Can Fibreglass Pools Be Saltwater?
Traditionally, chlorine systems have been used to kill harmful bacteria and germs in swimming pools. However, in recent years, saltwater systems have emerged as popular alternatives. Suppose you’re planning on having a fibreglass pool installed on your property. In that case, you may be wondering whether it’s a good idea to invest in the traditional chlorine system or to opt for the more modern saltwater system.
In this post, we’ll tell you all about the advantages of using a saltwater system for a fibreglass pool, along with the potential pitfalls. But before we get to the pros and cons of saltwater systems, it’s important to talk about how these systems work and how they are different from chlorine systems. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
How Do Saltwater Systems Work?
A saltwater system works by drawing on the salt dissolved in the pool water through electrolysis, which separates salt from the water. Electrolysis also starts a chain of chemical reactions that ultimately result in the production of hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite, two forms of chlorine that act as disinfectants, oxidants, and sanitizers.
How Are Saltwater Systems Different From Chlorine Systems?
The key difference between a saltwater system and a traditional chlorine system is in the number of chloramines they produce. Traditional chlorine systems are known for producing a large number of chloramines, which are known for causing the pool to smell pungent as well as eye irritation. However, when saltwater systems are used, the chloramine levels are controlled, making the water less pungent and reducing the chances of eye irritation.
Do Pools With Saltwater Systems Have Salty Water?
A lot of swimming pool owners steer clear of saltwater systems because of the common misconception that saltwater pools contain a lot of salt. While you’re likely to taste a little bit of salt if the pool water gets into your mouth, it’ll be way less salty than seawater. This is due to the salinity level of typical saltwater systems, which are approximately a tenth of seawater’s salinity level. Typically, the salinity range of saltwater systems is 2800 – 4200 parts per million (ppm), while seawater has a salinity level of 35,000 ppm.
Advantages Of Using Saltwater Systems In Fiberglass Pools
- Efficient cleaning with no corrosion: Fibreglass as a material is very different from concrete and vinyl liner. Both concrete and vinyl liner pools tend to have metal parts that may be corroded by salt. However, there are no corrosion risks associated with the use of a saltwater system in a fibreglass pool. On the cleaning front, the chlorine generated by a saltwater system can rid your pool of harmful disease-causing contaminants.
- No internal pool damage: Saltwater is known not just for corroding concrete pools, but also for damaging and destroying their interior surfaces if saltwater systems are used persistently. However, when it comes to fibreglass pools, damage from saltwater is negligible.
- Reduced cleaning and maintenance costs: Fibreglass pools have become popular mainly due to their low maintenance costs. When you combine them with saltwater systems, the maintenance costs are reduced further, which ensures that you save more money than you spend on keeping your swimming pool in optimum condition.
- No pungent smell and eye-burning: As mentioned before, traditional chlorine systems generate excessive amounts of chloramines, which can make the pool water’s smell too pungent. They can also contribute to eye-burning sensations. However, the reduced chloramine production from a saltwater system leads to smell-free pool water and reduced eye irritation risks.
- Safe for people who are allergic to chlorine: Many people have allergic reactions when their skins are exposed to high chlorine levels, which makes it difficult for them to take a dip in a pool with a chlorine system. However, there are no risks of allergic reactions when it comes to saltwater fibreglass pools, as the chlorine levels are very low.
- Pool users won’t smell like chlorine after using the pool: Due to the high levels of chlorine produced by traditional chlorine systems, pool users may carry the chlorine smell for a long time even after they step out of the pool. But due to the limited chlorine levels produced by saltwater systems, you can take a dip in the pool without worrying about carrying any chlorine-like smell.
- Beneficial for the skin: Saltwater has numerous skin benefits such as detoxification, exfoliation, and rejuvenation. Bathing in a saltwater pool helps the skin keep the moisture locked in, facilitating skin nourishment and making it smooth.
Disadvantages Of Using Saltwater Systems In Fibreglass Pools
Using saltwater systems in fibreglass pools is a great idea, but there is one major potential disadvantage. While the fibreglass pool itself will not be damaged in any way by saltwater, its surrounding elements may be prone to corrosion, especially if they are made of concrete or metals.
To avoid the pool’s immediate surroundings’ corrosion, it’s recommended to wash them down using freshwater. Some saltwater-friendly guards and handrails are available as well, so make sure you get them installed if you’re planning on using a saltwater system in your fibreglass pool.
The Cost Of Saltwater Systems
Saltwater systems are typically more expensive than traditional chlorine systems and you would have to shell out somewhere between $600 and $2,000 for one. Expect to spend an additional $50 – $100 annually on the maintenance of your saltwater system and depending on the quality of the product, you can expect it to last for 3 – 7 years. You also have to add salt weighing around 40 – 50 pounds for every 2,000 gallons of pool water.
Saltwater Systems Or Chlorine Systems: The Final Verdict
Now that you know how saltwater systems are different from chlorine systems, it’s time to conclude as to which type is ideal for your fibreglass pool.
Traditional chlorine generators are much cheaper than salt chlorine generators, which makes them affordable in the short-term. However, in the long run, you’d have to spend much more on their maintenance than you would have to for maintaining a saltwater system. So if you’re looking for long-term cost-effectiveness, salt chlorine generators are undoubtedly the better option.
Combining the long-term cost-effectiveness of saltwater systems with the advantages of a fibreglass pool guarantees a safe and sound swimming experience for many years. Even if there are members in your family who are allergic to chlorine, they can bathe in a saltwater fibreglass pool without any worries of allergic reactions.
The only concern with a salt-chlorine generator is the risk of corrosion for metal and concrete equipment in the pool’s vicinity. Ideally, you should schedule a detailed consultation with a licensed pool builder to know about corrosion-resistant materials that you can use to create your pool’s surroundings.
So, to conclude the post, we have to say that fibreglass pools and saltwater systems complement each other very well. If you take a few precautions, you can enjoy using your pool for a long time without any health and financial concerns.
However, if you’re planning to invest in a concrete or vinyl liner pool and want to combine it with a salt-chlorine generator, be sure to heed a professional pool installer’s advice.