Do Saltwater Chlorinators Work in Fiberglass Pools?

The easy answer is absolutely!

In my opinion a saltwater chlorinator installed on a fiberglass pool is the apex of easy maintenance for gin clear pool water.  Some people call them saline system, chlorine generators, saltwater systems, and some folks even think they are saltwater filters.  Let’s make it clear at this time that whatever you wish to call it, a filter it is not; it is an automatic chlorination system.  The system is a part of your pool equipment pad that is used along with the pump, filter, heater, heat pump, etc.  The salt system only operates when the pool pump is on. So enough at this time of the mechanics until later, let us now delve into the pros and cons of a saltwater pool.


1. Most of our clients advise us that the pool water has a softener, more natural than traditional processed chlorine (tablets, sticks, pucks).

2. Processed chlorine has been known to cause allergic reactions to many swimmers and is generally considered to be much harder on your skin and can even make your hair brittle.  The salt that will be necessary to periodically add is simple to handle and store.  The salt is especially packaged for swimming pool use and is very similar chemically to the salts found in our own bodies.

3. Saltwater pools do not “smell” like processed chlorine, are not poisonous to if you happen to ingest it, and you can open your eyes underwater without a stinging effect.

4. Saltwater pools require less maintenance than traditional processed chlorine pools.  The units automatically make chlorine every time the pool pump comes on.

5. Saltwater pools are less expensive to operate overall.


1. Saltwater pools are in the opinion of many gunite pool builders corrosive to the pool plaster, natural stone including waterfalls and flagstone / slate pool decks.

2. It is necessary to provide a little more attention or TLC to the pool water balance.  We suggest that every pool owner have their pool water professionally tested every 4-6 weeks by a pool store to maintain proper PH levels and keep mineral deposits from collecting the salt cell.   Note: Most types of salt systems will alert you when the salt cell requires cleaning or replacing.

3. You must allow your pump to operate every day.  As discussed earlier, the unit only works when the pump is running.  I would recommend 8 hours of operation time a day.  If you have a very large pool (25,000 gallons or more)  you may have to bump that running time to 10-12 hours a day.

4. Saltwater systems, if not properly used, may cause damages to pool equipment.  This is true particularly with older pool equipment with lots of bronze, brass, galvanized equipment, metallic piping or valves.

5. Like anything else, the initial investment cost of the salt system may be a con to some buyers.  There are quite a number of units out there to select from.  We prefer Hayward Pool Products salt systems.  Cost can vary on installed units from $1200 to $2000 based on the size of unit required for your pool’s gallonage, electrical hookup, etc.


Hayward Pool Products provide a 3 year warranty on salt systems if you have at least 3 pieces of new Hayward equipment on the equipment pad.  This is easy to do especially on new pools or pool renovations as every pool needs at least a pump and filter.  If you add a salt system as a retrofit item on an existing pool, the warranty is 1 year.  I am not familiar with the warranties that are offered by other pool equipment manufacturers, but I recommend that you purchase only name brand equipment! Make sure that the warranty does not require you to ship the unit to Pluto to have it repaired.  Be very careful about purchasing “deals” off the internet!

So there you have it.  My opinion is that saltwater pools are wonderful to swim in and own.  I know some of you other pool guys and gals agree and disagree with me.  Each and every one reading this blog topic are welcome to give your 2 cents on the subject or ask questions.  Just send us a reply!

BTW, we think every American Fiberglass Pool owner should have a saltwater system on their pool.  That is why from now thru July 15, 2012, we will supply one free to every person that purchases a beautiful, affordable, VERY LOW maintenance American Fiberglass Pool from an authorized American Fiberglass Pool dealer or direct thru the American Fiberglass Pool factory!



50 Responses to “Do Saltwater Chlorinators Work in Fiberglass Pools?”

  1. Santana B. says:

    Mr. Wayne,
    I did not know much about salt water pools until reading this.
    Thank you for the information. We will for sure do a saltwater pool.
    You may contact us at 210-***-**** to speak with us directly about the pool we want to swim in ASAP.
    Thank you, Santana B.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hi Santana. You are quite welcome for the information! I understand our local dealer in your area has already got you on the schedule. So happy swimming (soon)!

  2. Amy Mills. says:

    Hi Wayne & all the troops there at American Fiberglass Pools!!
    Even though we bought our pool from you 3 years ago, we still keep up with y’all by following your blog. Your suggestion that we get the salt system with our new pool was perfect! We absolutely LOVE our pool & everything about it. The way you designed the pool, the deck, & the whole pool package is everything we wanted & needed. Especially the salt water feature. Cannot imagine anyone not wanting to have one. Amy

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      So pleased to hear from you! Glad the pool is a focal point of your life. It should be because it was the last piece of the puzzle to go along with your beautiful home and landscaping.

  3. The Besh Family says:

    We agree that a saltwater chlorinator should be on every pool. We have owned a few pools in the past. From aboveground to concrete, and now we own the ultimate type of pool, an American Fiberglass Pool. The fiberglass pool is the easiest one of all of them to take care of.
    The saltwater chlorination system to us is the most important piece of equipment on the entire pool. Cannot imagine life without it or without our wonderful American Fiberglass Pool!!!!!!!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Thank you! Thank you! The kind words are appreciated! Trust all the kids are having a blast in the pool!

  4. Jim says:

    I agree with your acessment on how well salt systems work in fiberglass pools. I have installed them for years in Nevada. Wish your factory was closer to me. You sound like a person that I would like to do biz with.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Thanks for the consenting opinion. I wish your pool biz was closer to us as well.
      We would make a great team!

  5. Elsworth III says:

    Here is a big AMEN that saltwater chlorine generators are the only way to own a pool !! As you know, I own another pool previously and glad we picked you this time around !!!
    Here is another big AMEN that you and you staff are top notch people to work with !!
    We are having an absolute blast in the San Jacinto pool you built for us back in February.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      So nice to hear from you and we are pleased to have your family on our list of over 41 years of happy American Fiberglass Pool owners.

  6. K.P. says:

    I will not put a SW system on the gunite pools I build even if the customer demands one. I have found that the plaster life lessens by 50%. Sounds like the fiberglas pools are not bothered by the salt, maybe I should try some. Sounds like there are some other advantages too. Give me a call @361-***-**** so we can discuss working together.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      I have heard of many issues on gunite pools with salt systems. As we have already set a date to meet for lunch in Corpus Christi next week, I will see you then!

  7. Big Red 1 says:

    I am a long time fiberglass pool owner.
    As far as I am concerned, the introduction of saltwater as a chlorination method was the best thing that could have occurred. We love our pool and the saltwater is the cherry on top of our dessert[fiberglass pool]. I just despised having to purchase, handle, and smell the chlorine tablets I had to use before.

    • Emmott says:

      Wanted you to know that we enjoy your blog! Very informative!!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      A lot of people don’t like fooling wiht chlorine tablets. I don’t blame them. Glad you have had excellent service with your fiberglass pool.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Glad to hear from you! I can’t stand that chlorine smell either. Another reason that saltwater pools are advantageous! Glad to hear as well that your fiberglass pool ownership has been trouble free.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Always glad to hear from happy, long time fiberglass pool owners. I have never gotten used to the chlorine smell eihter. Feel free to check back with us anytime.

  8. Hosea B. says:

    Always great to know the facts on things prior to purchase. We have been reading your blog now for several months. We think that you speak from the heart about things and enjoy doing what you do.
    We intend to build a fiberglass pool this winter when our home is complete. You and American Fiberglass Pools are our choice at this time.
    We will be in touch soon to meet with you.

  9. Brother Brad says:

    Wayne, thank you for donating a spa shell this week for our church baptistry.
    We will tell anyone that wants a pool to call you forever.
    Again our sincere thanks !!
    Brother Brad

  10. Nelson James says:

    We live in a small community south of Houston called Wadsworth. Do you build your pools in this area? If so, please contact me on my cell phone at 979*******.
    We want to purchase a pool prior to your free saltwater pool promotion runs out.
    Thank you.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Yes, we do. As soon as you return from vacation next week we will get you on the schedule.

  11. S A Juden says:

    We have been the owners of several pools during the last 35 years. Above ground, concrete and fibre glas. It is our pleasure to tell you that the pool we purchased from you with the saltwater aoto chlorination system 4 years ago is definitely on the top of the list for being easy to maintain.
    We highly recomend American Pools and everyone should own your pool and make it saltwater to boot !!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Y’all are very, very kind. Please know that we cherish working for such nice folks as you!

  12. Cliff Perry says:

    Mr. Wayne,
    My family wants to toss our hat into the ring of satisfied customers that you have.
    We love our American Pool and our saltwater machine! The pool is so easy to care for and the softer pool water has been amazing to swim in.
    We are so blessed that we decided to go with your company 8 years ago!
    All our thanks, The Perrys

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      So nice to hear from you! Glad the family has enjoyed the American Fiberglass Pool for 8 years and we wish you many more! We were blessed that you chose us as your pool builder of choice. All the best…

  13. Too Cheap - Too Often says:

    We wish we had decided to have you company build our pool instead of buying from a guy that was cheaper. Now we have so much info on his past that we should have looked for before we signed with him. He has been hard to deal with and even forsed us to pay him for what we have come to learn should have been warranty work !
    The only good thing is the way the saltwater thing keeps the water clear and algae free.
    My advise to other people wanting a new pool is as follows….check out completely the pool builders you talk to; if they moved from out of state to here, check out the reputation of their past in that state. DO NOT buy the cheapest pool, YOU WILL be sorry !
    Make sure that you get a saltwater machine….

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Great advice! If we can help you with any of the pool guy issues you have, please let us know.

  14. Viktor says:

    Looking only for cheapest price is best way to insure you that you will have problems with a product or service. Do not go cheap & by doing so encourage contractor to cut every corner possible. This does not mean that you have to buy most expensive, seek to buy as much quality as possible. With this method of purchase, you can not go wrong as often.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      You sir are a genius! The cheapest priced product almost always means problems down the line that you could have avoided by selecting a contractor that was more quality minded and a little more expensive.

  15. Larry Lowry says:

    Our salt water chlorinator is a wonderful piece of equipment. The pools we have owned without one were so much work to do. Our swc displays salt ppm, water temp, ph, and much more. It is easy to adjust and the chlorine it makes has NO SMELL!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Nice to hear that you like saltwater systems as much as we do! Continued success to you.

  16. Rev. Poplin says:

    To me, the main consideration before making a pool ownership commitment was the maintenence required including the little time that I could devote to the care of the pool.
    I studied all the options and then purchased an American Fiberglass Pool along with a salt water chlorine generator. I have been astounded at how much even my expectations have been exceeded! My family has enjoyed our pool so much that it is almost hard to descibe all the fun and excitement.
    Thank you again Wayne for the job your guys did.
    May the good Lord continue to bless and keep you all!

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      We preach the low maintenance of fiberglass pools to everyone. Having you affirm this as a valued client of ours is priceless. Thank you for the blessing.

  17. Iris Lively says:

    Do you know someone that can install one of tohse saltwater contraptions on our fiberglass pool in Palacios,TX ? We have a pool that looks a whole lot like your model Trinity. We are the third owner but we know the pool was installed in 1984. The pool still looks great and we have enjoyed it a lot since we purchased the home in 1998. We would like to install the salt system you recomend since we have heard so many nice things about them. You may contact us by email at ilive@*******.com

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Yes, Iris, us! We have a couple of hundred American Fiberglass Pools installed in your area over the last 30 years. Chances are almost 100% the pool you love owning is an American Fiberglass Pool.

  18. Dave says:

    A friend of mine bought a fiberglass pool from your company and he says it’s one of the best investments he has made for years. I’m thinking of installing one myself but i don’t know which one would be the best for me. Maybe i’ll get the same he did and enjoy it as soon as possible.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Hello Dave, Your friend’s opinion is shared by 99% of our clients. When you are ready to swim at home instead of his place, please advise.

  19. D.F.Lee says:

    Hi Wayne, it’s been 16 yrs. since you built our pool. Will you be able to install a salt system on our pool after all these years? Will it really make a difference on how the pool chemicals are used? We love the pool just like it is, but if you say this is even better, we are interested. BTW, our phone is still the same.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Thanks for joining us here on the blog! Yes, the saltwater systems are perfect as a retrofit item on older pools. I will give you a holler to discuss.

  20. J Schaffer says:

    How many years have you seen saltwater chloronation systems used?
    If they are so wonderful, why have they not been a splash until recently?

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      We installed our 1st saltwater system in 1974, the Electronator. It was made by Diamond Shamrock (believe it or not). We did not have any issues at all, but the word at the time was it stained gunite pools at times. I would have to say that the internet and other marketing led to the rise of saltwater systems in residential pools.

  21. watts wp5 says:

    Howdy! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with
    us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and fantastic design.

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Howdy back! Nice to hear that some nice person told you about us. Please visit again. We will continue to try to make things interesting for you!

  22. Andre Mc says:

    I know your salt chlorinator promo ended on July 15. I have a possible ridiculus question to ask you though.
    If we buy a pool from you now can you still honor that promo?

    Thanks, AMc

    • R. Wayne Stringer says:

      Andre, we purchased 125 salt systems for that promotion that ended on 7/15. AT this time we have 7 units left and will give one at N/C to American Fiberglass Pool clients that ask for them as long as they last.

  23. I always used salt water chlorinator because it helps my pool clean and i ma happy with the results.Can you tell me what is the life of salt water cholrinator?When should i change it?

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