We are consideirng the installation of an in ground vinyly pool in the Northeast. 2 companies are offering an upgraded packege that they advise for salt water pools. First question… do you feel there is enough positives in salt systems vs. the traditional chlorinated water systems to warrant the additional $2K for the salt generator? With each salt pool they then recommend upgraded building material. One company pours 4′, 10" thick rebar enforced cement walls and cement trowels a floor. This is then covered with foam and vinyl. Since the pool is formed they can also form the stairs with cement and cover in vinyl.
The other compnay receommends an upgraded "polymer coated" IBEX system (proprietary to Pool Town I think). This is also designed to better assist in the long term maintenance of the slat water pool.
This is not to say that the salt can damage the poured concrete coping and decking or damage any aluminum metal surfaces.
So, what do you say. In all, to upgrade pool with material for salt adds ~$5K over a standard vinyl walled system with chlorine system.
I am left to wonder if this is a money maker. I see the number of people now converting older vinyl pools to salt system. They certinaly are not using newer polymer, cement wall systems.
The salt systems do provide added benefits of not having to add as much chlorine as the system produces chlorine from the salt that is in your swimming pool. Most people consider this a lower maintenance option compared to traditional pools. As far as the bonus materials, this should not be necessary as the salt systems are designed to work with any pool and as you suggested many older pools are retrofit with new salt systems. That said, they may package this together as an overall upgrade to the swimming pool knowing that you are upgrading to the salt system, offering a better overall pool package.