Saltwater Pools & Stone/Landscape Damage - It's the Weather?

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
I hope that TPG reconsiders because I saw real progress made figuring some things out such as the varying summer rainfall having an effect on frequent dilution of splashed-out salt. It would be great to see lists of stone types from different installations with and without problems, though there's lots of variation in absorption even with a single type of stone. But more detailed data will help us figure more things out.

When both TPG and Sean talk about the experiences they see, I don't think either one of them is lying. They are simply seeing different experiences and TPG has never said that every pool with SWG-salt levels has corroded in less than "X" years while every pool with low-salt levels only shows corrosion after "Y" years. That's his experience for most pools in his area, but not every single pool, so it points to a serious problem but not a "if you buy a SWG pool you will absolutely positively without a doubt have a problem with your pool no matter what materials are used for your hardscape/coping". Likewise, Sean has said that he has seen some corrosion in some pools in some areas, but not in most pools in the areas he is familiar with. The problem comes in when both then draw conclusions as to whether salt is the cause or not and that's where things get messy because there is likely to be more than one cause though in some cases salt may be the primary cause (more likely in TPGs region) while in other cases it may not (more likely in some other regions).

What bothers me is when anyone in the SWG industry (Sean or anyone else) claims that salt does not increase corrosion or is not a problem (implication: at all) when there is no question that higher salt levels in water give roughly proportionally higher conductivity to that water and conductivity is one component that leads to increased corrosion rates for metals (high levels of an oxidizing agent such as oxygen or chlorine being another; low pH being another). Same thing with chloride levels and stainless steel, though that appears to be more of a non-linear process. Same thing with salt and stone where the amount of salt accumulated is directly proportional to the salt concentration in the water, all else equal. Saying that salt does not increase corrosion is as irresponsible as saying that chlorine does not cause corrosion. Of course it causes corrosion (or increases the rate of corrosion), that's not the point. The question is "what do you have to do to a pool to ensure that the corrosion is slow enough to not be a problem during the lifetime of a typical pool?". Obviously, no one uses raw steel handrails, light rings, etc. in a pool using chlorine, regardless of whether it's an SWG pool or not. Why is that? Because after initial bouts of frequent corrosion in such pools, especially before the days of CYA usage, people figured out that it would be better to use stainless steel instead.

As for whether TPG's style in his blog is more or less effective, there is no way of proving that one way or the other since we don't have two people being as passionate as he is on this issue on the web. There is no competing web site (or blog) focussed solely on the salt issue that I am aware of, but doing so in a less confrontational manner. I can only speak for my own experience where I found two posts on The Pool Forum that talked about higher corrosion rates in their SWG pools and I then searched on the web and ran into TPG's blog. For me, it wasn't his style that got me thinking about the issue, but his documentation and descriptions of what he actually saw -- that is, his experience. I disagreed with some of his technical explanations, but I did not then dismiss his experiences because of that. So I really don't know if his style is more or less effective -- I just know it wasn't a factor in getting me more involved with this issue, and as I said before I am grateful that TPG has focussed on this issue and is documenting cases and researching possible explanations.

Whether he returns to this forum or not (and I hope he does and that all of us remain civil), I encourage those interested in this issue to continue to follow his blog as well as this forum as well as SWG industry sources and cut through the conclusions that may be drawn and instead focus on the descriptive facts for whatever experiences are described. You need to draw your own conclusions and it would be irresponsible for anyone to take a recommendation from me as it would to follow anyone else's direct advice from either camp without further investigation. Get the facts and decide for yourself what to do.

Richard
 
G

Guest

JasonLion said:
Beyond that there has been far too much name calling and quoting of examples that are in highly atypical pools with little instructive value and no relivance for most of us.
Well said!
 

TomU

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
93
Wyoming, Michigan
Because after initial bouts of frequent corrosion in such pools, especially before the days of CYA usage, people figured out that it would be better to use stainless steel instead.
I attended a local pool show this spring and saw this manufacturer of stainless steel pools there. I asked them if I could use a SWG in the pool and they made it clear that salt in their pools was not acceptable. They also said chlorine levels had to be kept low as well. I imagine this is why they are also pushing the Ecosmart systems. Apparently the stainless steel being used for their pools doesn't contain the molybdenum that's needed to essentially eliminate corrosion from salt and chlorine (as was mentioned in a previous post).
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
My apologies for any name calling or negative approach that I've made. I try better.
And TPG, please do not leave. I think people will definately benefit from your years of experience with pool operation, repair and maintance. Besides, it's still raining like crazy there, so WE KNOW you've got time to spare coming spend here.

I don't disagree with what you're experiencing with your pools, or what has been reported in other areas of Texas and Arizona. I'm mearly stating the fact that salt is not the only contributing factor that can cause these problems.

I don't doubt that cities are having issues with treating waste water containing salt, or that there is a salt water infiltration on our fresh water supplies. A salt chlorine generator has very little impact on this.

I know there are certain stones that are not compatible with salt systems, although I have not done research to be able to make a list of these. My undersatnding is that there is research being performed on various deck materials with various forms of sanitization to see what affect each has. Perhaps when this comes out, it will be a more conclusive answer to the unknowns right now. But until such a report comes out, we've only got our personal experiences and pool owner feedback, to rely on.
Pool builders should also learn from this. If a certain stone is not good with a salt system, the answer is not don't sell salt, use an appropriate stone, or seal it. Australia had been mentioned many times and they have evolved from this 40 plus years of a learning process. Most of the stone they use around a pool is man made, rather than natural stones that they've seen degrade. It's a learning process for us all.

Trust me, I have learned from everyone here, including YOU TPG. But that does not mean I will stop promoting salt systems, in which I highly believe in, as I have one myself! Not just because I sell them.

I hope we can continue the discussion and agree to disagree, with a more positive and informative direction.

I'm SURE SeanB will appreciate that too.

Respectfully,

Sean
 

KurtV

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
270
SE Louisiana
I think we can already draw at least one conclusion very safely. That is that pool owners should regularly rinse off all surfaces that are subject to splash out, drips, etc. from salt water pools. This is probably especially true for those who are in relatively arid areas (e.g., central and west Texas, Arizona, SoCal), those in areas that are experiencing droughts, and those who live in areas subject to freezing temperatures. I think it's also safe to say that pool appurtenances such as furniture, patio cover supports, and fences may be especially vulnerable to salt and chlorine enhanced corrosion; particularly things made of carbon steel and aluminum.

I offer the following thoughts with some trepidation because, if past is prologue, some will take this personally. However, this is not directed toward any individual and I think that if viewed objectively, it will be instructive for those who might otherwise take offense. The problems that may be caused by salt water will be downplayed (and sometimes even denied) by those in the business of manufacturing and/or selling salt water chlorinators. I'm not saying that those who do this do so intentionally or maliciously. I'm not even sure that it matters what their intent or motivation is, but it is important that those considering adding an SWG and/or salt to the mix know that they're unlikely to get unbiased, accurate information on the possible negatives of salt from the people who manufacture or sell SWGs. I base this assertion on the fact that we've heard over and over from at least one manufacturer's representative that it's not reasonable for the SWG manufacturers to tell prospective clients and pool builders what materials in what applications and in what geographic areas are suitable for use with SWGs. I feel confident in extrapolating that example to the majority of SWG manufacturers and their sales people. From the anecdotes coming out of Texas (via BrettC and TPG), I'd surmise that pool builders in your local area are likely to be a better source of unbiased information on the compatibility of materiel and equipment with salt water.
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
http://www.troublefreepools.com/viewtopic.php?t=1668

Let's see now....which category DID I put KurtV in.... hhhmmmmm...

OK, to respond,
when I see that Pentair, Hayward, Goldline, Jandy, Zodiac, Reliance, or Ecomatic rep come on here saying that..... wait, I don't think I've seen them here. Are you talking (in general of course) about ... me? :shock:

Ah, I guess I look at this differently. I hear of salt causing damage to localize areas around certain parts of the country, and then getting the blame for salt being bad ALL over the country. The reason that "one manufactures rep in particular" says that "it's not reasonable..."blah blah blah (don't take that personally please) is that there are so many products that are used for pool decks and within that product category, there are different QUALITIES of material too. As I mentioned before, I can only go on what I have knowledge of, or have heard of.

You mentioned BrettC, who we have not heard from lately, who was pretty much scared because of the hype of extensive damage caused by salt, in spite of his own builder reassuring him that he's used the same material on Bretts pool as with other customers having salt systems....without problems. But his fear is the potential damage that may occur. I hope he does come back and shares what his latest conditions are. (If you recall, a few of us said that since he was afraid of the potential damage, he should remove the salt system). Personally, if it were an AutoPilot system, I would have contacted his PB and supported the PB, in this specific case, he's used salt with those materials so I would have backed up my product causing any problems down the road (to a certain point - I'm not going to take ownership of long term issues).

Anyway, I agree to disagree that there are some areas of the country experiencing salt related issues with certain pool materials and I AGREE with KurtV that it's a great idea to periodically hose down any decks, patio furniture, landscape lights, bbq grills, outdoor kitchens, swinging patio chairs, telescopic poles, wall brushes, leak nets, and your pool noodles.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
Poolsean said:
Personally, if it were an AutoPilot system, I would have contacted his PB and supported the PB, in this specific case, he's used salt with those materials so I would have backed up my product causing any problems down the road (to a certain point - I'm not going to take ownership of long term issues).

I think this is the crux of some of the disagreements currently. Who is responsible down the line when damage does occur as a direct result of the installed SWG system (assuming the culprit IS determined to be salt) when the pool owner wasn't notified of any potential issues, just the glamorous upside?

In my business, I'm technically in sales, but I don't sell anything. I explain the pros and cons of individual approaches and let the client pick what they view as best for their unique situation. As long as they fully understand, up front, what the risk/rewards are, I feel I've done the best job I can do helping them buy a product. If pool builders and SWG reps (not picking on you) would do the same, perhaps alot of these issues would be moot? But I also see the problem from your side, how in the world can you tell someone "rock A" is SWG safe when the quality of "rock A" is potentially dissimilar withinin differnent lots? But I do think there needs to be some disclosure pre-sale, however that is best done.

Sean, I think you get picked on because you DO spend your time helping on these forums. Some can view this as pushing/hawking SWG, others see it as very helpful when trying to learn more about SWG. It's good to see you have thick skin :)
 

Poolsean

TFP Expert
Apr 15, 2007
1,462
Ft Lauderdale, Florida
Thick skinned sounds good....I thought I was just fat!

eh, I've been called worse and I know in my heart of hearts that I AM trying to help. Sorry if it occasionally sounds like a sales pitch. I'm trying...I'm trying.
 

KurtV

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 29, 2007
270
SE Louisiana
Sean,
I'm sorry for the long delay in my response. I kept meaning to get to it and then it slipped my mind. This post at the Garden Web site reminded me.

I'm definitely a poolsean fan. I think you're extremely helpful to SWGs owners and prospective owners. For a salesman, I think you minimize the hard sell here and on poolforum. I also think you're a dedicated employee of the company you work for and that your advice thus therefore be viewed through the lens that accounts for your employment. As must anyone's advice that is related to any commercial enterprise they are involved with.

As you openly disclose your employment status, I have no beef with you or your company in that regard. My post was only meant to point out that you and others in the business of selling saltwater chlorinators are hardly the best source of objective information on the negatives of those systems. I don't think anyone could, in good faith, argue otherwise.

The anecdotal evidence we've seen here and in the Garden Web post I linked to above point to a trend. It's far from conclusive but I think the SWG industry would be well served to take a look at this issue (and I would fully understand their reluctance to acknowledge that they were taking steps in that direction if they were).
 

tphaggerty

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 27, 2007
218
Poughquag, NY
The one thing that I think has been missing in this discussion is the OVERALL environmental impact of anything - in this particular case - a SWG. I'm a BBB user, except I get my CL from a SWG. In the past 2 years, I have added about 100 lbs of salt to my 28,000G pool. So that means roughly 100lbs of salt has been splashed or backwashed out. No noticeable corrosion or concrete problems yet.

Now, if I have been using bleach, what is the comparative impact of manufacturing bleach AND the bottles, transporting to the store, transporting from the store, recycling (maybe) or disposing of the bottles? I don't know, but I'm guessing that my SWG *probably* has had less net environmental impact than an equivalent usage of bleach. It is clear that in certain areas, the salt RUNOFF (that is what it is, not a DISCHARGE, like a water softener) could be a problem, but it is not clear that is an issue for the majority of the country.

And, maybe SWG manufacturers should provide more information about potential corrosion problems. But, in my opinion, that doesn't make it an argument for not putting one in. It just means you have to be a smart consumer and make some informed decisions about what works for you and understand (and possibly mitigate) the risks.

But I **REALLY** think TPG *WAY* overstated the environmental (not construction issues like corrosion or rock erosion) considerations. Given that our pools have to be sanitized and CL is clearly the way to go, I am not AT ALL convinced that a SWG has more total environmental impact than the alternatives. And isn't that the real argument - given that these options (bleach, SWG, DiChlor, TriChlor, LiCL) are available to me, what has the least impact? It's not like you can choose a SWG or nothing!
 

jtm60

Active member
Mar 9, 2008
32
friendswood, tx
I have been reading this thread with great interest, although I think it is a bit dated now. I am a new member here, and I am in the process of getting a pool. I am originally from the northeast, and as a new resident of the Houston area, I was surprised at all the salt water pools that are in our new neighborhood. Of course all the owners think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread from what I can tell.

When my wife and I started to inquire about pool estimates, we were again surprised when 3 out of 5 pool builders warned us to stay away from salt water. The fourth strongly cautioned us. The PB who was big on salt has been in business for himself only since 1998 or so, and he also specializes in restoration work (hmmmm....). We were informed of issues with erosion of decking, corrosion of steel parts, etc. One pool builder gave us his own story where he installed a new chlorine generator (free from his supplier) on his own pool...and went on to tell us that a brand new basketball goal around the pool is basically trash after 1 year, while his friend's identical goal is like new after 3 years (no salt).

When we looked around our neighbor's pools that are salt, we did start to notice telltale signs...corrosion around metal window frames, rust stains on concrete/decking. Other pool builders mentioned that some stone/tile companies are no longer warranting certain products if they are used on salt pools. One went on to tell me his prediction was that the salt water thing was the latest in a long line of oversold products and would see a drop in popularity in the coming years.

I buy into the better feel/smell of the water that can be had on the salt pools, although I think the benefit is overstated (not every regular pool i have been in left me smelling like the local public swim club)...but I have had a water softener at a previous home, and I know the water feels different. Anyway, I have decided against the salt idea, as I am planning on having a lot of flagstone around the pool and I really just don't want to be the one to find out that oops, you should have chosen a different hardscape...sorry your coping and moss rock is eroding! Too big of an investment for me to gamble with.

Maybe as stated above, when more is known, my fears would be calmed, but for now I am going to stick with what I know a little bit about and play the odds.

Thanks for the great site, excellent info on here all around!
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Thanks for the feedback. You will note that most TPG incidents were in Texas (same state as where you live) and this thread was getting to a point where we could understand how the weather may be a significant factor, at least with stone corrosion from saltier pools. If you've got summer rains as on the East coast, then that can dilute any splashed-out salt. If you've got moderate weather as on the West coast, then it may not evaporate fast enough for whatever salt migration and crystallization process occurs that weakens the stone. Texas is hot in the summer (well, some parts) as is Arizona where some other reports were seen, but this is not consistent across the country (i.e. Palm Springs didn't seem to have such incidents).

Another possibility, which may be an "and", not an "either/or", is the type of stone being used since typically it's sourced somewhat locally.

In any event, there are ways to mitigate any possible damage such as by sealing softer stones or cement. That's been my whole point about this -- instead of denying the inevitability of salt splash-out and higher conductivity of pool water, just figure out how to mitigate any possible issues. After all, people don't use galvanized (zinc-coated) steel in pools and instead use stainless steel precisely because the chlorine is a strong oxidizer and the water has some conductivity from even low-salt pools (due to the CH and TA requirements).

As for corrosion of metal, there is absolutely no question about the higher conductivity of SWG pools since conductivity is roughly proportional to TDS and conductivity is one of several key factors determining corrosion rates. However, since all metal touching pool water is supposed to be bonded together, simply adding a small negative charge to the bonding wire should stop most corrosion, say by adding a zinc block attached to the bonding wire so that the zinc corrodes in place of anything else attached to the wire. This is, in fact, what my pool builder says is done with the aluminum leader pole in vanishing pool covers since they showed significant corrosion in SWG pools until the pool cover manufacturer attached a zinc block to that bonded system. [EDIT] It was actually a magnesium block protecting aluminum leader poles, but my PB just generically called them zinc blocks. [END-EDIT]

I know that one point of view that is extreme brings out opposite points of view that are extreme, but the reality is that this is something that should simply be addressed rationally. Just because most people with SWG pools aren't seeing rapid corrosion doesn't mean that others in different weather/material situations won't and it's not right to ignore the issue, especially since it appears to be something that can be mitigated.

As for the stainless steel pool scenario, it isn't just the quality of the stainless steel that is the issue. In this thread at The Pool Forum I quote from EPA sources that describe how stainless steel is particularly susceptible to high chloride environments (especially if sulfates are present) that are on the order of magnitude as found in salt pools. There are more corrosion-resistant stainless steels that could be used and I don't mean just going from Type 304 to 316, but having even higher molybdenum content than found in 316/317. However, the negative charge on the bonding wire could mitigate this corrosion process -- it won't change chloride's interference in the passivity layer reforming, but it should reduce the rate at which the underlying iron oxidizes.

Richard
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
32,898
Sebring, Florida
Hey, Richard,

I am honestly a little scared to open this thread back up but this caught my eye.....

In any event, there are ways to mitigate any possible damage such as by sealing softer stones or cement
I certainly agree that will work but it may well be at the expense of some aesthetic characteristics of natural stone. Almost any good sealer is going to give the stone a glossy, wet look and darken them considerably from their natural state. That may even be desireable to some owners but, at the least, the owner needs to be aware the change will be very significant.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
True, but we seal our trowled concrete that simulates flagstone every year using Glaze 'N Seal Multi-Purpose Sealer and though initially it has more of a glossed look and is a little more slippery, after about a week this diminishes and the concrete looks great -- more like new and better than not being sealed. We don't even have an SWG and we do this -- for what we paid for that concrete, you'd better believe that I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep it in good shape! Point noted that any sealer may change the appearance of stone so is something to keep in mind.

The fact is that really soft stone, such as some limestone, can have a problem in non-SWG pools as well, it can just take a bit longer (perhaps 2-3 times) or for shoddy workmanship it will have problems regardless of pool type. I totally agree that people should just be aware of the risks and act accordingly.

As the chlorinated cyanurate industry should have learned, lack of full disclosure may lead to short-term gains, but long-term losses, as I'm sure part of the relatively rapid movement of sales towards SWG pools was due to all the algae problems and expensive chemical usage in high CYA pools. Sure, SWG is convenient, but nothing drives a pool owner towards a simpler system faster than having to deal with algae blooms. Perhaps the SWG industry could learn something here (that's not a personal statement directed to anyone in particular and we've got some pretty up-front SWG representatives on this forum -- I'm speaking generally).

Richard
 

jtm60

Active member
Mar 9, 2008
32
friendswood, tx
sorry to bring this all back up, i can see it has been a source of arguement (for lack of a better term)..

my issue with sealing is that it only lasts for so long, and will need to be done periodically. That is something i dont look forward to (although i know its not a big deal), but I view it as one more thing I need to do. It would be especially important to me since I am going to have lots of moss rock and flagstone around my pool. I guess i am somewhat biased, in that I am originally from the northeast, and I have seen what salt does to concrete...all that ice and snow makes it hard not to notice. that is an extreme example, but again there is quite a bit of money and potential aggravation at stake to have something installed, only to see it deteriorate.

thanks again for the great forum, and i will continue reading these SWG threads with interest. maybe by the time i retire and get ANOTHER pools somewhere i will be less concerned about the possible long term hardscape issues.
 
G

Guest

just curious. you said the rain in the east coast can help. but the problem is it rained last night, and thats the first rain since valentines day. so i dont think even on the east coast that will help. just throwing that out.
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Summer rains are virtually unheard of in California, but are common in much of the East Coast. For example, the monthly rainfall in New York is shown here, in Miami the rainfall is shown here. By comparison, San Francisco rainfall is shown here and Los Angeles is shown here. Phoenix rainfall is shown here. Virginia Beach has annual rainfall of 44.5 inches (described here) that is normally evenly distributed throughout the year. It sounds like you've had a temporary dry spell.

Friendswood, Texas is not too far from Houston which has rainfall as shown here. There is summer rainfall so that would seem to blow away the theory that this helps. The average maximum temperatures shown here and I suspect it might be humid which would reduce evaporation rates. Dallas rainfall is shown here and is hotter and probably less humid (not sure about the humidity). If Dallas had more problems than Houston (with equivalent stone), then that would be some support for the weather/evaporation hypothesis.

So whereas the desert environments with infrequent summer rain and hot arid air might explain rapid evaporation that *may* be a factor, the Texas situation does seem to be different or more subtle. Perhaps it does have more to do with the local materials that are used than the weather. The fact is we don't really know why the problems are more clustered in some areas of the country rather than others. We don't even know the actual number of cases -- it may be more reported in some areas than in others. I just think it's something that should be better understood so that such problems can be mitigated or avoided. Just keep in mind that most people with SWG systems do not report seeing problems and we've got a lot of SWG users on these forums, though there were a few reports mostly with metal corrosion in indoor pools with an SWG and no CYA.

jtm60, perhaps you could ask the PBs how many pools have problems percentage-wise in SWG vs. non-SWG pools (ask for total numbers of problems out of how many total pools in each category and figure the percentages yourself). I suspect the percentage is still small, but large enough to have a qualitatively noticeable difference. That is, your probabilistic risk may still be small for both non-SWG and SWG pools.

As for not having to seal stone every year or so, there are other alternatives such as using fired stone (I guess that makes it impermeable to water?). That's what they tend to do in Australia where many areas have dealt with salty environments even before SWGs became popular (according to a couple of PBs I've talked to from down under). I'm not trying to convince you to get an SWG. I just want you to try and get all the facts before making a decision.

Richard
 

jtm60

Active member
Mar 9, 2008
32
friendswood, tx
thanks for the follow up. as i said 4 out of 5 pool builders basically told us to stay away from salt, especially with our desire for flagstone and natural rock (we initially were going to do salt, or at least wanted to know about it). one of those 4 mentioned that we could try it, but expect to see salt staining and require sealing of the stone (in reference to waterfall or water features). I should also mention that the 5 builders included one large national name, and 4 others that are local to houston. one of those locals has been in business here for 33 + years and they were very strongly against salt. I would consider all 5 of these companies to be 'high end' builders.

most of the people in our neighborhood, or maybe 50/50 at worst have salt pools. they seem to be the big rage down here, but we are decided on going traditional 'old school' for now..i figure i can always upgrade later if i really need to have it after the dust settles a little (no pun intended).

it was also mentioned to me that certain stone manufacturers were not warranting certain products if used on a salt pool application. it was stated to me that the problem was even worse on certain types of fancy tile that was $$$. there is a really nice pool right around the corner from us that the PB stated he could not build the same way now because of all of the findings and new information that has come out that wasnt fully known at the time.

as for the weather, humid is the word in houston. i think the official climate type here is humid subtropical. i am surprised the the rainfall total in the link above wasnt higher, because it rains like nobody's business here! although it has been wetter than usual from what the locals tell me. it is not uncommon to walk out the door in the early am and have 75-80F temperature and air so thick you can cut it with a knife.

as for the materials here, i have been seeing quite a bit of buckskin flagstone, and oklahoma wister (but harder to get now supposedly). the idea of going to certain different copings that are harder and more impervious to everything has been mentioned, but i can assure you that those materials come at a premium. I will try to get some further info out of my selected PB, as we are signing up today. Hope to be swimming by June, but time will tell.
 

Martin2003

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 2, 2007
18
Richmond, TX
Hey JTM,

You are in the same spot we were in a year ago. I'm not trying to change your mind, but just give our own experience so far. We have flagstone coping and natural moss rock waterfall and decided to go ahead with the salt system after all.

What made us decide on the salt after hearing/reading about all the trouble was that in the end we found no finite proof that it was the actual cause of the corrosion depending on the rock material (e.g. excluding limestone). We did find that the corrosion could just as well have been caused by poor water balance, such as chlorine or ph imbalance. So after designing our entire hardscape and pool material around what "could" happen and not what we "wanted" we said to heck with it and rolled the dice (along with some sealant).

Being 6 months in after the pool build, it is too early to tell if something "may" happen, but one thing is for sure. We LOVE our pool and everything about it as we got exactly what we wanted. Pool maintenance is a fact of pool ownership, but we'd rather deal with the maintenance the year it comes, than look at our pool every day and not be 100% happy with the result.
 

jtm60

Active member
Mar 9, 2008
32
friendswood, tx
glad you are happy with your decision. i guess we err on the conservative side, and rolling the dice on a $60k decision didn't seem like a good idea to us. IF(!) a problem shows up in year 1, 3, 5 or 10..i know i won't be happy, and i really won't be happy shelling out another 10-20k to fix our hardscape. Decisions, decisions..but at this stage of the game I am beyond the salt decision, and we are working other issues of the deal.

The big thing is that I am really glad I found this forum, as I feel it has already made me more aware of what is out there, and has allowed me to get more for my money vs. just doing what the PB wants to do. So for that, thanks!! Still much to learn but this site is a great resource.