Pools can be hard to take care of. At the very least, you’ll spend at least 20 minutes each week scooping out leaves and even longer making sure the water’s pH level is just right. While you can hire a professional to help take care of those tasks, many homeowners are starting to realize that upgrading to a salt water pool is a better option. Believe it or not, you don’t have to replace your pool to change your water type. Instead, you can convert it!
Here’s what you can expect during the salt water pool conversion process.
Set a Budget
Before you can start converting to a salt water pool, you’ll need to figure out how much you want to spend on your system. Salt systems range in price from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Think about how much you want to spend and how you plan to pay for the conversion in the first place. Do you have savings you want to use toward the project? Are you planning on putting the purchase on a credit card?
Understanding these things will help you decide how much money you truly want to spend on your pool. Keep in mind that more expensive systems aren’t inherently better. They often just come with more bells and whistles. This makes it easy to completely customize your water conditions, salinity levels, and even chlorine production with the push of a button. Cheaper systems are typically more than enough for most homeowners and can last just as long with the right care and maintenance.
Decide Between DIY and Professional Install
Before you can start the salt water pool conversion process, you’ll need to decide how you want to convert the pool. If you’re comfortable working with electronics and have a decent understanding of your pool’s inner workings, DIY installation is always an option. However, if you’re not comfortable installing these complex systems, you’ll want to let a professional handle the conversion for you. This way, you’ll know that everything gets installed properly right from the very beginning.
Keep in mind that many professionals require you to buy the types of conversion kits they sell. Always take the time to research your installation company before you commit to working with them. This way, you’ll be able to compare options more effectively and find an installation company that can work with your needs.
Prepare Your Pool Deck
Before you start the conversion process, you’ll need to pay attention to your pool deck and the types of materials it’s made of. Unfortunately, salt water can be corrosive and cause metal components to start to rust after frequent exposure. It can also lead to mineral deposits on the surface of your decking.
Natural and synthetic wood planking will likely show wear quickly, and you’ll end up having to reseal the deck several times each year. If you’re worried about buildup and damage, consider upgrading your deck to a natural stone material. Click here to learn about the benefits stone can give your pool area.
Choose the Right Chlorinator
Even salt water pools use chlorine to keep the water clean and clear. However, they do it in a way that’s safer than standard chlorine pools. The chlorinator is what makes it possible. The device separates chlorine from the salt water and sends it out into your pool. The bigger your pool is, the larger your chlorinator will need to be. Figure out how many gallons of water your pool holds and select a chlorinator that works with that water capacity.
Drain the Pool or Prepare the Water
If you used an antimicrobial chemical in addition to chlorine to keep your water clean, it’s best to drain your pool and start with fresh water. The chemical can hurt the effectiveness of the chlorinator until the chemical burns out of the water. If you’ve been using nothing but chlorine to keep your water clean, you don’t have to drain your pool. All you need to do is install the components and start the salt water conversion process. There’s no benefit to draining your pool if you’re just starting with chlorinated water. Instead, just give your pool a good deep cleaning. Scoop up any leaves and debris at the bottom and clean out the traps.
Add the Salt
Once you’ve prepared the water, you’re ready to add the salt. The amount of salt you’ll need will depend on the size of your pool, but you can buy pool salt at most local hardware stores or pool supply stores. Pour in a few bags at a time and use your pool brush to stir the salt up so it can incorporate into the water. Keep this up until you reach the right salt level for your pool.
Set Up Your System
Before you can jump in, you’ll need to get your system up and running and figure out what settings to use to produce enough chlorine. As a general rule, set your chlorinator to operate at 50 percent for a full 24 hours. Then, check the pH levels of your water. If the system reaches the right pH, you’re ready to start using your pool that day. However, if things are still off, you’ll need to repeat the process and test the pH again in another 24 hours. It might take time to figure out the right setting, but once you do, you won’t have to worry about adding more chlorine every week or two.
Is a Salt Water Pool Conversion for You?
Having a pool in your backyard is a great way to keep your friends and family active during the warmer months, but it requires a lot of maintenance. A salt water pool conversion can help free up your time so you can focus on enjoying your pool, not maintaining it. If you’re considering a conversion, do your research. Find the right system for your home, and don’t rush the chlorination process. This way, you’ll end up with a pool that’s easy to maintain and a joy to use.
Are you looking for more helpful tips to make taking care of your pool and your yard easier? Check out our latest posts.