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How To Convert Your Pool To Salt Water

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Saltwater pools are cheaper to maintain than regular pools. Their salt content makes them more hydrating.

They’re also better for your skin, hair, eyes, and overall health. You’ve probably heard that saltwater pools are healthier than regular pools.

Saltwater pools are great for swimming, but they’re also very expensive. Pool owners should consider converting their existing pools into saltwater pools.

A pool conversion is fairly easy, but there are some things to know before starting the project.

Why Do A Salt Water Pool Conversion?

Chlorine is used to kill germs and bacteria in swimming pools. It also helps prevent algae growth.

However, if there is too much chlorine in the water, it can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. This is why people should always use caution when using chlorine.

Frequent exposure to chlorine can even make some people develop an allergy or sensitivity.

For those who are already sensitive, swimming in a chlorine-treated pool can cause rashes and hives.

Those with respiratory problems, such as allergies, might find their symptoms exacerbated by frequent swimming in a chlorine pool, but a saltwater pool conversion could be just what they’re looking for.

What’s So Great About Salt Water?

Chlorine kills bacteria, but it also makes our skin dry out. Saltwater helps prevent this by keeping our skin moisturized.

Saltwater is great for swimming because it doesn’t burn or sting as much as chlorine-treated water does.

Salt Water Pools Are Gentler To Your Body

Swimming in saltwater pools doesn’t cause any harm. Saltwater pools aren’t really chlorine-free, but they do reduce the risk of eye and skin irritation.

Salt chlorine generators create the same type of chlorine as pools do. Chlorine levels must be kept steady to prevent chloramine formation.

When chlorine levels are low, the salinity of tears is close to that of natural tears.

This is why it doesn’t hurt to open your eyes when you’re in a saltwater pool, and why your body won’t feel as dry after swimming because of the chlorine.

You should buy this product if you want to swim in a saltwater pool.

Copper-free algaecides are available to help prevent your pool water from turning green. You should check your algaecide and consider a non-metal alternative.

Pool Algaecide 60 (Copper-free) is an effective algae control product. To avoid green hair, try using a saltwater pool conversion kit. This will help reduce the amount of copper in your pool water.

Salt Water Pools Cost Less To Maintain

Saltwater pools require regular maintenance. You should add salt to the pool once or twice a week, depending on the amount of rainfall.

If you’re using an automatic system, you’ll want to check the levels regularly. Chlorine pools require daily cleaning and chemical additions.

Chlorinators are expensive, but the long-term costs are low. Replacing the chlorinator cell every 5 years is required. Keeping the pool balanced requires fewer chemicals than maintaining a regular pool.

So while things like test strips and digital testers will still have to be a part of your maintenance budget. Your monthly chemical costs will still be lower with a saltwater pool, than with chlorine.

Salt Water Pools Have Softer Water

Saltwater pools contain much less salt than seawater because the ocean contains much more salt.

You wouldn’t notice the salt in a pool as if you were swimming in the ocean. However, you should never drink from saltwater pools as they may cause health problems.

Preparing Your Pool For Conversion

Preparing Your Pool For Conversion

You should add salt to your pool water before installing the chlorinator. This will help prevent algae growth.

To Drain Or Not To Drain

You don’t need to drain your pool if you’re using an antibacterial agent.

However, if you’re using an antibacterial agent, you should drain your pool before adding any more chemicals to the water. This will ensure proper balancing of your pool water.

You should drain your pool and replace the water with fresh water. The old water contains an antibacterial agent that needs to be burned off before you can convert the pool into saltwater.

Take Precautions For Your Pool Liner

Vinyl liners should last longer if you use a salt chlorinator. You can also use a salt chlorinator to protect your vinyl liner. Galvanized walls shouldn’t rust if you use a salt-chlorinator.

Resin pools do not need to be changed out because they are made of vinyl. You can buy a kit to repair them if they get damaged.

Choosing A Chlorinator

A salt water chlorination system uses electricity to cause a chemical reaction that produces chlorine gas. Chlorine gas is used as a disinfectant in swimming pools.

When choosing a chlorinator, remember to choose a size that matches your pool capacity. You should also buy the highest-quality chlorinator you can afford.

Chlorinators cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000. Cheap doesn’t always mean bad, but don’t forget to consider lifespan and maintenance costs when buying a chlorinator.

Select a system that offers all the bells and whistles that you need according to where you live, and how automated you want.

A basic chlorinator allows you to adjust the amount that they’ll create and not much else, fancier systems offer digital readouts, salt levels, automatic cleaning, and flow control, among other things.

What Is Chlorine?

Chlorine is a chemical compound found naturally. It’s used in swimming pools to kill bacteria and parasites in the water.

The most commonly used type of chlorine is sodium hypochlorite (NaClO). Sodium hypochlorite is available in liquid form and solid blocks.

Liquid forms include bleach, which has 5% NaClO; and Dichromate, which has 10%. Solid blocks include granules, tablets, and pellets.

There are two types of chlorine: Free and Combined. Free chlorine is the active ingredient in many household products such as dishwashing solutions, laundry detergents, and toilet bowl cleaners.

Combined chlorine is a combination of both free and combined chlorine.

Installing A Chlorinator

You need to invest in a quality chlorinator before installing it. Once installed, you’re ready to convert your pool into a saltwater pool.

After your water is properly balanced and installed, you should be able to turn on the water without any problems.

You’ll need to wait a few days before testing the system. When you’re done, make sure to turn off the power supply and remove the wires from the wall outlet.

You’ll need to work carefully when installing your new shower. Be sure to use proper safety equipment and follow instructions carefully.

To install a pool filter, you must first understand how to properly balance the water in your pool.

You then add the appropriate amount of salt to achieve a desired level of hardness. You then spread the salt across the pool surface. This process takes about 24 hours.

Chlorinators use electricity to make chlorine gas. Mount the chlorinator controller on the wall near the pool equipment pad. Wire it up according to the manual specifications for the system you’re using. 

Note: Some systems come with a power cable that plugs directly into a GFCI-protected circuit.

Others can be wired to an already existing time clock, or wired directly to the pool pumps to get their power.

Also, the controller will come equipped with grounding wire and bonding wires for safe electrical connections.

Install the chlorinator cell into your pool piping system after you’ve installed your filter. Note: The chlorinator cell should be connected to the chlorinator controller before you turn on the pool pump.

Run the pump for several hours until the chlorine level reaches about 1 ppm (parts per million).

A saltwater pool needs chlorine to be safe for swimming. Turn on the salt chlorinator to add chlorine to the pool.

Testing And Cleaning

Testing And Cleaning

Clean, clear water requires regular maintenance. Chlorinators should be tested regularly to ensure they’re working properly. Chlorinators should also be cleaned and maintained regularly.

Scrubbing the sides of your pool is important because algae grows quickly if you don’t do this regularly.

Vacuuming the bottom of your pool helps prevent water from leaking out.

Checking your cell phone for buildup is important because it prevents damage to your phone. Cleaning your phone with hydrochloric acid is important because it keeps your phone working properly.

Choosing A Salt Type

Pool salt should be free of impurities. You shouldn’t use regular table salt in your pool because it contains chemicals and other impurities.

High quality salt should be used to prevent problems. You need to use enough salt for your pool’s volume (check out our pool volume calculator) to maintain a level of 2,700 ppm to 3,400 ppm. The ideal level is 3,200 ppm.

Professional Pool Salt is a salt that dissolves quickly. It’s used to make pools clean and safe.

A Few Potential Concerns

Saltwater pools are easy to convert, but there are still many things to consider before you do it. You should know what you’re doing before you start.

Galvanic Corrosion

Zinc is a chemical element that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust. It is found in many minerals such as copper, lead, silver, gold, and zinc.

It is used in batteries, coins, jewelry, and other products. It is also used in medicine because it helps fight infections.

Zinc is also used in swimming pools to reduce the amount of chlorine needed to disinfect the water. This helps protect the pool’s internal structure from damage caused by the chlorine.

Pet Safety

Pets shouldn’t drink from saltwater pools because they could get sick or even die. Your pets may be fine drinking from a saltwater pool, but make sure they’re getting fresh water too.

Swallowing saltwater isn’t dangerous if you’re careful about how much you consume.

Drinking too much saltwater causes problems for your pets. You should make sure your pets aren’t getting into the pool regularly.

Pool Area Damage

Salt water pools (see also ‘Salt Water Pool Maintenance 101‘) are very dangerous because they cause damage to metal pool equipment and concrete coping.

Plants near the pool should be protected from salty water. Pool owners should seal up any cracks in the concrete coping and stonework.

Be A Pool Owner Worth Your Salt

Saltwater pools require less maintenance than chlorinated pools because there is no need to add chemicals to the water.

However, saltwater pools do require regular cleaning to remove algae. There is also a risk of drowning if children fall into the water.

Final Thoughts

Converting your pool to salt water (see also ‘Salt Water Pool Cost’) isn’t for everyone – but those who do it, love it! Hopefully this guide has helped you to learn more about it!

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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