What is a saltwater pool?
A saltwater pool does not function in the same way as a traditional chlorine pool. Instead, it uses a salt-chlorine generator that can convert salt into chlorine. You do not have to feed chlorine into the water directly. After you add the salt, the generator will transform it into chlorine, leaving the water silky and healthy. If you want to use a saltwater pool, you have to invest in an effective salt chlorine generator.
In case you have an existing pool, you can change it to a saltwater pool as long as it is constructed with sturdy and corrosion-resistant materials. However, it might serve you better to buy a readymade above-ground saltwater pool from the market.
When you use the saltwater pool, you will find that the taste of the salt is mild and will not bother you. Saltwater pools are easy to maintain and will provide you with clear water.
Advantages and disadvantages of an above ground saltwater pool
Saltwater pools are by no means a perfect product, but one has to acknowledge that the pros outweigh the cons by a landslide.
- You will have access to clear and smooth water. The slightly salty taste will actually add to the experience.
- The annual cost of maintenance is much lesser as compared to traditional pools. As the savings cumulate over the years, the numbers will speak for themselves.
- You will not be bothered by any pungent chlorine smell. Some people feel suffocated and bothered by the smell of chlorine, and they will greatly appreciate a saltwater pool.
- Saltwater pools are gentler on the skin, and eyes are compared to chlorine pools. They cause negligible irritation, burning sensations, and damage.
- Saltwater chlorinators ensure that the water always remains clear.
- The water will feel silky to the skin because of the salt.
- You will not have to store up chlorine for your pool separately.
- Replacing parts in a saltwater pool can prove to be expensive. It is necessary that you replace the cell every few years.
- You might forget to test the water regularly because it always remains clear. The level of chlorine can become too high without you noticing.
Features to consider when choosing an above ground pool
You should be able to evaluate an above-ground saltwater pool by yourself before you make the purchase. The following features are especially important.
The size of the pool is an important consideration because it must fit well in your backyard. If you have limited space in your backyard, it will not make sense to invest in a very large pool. You will not be able to place it properly. On the other hand, if you have access to a large backyard space and you know that many people will use the pool, you can buy a big pool. For example, the Intex Ultra XTR Round Pool Set measures 16 ft in diameter while the Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve Round Swimming Pool measures 24 ft in diameter.
The height of the pool will determine how deep the water will be. The deeper the pool is, the more water it will be able to hold. If you know that small children will play in the pool, then it is best to opt for shorter wall heights. On the other hand, if you want to have a deeper end in your pool or just enough depth to splash around a bit, then you should opt for taller wall heights. Your final choice will depend on how shallow you want the water to be.
The construction of the pool frame is something that should be foremost on your mind. The frame should be sturdy and resistant to corrosion so that the saltwater can do no damage. Most above-ground pools have frames made with steel, aluminum, or resin. Some pools use a hybrid of these materials. Steel walls are the least expensive but also the heaviest. Make sure that the steel is treated to prevent rust because regular steel has a tendency to corrode and oxidize faster when exposed to the saltwater and sunlight. Resin, on the other hand, is more expensive but it does not rust, oxidize or corrode.
Hybrid pools utilize both steel and resin to create the perfect frame.
Most above-ground saltwater pools come with a set of accessories so that you do not have to make separate purchases. These items are customized for the model you are buying, and hence they perform better. For example, the Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set comes with a sand filter pump, a pool ladder, ground cloth, a saltwater system, and a pool cover.
After you have narrowed down your list based on the above parameters, you can take a look at other factors like warranty and color options. Do not settle for a product that does not have a warranty period. Also, make sure that the pool suits the aesthetic of your backyard before you actually purchase it. Check out the different color and liner choices to find a combination you like.
How to maintain an above ground saltwater pool
Saltwater pools are not very difficult to maintain. You do not even have to spend a lot on yearly maintenance. All you have to do is keep an eye on the pH and chlorine levels of the pool. It becomes easy to forget about this because the water remains clear because of the generator. Ideally, you should check the levels at least once a week.
If you find that the chlorine level is too high, then you can reduce the output of the generator or use chlorine neutralizing chemicals. On the other hand, you can use muriatic acid for reducing excess pH levels and soda ash for increasing pH levels.
You should also inspect your chlorine generator visually once in every three months. Check if the machine is giving any warnings and then take steps accordingly.