When you call it "converting your pool to saltwater", it sounds like more than it really is. To convert your pool to salt, it really doesn't involve any big changes - in fact, its pretty DIY-friendly. If you have some basic tools, or if you know someone that is handy, most people can do get it done in about an hour.
Converting from a chlorine pool to a saltwater pool just means installing a Saltwater Chlorine Generator. If you don't know what that is, its a device that uses a low-level of ordinary salt to electronically create a steady supply of pure chlorine. It does this automatically everyday when your pump system runs.
There are three basic things involved in converting to a salt pool:
- Plumbing: cutting and gluing plastic PVC pipe to install the system's "cell"
- Power: hanging the system's controller on the wall and connecting its cable to power.
- Salt: adding salt to the water
Adding the salt is the simplest part because you just pour it in the pool. There's no need to worry if your pool is compatible. The pool won't be salty, it's virtually the same as fresh water. More on Adding Salt to the Pool later. The saltwater chlorine generator's cell gets installed in your return plumbing after your existing equipment (the water goes through your pump, filter, etc.., then through your salt system and back into the pool). Usually this means making two cuts in your PVC pipe with a hacksaw or pipe cutters and gluing a couple of unions. The control box usually hangs easily enough on a couple of screws; its power wire gets hooked up to the same power source as the pump. Usually this means just tracing the pump's power cord to where it is plugged in and connecting the salt system's cord right there the same way. Be sure to check out more info when we cover more details of How to Install a Saltwater Chlorine Generator later.
The main thing to remember is that you don't need to drain the pool, you don't need to change out your equipment, and you don't need to spend thousands of dollars to hire someone to "convert your pool" from chlorine to saltwater. It's an easy thing to do in a about an hour, and a good excuse to invite a friend over to help and check out your latest home improvement.