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Why we don't recommend salt for above ground swimming pools

February 26, 2020

Why we don't recommend salt for above ground swimming pools

Most customers hear about the maintenance free pool-ownership lifestyle of salt swimming pools, which is simply untrue.  Their neighbors swear by it and make claims like "I only have to add a few bags of salt every year and don't do anything else".  First and foremost, if someone makes that claim, do not ever get into their swimming pool, as it's probably not properly sanitized!

Salt can make a great addition to an in-ground swimming pool.  It is, after all, an automated chlorine factory for your swimming pool, and you do not have to worry about adding 3" tablets (or other sources of regular chlorine for residual chlorine).  You do, however, still have to shock the swimming pool, balance the swimming pool, and do all the other regular maintenance.  In fact, some of the worst pools we've had to go cleanup, have been salt pools, because owners had a false sense of security, and did not perform any regular maintenance with their swimming pools.  Your equipment will also likely fail sooner (because salt is corrosive), and the surfaces around your pool may etch or discolor.

But what about above-grounds swimming pools?  One of the biggest factors with above-grounds is the structure of them.  Exposed metal and the corrosive-nature of salt do not mix.  All resin pools hold up better, but remember, the walls are generally steel and resin coated, so anywhere the water can come in contact with the metal, you WILL develop rust in a matter of years.

On top of the rust, most above-grounds offer long, but pro-rated warranties.  Most of these types of warranties cover shipping in the first year, but after the first year you are responsible for covering the shipping and a percentage of the parts being replaced.  This can add up extremely quickly, and it's something we do not like seeing our customers go through.  On top of that, there are a number of pools out there that void the warranty entirely if you use salt.  And even stranger, some warranties that are "salt-compatible" have language that requires the customer to rinse the sides of the swimming pool after each and every use, if they use salt.

So what options do you have with an above-ground?  We have many chlorine-free systems, but we also have chlorine feeders, that can automate your chlorine delivery, which is what salt does, but at a fraction of the cost and without the corrosives of salt.

With all this said, if you want a salt system, it is something we can absolutely do, we just want our customers to be as informed as possible.

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