Monthly Archives: August 2019

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 in-ground 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 or will allow the chlorine levels to build up to higher than normal levels as the chlorine cannot dissipate or gas off into the air. 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.
  4. The continual generation of chlorine does not have the same build up of chloramines as normal chlorination.  The chloramine 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.
  5. 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 manufacturer of pool components.

A Safety Cover Can Extend the Life of Your Pool

One of the great benefits for those of you who winterize your pools with a safety cover is that it keeps your pool surface out of the sun and chlorine-free for perhaps six months of the year.  A pool is a big investment, and you want it to last as long as it can.  Properly winterizing and using a safety cover can greatly extend the life of your pool.

A Safety Cover also keeps your swimming pool free of the debris that would otherwise create a mess in an uncovered pool.  Protecting your pool from debris will also save you money on costly seasonal maintenance such as re-painting and re-plastering, and eliminate the need for messy spring clean-ups.

Below is a breakdown of our safety cover materials. You can also click here for more information on safety covers.

SAFETY COVER SELECTION CHART


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