No. of Recommendations: 3
I have a 15k gallon in ground pool - plaster, not vinyl. I do prefer plaster to vinyl - more durable surface. I converted mine to salt about two years ago, and would do it again in a heartbeat. I kept my same filter (no heater here), but installed a new variable speed pump at the same time. The pump has to be circulating water to make chlorine, and a variable speed lets you run at a low speed to save on electricity costs. Between the pump and saltwater chlorine generator it was about $1600 for the new equipment, salt was maybe $50 (my pool had about 2/3 of the necessary salt from years of chlorine dosing). Probably another $50-$100 in PVC, valves, fittings to DIY re-plumb my equipment pad.

Salt levels for pools really aren't terribly salty - perhaps 10% of the salt content of seawater. I haven't noticed any real differences as far as corrosion, or had any issues to speak of. The saltwater chlorine generator tends to push your pH upwards a little, which means you'll probably add acid more regularly. But that's pretty minor, I end up dosing 15-20 oz of acid every few weeks.

Here's how I look at the cost. The chlorine generator was just under $1k, and the cell should last 4-5 years if the pool is properly maintained. I'll probably save $200/yr that I was spending on liquid chlorine. A replacement cell will run $400-$500, and get me another 4-5 years. Even with the cost being near a wash, the convenience is well worth it. No more regular trips to the pool store, lugging 2.5g jugs of chlorine, no more chlorine splashes on clothing.
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