Transform Your Pool: The Ultimate Guide to Converting it to a Saltwater Oasis
Looking to convert your traditional chlorinated pool into a saltwater oasis? You're not alone! Here at Mr Pool Man, we're constantly fielding questions from our readers on how to make the switch. The good news is, with the right tools and a bit of know-how, it's a breeze!
First and foremost, you'll need a top-of-the-line saltwater chlorinator to do the job right. While you could go with any brand out there, we recommend the Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator for its unbeatable durability, Aussie-made craftsmanship, and unparalleled warranty (clocking in at an impressive three years!).
Unlike other models that rely on finicky electronic components, the Atomic boasts reliable analog timers and control panels that won't let you down. After all, who needs a bunch of flashy screens when you're trying to enjoy your crystal-clear pool?
Ready to dive in? Follow our step-by-step guide to achieving the saltwater pool of your dreams. And don't hesitate to reach out to our expert customer support team should you need any assistance along the way. Happy swimming!
The Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator boasts an analog timer which means it will continue to track time even in the event of a power outage, thanks to its backup battery storage. Unlike LCD screens and digital timers which consume a lot of power and are at the risk of losing timing settings and saved settings in the event of an extended power break, the Water TechniX Atomic is a set and forget device- simply set the timer once and you'll never have to worry about resetting it due to power failures that occur unnoticed.
The Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator is available in three sizes: WTA25, WTA35, and WTA45, each recommended for pools with capacities of 20,000L - 50,000L, 50,000L - 70,000L, and 70,000L - 90,000L respectively. While the recommended sizes and capacities are adequate for "normal" pool operations, we at Mr Pool Man recommend sizing up due to the high temperatures experienced in Australia, especially during heatwaves. The hotter it is, the more chlorine is needed to keep your pool sanitized and chlorinated since more people want to jump into the pool during hot days. You can always adjust your salt water chlorinator for cooler days, but you can't make it exceed its rated maximum for high-demand days.
For a salt water pool, salt is an essential ingredient. The amount of salt required depends on the size of your pool and the recommended salt levels for your chlorinator to function correctly. With the Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator, the recommended salt PPM is between 2,500 to 3,500 PPM, meaning we would aim for a round 3,000 PPM to convert your pool. Basic salt computation dictates that you'll need 10KG of salt to raise 10,000L of water by 1,000 PPM. A typical 40,000L Australian pool would require 40KG of salt to raise the salinity by 1,000 PPM, meaning you'll need about 120KG of salt for a 40,000L pool to reach the desired 3,000 PPM level.
If you're considering converting your existing pool into a mineral pool using magnesium minerals, you can streamline the process if you're starting from scratch. Instead of using salt, you can use magnesium minerals and a sand filter WITH glass filter media instead of cartridge or regular sand filters used for saltwater pools. This process eliminates the need for ultra-expensive hydroxinators. For more information on mineral pools and their benefits, read our blog post titled, "MagnaPool Mineral Pool System: Hype or Hope?"
Please note that we do not currently offer online magnesium testing strips. However, if you anticipate needing to replenish your pool with magnesium minerals in the next year, we will likely have them available online by then. If magnesium testing strips are not available, the standard practice for mineral pools is to add 1,000 PPM annually. For instance, if you own a 40,000 L mineral pool, four 10kg bags of Magnesium Minerals are a safe quantity to add without testing.
To measure your salt water PPM levels, you will require specialized salt water testing strips. Bear in mind that salt water testing isn't included in your regular 7-in-1 testing strips. If you're considering converting to a salt water pool, make sure to purchase a bottle of these salt water testing strips in addition to your salt water chlorinator. Testing for salt water PPM is distinct from testing for chemical levels in your pool.
Standard chemical testing with 7-in-1 test strips necessitates swishing the strip in the pool water, observing the color changes. To measure salinity, fill the container with the required level of water, ensuring it's at least a hand's depth below the surface, and introduce the strip, leaving it for five minutes. The strip's color should begin to fade, with the highest faded point reflecting your PPM reading. The reason this works is that the strip has various "resistances" for salt concentration, with the faded sections having fulfilled their requirements and done their job, whereas the unfaded areas indicate a lack of salt in the water, giving you an approximate salt level reading.
PS: Only immerse the indicated section of the strip in the water to obtain accurate readings.
Now that we have all we need to convert our pool to a salt water pool, it's time to install the salt water chlorinator!
Contrary to popular misconceptions, draining and entirely replacing pool water isn't required to convert it to use with a salt water chlorinator. To prepare the pool for conversion, we only need to balance the water to the following levels:
- Free Chlorine: 1-3 PPM
Alkalinity: 80-120 PPM
Calcium Hardness: 200-400 PPM
Cyanuric Acid: 30-60 PPM
Lastly, Salt: 3,000 PPM (follow earlier instructions for adding salt, broadcasting it around the pool, and scrubbing surfaces to aid in dissolving it)
Installing a Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator is quite DIY-friendly. If you're comfortable with your plumbing skills or tools, nothing should prevent you from doing it yourself and saving a few hundred dollars in plumber fees in the process.
Step one: Turn off the power to the pool system, or at least the pump.
Step two: Locate a suitable installation site for the salt water chlorinator, ensuring it is the final piece of equipment in your setup, just before the return jets. For a detailed explanation of pool equipment placement, please read our guide on How Your Pool Works.
Step three: Utilize the enclosed measuring template to identify where the cell attachment needs to be cut (Remember to measure twice! For extra assurance, measure three times to guarantee ample space!) and cut it out using a hand saw. Don't fret if some water trickles out - that's completely normal.
Step four: Smooth any rough edges with fine sandpaper and test the fit with the mounting nuts. If it fits seamlessly, proceed to apply PVC glue and let it cure.
Step four: Install the control box in a user-friendly location and secure it with the included mounting accessories.
Step five: Insert the salt water cell into the mounting nuts and hand-tighten it in place. Once attached, connect the control box leads to your chlorinator cell.
Step six: Hold off on powering up the cell! Power up your pump and let the water circulate beforehand to check for leaks. If you recently added salt, allow the pump to run for a few hours (or overnight) to ensure that the salt is thoroughly dissolved and circulated throughout your pool. (If you're using magnesium minerals, give your pump at least 24 hours to guarantee proper dissolution and circulation.)
Step seven: Test your water's salt levels. If you followed all of the steps, the reading should fall somewhere between 2500-3500. If so, it's time to activate your new salt water chlorinator!
Step eight: Set your chlorinator timers, and voilà! Enjoy your new salt water pool!
Routine water checks and pH level adjustments are essential. Having a salt water chlorinator reduces the number of chemicals necessary (especially chlorine), but you still need to balance other levels.
Although Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinators are easy to clean and can clean themselves, make sure to clean your salt water cells every season. Follow this advice, and you won't need to check your salt levels often. Once every few months or when the chlorinator's low salt lights are on is enough.
That's all there is to it. Converting from a regular chlorine pool to a saltwater pool (or mineral pool!) is easy and simple! With the right tools and some expertise, you can accomplish this within an hour! For additional information about saltwater chlorinators and saltwater pools, make sure to check out our post on The Myths and Truths about Saltwater Pools.
If you have any questions regarding this subject or the included items, don't hesitate to ask. We're always here to assist you!
We wish you happy swimming :)
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