Salt Water Pool Conversion for Better Health and Wellness: Pool Owner’s Ultimate Guide

The salt water pool conversion guide is a premier guide for swimming pool owners who wish to convert their pools to saltwater. You’ll find everything you need to know about saltwater pools here, including health benefits, customer satisfaction, safety, maintenance, water, and many more.

You’ve been looking for means to improve your home and health, so now is the time.

Salt water pool conversion may seem like a daunting task at first. But once you know what you need and why it’s essential, we’re sure that it will sound easier than ever! 

Happy Kid Playing in the Pool

The opportunity also presents an excellent chance to change the look of your living space and do something that will be much better for you and your family in the long term. We can’t wait to help you turn your traditional backyard into a vacation oasis.

Salt water pools are proven better for health and well-being than chlorinated pool water, you’ll get to use the existing pool deck for more activities, you’ll have endless hours of fun, and of course, you’re getting rid of all that chlorine.

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of a saltwater pool, the things you need to worry about, and how to convert your chlorine pool into a saltwater pool. 

What Is a Salt Water Pool?

A saltwater pool is a type of pool that uses salt and chlorine-free water to clean and sanitize the pool. Saltwater pools also produce less of the chemicals that might irritate your skin and eyes. A salt system creates an environment where adding chlorine is not necessary. The system uses a salt cell to clean the water and generate chlorine.

As the water flows through the filtration system, it passes through an electrolysis chamber, where salt ions are converted into chlorine. This system is also referred to as a “saltwater generator.” Valves control how much salt is added to the pool so that you can maintain its level of chlorine, acidity, and hardness. 

A saltwater pool is a good option for those who have a pool but do not want to add chlorine or other harsh chemicals into it. Saltwater pools are also a good tool for those who prefer to take a less chemical approach to swim.

6 Reasons Why You Want to Switch to Salt Water

There are quite a handful of reasons many pool owners would switch from chlorine to saltwater pool. While a bit more expensive to own and operate, saltwater pools offer numerous benefits for families and individuals. Here is a rundown of six reasons why you should switch from chlorine to saltwater:


Chloramine Tables and Bottle in Blue Background

It’s a common misconception that the scent you’re smelling in your pool is attributed to too much chlorine; however, the opposite is true.

Chloramines accumulate over time, reducing their bacteria-fighting ability. These chloramines can be toxic to humans, irritating the skin, eyes, and even the lungs. 

Chloramines are also the chemical that leads to an unpleasant smell in your pool.

“It’s impossible to eliminate chloramines,” says Dr. Esho of the University of Miami, “so the only solution is to increase chlorine, which then causes a stench.”

The solution? Get a saltwater system and protect your family from the dangerous effects of chloramines.

Skin Sensitivity Issues

Some individuals are already allergic to chlorine. Moreover, to some who are not allergic to it, repeated contact can lead to an allergy and become more susceptible to its side effects.

Furthermore, if you or any member of your family has respiratory difficulties, chloramine might cause asthma episodes or breathing problems.

Green Hair

Green Hair in Pool

Chlorine exposure can result in the all-too-dreaded “green hair” appearance, which isn’t even trendy for mermaids these days.

Contrary to popular belief, this occurs because of the oxidation of the copper that has accumulated in your hair over time.

A patina can be lovely on a planter, but not on your hair!

Don’t Have to Add Chlorine

You don’t have to add chlorine to a saltwater pool. While this may seem like a minor concern, it adds up if you use the pool every day. It’s not just the cost — using chlorine also makes your skin dry and itch.

More importantly, the skin irritation from chlorine can be dangerous for your family members who can’t swim in chlorinated water. Chlorine is a respiratory irritant and can cause asthma attacks in some individuals. 

Breathe Easy

Two Boys Breathing Easy while Swimming

As mentioned earlier, chloramines are a respiratory irritant that can cause asthma episodes and breathing difficulties. Chloramines can cause sinus clogging and lung irritation when breathed in. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ozone depletion that occurs in the presence of chloramines also exacerbates these issues.

While chlorine is not toxic, it can have adverse effects on your health. If you have respiratory problems or are currently sensitive to chlorine, you’ll want to consider a saltwater pool.

Water Is Softer on the Skin

Saltwater pool systems use a salt generator to create chlorine. But you don’t have to add extra salt to your water. Once your system is up and running, the chlorine will slowly accumulate in the sludge that sits at the bottom of the pool, causing the water to get softer. This gives you a more comfortable swimming experience without having to add more chlorine.

3 Reasons Why Stick With Chlorine

While there are several advantages to having a saltwater pool, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of. These include:

Increase of Calcium Build-up

Unless you maintain the balance of pH levels, your pool can develop scaling, which results in clogged filters and unattractive deposits in your water system.

High Cost of Salt-Cell

In terms of initial expenses, salt cells range from $200 to $700, depending on the type you choose.

The good thing is that it only has to be replaced every few years or so.

Corrodes Pool Equipment

Pool equipment made of metal and pool surfaces that have been exposed to saltwater has a chance to rust and fade.

If you have to replace any parts, this might become quite costly.

Installing a zinc anode can assist in preventing corrosion from happening. 

Step-By-Step Salt Water Pool Conversion

Here are steps to help you convert your pool into a saltwater pool.

Step 1: Inspect Your Existing Systems

The first step is to inspect all of the pieces and systems that are currently in place. Check pipes, interior pool material, pumps, and any other systems that come into contact with or are close to your water supply. You need to have an idea if salt can affect that equipment before you start the pool conversion. 

It may be a great idea to replace small parts early, but if your interior pool isn’t suitable for saltwater, you’ll have to replace it before making the saltwater conversion. You can change that with a material that’s more suited for use with salt.

If all of your components are compatible with the conversion, then you’re ready to go ahead and start the process.

Step 2: Inspect Your Pool Water

Most pool cleaners are compatible with chlorine so that you won’t change your water. 

On the other hand, specific antibacterial products are incompatible with chlorine. The chemical polyhexamethylene biguanide, in particular, doesn’t work well with chlorine-based cleansers. If you currently use this on your pool, there are two alternatives you can do before converting your pool. 

One is switching your pool water, and the other is burning out the excessive chlorine. The second method is less expensive, but the process takes several days.

Step 3: Balance the Chemistry of Your Pool Water

Test Strip to Check Pool Chemistry

Once you’ve confirmed that the saltwater conversion is compatible with your current chemicals, it’s time to bring your pool water back to normal. Before starting the pool conversion, it’s important to balance your pool’s chlorine, alkalinity, pH, stabilizer, calcium hardness, and other metals. Test your pool’s water once again, and rebalance if needed.

If your pool wasn’t balanced before, it might take several days to adjust entirely. This is because it takes a couple of hours for the pool water to circulate thoroughly, and you should wait until the entire pool is well-balanced before starting the conversion. 

Step 4: Choose a Salt-Chlorine Generator

Many options exist in selecting a saltwater chlorination system for your pool. The ideal system should be large enough to accommodate your pool, dependable enough to not require replacement for a long time, and inexpensive enough to fit your budget.

Suppose you’re hiring people to install the salt chlorinator for you. They might be able to suggest a respectable manufacturer or model that’s best for your pool. However, we strongly suggest that you weigh your needs, read customer reviews, and make a thorough decision on your own.

Chlorinators come in a wide range of configurations. Almost all of these systems will allow you to change the chlorine they generate, making it simpler to make changes in your pool.

Chlorinators also come in advanced features, including automated cleaning, freeze protection, flow control, digital screen, and other valuable data.

Step 5: Install the Chlorinator

The salt chlorinator typically comes with an output line that plugs into your filter wall. Screw this in place. There are some variations on connecting it, so make sure you read the instructions that come with your system for more information. 

The salt chlorinator has a water level control knob on its top, which should be set to the desired water level for your pool before tightening in place. Some systems have automatic controls for this setting, but not all do. Decide whichever method will work best for your needs before installation.

Chlorinators come with a thorough guide on how to install them. Make sure that you read through the guide before starting to avoid any difficulties.

Step 6: Choose the Right Types of Salt

Based on your regular chlorine or chlorination system, you’ll need to choose between different types of sea salt. Depending on the pool size and budget, you can select either bags or blocks for your salt. For smaller pools, it’s best to get blocks because they take up less space than bags. 

Blocks are made up of individual pieces, making them easy to store away when not in use. Bags take up more space than blocks but allow you to mix your salt varieties whenever you want.

Step 7: Add Salt to Your Pool Water

Pouring Salt in Pool Water

Once your chlorinator has activated, you can pour salt into your pool. If you’re unsure how much salt you’ll require, an online calculator can help you calculate how many pounds you need to add. In general, mined salt is the purest of all salt, but you may use solar or manually evaporated salt if you can’t find one.

When you pour salt into a pool, it usually takes about 24 hours for the salt to dissolve completely. Expect it to take less time if you’re using smaller salt crystals. Also, your chlorinator may advise you to use salt crystals of specific sizes. Assuming this is the case, follow the directions and purchase salt in that appropriate size.

Whenever you add salt, pour it into the shallow end of your pool or as far away from your skimmer as you reasonably can. If you want the salt to distribute evenly in your pool, pour against the movement of the water. Moving against the flow of water will provide you more even distribution.

Step 8: Test Your Pool

Test Pool Water with Kit

After you’ve successfully installed the chlorine generator, test your pool water immediately, and write down the results on a piece of paper. Test the pool again after a week and see whether they changed. Your pool has already stabilized after operating for seven days. If you see numbers that aren’t quite right, there may be a problem with your system.

If the salt levels are too high, you may have to replace a certain amount of water. If the levels of the salt are too low, you can simply add more salt. This problem rarely occurs, especially if you’ve added the right amount of salt earlier. Use a pool salt calculator to give you an estimate for the right concentration.


We hope this article has helped you in converting your pool into a saltwater pool. If you have any queries on this topic, feel free to ask. We will get back to you at the earliest possible time.

Leave a comment below if you found this helpful or have anything else to say, or if you would like us to explain something in more detail. Another thing, don’t forget to share the article with your friends! 

And yes, a saltwater swimming pool is something you should brag about! Also check out these articles below. You’ll find it useful, and it will help you keep your pool healthy for your family. Click here for more pool articles.

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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