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rsc92

Salt System In A Gunite Pool

7 posts in this topic

I have received mixed information on whether or not I could convert to a Salt Water Pool. I have been told that it is not recommended with a Gunite Pool. Any input would be appreciated. If it matters, I live in the northeast and winterize the pool in late September and usually re-open in late April.

Thanks

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My research suggests the generally considered reasons for not converting do not include if the pool is gunite or not - they are

1) if the pool is properly bonded, older pools may not be - resulting in excessive corrosion, and

2) stonework/coping that fails - generally softer stones like limestone, etc. (lots of Texas pool owners report trouble and I suspect it has to do with the types of stones easily available in their area).

I'm in Florida and in my work area there are about ten pool owners, all gunite or shotcrete, and all but one are salt pools. YMMV.

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The pool finish would not have any impact on whether a salt system is a good ideal or not. This is totally dependent on personal preference as a salt pool provides a better look & feel. You can open your eyes underwater and not feel discomfort, the water feels smoother to the touch, the clarity is much greater without the "chlorine tint" and many more benefits.

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One of the issues with using salt in a plaster pool is that plaster needs a neutral to slightly positive CSI to get maximum longevity out of the plaster, while the salt cell needs a slightly negative CSI to get optimum results.

My opinion is that if you use a salt system on a plaster pool, then you will have to compromise on one or both of these things.

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the clarity is much greater without the "chlorine tint" and many more benefits.

The clarity of a salt pool and a non-salt pool should be equal. There is no such thing as a "chlorine tint".

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lbridges has hit the nail squarely.

Softer and more porous stones used on some pools as coping have had some issues that may have had some impact from salt. These stone materials are not normally used in the north east as they are are frost proof and don't like our winters.

To check for a bond, look at your pump at the pad. If there is a fairly thick, solid, bare, copper conductor running into the ground, you are the owner of a likely bond wire equipped pool. If you have a multi meter, you can check for continuity to any rail sockets and the deck box for a light(s). If you get 0 or 1 ohm, your good in most cases.

Some pools need an additional zinc anode in the water path if there is a naturally occurring stray current present. This will absorb the current, rendering it virtually harmless. These zinc anodes need to be cleaned of any corrosion annually or every other year and will eventually need to be replaced after 5 to 10 years of use.

Salt cells will change your pool's dietary needs. They essentially create bleach and lye. This can drive the pH up while tabs tend to eat alk and push the pH down. They should also have the CYA level raised from a normal level of 30 to about 70 or 80 in the pool to reduce the On time of the cell, extending it's life. The FC level of a salt cell equipped pool is about 5% of the CYA level vs. 8 to 10% for all others forms of chlorination.

The CSI of a pool should be within a tenth of neutral (0) for a plaster pool, regardless of whether a cell or other method of chlorination is used. This is to prevent calcium scale formation or pitting from the tendency of water to pull calcium from plaster finishes.

A cell's biggest positives, IMHO, is not having to deal with buckets of tablets and their feeders. They also continuously add stabilizer to the water meaning the FC level needed for sanitation and oxidation is increased as tablets are used over time, as is the shocking level needed to free combined chlorine.

There is a substantial amount of salt in your eyes. The salt in the pool reduces the amount of salt pulled from your eyes when swimming with your eyes open. Keeping the pH of the pool between 7.5 and 7.7 keeps the water very close the the pH of your tears. These two factors reduce the irritation caused redness of two similar pools different only in the way the water has chlorine added.

Scott

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