresh plaster typically requires brushing and adding acid every day for the first three or four weeks and adding acid every couple of days for the first year.
    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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    teppy's Avatar
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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    thanks jason,
    I don't know why the person that told me that changing over to salt can really mess up your pool. She also told me that it costs thousands and thousands of dollars. I knew that couldn't be true, but didn't want to argue about it just in case. I think that we are going to make that switch this fall.

    I do have concerns about it corroding my tiles, grout, etc... I was at someones home recently who has a salt, and I have to say that the tile and grout looked to be very 'eaten' up in spots. The pool is no more than 5-7 years old. Why has this happened? I surely don't want for my pool to look like that.
    17,000 gallon roman shaped gunite pool-AquaRite goldline SWG

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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    Were the tiles and grout outside the pools such that water could splash out and evaporate, leaving salt behind? Or was it tile with grout at the waterline? If the former, then that is a possible side effect of having more salt in the water and may require sealing of the grout to prevent or slow down the corrosion.
    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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    teppy's Avatar
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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    well, i didn't examine it too closely. I was there for more of a patio party for my sons football team. what i did see that was looking bad was outside of the water, the tiles that seperated the pool from the spa area for example that were above the waterline. so, i will need to seal my grout?
    17,000 gallon roman shaped gunite pool-AquaRite goldline SWG

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    Most tile is pretty much impervious to everything. Grout can suffer if the calcium saturation gets too low. Occasionally you see salt buildup on the waterline tile, but it usually washes off easily enough.

    Typically the only things that have problems with salt in the water are natural stone work using softer kinds of stone above the water line and the occasional low quality screw that claims to be stainless steel but isn't really.
    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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    teppy's Avatar
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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    So, when I do this, will I need to discontinue chlorox for a few days prior? Or, do I add the salt right away and let it take over from there? I'm sure that I don't need to drain my pool or anything like that?
    17,000 gallon roman shaped gunite pool-AquaRite goldline SWG

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    There is absolutely no need to drain the pool when switching from BBB to a SWG! If you were using baquacil that would be an entirely different story.

    You add salt, give it a day to mix in while continuing with bleach, then turn on the SWG and stop adding bleach. All of the chemicals involved are completely compatible with each other, you can switch back and forth from BBB to a SWG at any time.

    The ideal levels for various chemicals are slightly different with the two systems, as you can see in our recommended levels chart, but there is still plenty of overlap and the required adjustments are really extremely minor.
    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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    Re: Converting chlorine to Salt water

    A salt pool is a chlorine pool. The SWG makes sodium hypochlorite which is what bleach is. The only difference is that you don't have to add it manually. The SWG takes care of it!

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