Just curious, why saltwater vs chlorine?

spoolboy

Member
Sep 12, 2020
7
Texas
I read all the greats comments here about saltwater. I would like to ask if saltwater is corrosive to the water features and other pool equipment (pumps/pipes/...)? I will be a pool owner soon, and all the pool builders whom I interviewed, didn't recommend the saltwater. I should mention that we will have rock water features with our pool in the design.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,027
Evans, Georgia
Hi there Spoolboy..... Everywhere in the US pool owners *love* their salt water pools. Pool Builders install them happily as long as they can make a profit selling them. Yet for some reason Pool Builders in Texas discourage home owners from using them. Some will cite damage to stonework, but we have learned its more a matter of lesser quality stone being used and wearing away no matter what.

Salt Water Chlorine Generators (SWG) allow for consistent easy pool sanitation, and most folks who have them wouldn't ever go back to any other method.

Maddie
 

cowboycasey

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TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
6,012
Southern OK
Ocean saltwater is 32,000 ppm but a salt water pool is between 2800 and 4000 ppm so WAY less than ocean water... Most builders get paid by installing equipment that will have the new pool owner running to the pool store to buy the new next thing to "fix" there pool water because its now green... after years and thousands of dollars of being pool stored people finally get fed up with them and do a search and find us.. Then they purchase a SWG and start testing there own water they become happy pool owners.. :)

You found us first just like I did and I never got pool stored so I started out a happy pool owner, matter of fact I had my TF 100 Test Kits Compared test kit before I had water in my pool. I also bought my SWG and installed it with all my other equipment.
 

Msch99

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Jun 11, 2018
908
Verona, MO
Also realize that most pools get a build up of salts anyway. Some have found their salt levels 1000ppm+ without ever adding salt.
With the evaporation levels and water replacement in TX, probably not as common though.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,250
Bedford, TX
SB,

Most of Texas pool builders will install a saltwater pool in the blink of an eye.. The problem is mainly in and around the Houston area where pool builders are fond of installing very cheap limestone.. Weather you get a saltwater pool or not, I would not recommend using limestone for anything. Pretty? Yes, but not too durable in the long run.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
973
Houston, TX
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
Also realize that most pools get a build up of salts anyway. Some have found their salt levels 1000ppm+ without ever adding salt.

I've had my pool for 13 years and converted to the TFP way this year, after a drain and refill. After 3 months of operation, I decided to convert to Salt Water. When I checked, my water was around 1000 ppm Salt! So we all are running salt water pools.

And I love the Salt Water system. So much less maintenance. I mostly have to keep pH in check (windy yard).
 
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mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Sure I will chime in.. I never have completely figured out the Houston area pool builders bias against SWG's. PB's in other areas will install them. Some builders I hear will refuse to warranty a pool if they have to include a SWG! So owners will have a stub installed and install it later after the PB leaves. Anyway, Lets get-ta myth bustin'

A common misconception is a salt pools are magically different from a chlorine pool. They are not. a Salt Pool is the same as a chlorine pool. A pool with a SWGC just creates chlorine from the salt. A lot of "chlorine" pools build up high levels of salt anyway. And there are lots of people that add salt to their pool just cause they like the feel of it and still chlorinate with liquid chlorine..
Will salt corrode your metals, sure, but not at the salinity that SWG pools have.
Ocean Salinity ~34000ppm
Tears salinity ~7000ppm
SWG pool salinty ~3400ppm
If you live along the coast you may see metal corrosion from the salt air, but that is from the ocean not your pool at one tenth the salinity of the ocean. And will it affect your stonework... only if the stone is cheap. It would degrade either way.
Now to the benefits of SWG's...
-they make maintaining your pool's chemistry so easy most people fire their pool person, even before they find this website
-Chlorine is produced in low continuous amounts and it makes the other chemical levels more stable
-The water feels better to swim in since it closer salinity of your body. no stingy eyes.
-The quality of the water seems a lot better too. My daughter has very sensitive skin and can't swim in a non salt pools without breaking out. A TFP pool probably does the same thing.. but I don't know anybody locally with a TFP pool that doesn't have an SWG where I can test that idea on my daughter ;) (here honey, jump in this strangers pool, we want to see if you break out)
-no hauling jugs to chlorinate.. or paying a pool guy if you don't want to.
-you can go on vacation and let it do its thing.. They are very stable.
Downsides-
-You pay for the chlorine up front.. The break even point for most SWG's seem to be around 5 years, if you base it on the price of liquid chlorine, then its free chlorine after that.. oh, maybe this should be in the benies column
-The only downside I have found is one can get complacent keeping up with testing because it doesn't change that much.
So there ya go... have at it!
 
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red-beard

Gold Supporter
May 27, 2019
973
Houston, TX
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite Pro (T-15)
Sure I will chime in.. I never have completely figured out the Houston area pool builders bias against SWG's. PB's in other areas will install them. Some builders I hear will refuse to warranty a pool if they have to include a SWG!

. And will it affect your stonework... only if the stone is cheap. It would degrade either way.

That is what we were told, 13 years ago. In the end, I'm glad I went TFP methods, THEN converted, because I'm really taking care of the pool and I understand the Chemistry. And my pool, after 3 months was 1000 ppm salt.

The only thing I would suggest, before someone converts, is swim in a Salt Water pool. I CAN taste the salt. But after 10 seconds, I stop being able to taste it. That was at 3400. After Tropical Storm Beta, I'm down to 3000 ppm. And I'm heading for maintaining 2800, based on the recommendations here for my SWG. I have not been in since BETA, but I'll let you know tomorrow. Once the water is under 80F, it needs to be a warm sunny day to get in!
 
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