Does a Salt Chlorinator system require a non-metal pool?

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Pool Newbie
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Does a Salt Chlorinator system require a non-metal pool?

Postby Blueshark » Tue 25 Sep, 2007 10:19

I submitted this post in the specialized category, but never received any reply... Here's my issue:

I just replaced my above-ground pool. The salesperson indicated that if I wanted to install a salt chlorinator system, I had to buy a pool that had no metal parts at all: resin wall, post and connectors only. Otherwise, the salt water will corrode the metal parts. Of course the resin-only pool costs three times the amount of the regular pool!

The professional pool installer that I hired told me that this was a bunch of B.S. The pool manufacturers just want to make more profits! He has seen numerous salt systems installed on regular pools: no problem. The driver of the tanker truck that filled my pool has a salt system installed in his metal pool and never had any problems either. I realize that salt water systems have probably not been around that long, that a steel wall would become corroded and fail. I also know that the salt content in a pool is very low, much less than human tears.

So, my question is: should I install a salt chlorinator with a regular (metal) swimming pool?


pool doctor

Postby pool doctor » Wed 26 Sep, 2007 14:55

our AG pools are of steel construction. I've not had a problem as of yet with any of mine that are on salt gens.

Postby AutumnV » Thu 03 Apr, 2008 12:08

We have been running a salt water pool with metal in it for almost 10 years, never had a problem. Recently got a new rail installed and bolts rusted off within a week....not sure why but had them replaced and everything is fine now.
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Thu 03 Apr, 2008 12:50

The only people who have reported problems with an SWG on an above-ground pool were those with pools that had some cheap non-stainless-steel bolts or screws since those rusted faster at the higher salt levels. They just replaced those and they were fine.

The fact is that conductivity is roughly proportional to TDS and the TDS of an SWG pools is 2-6 times higher than a non-SWG pool (which varies in TDS since it increases as chlorine usage produces chloride salt). Corrosion rates are dependent on multiple factors (low pH being the fastest corrosive factor), but conductivity is one of those factors, especially for galvanic corrosion (which occurs in places where dissimilar metals are touching).

In the worst case, if all metal touching the water is bonded together, then a zinc block (in the ground) can be attached to this wire and protect the metal (the zinc will corrode instead of the metal -- it essentially puts a negative charge on the wire and all metal in the pool to reduce corrosion rates).

In terms of metals, aluminum is the worst in an SWG pool, galvanized (zinc-coated) steel isn't good either (for thin zinc layers -- i.e. electroplated; hot-dipped might be OK but I'm not sure since I haven't seen reports with those) while stainless steel is the best (and different stainless steels vary as well). Other steel parts will vary depending on composition and whether they are touching dissimilar metals.

Angela Loves Salt System

Does a Salt Chlorinator system require a non-metal pool?

Postby Angela Loves Salt System » Mon 08 Sep, 2014 12:20

We are in our 6th summer and yes the caps are rusting out and the rust is falling into the pool... still six years and the really bad areas are where the ladders are ....maybe if we had of rinsed these areas off with fresh after we would still be in good shape, but then again I can buy a new pool, maybe 2 new pools with the money and time we have spent using the salt system......I love the salt system and will do it again :-)

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