I noticed a bit of traffic coming to my humble blog and followed the link back to this thread.
It is always surprising to me when I hear myself described as someone who is very anti-salt. No one ever goes to a salt mfg's webpage and comes away saying, "Gosh! Those people are just too pro-salt for me!"
Then, somebody said that I must be a pool store guy who sees himself out of business if this salt craze catches on. I'm not. I am a Pool Guy. I clean and repair pools. The only time I go into pool stores is to buy Optimizer test strips so I can check the 20 Mule Team Borax level of my pools. And the truth is, there's barely a tiny sliver of profit left in selling chlorine in a pool store, anyway. That's not what keeps pool store doors open and it never was. Chlorine is typically the loss leader to get you in the door to give them a chance to talk you into spending $18.99 for a 12 lbs. box of "Total Alkalinity Control", aka baking soda, or $30 for a quart of copper algaecide.
Then, Richard, The Chem Geek, who I have tremendous respect for, posted that after a few of the posts at Pool Forum and after reading my blog, he started a thread about the down side of salt chlorine generators. I am glad to see that what I wrote in my blog made him take another look at issues with salt pools.
And then there's Sean's comments about me. As he says, he and I have gone several rounds at my blog. It was inaccurate of him to include Richard in that adversarial statement, I think. Richard and I have corresponded quite amicably for a long time. But then, Richard is an impartial person looking for the truth. Sean sells salt systems. So it would be quite natural for us to disagree. To be honest, that guy's just too pro-salt for me. Further, Sean claims that I stonewalled him on some of his questions. Truth is, I got tired of covering the same ground with him over and over and over again. If you hunt through the archives at my blog you'll see the back and forth. I think a quick read will vindicate me on this.
But the truth is, I'm the guy who hates salt. Why? Because it damages pools. Because salt water discharge is environmentally unsound. Because salt systems manufacturers are making obscene margins on salt systems, evidenced by that Intex system that sells for as little as $149 and produces exactly the same amount of chlorine - 24 grams per hour - as most of the systems you're paying over $1,000.00 for. Because everything else in our pools is going to cost more as a result of salt systems; marine grade stainless ladders and rails, cupro nickel upgrade heat exchangers for heaters (that's going to be a coupe hundred bucks right there), pretty much every metal in the pool environment will have to be upgraded to withstand the ravages of salt.
But I hate salt mainly because they never told us this going in. None of the salt systems manufacturers have ever published a single word on company letterhead about material incompatibilities, about salt attack on stone, about electrolysis effects on metals, about galvanic corrosion. It gets talked about all the time in these forums, even by some of the salt reps. But when you go to their websites or read through their brochures or owner's manuals, there's not a single word about these issues and what you can do to mitigate them.
The only exception so far is this. The story by WFAA about salt systems damaging pools includes Goldline Controls Full Statement to WFAA, where they finally admit that stone and salt MAY NOT be compatible
So, that's why I hate salt and that's my story. Oh, and thanks for the traffic.
The Pool Guy