Harkaway pool coping drop face  


Ahh, cool relaxing water on a 35-degree day. How awesome does that sound? Are you a pool person, a lake person, or an ocean person? Any way you look at it, when it’s 35 degrees outside any kind of water will do to cool off. Or will it? Just in case you aren’t near a lake or an ocean and are thinking about putting in a pool, let’s investigate which kind of pool is the way to go for your lifestyle.

Salt Water Pools


How Do They Work?

Just to be clear, salt water pools do have chlorine in them, but the chlorine level is typically lower in a salt water pool than in a traditional chlorinated one. Additionally, the chlorine found in a salt water pool isn’t added externally by you, but rather is created from chemical electrolysis that occurs within a salt water chlorinator or salt water generator that is part of the system. Because of the lower chlorine levels, salt water pools are less drying to the skin.

Upfront and Long-Term Costs

Salt water pools can be more expensive at the onset because you need to purchase a salt water generator. It will produce a steady flow of chlorine, stopping algae buildup and lengthening the life of the pool. In addition to the purchase price, there is also the electrical costs of keeping your generator operating constantly. Most pool maintenance experts believe your generator should run four to six hours a day in the winter and 10-12 hours daily in the summer. (The specifics for your pool may vary depending on weather conditions, frequency of use, and a number of other factors.) So, it’s important to monitor your generator when you first purchase it and work out the ideal schedule. You don’t want to have to spend the electricity to run it all day if you don’t have to, and you also don’t want to have it running so little that it doesn’t do anything.

Even with all these costs, one of the things to keep in mind if you are thinking of a salt water pool is how long you plan on keeping it. The cost of the generator outweighs the cost of chlorine pool chemicals the longer you keep the pool. You also won’t have to constantly add other chemicals to the water to keep it clean, which cuts down on cost.

Other Concerns

Cleaning your swimming pool Cleaning your salt water pool (other than skimming bugs and leaves) is only required once a year. This process involves draining the pool, changing filters, scrubbing surfaces, and inspecting the chlorine generator. Draining and refilling can be costly, time consuming, and labor intensive. If you have dark surfaces around a salt water pool, chances are you will get some salt ring stains. Salt can be corrosive, so there is the possibility of some damage to the pool liner or any lights used in the pool. Your pool supplier can suggest the right liners and lights for a salt water pool.

Chlorine Pools


Chemical Requirements

Pool Chemicals Chlorine pools are much cheaper at the onset than saltwater pools, but they are somewhat harder to take care of in the long run. The pH balance in a chlorine pool is not consistent and will need vigilance to keep it maintained. When you have your pool installed, a maintenance list will come with it. Take a sample of your water to the pool supply store and you are sure to get a list of chemicals needed to keep the water in the pool clean and safe. In order for the chlorine to be effective, there are some other things you have to keep an eye on. The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6, alkalinity between 100 and 150 parts per million and calcium at 200-300 parts per million. All of these figures will require careful and ongoing additions of various chemicals so depending on how perfect you want your pool water and how often your swimming may neutralize the sanitizing effects, the costs can add up.


Chlorine pools require constant surveillance whereas salt water pools stay clean with less work because of the constant flow of chlorine from the generator. Every three to four weeks you need to shock your pool to kill any excess bacteria. Make sure to follow the pool supplier’s and the shock supplier’s directions. You will need to find out exactly how much chlorine is in the pool to know how much shock to add. It’s a balance game. It’s a gross thing to think about, but chlorine mixes with all kinds of human output, including saliva and sweat, which turn into other chemicals called chloramines. Chloramines are responsible for the “chlorine smell” of pools, as well as skin and eye irritation. Even though chlorine kills contaminates, the chloramines stay in the water, requiring additional chlorine to remove them. Salt water pools kill chloramines faster than chlorine pools. When compared to the less demanding maintenance regime of the single, annual drain and fill of a salt water pool, it’s kind of a toss up.

The Third Option

Pool disinfectant systems that use ultraviolet light also exist. These UV pool sanitizers are safe and use minimal chemicals. While this same technology has been used for decades to sanitize drinking water, these systems have not yet gained the popular foothold in the pool industry as chlorine and salt water. As a result, getting an accurate picture of what realistic maintenance is like and real consumer feedback is difficult because the user base is still limited. Additionally, the popularity of the more common options means that more pool installers, cleaners, and retailers are more knowledgeable and helpful with those systems. Depending on your area (Europe uses UV in public pools and water parks), installing a UV disinfectant to your pool could ultimately prove costly just because you may have to seek out people with that very specific expertise.

The Verdict

Chlorine pools take commitment while salt water pools take a little more money up front. The technology for a safe, affordable chlorine pool has been around for about 50 years, while salt water pools have only been around since the 1980s. More and more hotels and water parks are converting to salt water pools mainly because they are less expensive to keep clean. Those with the money upfront for a salt water pool enjoy their choice because the maintenance is less than chlorine pools. Choosing your best options depends on how dedicated you wish to be with your pool both financially and in terms of your time.

what type of pool coping should I use on my swimming pool

This seemingly simple question is asked by nearly everyone who is either renovating an existing swimming pool or installing a new swimming pool. Wether its a fibreglass or concrete swimming pool you will need to make this decision. Which type of stone is recommended? I would always recommend either Harkaway Bluestone or Himalayan Sandstone pool coping, depending on which colour suites your setting. Both of these natural stones have low porosity and high density levels and are salt tolerant, making them PERFECT for use as pool coping. Should I use a drop down face or a normal pool coping tile? The benefit of using a drop face coping tile comes to the fore on fibreglass pools especially. As the drop face pool coping will not only sit on top of the fibreglass BUT will also drop down over the edge. It will hide the 5-6mm adhesive line that you will see if you had used a bullnose or square edge coping tile. Whereas if you have a concrete pool there will be a waterline tile put on and the bullnose or square edge coping will be fine because the adhesive line is hidden behind the top waterline tiles. Mind you to make this adhesive line near invisible on your fibreglass swimming pool you can simply caulk it with a coloured urethane compound. Should I use a bullnose or square edge with a bevel to the top and bottom pool edge? If you are after that “old school,” or heritage finish a bullnose is still strongly recommended BUT generally these days a square edge with a very small 5mm aris to the top and bottom of the pool edge is by far more popular. How to install the pool coping? In 3 words…. get a stonemason. IF in Melbourne use Samuel Nagle on 0448440536 or Steve Taylor on 0418557936 IF you are in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide or Hobart or in a country area, still please call us for advice on 03 97069767 BH IF you decide to still do this yourself we recommend you use ASA adhesive FIXALL and it should be mixed with MEGALASTIC instead of water ( approx 4-5ltrs per 20kg bag of fixall). Please ensure IF you have a concrete swimming pool that the waterline tile is on prior to installing the pool coping( as the waterline tiles set the level).  

See our slide show below to help get a visual on the stone types and edges available for pool coping.

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