Salt Chlorinator and Rusting Ladder and Rail

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andreww
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri 27 Mar, 2009 22:02
My Pool: 15 x 30, in-ground, Concrete w/tiled walls and floor, salt chlorinator.
Location: Miami

Salt Chlorinator and Rusting Ladder and Rail

Postby andreww » Fri 27 Mar, 2009 22:36

Since I installed a salt chlorinator in my pool, my stainless steel ladder which was fine before, has started to rust. I've been told that it is probably a "low grade" stainless and that I need to replace it with a "316 Marine Grade" stainless ladder or a non metallic ladder or the problem will continue.

I would rather not use steel again. I looked at the Polymeric Sealed Steel ladder made by S.R. Smith, but it's just a regular ladder coated with a thin layer of plastic that scrapes off easily. I don't see it lasting very long.

I've also seen some advertised on-line (innovativecomposites.com) made by Saftron that claim to be maintenance-free, but no store near me carries them. If anybody familiar with them can give me some insight on them before I order on-line, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.


chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Salt Chlorinator and Rusting Ladder and Rail

Postby chem geek » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 02:07

First of all, is your pool indoors or do you not have any Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the water? Even if the pool is not exposed to sunlight, you should have CYA in the water or else the active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) level will be too high and that accelerates corrosion. The higher salt, specifically chloride, level also accelerates stainless steel corrosion. Chlorides interfere with the reformation of the passivity layer of chromium oxide that protects the steel in stainless steel.

If you have the ladder and all other metal touching pool water bonded together (which is the way it is supposed to be), then attaching a sacrificial zinc anode buried in soil can help reduce the corrosion rate (if any aluminum is attached to the bonding wire, then the sacrificial anode should be made of magnesium).

This link is to a blog that talks about problems with saltwater pools. Many people are happy with their SWG pools, but there are issues that need to be mitigated or at least understood.

Richard
andreww
Pool Newbie
Pool Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri 27 Mar, 2009 22:02
My Pool: 15 x 30, in-ground, Concrete w/tiled walls and floor, salt chlorinator.
Location: Miami

Salt Chlorinator and Rusting Ladder and Rail

Postby andreww » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 11:35

Thanks very much Richard. My pool is outdoors and I'm in (hot) Florida. The only acid I add is Muriatic Acid whenever I take a water sample to Pinch-A-Penny and they tell me I need it. I don't know if my ladder is (or was) bonded.

One of the claims about Saftron ladders is that they don't need bonding because they are not conductive. If my ladder rust is due to a broken bond, that may be a valid reason not to replace the rusted ladder with another one made of steel to avoid having to dig up the deck if the bonding wire is missing or broken and needs to be replaced.

Andrew.
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
Pool Industry Leader
Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Salt Chlorinator and Rusting Ladder and Rail

Postby chem geek » Sat 28 Mar, 2009 12:19

Andrew,

Cyanuric Acid is also known as conditioner or stabilizer. I'm pretty sure you have some in your outdoor pool or else the half the chlorine would get broken down by the UV in direct sunlight every 35 minutes or so.

The Saftron ladders are made of vinyl so there should not be corrosion issues associated with them and you are right that if the bonding wire were broken it wouldn't matter with such a non-conducting ladder.

Richard

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