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!