Buying home with steel pool and owners added a salt system

Apr 24, 2017
9
Southport/NC
#1
Hi- we are not new pool owners having had a gunite pool for many years, but we are purchasing another home that has an above ground pool with a vinyl liner. We were told it is galvanized steel with a vinyl liner and the pool is about 11 years old. Vinyl liner was replaced 2 years ago.

Today we had the home inspection and the inspector found some large areas of rust and corrosion below the decking. We also found out the owners switched the pool to a salt system a few years ago. We cannot find out who built the pool as the owners of the home are not the original owners and the builder of the home is no longer in town. We are planning on a pool inspection, but have had a hard time finding someone who is familiar with this type of pool.

My concern is in researching this is that it looks like the owners should not have converted to salt and it is likely corroding the whole pool. Is this correct? What are our options at this point?
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#3
I'm not sure I would blame the saltwater system for the corrosion you are seeing. Being under the deck the moisture in the air and soil was probably almost always on the high side. At the same time that is starting to look like the steel is starting to get pitted and scaling. You won't be able to stop that rust altogether but you may be able to slow it down with some paint or primer. I would suggest a wire brush and cold galvanizing spray if it's in an area you won't see all the time. That will only get you a few years before the rust comes back.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
#4
Some overall pictures of the pool would be good.

That looks like rust which is a normal hazard of any metal pool. Metal AGPs require annual inspection and maintenance to prevent rust and to check their structural integrity. It appears this is where the structure contacts the ground. This area should not be covered with soil and as CJ above states covered with some rust preventive. I doubt the salt water system has anything to do with this situation, this appears to be neglect.
 
OP
OP
B
Apr 24, 2017
9
Southport/NC
#5
Some overall pictures of the pool would be good.

That looks like rust which is a normal hazard of any metal pool. Metal AGPs require annual inspection and maintenance to prevent rust and to check their structural integrity. It appears this is where the structure contacts the ground. This area should not be covered with soil and as CJ above states covered with some rust preventive. I doubt the salt water system has anything to do with this situation, this appears to be neglect.
thank you for the replies. I will look into a rust preventative. gwegan-I had hoped to get some additional photos today, but it was a monsoon and we had to leave. I have the following photos, but don't know if they will be of much help. The owners said the pool is about 3 feet deep and 7000 gallons. Since it shouldn't contact soil- what should be there? Or are you saying the spray would be enough of a barricade?
Photo-2.jpg
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
#6
As CJ suggested a good working over with a wire brush and some galvanizing paint would be a start. That would extend the life.

So there are exposed metal walls under the deck?

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That looks more like a in-ground vinyl liner pool with metal walls than an AGP.
 
OP
OP
B
Apr 24, 2017
9
Southport/NC
#7
As CJ suggested a good working over with a wire brush and some galvanizing paint would be a start. That would extend the life.

So there are exposed metal walls under the deck?

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That looks more like a in-ground vinyl liner pool with metal walls than an AGP.
yes- there are exposed metal walls under the deck- that's why I thought it would be considered an AGP. Can you tell me why this might be considered an in ground pool? The shrubs you see on the one side are in a raised planter. The long side has the infinity edge with waterfall.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#8
Above ground pools are self supporting and don't need any extra supports for them to hold their shape. You've got a beautiful pool. It looks like they too a steel walled inground pool with a vinyl liner and installed it above grade using the house and deck and waterfall edge to support the frame. That would also explain the bolted angle iron seem / stiffener in the picture of the rust. On the positive side that probably means the steel is much thicker than your standard above ground pool wall.

Its not that the walls shouldn't contact the soil its just that being under the deck and out of the sun they won't dry out well and will always be in a moist environment. Those kind of conditions will speed up corrosion. But now that you've seen it you can address it and slow it down. It certainly looks like its worth the effort to help that pool fight off the rust.
 
OP
OP
B
Apr 24, 2017
9
Southport/NC
#9
Above ground pools are self supporting and don't need any extra supports for them to hold their shape. You've got a beautiful pool. It looks like they too a steel walled inground pool with a vinyl liner and installed it above grade using the house and deck and waterfall edge to support the frame. That would also explain the bolted angle iron seem / stiffener in the picture of the rust. On the positive side that probably means the steel is much thicker than your standard above ground pool wall.

Its not that the walls shouldn't contact the soil its just that being under the deck and out of the sun they won't dry out well and will always be in a moist environment. Those kind of conditions will speed up corrosion. But now that you've seen it you can address it and slow it down. It certainly looks like its worth the effort to help that pool fight off the rust.
thank you so much for the explanation!! We have found a pool company that will do a pool inspection so that will help us find out if there are any other issues we should be addressing. We don't want this to be a money pit- but we really enjoy a small pool when it's hot and humid!!

We already know that the heat pump needs a new part (which the owner's pool guy is have a hard time finding-so probably the heat pump is not being made anymore), and our home inspector said one of the pumps is leaking (sigh). And the liner has 2 straight lines that run across the bottom- they almost look like seams since the pattern stops along them. But surely there would not be seams in a liner, right?

I'll feel much better having the dedicated pool inspection!
 

dw886

Gold Supporter
Sep 19, 2016
130
ND
#10
There are more than likely seams in the liner. Most of the time they're done in an area with a pattern that isn't as easy to determine that it's a seam. On our new pool, I can tell the seam locations when the pool is dirty, as the dirt tends to stop right along the seam. Once I clean up the pool, the seam seems to disappear...blending into the surroundings.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,194
Quaker Hill, CT
#11
The heat pump may be hard to repair depending on what part you need.

A leaking water pump is generally an easy fix unless there is a cracked housing somewhere.

I would totally expect there to be seams in the liner with a pool shaped like that.
 
OP
OP
B
Apr 24, 2017
9
Southport/NC
#12
There are more than likely seams in the liner. Most of the time they're done in an area with a pattern that isn't as easy to determine that it's a seam. On our new pool, I can tell the seam locations when the pool is dirty, as the dirt tends to stop right along the seam. Once I clean up the pool, the seam seems to disappear...blending into the surroundings.
oh, good to know. It does look like dirt is in the seams, so great to know it goes away when it's clean.

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The heat pump may be hard to repair depending on what part you need.

A leaking water pump is generally an easy fix unless there is a cracked housing somewhere.

I would totally expect there to be seams in the liner with a pool shaped like that.
thank you for all your help! We really feel since the heat pump is 11 to 12 years old it should be replaced-especially since the parts appear to be hard to find. I think it might be the heat exchanger which is not a cheap part, but the owners were vague on what part it is-or maybe they just weren't quite sure and leaving it up to their pool guy. They said they very rarely used the heater, so I don't know if that makes a difference in longevity of the unit or not.