Gunite Pools: Are they Safe for Saltwater Conversion?

woman layed back and floating in a pool

Chlorinated pool water contains compounds known as chloramines, which can harm your health. When the chlorine in your pool water comes into touch with substances like urine and sweat, these compounds are formed, and they can be dangerous in two ways.

First, they aren’t as effective as chlorine at disinfecting water; therefore, water cleaning is hampered. They irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs, among other things. 

Strong chloramines can build up in the air surrounding a pool, especially indoor pools. It can even cause coughing or trigger an asthma attack when the air is saturated with these substances.

Some persons may acquire a chlorine allergy or sensitivity due to repeated contact with the chemical. Swimming in a chlorine pool can produce rashes, hives, and itchy skin in individuals who are already sensitive to it, in addition to the dryness that comes with chlorine exposure.

If you have respiratory difficulties like asthma or allergic rhinitis, regularly swimming in a chlorinated pool may aggravate your symptoms. As a result, saltwater pool conversion could be the answer you’ve been looking for if your pool is causing you problems.

But are gunite pools safe for saltwater conversion? Yes, if you’re seeking a straightforward answer. For gunite pools, saltwater chlorinators are totally safe. Read on to learn more. 

What’s the Big Deal About Salt Water?

So, now that you know why chlorinated water may not be the best option for you and your family let’s look at why saltwater might be a better alternative.

Pools with saltwater are gentler on your body.

Getting rid of the harsh chlorine must be good, right? Sure. The most important thing to remember is that saltwater pools do not eliminate the need for chlorine.

On the other hand, the presence of salt in the water lowers the type of eye and skin irritation that swimming in a chlorine pool can cause.

A salt chlorine generator produces chlorine in the same way as a chlorine pool does. To prevent the production of chloramines, it’s critical to keep chlorine levels steady.

When chlorine levels are steady, and chloramines are absent, the salinity of the water in a saltwater pool is much closer to that of your natural tear ducts. This is why opening your eyes in a saltwater pool doesn’t hurt and why your skin and hair won’t feel as dry afterward.

Pools with saltwater are less expensive to maintain.

While you may have been lead to believe that all you have to do to keep a saltwater pool in good shape is add salt every few weeks, it’s a little more complicated.

The good news is that maintaining a saltwater pool is much less expensive than maintaining a chlorine pool, which might be one of the most crucial factors in making the conversion.

Several factors, including where you live, the size of your pool, the quality of the equipment you employ, and how well you maintain it, determine how much less expensive saltwater is than chlorine during the lifetime of your pool.

A chlorinator can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or more upfront. Long-term costs include replacing the chlorinator cell—the component that turns salt to chlorine—every five years or so, assuming your chlorinator is well-maintained.

You’ll still need to keep your pool balanced, but a salt water pool conversion means you’ll probably need fewer chemicals to do so.

While test strips or digital testers, as well as a few chemicals, will still be part of your maintenance budget, the monthly chemical costs of a saltwater pool will be lower than those of a chlorine pool.

Pools with saltwater offer softer water.

Saltwater pools have significantly less salt than saltwater, which may surprise you. The salt content of the ocean is 35,000 parts per million (ppm), nearly 10 times that of a saltwater pool.

As a result, the water is quite soft, and unlike at the beach, you won’t sense the salt in a saltwater pool. Even though it doesn’t taste salty, you shouldn’t drink it.

What is the limitation of using saltwater chlorinators with gunite pools?

The most common problem with using saltwater chlorinators with gunite pools is the plaster’s tendency to discolor as they age when it comes into touch with salt. 

However, there are sync solutions to this problem. Concerns about the gunite surfacing corroding or pitting due to the salt in the water are unfounded; salt is no more harmful to concrete structure than chlorine. 

There’s no reason why your saltwater chlorinated pool shouldn’t continue to outshine the ordinary pools if you keep your chlorinator and pool surfacing at normal, expected levels.

Can I use a sand filter in a saltwater pool?

In a saltwater pool, the sand filter helps maintain high levels of sanitation in the water, making it more enjoyable to use.  

Can I add shock to a saltwater pool?

It’s very ok and even necessary to shock your saltwater pool. When you use the super-chlorinate feature on your pool too frequently, it puts a strain on the engine and causes it to wear out faster.

Pool shock will not always destroy all the algae or clean up the pool water as well as super-chlorinate.

Can algae grow in saltwater pools?

A saltwater pool is a chlorine pool. Instead of adding the FC (free chlorine), the salt cell (SWG) generates it for you every day from the salt. Algae can start to develop if the FC drops too low.

Also, keep in mind that the SWG causes the pH to increase more quickly thus, additional acid may be necessary.

Do I need to add chlorine to saltwater pool?

When compared to a standard chlorinated pool, a saltwater pool offers a lower operating cost. This cost reduction is mostly because chlorine is created from salt, eliminating the need to purchase chlorine.

Furthermore, saltwater pools use fewer chemicals to maintain a clean and clear environment.

Why is my saltwater pool not producing chlorine? 

Chlorine generators require salt to generate chlorine and cannot do so if the salt content of the water is insufficient. 

Obtain a salt-testing kit from a pool supply company and verify that the levels are within this range. The generator will not manufacture chlorine if the salinity is less than 2,500 ppm.

Why is my saltwater pool cloudy?

The absence of chlorine is one of the major causes of a cloudy pool. To keep the water free of germs and other impurities, you can employ chlorine. Because your water isn’t cleaned without chlorine, impurities build up, causing your water to turn cloudy.

When should you swim after putting salt to your pool? 

After adding water balancing chemicals, it is recommended that you wait at least 20 minutes to an hour. After using calcium chloride in your pool, you should wait 2-4 hours (or one full cycle through the filter) before swimming. Once your chlorine levels are approximately 5 ppm or after 24 hours, you can swim.


In conclusion, while a saltwater pool will save you money on chlorine , keep in mind that it will still require maintenance to keep the water clean and clear. But if you’re worried about the pitfalls of chlorine, saltwater conversion may be the perfect solution for you. 

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