'Saltwater' Ready Above Ground Pool Wall

Nathan8372

Well-known member
May 13, 2020
52
South Texas
Pool Size
5300
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Hello all! :geek:

We just retired our Intex Ultra pool due to the frame rusting into 1,000 pieces and are looking for something more permanent. I installed a SWG in early spring and it didn't take it long to rust the pool apart. We couldn't keep up with the standard chlorine pool and the SWG met our needs perfectly.

I read about bonding the pool and sacrificial metal etc. and understand it rather well. We found a pool on Royal Pools and The Pool Factory that are around $2,500. The size we are considering is a 15' or 18'.

My questions to you guys are:

  1. Does anyone have experience with the so called 'saltwater' approved pools with the galvanized, coated steel walls? And if so, can you elaborate on your experience?
  2. Does anyone have experience with the 'All Resin' pools?
I appreciate anyone's opinion about either options; as our fear is the wall will rust and crumble in just a few years (even though it's not in contact with the water).
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
5,276
Southern OK
Just so you know, all pools are salt water pools... most pools are right around 500 to 1500 ppm salt and rise at every addition of chlorine... your SWG pools are between 2500 to 4000 ppm salt so a little more than a normal pool..

All normal non coated metal will rust around a pool but it will depend on how much water gets in contact with the metal and how long it stays there... most of the time it is around the skimmer leaking a little minute by minute and rusts out the wall there within 3 to 5 years...

Your salt water pools and resin pools have a much better chance of living 15 to 30 years or more... the salt water pools have a much thicker piece of stainless steel skimmer and water return panel that can be replaced if needed...

The all resin pools have no way of rusting, except the thicker piece of stainless steel skimmer and water return panel that is used in them also..

I hope this helps :)
 
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Nathan8372

Well-known member
May 13, 2020
52
South Texas
Pool Size
5300
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Just so you know, all pools are salt water pools... most pools are right around 500 to 1500 ppm salt and rise at every addition of chlorine... your SWG pools are between 2500 to 4000 ppm salt so a little more than a normal pool..

All normal non coated metal will rust around a pool but it will depend on how much water gets in contact with the metal and how long it stays there... most of the time it is around the skimmer leaking a little minute by minute and rusts out the wall there within 3 to 5 years...

Your salt water pools and resin pools have a much better chance of living 15 to 30 years or more... the salt water pools have a much thicker piece of stainless steel skimmer and water return panel that can be replaced if needed...

The all resin pools have no way of rusting, except the thicker piece of stainless steel skimmer and water return panel that is used in them also..

I hope this helps :)
Thank you for your insight on this. We've racked our brains into thinking we will only get a few years out of it because of the coated steel wall design and the higher salt ppm when using a SWG. I understand that if you keep the water off of the walls then it would potentially increase the lifespan of the wall itself.
 

Tko818

Active member
Feb 13, 2018
34
Fort Lauderdale Florida
Thank you for your insight on this. We've racked our brains into thinking we will only get a few years out of it because of the coated steel wall design and the higher salt ppm when using a SWG. I understand that if you keep the water off of the walls then it would potentially increase the lifespan of the wall itself.
I coated all of the ins and outs of the tubing of my Intex pool with acf50 when I assembled it and then the deck around the pool also helps keep it pretty dry. I’m hoping that will buy me some time before any rust shows up. A neighbor has had his Intex pool for 5 years and it still looks great. I’ll be happy if I get 4-5 years out of mine
 
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Nathan8372

Well-known member
May 13, 2020
52
South Texas
Pool Size
5300
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I coated all of the ins and outs of the tubing of my Intex pool with acf50 when I assembled it and then the deck around the pool also helps keep it pretty dry. I’m hoping that will buy me some time before any rust shows up. A neighbor has had his Intex pool for 5 years and it still looks great. I’ll be happy if I get 4-5 years out of mine
Good idea - we had the Intex for about two seasons before converting it to saltwater; it was ate up in 5 months after but the maintenance was a dream!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
36,137
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Your climate in S Texas ( I assume you are near the Gulf) is far more corrosive to your pool structure and mechanicals than the salt in the pool water will be. Most important parameter to lessen pool issues is pH. Keep in the 7's.
 
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Nathan8372

Well-known member
May 13, 2020
52
South Texas
Pool Size
5300
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Your climate in S Texas ( I assume you are near the Gulf) is far more corrosive to your pool structure and mechanicals than the salt in the pool water will be. Most important parameter to lessen pool issues is pH. Keep in the 7's.
Thanks for your reply! We are about 30 miles from the coast near Corpus Christi and yes, the air is very humid here. We don't have much gulf salt in the air where I live but those closer to the coast do. Do you think the coated steel wall pools are acceptable for a SWG? If so, about how long should the walls last before they rust/fail providing everything is maintained and pH is kept in the 7's? Sorry for the repetitive questioning, just looking for personal experience/knowledge.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
36,137
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I have no personal experience, but others on the forum do. @kimkats and @zea3 live in the swamp like you and have above ground pools. Let's see what their experiences are.
 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
48,020
Tallahassee, FL
You rang??? LOL

My pool has been up since my join date! Everything is resin except the wall. When we went to replace the liner we found surface rust all along the middle of the wall. It was from the condensation between the liner and the wall. I wired brushed it followed by a good spray painting. Not sure how long that will last though. If we can afford it when the time comes we will be getting one of the pools that are ALL resin!!

It is the humidity that will do our walls in :(
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
12,878
Houston, Texas
My pool story is in my signature. It lasted about 10 years before rust and Harvey did it in. Like Kimkats I had condensation between the liner and the wall and I think that is where the rust started. My liner never leaked and I used liquid chlorine as my sanitizer. If you go with a steel walled pool I would spray the inside wall with a good rust inhibitor for a little extra protection. Make sure the ground is graded away from the bottom rail and don't backfill against the outside wall with materials that allow water to stand. You want everything to drain away from the pool as quickly as possible. If you have the opportunity to get an all resin pool I would go for it.
 

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Nathan8372

Well-known member
May 13, 2020
52
South Texas
Pool Size
5300
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Thank you! Spraying some sort of rust inhibitor on the wall may slow down the process however it is still metal. We are considering all resin - hopefully more come back into stock as the season slows down.
 

Nathan8372

Well-known member
May 13, 2020
52
South Texas
Pool Size
5300
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
My pool story is in my signature. It lasted about 10 years before rust and Harvey did it in. Like Kimkats I had condensation between the liner and the wall and I think that is where the rust started. My liner never leaked and I used liquid chlorine as my sanitizer. If you go with a steel walled pool I would spray the inside wall with a good rust inhibitor for a little extra protection. Make sure the ground is graded away from the bottom rail and don't backfill against the outside wall with materials that allow water to stand. You want everything to drain away from the pool as quickly as possible. If you have the opportunity to get an all resin pool I would go for it.
So it seems that about 10 years is going to be the average lifespan of the steel pool walls o_O. Of course, this can differ based on tons of factors and with your suggestions I think I can make an educated buying decision! I will let you know what we choose (hopefully we can find a resin at affordable price). :cool:
 

Nathan8372

Well-known member
May 13, 2020
52
South Texas
Pool Size
5300
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
You rang??? LOL

My pool has been up since my join date! Everything is resin except the wall. When we went to replace the liner we found surface rust all along the middle of the wall. It was from the condensation between the liner and the wall. I wired brushed it followed by a good spray painting. Not sure how long that will last though. If we can afford it when the time comes we will be getting one of the pools that are ALL resin!!

It is the humidity that will do our walls in :(
Do you have any insight on the galvanized steel columns being partially-buried? I am comparing an all resin pool and the galvanized steel pools but we want it partially-buried. The pool specs say they both can be buried up to 27" or so and we're worried about them rusting prematurely. I have a basic understanding about rust, galvanizing etc. and if we can get 5-7 years out of it I'd be happy.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
5,276
Southern OK
your resin pool will come out of the ground looking the same exact way it was put in after 5, 10, or 15 years... The steel will be rusted but who knows how much and when the failure point will be... if you have any doubts go with the resin :)
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
6,303
NY
+1. Above ground pools rusting has been a known concern since they were invented. Some people are trying out a pool for the first time and wish to invest less money if it doesn’t get used all that much. If you know for a fact that you want a long term pool, the small price increase is worth its weight in gold to go all resin now that they are available. It will ensure you only have to build it once, instead of every 7-15 years (on average, YMMV).

There is some concern of cracking in the extreme cold, but that isn’t a concern anywhere in TX like it is in Montana.
 
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