As service professional I have had more negative situations with Salt Water Pools than positive. I’m going to give you my opinions and real world experience. In this section I will lay out my experiences with salt in pool water.
That we almost never see with a non salt water pool. You also see water that was dripping from a faulty pressure relief valve. We don’t normally see so much white build up with standard Nevada water, not that Nevada water is that great as we have high level of calcium in our desert water, but this kind of build up is abnormal.
When customers call me for estimates and I hear it’s a salt water pool I try to tell them the issues they have or will have. It’s an uncomfortable call, as a lot of people swear by salt water pools not knowing the reality. One of the worst things you can do to water is add salt or too much calcium. They are both bad guys.
Calcium overload can be from old pool water or cheap shock. Most retailers sell Calcium Hypochlorite. The little one pound bags are full of water killing calcium.
When you add ten bags or more of salt to your pool you have basically destroyed the water chemistry. Water is almost perfect out of the tap. After that the issues begin.
Heated, this salt water mess is even worse as hot water is very unstable in a chemical level.
Even as some will read this and still want salt think about the money it will cost you to fix the salt damage. It makes pool companies a lot of money replacing expensive cells and reversing all the damage to plaster and tile.
Does salt make the water soft?
No. In a water softener the salt rinses a cell and it’s a chemical magic act to reverse hardness. This magic act doesn’t happen in a swimming pool.
The softest pool guys can create would be fresh water every two years and proper PH adjustments every week. Pool water chemical levels and mineral hardness have more to do with hardness or itching skin than any other issue. If the chlorine is kept at a proper level and the PH is neutral 7.4-7.6 and you have fresh water every two years most of the negative issues will disappear.
Test question for you the reader.
What is the first thing a surfer does when they are done tearing up the waves? Well hang out with surfers in California and the answer is they take a quick shower. They want that salt off their skin and hair.
As much as people will argue with me about these issues, I have had 20 years of real world experience with salt and calcium damage to swimming pools.
I call it Bad Science that makes the manufacturers rich.
Extreme salt water damage. Notice the dark stain on the bottom of the pool. This is typical of a salt water pool that hasn’t been maintained properly. We don’t see this typically in a non-salt pool. The salt comes out of solution and adheres to everything it touches. Best to drain a salt water pool every two years and do a light acid wash to remove salt and calcium from plaster, Pebble Tech or quartz finishes.