Monthly Archives: April 2010

What is the life expectancy of an in-ground vinyl liner?

Logan 1

The average life of a vinyl pool liner is seven years.  Though some make it 10 years or longer, seven years is the expectation.  If you live in a cooler climate where the pool is covered six months of the year, it may last twice as long as one in Texas that is exposed to the sun 12 months out of the year.

You can extend the life of your liner by keeping the PH and chlorine levels in the proper range.  However, after seven years of exposure to sunshine and chlorine, it will most likely be time for a new liner.

*Pattern pictured is Logan.

What are the effects of salt water chlorine generation systems on vinyl pool liners and swimming pools?

What are the effects of salt water chlorine generation systems on vinyl pool liners and swimming pools?

The growing use of pool chlorination by salt water chlorine generation systems has added some serious implications for pool liners, steel walls and equipment that need to be considered.

Let’s start by making the following statement:  Salt water in the swimming pool, maintained at the recommended concentration and PH, does not constitute any potential for either equipment corrosion or liner deterioration.

However several other important factors need to be considered:

  1. The splash out areas around the pool, where deck, coping and equipment are wetted by salt water, will go through a cycle of wetting and drying, creating much higher concentrations of salt and salt residue, which is much more corrosive and will etch decking and corrode exposed aluminum and metal fittings and deck anchors.  It is recommended that after each use, the areas are flushed with non-saline water.
  2. High levels of chlorine will damage liners and equipment much the same way as high salt concentrations would speed up the corrosion of metal components.  Because chlorine is continually generated in a salt system, unless monitored, it is very easy to have chlorine concentrations well above the recommended levels which will have adverse effects on pool liners.
  3. The prolonged use of solar covers will allow the chlorine levels to build up to higher than normal levels as the chlorine cannot dissipate or gas off into the air.
  4. Auto-covers kept closed for long periods of time create the same build up of chlorine which can damage the cover and the uncoated aluminum components.  This can be more drastic because the condensation that will occur under the cover will coat all areas under the cover and lead to a buildup of salt levels as well.
  5. The continual generation of chlorine does not have the same build up of chlorine amines as normal chlorination.  The chlorine amine is what provides the characteristic chlorine smell and consequently, in salt pools this lack of chlorine smell may lead users to assume the chlorine levels are at an acceptable level and not monitor the water chemistry as often as necessary.
  6. Salt Systems are often sold as low maintenance products and the users are not educated properly.  The assumption that these systems require less maintenance applies only to the addition of chemicals.  The water testing and monitoring frequency is the same as for conventional pools and perhaps for many of the reasons mentioned above, even more attention is required as high concentrations of chlorine over even short time duration can and will alter the vinyl and affect other metal pool components.  High chlorine concentrations can also cause a swing with the levels of other stable water components such as PH and total alkalinity.  Both are instrumental in balanced water which is critical for the longevity of pool liners and components.

*The information provided comes from a pool manufacturer.

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