Saltwater Pool Coversion vs Brickwork

Jan 3, 2019
14
Australia
IMG_20200730_181350.jpg
This is my pool. It's a standard chlorine pool, plaster over concrete construction, about 75,000 litres (20,000 gal I think - I'm in Australia). I'm thinking of converting it to saltwater, however I've got a few concerns and was hoping for some advice.
1. I've heard that saltwater is not the best for plaster pools, but there seems to be mixed information on this. Any thoughts?
2. As you can see, the pool gets VERY close to the external wall of my brick house (that gap is about 60cm/2 feet at its narrowest) and I'm worried I may get salt ingress and therefore damage to my brickwork. Note, the pool deck is ABOVE the damp course as the wall extends below the pebblecrete surface you can see here (there is a crawl space between the pool and the house). Does anyone think this could be a problem? Would it be worse than exposure to the water from a normal chlorine pool? If so, it there anything I could do to alleviate this issue?
Any advice or information would be very much appreciated!
 

cowboycasey

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You already have a slat water pool as chlorine is made from salt water... I bet your salt content is above 1500 already, you can get a Taylor K-1766 test kit to see exactly where your at now... K-1766 Taylor Salt Test

With that said SWG's need 3000 to 4000 salt so I am not sure if it would get on your brick wall and do something to it... You could clean the wall off with some Muriatic Acid once a year to keep it clean...

As for salt water on plaster pools is just too funny because every plaster pool is a salt water pool :)
(unless someone is not using chlorine)

My recommendation is to get a SWG as soon as possible and never look back, best decision I had and absolutely love mine :cheers:
 
Jan 3, 2019
14
Australia
Thanks, mate. Point taken about chlorine pools already being salt water pools! I guess what I'm worried about is the higher concentrations / the fact there is a lot more actual NaCl actually in my pool.
Brickwork definitely can suffer if exposed to salt ingress (ie spalling etc) but I'm unsure if this is likely in my case
 

cowboycasey

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I bet you could spray some kind of deck sealant made for bricks to protect it from splashing.. You could put it on your deck also, That would work great :)
 

Newdude

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I guess what I'm worried about is the higher concentrations / the fact there is a lot more actual NaCl actually in my pool.
It’s a fair point and also a bogus one. Going from 1k or 1.5k PPM to 3K seems like a huge deal at first. It’s double or triple the salt content. Sounds like a lot right ? But the salt pool level of 3k is only 10% of seawater at 30k PPM. No material has a problem with the salt pool level. If there is a problem it is from the exposure to the water, not the salt.
 

jmhjgh

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Oct 20, 2011
194
Minnesota
SR Smith and most other companies changed many of the manufacturing materials on diving boards, basketball hoops and other accessories because of salt water pools. There is a difference in corrosion, but as you pointed out, all chlorine pools have salt concentrations. I would seal the brick.
 

duraleigh

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A little off the subject but which way does the deck slope in that pic? Into the pool or away from it?
 

Bvacchiano

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Apr 6, 2018
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SWG “destroying” plaster and stone around the pool is a hoax. We are talking 3000-4000 ppm salt concentration not 45000 ppm like the ocean. I’ve had mine for 2.5 years and haven’t seen a single speck of damage and my entire deck is travertine. Get the SWG in my opinion.
 

duraleigh

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SWG “destroying” plaster and stone around the pool is a hoax
Well, I sorta' agree but what about the places around a pool that the water does not drain well. The residual from day after day buildup of salt from evaporation would seem to concentrate that enough that some damage could occur.

Of course, rinseing those places with a hose would prevent that but I am not sure the average pool owner would do a thorough job of that.
 

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Jan 3, 2019
14
Australia
A little off the subject but which way does the deck slope in that pic? Into the pool or away from it?
It slopes away from the pool initially. There are a couple of drains to the stormwater drain in the deck which are fairly effective (you can see one to the right of the skimmer box, the other is approximately where I'm standing to take the photo).
I have had some deposition of minerals/salts from the pool behind the white downpipe you can see around the corner of the house but this has caused no visible deterioration to the bricks so far.
 

mguzzy

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Thanks, mate. Point taken about chlorine pools already being salt water pools! I guess what I'm worried about is the higher concentrations / the fact there is a lot more actual NaCl actually in my pool.
Brickwork definitely can suffer if exposed to salt ingress (ie spalling etc) but I'm unsure if this is likely in my case
Salt water pool Salinity ~3400 ppm
Your tears Salinity ~7000 ppm
Ocean water Salinity ~34000 ppm

The Salinity level of a salt water pool is right at the threshold that most people can taste. There is no way a salinity that low is going to damage your plaster, bricks or concrete. Its probably exposed to higher levels through other means anyway. And as others have said you probably already have an elevated salinity just from the other chems you add to the pool.
 

Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
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Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I had/have significant damage to my windows and coping and deck as an obvious result from the pool. But that damage occurred well before I bought the house and converted the pool to salt. When tested, my pool (before the SWG) had almost enough salt in it to run an SWG! I thought maybe the previous owners added salt because they liked the feel. I later learned that salt builds up in pool water, with or without an SWG. Point being: concentrate your efforts on protecting the brick, not worrying about an SWG (BTW, get the SWG!!). That might mean regular rinsing with fresh water, or some type of sealing or other protective layer, or whatever. If that brick is going to get compromised, it's going to happen whether you use an SWG or not. Might as well enjoy the SWG!!
 
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Newdude

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Go to any seaside community and there will be brick buildings mere feet from the water, sprayed by it on rough days for up to a century. They are only still standing because they are brick.
 
Jan 3, 2019
14
Australia
Go to any seaside community and there will be brick buildings mere feet from the water, sprayed by it on rough days for up to a century. They are only still standing because they are brick.
Good point. I guess I'm mainly nervous because I have had bricks go soft and start to spall on my house before (cause unknown) and, as an American, you'd find the cost of tradesmen/repairs in Sydney, Australia to be eye watering.
 

Newdude

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Fair enough. If the bricks are going to care at all, its the moisture that's to blame which you will have either way.
 
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