If you intend to install a salt-chlorinated swimming pool, consider carefully how you will deal with the edges of the pool.

Clay brick paving, real slate, cast concrete coping and several other types of pool surrounds are subject to a phenomenon known as salt attack, in which salt crystals form when splashed water evaporates from the coping surface.

The formation of these crystals “eats away” the pool edge, causing it to crumble. The problem only occurs with salt-chlorinated pools, not with ordinary chlorinated pools.

These hints will be helpful if you have a salt-chlorinated pool and if you’ve nevertheless chosen one of the types of pool edging listed above:

  • Ensure that the salt dosage is accurate. Do not over-dose.
  • Dive-bombing and other activities which cause a lot of splashing will accelerate salt attack.
  • Using fresh water and a high-pressure hose, spray down the coping towards the pool edge to wash away excess salt.

International consensus

The process of salt-attack has been well documented both at the CSIR in South Africa and by scientists around the world.

The most important thing to know is that although it can be avoided, it cannot be prevented, and there is no known cure, so don’t be fooled into buying some kind of magic concrete paving, or an expensive sealant!

Does it really matter?

It depends on you, and on the style of your pool surrounds. Some swimming pool installers report that in all their years of work, nobody has ever complained about it.

We have also come across pool-owners who haven’t noticed it until it was pointed out to them.

But if you’d like to use neat cast concrete coping blocks for a sophisticated and tidy effect, you may want to consider a different form of chlorination.


Article courtesy of Pavatile