There are some misconceptions that I see many pool owners have when it comes to salt water systems. One of the biggest is that salt waters pools are chlorine free. Salt water systems are still using chlorine, its just getting in your pool differently. As you may already know, salt is sodium chloride, or NaCl. All the salt generator is doing is breaking apart the salt molecule to produce its own chlorine. Pool owners with these systems still have to maintain a free chlorine level of 1-3 ppm just like any other chlorine pool would. Another misconception when it comes to salt generators is that these systems make it so you no longer have to worry about balancing your water chemistry. This is definitely not the case. Pools with salt generators still need to be balanced for pH, alkalinity, hardness, and stabilizer just like any other pool. In my experience pool owners with these systems either think they are the greatest pool invention ever or they want to throw it in the garbage, there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. I generally don’t recommend salt generators because I think its just adding another layer of complexity to something that should be as easy and hassle free as possible.
For homeowners with an aboveground swimming pool, there is the choice between beaded or overlap pool liners. The major difference between these two types of liners is how they attach to the top of the pool wall. Overlap liners come up to the top of the wall, flip over and have 4-6” of material visible from the outside of the pool. Beaded liners will come up to the top of the pool wall and snap into a bead receiver. These types of liners are not visible from the outside of the pool wall. There really is no difference between the two types of liner when it comes to quality. Both are generally the same thickness and come with the same warranty coverage. The major advantage of beaded liners comes in when it’s time to replace the liner. Because they come up and over the top of the pool, overlap liners require the installer to remove all of the top rails to both remove the old liner and flip over the replacement. This can be tricky for older pools with lots of rusty parts. Beaded liners do not come up and over the top of the wall so the top rails do not need to be removed to install them. This saves both time and money in the future. In addition, beaded liners generally come with more attractive pattern choices than overlap liners, so if it were my decision, I would choose a beaded liner.