Endless Pool Fastlane in a Salt Water Pool – Issue

So I had a pool installed this year. The pool opened on Memorial day and all was good.

Included in the pool was something I’ve been working toward for about 10 years, an Endless Pool system.

This particular system is called a “Fastlane” and it’s intended to be installed in a normal pool. i.e. the original endless pool was a self contained unit that has water return conduits and is focused on being essentially a “water treadmill”.

My system has brackets that fasten to the pool wall and the Fastlane is attached to those brackets with hydraulic hoses leading out to a pump that powers the unit from a safe distance away (keeping the electrics and the pool apart).

Note the Stainless Steel handle showing just above the water level.

Overall I’m really happy with the unit. I’m a reasonably aggressive swimmer and this unit is easily able to meet and exceed my capabilities.

I’m finding out now that Endless Pools is not really happy having their units in a salt water environment. The unit comes with a sacrificial anode (basically a hunk of zinc that you attach to the unit to attract electrons that would otherwise corrode the unit). Anybody who maintains a boat in a salt water environment will know what this is. When I tried to sign up for their “Sacrificial Anode Club” a few months ago I found that they’d already given up on that idea as they were encountering problems due to the vastly different rates at which the anodes are consumed for different pools. Temperature and pool chemistry varies a lot between pools and it was just too much of a hassle trying to work it out.

My first anode actually looked fine for about 3 months and then I began noticing some rust around some of the screws on the bottom cage (water input for the unit), on touching the anode it just crumbled immediately. Which meant it had been spent for probably at least a week or so. I immediately picked up a honking big anode from a motorboat supply house and ordered 3 more “official” units from Endless Pools to have on hand.

New here’s where my mystery comes in.

The stainless steel handle of the unit has pretty rapidly turned black. It’s some kind of corrosion but I have not been able to figure out what it is. If you touch it with your hand some will rub off on you and it’s a bit messy that way. So it’s not just a cosmetic thing, I don’t really want guests touching it and possibly messing up their swim suits.

In retrospect we are VERY lucky that we ordered the blue colored unit rather than the entirely stainless steel one, I shudder to think how awful it would look with the entire unit turning a coal black color like the handle.

I contacted Endless Pools and the first thing the rep offered to me was to change to a chlorine based pool system.

I told him to take that off the table since it was not really an option. He explained that they’ve been encountering issues with Salt water systems lately and he didn’t really know what to say. Apparently the adoption of salt water by individual consumers such as myself has caught them off guard.

Of course I had checked this before I ever determined my pool chemistry solution, their own website FAQ says use of a Fastlane with a salt system is A-OK so I was not expecting any issues:

Although as I search today I see this somewhat light warning out there, I would not have noticed this in my initial research in any case.

So I asked him to get my request for assistance in front of one of their techs and to please contact me by next Wednesday. If I don’t hear back I’ll be following up with them anyway.

I am posting this as a warning to other Fastlane owners that have or are considering a salt water system so that they can be informed. I will post any solution I find here as an update to this blog entry.

**Update** Even though I posted something as a reply below, I realize that it just gets lost in the comments. I found a solution and you can see this subsequent blog entry to check it out. Basically a simple and inexpensive cleaner plus being careful about what I introduce to the pool does the trick.

52 thoughts on “Endless Pool Fastlane in a Salt Water Pool – Issue”

  1. I have no idea if this will work or not, but you can get for cars a battery operated rust protector thing, that works on the principle that rusting is an electric process, and by providing a weak charge it prevents the process. I doubt they provide enough kick to be a problem in the pool.

    With a similar thought process, let me throw out an idea as to why this is happening, and why endless pools did not see it coming. You have likely told me before, or it in your blog, but I don’t remember so I’ll guess that you are using the ‘new fangled’ alternative to using chlorine in the pool that involves running an electric current through the water ‘near’ the filter. This splits the salt in the water into chlorine and sodium, which then ‘quickly’ reassemble into salt. I bet that process is not 100%, and actually leave a measurably higher level of both sodium and chlorine in the water, and it’s this higher level that is causing the problems. i.e. Keep with salt water, but use either chlorine or some people use bromine and turn off the electric unit.

  2. @King – Yes, I’m using a salt system. The chlorinator cell is located downstream of my heater about 15 – 20 feet from the outlet back into the pool, which is located next to the Fastlane.

    If I’m understanding the process correctly, there is definitely some “leakage” of chlorine and sodium hypochlorite as a byproduct of the process and this is monitored as part of my weekly chemistry for the pool as Free (and Total and combined) chlorine.

    The sacrificial anodes are supposed to fulfill the role of “attracting” the oxidation so they corrode rather than any other part of the unit.

    I spoke with a gentleman from Fastlane a week or so ago and they have some ideas but none seem to fit the bill. One of their earlier thoughts were that the corroding part was above the water line and the solar cover must be holding in the evaporating free chlorine. This would, of course, be a pretty caustic environment except that the issue began before I started using the solar blanket AND that the apparent corrosion began at the base(s) of the handle where it joins the unit well below the waterline rather than above it. And the handle is usually submerged as it is.

    I’m not sure I’d want to get into introduce a current into a pool element without a LOT of failsafes, besides the unit is supposedly bonded to the grid of rebar underlying my deck – so I imagine the flow would be some kind of net to ground. Not at all sure how that translates in corrosion terms.

    The bigger concern now is that the motor housing (where the hydraulic fluid passing through is converted to rotational force and passed along to the impeller) is also stainless steel and very likely is corroding badly too. I need to heat up the pool, get in and inspect this system.

    1. I’ve had my Fastlane for 8 years now in a saltwater pool we also bought a heavy duty anode that works great. To clean any stainless steel including the handlebar all we found we need is those green scrubbing pads like you use for floors. Takes off the black and if you use regularly maintains the stainless steel shine also works on pool ladders Etc.

      1. Hey Lisa,
        Any chance you could include a link to what type of heavy duty anode you use?
        Thank you so much!

  3. Hi Marc, Was this problem resolved? Did endless pools help out or were you able to resolve it yourself?
    I’m looking at getting a fastlane in a salt water pool too and I’m a little worried after reading your blog.

  4. @Ronan – Not yet, EndlessPools seems to have disappeared from the conversation but my DesJoyaux dealer is working with their chemical tester to try to figure something out. Right now I’ve got a container of Oxalic acid called “Pool Stain Treat” from “United Chemical” and something called “Stain Free” from a company called “Natural Chemistry” (It doesn’t disclose what makes it tick).

    The idea is to try spot cleaning the afflicted stainless steel to see if there is any relief and this can either be a solution or point to a solution.

    Frankly, with the pool water at a not-so-balmy 43 degrees I haven’t been rushing to get my hands in there to try either of them out but hope to in the next month.

  5. @Marc – Thanks Marc. From my understanding, the life of the fastlane motor (the part under the water) is measured by the time it’s underwater and in contact with salt or chlorine, since these will slowy braek down the metal. With a salt pool, the life span is cut in half – but this isn’t so bad if you remove it from the pool for the winter and reattach the next season.
    I know your issue is with the finish, but thought this might be helpful.

  6. @Ronan – I appreciate the input. I live in a fringe state where it doesn’t quite get cold enough to winterize the pool (no snow) but it *does* get cold enough where it isn’t pleasant to swim for a few months. The pool is in a screened enclosure so the fall leaves also don’t force a winterizing strategy. However the longevity of the Fastlane in a Salt system may be enough for me to reconsider that approach.

  7. @Ronan – Check out the update link at the beginning of this blog post to see a workaround that may be helpful. I’m posting the URL at the end of this response but URLs don’t always seem to work in comments.

    While I had the fastlane apart I inspected the stainless steel housing for the hydraulic driver for the impeller and I can see no evidence of discoloration there. I”m really not at all sure why it only seems to be my handle that’s impacted. My thoughts are tending to the sacrificial anode I bought hurriedly last year when I realized the one that came with the unit was spent. That one was designed for outboard motors. I soon after added an “official” endless pool sacrificial anode on the other side of the handle but… who knows. In any case I removed the outboard anode and replaced it with another “official” one as it looked pretty gruesome hanging off the side of the unit with blue and white corrosion essentially *growing* off of it.


  8. Hi Marc.

    Any update on the FastLane’s longevity in a salt water pool? We are in the planning phase now for a backyard salt water pool and would love to add the fastlane if there are no issues.

    Also, if there are any extras I should ask for from FastLane, please let me know.


  9. @Justin – Justin, The issue with the staining turned out to be one of copper “contamination”. I found I had two sources of this: 1) the algaecide as recommended by my pool company was copper based. and 2) it seems that many Zinc-alloy sacrificial anodes have copper as part of the alloy mix.

    The solution for the first issue is simple enough – just choose a non-copper based algaecide. It will say right on the bottle.

    Avoiding copper contamination from the sacrificial anode is trickier. The Endless pool folks charge $15 (plus $15 shipping) for a tiny little anode that lasts maybe 2 1/2 – 3 months in my pool. But using this works perfectly.
    I just tried another Zinc Sacrificial anode (about 2 lbs for $24 including shipping) and the staining problem almost immediately began to manifest again. Beginning right at the new anode. I have a fastlane anode on the other side of the unit as well.

    Beyond the staining issue, the Fastlane still works perfectly.

    Two pieces of advice – make sure your remote control antenna is line-of site to where you’ll be in the pool. I have to do a “Statue-of-liberty” pose to adjust the Fastlane.
    The second – if they have any way of indicating to you which of the 53 settings you’re at with the Fastlane that would be very handy. I sometimes will turn on the unit when we have guests for them to play in (lazy river) but, come my next work out, I find myself guessing at the setting I need. You pretty much have to go by the sound the unit is making. Also, it would make it easier to objectively evaluate if I’m actually improving. I do sets of reps – but since all I have to go by is how fast the unit sounds and how long I’m swimming, I can only imagine if I’m getting any better, worse or staying the same.

  10. @Marc – Thanks for the info Marc. I also got an email yesterday from an Endless Pools rep regarding the Fastlane in salt water pools. Below was his response. (Not the best endorsement). I’m curious what you think. Thanks.

    “The problem is that there is no observed consistency with our product in salt chlorinated pools as every pool is different and not everyone takes care of their pool exactly the same way. Those variables can end up causing catastrophic damage, sometime almost immediately after installation. It is very important that the unit be properly bonded, salt levels maintained and the sacrificial zinc anode be replaced regularly.

    When using the Fastlane in a salt chlorinated pool, we do strongly recommend that you would change your motor and submersible hoses every two years. With that being said, it is possible that they may fail before that time. It is also possible that they could last for many years to come.

    If you are using standard chlorine for your pool you can easily expect to get 5 years out of it before you may need to change it. The underwater motor costs $525 and a new submersible hose kit (if necessary) is $350.

    The swap out is not very difficult at all and will take 2-3 hours. It will require removing the Fastlane from the pool, disassembling the upper housing from the lower housing and removing the propellor motor mounts so that you can swap it out.

    Conversely, when using any other type of chlorination for the pool, we do not recommend changing the underwater motor out for 5 years.”

  11. @Justin – I spoke directly with Endless Pool’s Director of Service (Darren Pearse) back around November of last year and he had a similar position.

    But I don’t think they have really seriously looked at my issue in particular and salt water systems in general. Basically he indicated that Salt System use (for Endless Pool customers anyway) has exploded with the initial growth happening in Australia and then the USA. They went from stating on their website that Salt Systems are fine, to everybody repeating the mantra that Salt Systems are a harsh environment.

    Given how basic my own issue turned out to be (Copper Contamination) it tells me that scant resources have been invested in this arena and my opinion is that they are merely falling back on a generalized conservative opinion concerning Salt Water environments. The salt concentrations in pools is far lower than you’d find in a marine environment from which I believe those concerns emerge.

    All the above being said, I’ve had the system in place now for 15 months and everything Fastlane is working perfectly. So I suppose the real acid test is how the system fares over the next 2-3 years. I can only speak for myself that I feel confident that I’ve done all that I can to ensure a moderate environment for the Fastlane – it is a key component of my pool so I am doing all I can to ensure its longevity. I maintain as perfect a pool balance as possible (monitored weekly) so I would hold my pool system up as an ideal salt water case (as good as it gets)…

  12. @Marc – Hello: i have ordered the fastlane for my salt water pool, and unfortunately, caught these posts afterwards.

    Marc, this being 6 5 15, 2 years has passed, could you or anyone give a status report on your fastlane in the salt water environment? greatly appreciated.

  13. @Robert – I am here now 3 years later and everything appears to be just fine. I still need to be careful about introducing copper into the pool (usually via algaecide) to avoid the staining issue, but at least I have a reliable way of getting rid of the staining.

    BTW I relocated my Fastlane antenna to the outside of its enclosure and it is much more responsive. Still more sluggish than I think it should be but I’m suspecting the remote batteries may now be waning. Both remotes still function well. I was not sure how durable they would be.

    During the active season I get my water checked weekly and keep on top of my pool balance. I was just in the pool using the Fastlane for butterfly sprints before I saw your post, so that tells you how well it is working.

    One thing I didn’t do that would be a bit difficult now was to order the Fastlane speed indicator. I find I have to listen very closely when I increase or decrease the speed (which you will do a lot). I’d much prefer to have an objective indicator. When you have guests over you are very likely to turn the unit on full for them to play in and getting back to my “starting speed” is very much a subjective art. So I strongly suggest you invest the small extra amount and get that put in place while you are doing the initial install work.

    If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the Fastlane or salt water system I’d be happy to at least give you the perspective of a 3 year active owner.

  14. Marc:

    Thanks for the info! This was really helpful, as I am considering a salt water in-ground pool, and a fast lane endless pool attached( I’m thinking in a separate, but attached area). I live in Oklahoma, and while the winters are not brutal, I don’t want to heat a big old pool, just for the health of it- this is where the fast lane comes in.

    So- I can anticipate replacing that “sacrificial zinc anode” every three months, and spending $1000 every year for new motor and hoses? Hmmmm. Cause to pause. Not like it’s cheap, to begin with. . . Are these reasonable expectations?
    Any input, gratefully accepted!


  15. @Carol – The sacrificial anode expectation is in that ballpark. So far the ONLY source I have found for copper-free zinc anodes is from Endless Pools themselves. If anybody finds another source let me know because these are a bit pricey. I just bought a dozen of them so I’ll always have some on hand.

    I’ve just completed my third season with the Fastlane and so far everything appears to be working just fine. The recommendation for normal chlorine pools is to look at replacing the hoses every 5 years and I was told to expect about a 3 year life in the salt water pool. But it seems this is just a guess from Endless Pools based on nothing more than the perception that salt water is supposed to be a harsher environment.

    I inspected the hoses a few months ago and can see nothing concerning so far, I don’t really know if they will look fine until some day they just burst and fill the pool with vegetable oil…

    So I’m thinking 5 years is likely a fair expectation in the salt water pool as well. I’ll let you know when I get there.

    I use the Fastlane about once every 2-3 days on average throughout the swimming season and am very happy with the purchase. Even if I’m not actively swimming against the current having the water move around while I’m cooling down from some other workout is a great luxury and helps to cool down faster.

    Make sure you leave enough area around the Fastlane so that you are comfortable drifting back in the current with no risk of bumping into anything behind you. Also, there is an interesting chaotic effect that I notice where, even though the pool is symmetrical, the current can sometimes sweep noticeably left or right. If you’re using a kickboard I find, even in a 12 foot wide pool, I can drift pretty close to the wall before the current pulls me back to center again. It happens to a much lesser degree when swimming breast stroke or front crawl but you *do* notice the sideways forces when it happens.

    Good luck with your project. If there is anything I can do to help please do let me know.

  16. Dear Marc:
    Gosh, you have been incredibly helpful! Great to know you are in your third season, and still living your fast lane!

    I have plans to put an inground pool in, then visited my brother in Florida, fast lane owner. Tried it. LOVED IT. Was really surprised.just figured it sounded like boredom. Just fun.

    So, now I’m trying to figure out how to get these two items working together. Don’t want to heat a big old in-ground pool. Don’t mind heating an 8X15 fast lane spa deal tho- will be able to use that year round.

    My brother encourages me to buy their unit- says its insulated. Holds the heat, etc. going to talk to the endless pool folks again today and get their take. I’m surprised to hear that you are able to “inspect your hoses” for wear. Will I be able to do this, even if I have a “built in unit” as opposed to a deck mount? Also, since you have clearly replaced anodes, how difficult is that to do?

    Do you take the machine out if the pool at the end of the season? I’m thinking probably no, but thought I’d ask.

    Thanks again, so much!
    Carol @Marc

  17. @Carol – I live in a somewhat more moderate climate than Oklahoma so I don’t actually close down my pool for winter. There are about 3 months where I really don’t use it due to the cold and about a half month on either side of that where it’s iffy. I just let the pumps keep circulating the water and will heat it if it comes close to freezing. This is all automatic. If I were to close down the pool I’d definitely be pulling the Fastlane out of it for the winter season.

    When I say I “inspect the hoses”, they are exposed for several yards from the pump to the ground and then again where they come out in the pool. I figure this is where conditions are harshest and, if I’m not seeing any cracking or rot on the exposed portions I’m not too worried about the “buried” portions. I say “buried” because the builder had the foresight to embed PVC pipes from my shed to my pool and we ran the hoses through those. In theory replacing the hoses should mean just pulling the new hoses through. We’ll see.

    Unless things have changed, there’s not really a “built in” Fastlane. The product was always intended to be an add-on to a non-Endless pool and so basically just hangs off of a bracket in your pool. We built our pool from the get-go with the intention of incorporating the Fastlane. I think the biggest challenge comes from the need to accommodate the water return. I’m sure a clever builder could craft channels into the pool for this purpose but I imagine cleaning and maintenance would be problematic.

    The anodes are attached to a metal strap which then is attached to one of the screws that hold the stainless steel handle in place. So they are exposed and easy to get at. If you only replace the anode, it is held to the strap with a nut and bolt, it is a trivial task.
    I sometimes replace the strap as well which means removing the top cover from the Fastlane (about 8 screws I believe) since the nuts securing the handle screws are inside the unit. I do all this in the water since it’s just easier to be standing in the pool than leaning over the edge.

    I’ve been mounting an anode on both sides of the unit lately and, predictably, it has doubled the amount of time between changes. Depending upon how fussy you are about the pool being perfectly clean you may opt to replace the anodes sooner than I do as the corrosion on the anodes tends to be a bluish, crumbly metal that will break off when the anode is jostled. My Polaris cleaner does a great job cleaning it up however.

    There are other pictures on this website detailing the installation of the pool and in some of them you can see the prep work done for the Fastlane.

    I would urge you to:

    1) Consider just getting an Endless Pool and put it indoors or in a convertible area if you are going to keep it separate from your pool anyway. The cold weather makes getting out of the pool unappealing.

    2) Take LOTS of pictures of your install while it is going on. There have been several issues that have come up where my end-of day pictures of where pipes are laid or configured have helped resolve issues or answer questions. Once everything is buried you’ll find your memory of the specifics tends to fade as well.

  18. marc:

    you have been incredibly helpful, and i promise not to abuse your good nature. however. just met with my pool guy, and he is more enthusiastic about the badu jet for a swim spa. i plan to try to speak with people who actually have them, but from what i am reading, they are not pleasant or offer the current of the fast lane.

    my pool guy does not like the “look”. i am not that fussy, and enjoyed the one experience i had with the fast lane. have not had an opportunity to try any other “current” types of units.

    you ended up with a fast lane. still doing ok in the salt water environment? (which is the way i plan to go, by the way, if i do go with a fast lane). did you have an opportunity to try other companies?

    your help has been invaluable. thanks so much.


    ps not very many customers of any of the pool current machines, here in southeast oklahoma, so i am sort of limited to the internet.

  19. @carol – No worries, I’m happy to help. If you are getting some kind of styled pool I can see where the builder (creator) would be somewhat miffed at having the squarish box that is the Fastlane hanging off the side.

    My pool is a relatively basic rectangle shape so the aesthetics are not a big deal. It may be worth noting that the Fastlane is mostly under water. If the look is concerning, I suggest mounting the unit on the side nearest to where you’ll be looking at the pool. It should be almost invisible until you come over to the edge. That way it should not impinge on the presentation?

    Before settling on the Fastlane, my builder assured me that the pump system that came with the pool would be adequate for my swimming needs. I was able to use one of his demo pools to try this out and found that the current was too narrow and not nearly strong enough for my purposes. Plus it had only a low and a high setting which would be very limiting to a serious swimmer.

    I was able to do a test swim in a volunteer’s back yard pool with the Fastlane and that’s what sold me on that solution.

    Most of the other options I saw out there seem to be more interested in making a spa-style frothy experience rather than a serious swim current.

    That being said, my wife is not a big swimmer and she would be perfectly happy with the current afforded by the pool pump itself on the high setting.

    So far the salt water environment has not been an issue. Copper was the eventual cuplprit that led me to write the original blog post above. The Fastlane folks have had 3 more years of experience with salt water environments (driven mostly by Australia if I recall correctly) so if you are still concerned I think a call to them and asking for their product manager would not be unreasonable. This is a pretty substantial investment, they should be able to draw on their experience what kind, if any, of difference the salt water environment makes.

    I’m finding that the longer I own my pool, the more apparent it is that it will continue to be a not insubstantial yearly investment. I have a pool company that I trust as I am coming out of warranty on pretty much everything now so I’m hoping they can do right by me in terms of diagnosing and dealing with issues pragmatically now that I’m on my own dime. You have to be willing to pay for parts and services for as long as you own your pool if you want to continue to enjoy it. Even if you do the work yourself, the pool environment can be pretty harsh on heaters, pumps, sensors and all the other electronics.
    It’s definitely not a “set it and forget it” kind of home addition.

    I’d love to see your finished pool should you pursue the Fastlane option.

  20. Wanted to warn you to continue checking the hoses vigilantly. I wish I had seen this post sooner. We moved into our house last fall, and our fast lane exploded on Memorial day, causing oil to gush out into the pool, rendering it unusable to date.

    Endless pools gave us the name of the closest independent contractor – two hours away – who charged us the two hours travel time twice to try to clean it, to no avail. It is a nightmare, and the company cannot guarantee that it won’t happen again if we were to replace the hoses and engine they also advised us to switch from a salt water to a chlorine pool. The expenses to clean the pool are crazy – we also have to replace the cartridge filters because they were shot due to all of the sludge, and it got on the deck and and in the skimmer, etc. Its been the hottest few days of the year here, and we can’t swim in the pool because their contractor didn’t know how to clean it, and its just been an oily mess.

    As much as I would like to go back to swimming for exercise and the kids love playing the current, we just took ours out and put it in a box in the garage because its not worth the risk for us and our entire experience has been terrible.

    Anyone who doesn’t have your degree of knowledge and patience may not be happy with this product in a salt water pool !!

  21. @Lynn – Sorry for your troubles. I too am concerned since i installed my fastlane last year in my new pool and found out during the install re: the salt water issue.

    Important questions:

    How long was the fast lane in operation?

    Also, did you maintain the salt below the 3400 ppm recommended level?

    lastly where was the hose failure? Was it the rubber hose or the hose connections?

    Thank you for your help.

  22. @ROBERT – Question for anyone, considering Ms. June’s experience, I am considering using a UV sanitizer. This reduces the chlorine level needs to .5 ppm. I figured I could either reduce my salt content way below the 3200 ppm range by draining the pool and adding fresh water or just drop the salt altogether and convert to a UV/chlorine system. Any thoughts, experiences with this?

  23. @ROBERT – considering Ms. June’s experience, I am considering using a UV sanitizer. This reduces the chlorine level needs to .5 ppm. I figured I could either reduce my salt content way below the 3200 ppm range by draining the pool and adding fresh water or just drop the salt altogether and convert to a UV/chlorine system. Any thoughts, experiences with this?

  24. @ROBERT – My local pool dealer has become somewhat less reliable in providing my weekly water test results so I invested in a Taylor K-2006 test kit and started seriously digging into managing my pool chemistry myself.

    One resource that I have found invaluable has been troublefreepool.com ( http://www.troublefreepool.com ). I would *strongly* urge you to review their “pool school” to validate your UV Sanitizer thoughts. I found that much of the advice I had been following before didn’t really apply to my SWG (salt water generator) system and I’ve recently moved all of my pool chemistry to the values recommended by troublefreepool (corroborated by some other sites of course).

    You’ll also find some pretty knowledgable folks who should be able to give you pragmatic answers to your questions before you make the commitment to switch over to the different technology.

  25. Salt pool opened 10-2007. Fastlane installed during the build. We have been putting the fastlane in the pool from April to October since the beginning. No problems yet. Stumbled upon your site trying to find out how to check the oil. The dipstick seems to show low but when I take the cap off the machine appears to be full. Any thoughts would bee appreciated.

  26. @Mike – Sorry Mike, I checked my machine instructions and peeked at the machine as well. I may have a different model than you do. I could not find a dipstick on my unit.

    I suggest giving them a call. They were pretty responsive (if clueless) when I was trying to sort out my copper staining issue.

  27. Thanks for the reply. I have called them. The issue on the dipstick is resolved. Endless Pool suggested a new pump due to the age of the system after I advised them of the information I obtained concerning the salt system issues discussed here. I will replace the pump when I pull the unit out in October. They did say the machine has been running a long time with no maintenance.

  28. I’ve had my fast lane 4 yrs now. To clean the stainless steel bar all u need is those green rectangle scrub pads. No chemicals, just wet it and rub repeatedly. May take a while to clean since yours is so bad. Also, be sure to maintain ur PH balance to 7 for ur salt water pool. I’ve had no problems with mine yet. Water balance is extremely important with salt water.

  29. @Lisa – Thanks Lisa. Once you’ve managed to contaminate your pool with copper as I did with the algaecide I was using, there is no amount of scrubbing that will return your stainless steel to its former luster. Believe me, I tried every non-abrasive means I could. You need to release the chemical bonds between the copper and your handle. The “Stain Free” product I reference above (http://marc-bourassa.com/2013/04/07/fastlane-stained-stainless-steel-handle-a-small-miracle ) is just citric acid. Mild enough to use with your bare hands with no ill effects. It had zero impact on my pool chemistry balance as well.

  30. I called today – and am seriously considering the Fastlane… they did tell me that having a Salt pool would require additional work, like cleaning the system once a year and changing the propeller motor every 2 to 3 years – on top of replacing the zinc. All that doesnt sound too bad to me.

    Questions are has the overall quality of your system held up? Overall are you still happy with the unit?!? Im very intrigued by the Fit@Home App option where a workout can be loaded and the machine will vary speed automatically – have you used or anyone experienced that? I’m an old HS swimmer and am looking for something that can push me and keep me in shape.

  31. @Dan – I didn’t even realize that endless pools had such offerings now. My fastlane is a 2012 vintage and so can’t take advantage of those cool features. But, truth be told, the only enhancement I would *really* like is an objective speed gauge. During my workouts I adjust the speed by ear and, if there is some environmental noise (plane overhead, lawnmower nearby), I can sometimes overshoot.
    Not the end of the world as I just refine the speed between reps, but the objective aspect would ensure that my perceived effort truly matches my actual effort.

    As for how things are holding up, I am now well into my seventh year with the unit and the only maintenance has been diligent replacement of the sacrificial anodes. Endless pools has recently jacked up the price significantly for these. But theirs are also the only ones I have been able to find that are pretty much free of copper contaminants. I have tried a number of different ones mostly made for protecting boat hulls and motors and most all of them have added enough copper to the water to stain the stainless steel handle bar on the fastlane.
    This is not nearly the big deal it used to be now that I have a means of cleaning it. But I prefer to avoid the issue entirely if I can.

    I have recently found a zinc anode supplier where the copper contamination is the lowest I have found yet, so I am using these in tandem with the endless pool ones to extend the life span significantly of the anodes.

    If you go down this path, I strongly recommend you use two anodes at a time as it stretches the time between replacement to nearly 6 months for me. This is a nearly maintenance-free cadence in my opinion.

    In my early dealings with endless pools and having the fastlane in salt water, they were very new to the environment. I feel their maintenance recommendations were made based on worst case scenarios and they have not since gone back and revisited them. The salt level in a saltwater pool is so low compared to that of an actual marine environment that the impact of corrosion is likewise not significant provided you do the anode thing.

    I too am a HS swimmer and have swum pretty consistently my entire life. It is such a luxury not having to schlep my way over to the public pool to get in a workout, plus the fastlane makes for an awesome lazy river when you have guests and a few floats in the water.

    If you have any questions I’m more than happy to share my experiences with my setup to hopefully help optimize your setup from the get go.

  32. Hi! We just finished our pool with a Fastlane here in Los Angeles, where we will never shut it down for the winter. We initially put in the chlorine/UV system because I thought the UV made the chlorine a lot less (someone else referenced that above). However, we found a good pool company who explained to us that A) it doesn’t use a fraction of chlorine as advertised. You still have to use a decent amount with the UV. B) If you maintain your salt correctly, then you should be fine. Marc–it seems like you are still doing good, 8 years later. Am I correct on that assessment? Many thanks for any info to offer. –Jill

    1. Hi Jill,

      Yes, we are moving into our *9th* year with the fastlane in a salt water pool system. We have a vinyl pool and I think we will be replacing the vinyl next year or the end of this year due to some minor damage we have on the stairs. I am expecting to take that opportunity to pull out the fastlane and have it inspected and have the rubber hoses that carry the oil replaced.

      In my own inspections (I’m not an expert), I cannot see any signs of corrosion on the impeller assembly from the outside. Nor can I see any cracking or wear on the rubber hoses. But I’d rather err on the side of caution than have one burst and have a pool covered in vegetable oil for some prime swimming time if I wait too long.

      I believe my climate is harsher than is yours on the cold side of the equation. We *do* get a few weeks of sub-freezing weather each year. If your climate is milder than this, then it appears that 10 years is not beyond the pale for the system to last.

      My biggest advice would be to ensure that you make sure to use the sacrificial anodes and be generous with them. I have another posting on this blog about where you can get them for a very reasonable cost since Endless Pools has marked theirs up considerably. The ones I point to are the exact same anodes. The key there, in addition to doing their electron scavenging thing, is that they are very low in copper and won’t stain the stainless steel portions of the fast lane (I know, sounds redundant…).

      Good luck, I was using my fastlane a couple of weeks ago when we had an early hot spell and it is still working just great.

  33. Marc, thank you so much for the info. Question: my contractor wants to use the Hayward brand salt system. My pool guy, who I’ve only recently been in touch with, since we just got the pool up and running (but comes highly recommended), is insisting on the Powerclean Salt system. Do you have any knowledge on either of these?

  34. Hi Jill,

    Unfortunately not. I have been using the Aquapure (Zodiac / Jandy) system. I chose this one due to its tight integration with iAqualink system that I use to manage the pool.

    I urge you to read this other blog post I made (sorry for the long URL): http://marc-bourassa.com/2016/10/23/salt-water-generator-pool-recommendations/

    Where I detail my findings for balancing and maintaining salt water pool chemistry. Almost without exception you’ll find the chemical range recommendations you receive will be for a traditionally chlorinated pool.

    It is *extremely* important that you disable your salt chlorine generator for 24 hours after adding other chemistry you can usually set it to 0% if you can’t wholesale turn it off. Also, CYA (Cyanuric Acid) levels are critical for efficient chlorine generation and chlorine protection. Salt levels are very important as well. Basically you want your pool pretty well balanced whenever the salt cell is active.

    NOBODY emphasized any of this to me when I bought my pool and through the subsequent (under-warranty) replacements of the failed salt cells.

    I also very much recommend you get your own testing kit and check the pool chemistry at least weekly during the most active months. I have found the free testing performed by the various pool shops out there tends to be pretty inaccurate and inconsistent. Following their recommendations would have had me madly chasing PH, Salt and Chlorine levels up and down week by week. I picked up a “TAYLOR TECHNOLOGIES INC K-2006 TEST KIT” several years ago and have been very pleased with the results.

    Finally, there is a website out there called troublefreepool.com where there is an entire community of knowledgeable people who can answer questions you may have. They also host a “pool math” page which is very helpful in allowing you to calculate how much chemistry is required, based on your testing, pool size and target ranges. An added bonus is that you can typically manage your pool chemistry using non-branded common chemicals rather than the hyper-pricey pool specific options. The latter are fine if you’re not terribly interested in getting into the nitty gritty of pool maintenance and you don’t mind spending the extra cash. For my part, I enjoy the immense satisfaction of getting my pool balanced and buffered and then barely having to do anything for the remainder of the swim season.

  35. Thanks again for all this. I know you said the anodes you order have very low copper. If they are the same as the ones Endless supplies, then I am assuming theirs have some copper as well, right? I read the other link as well and will order the testing kit–I should get the salt specific one right? We got two different ones from Home Depot and they showed us opposite readings. One was a dipstick and one was little vials. Then our pool guy came and his levels were in the right range. So yes, we need a good testing kit.

    I just got off the phone with Endless. They told me they recommend replacing the hydraulic motor every 2 years, along with the tubes, which is an $800+ cost, not including labor. They said if you don’t, you risk hydraulic fluid bursting. Though it sounds like you haven’t had to do that in all these years. They said to maintain the salt below 4000 ppm. My pool guy says he shoots for 3500 ppm. Curious what you maintain yours at?

    Also, my pool guy says he doesn’t test for copper and would have to look into it. It doesn’t look like the Taylor system does copper either. Is that a specific test you buy? Sorry for all the questions, but I’m just learning about all this. Lastly, why do you recommend disabling the salt chlorinator? I asked my pool guy about that and he was confused, so I wanted to give him a reason. I really appreciate all your knowledge, so I hope I haven’t over-asked anything. Best, Jill

  36. Hi Jill,

    Funny! You’ve forced me to revisit some of the practices that I’ve built up over the past 8 years.

    * Probably no need for you to test for copper now
    * I don’t use a kit for testing salt – I use the Aquapure Salt Cell reading to guide me
    * 2 Years is probably over-cautious for Fastlane Refurb, being able to wait 9 years to refurb is risky but my situation is very gentle on my unit. It will be your judgement call
    * My Salt target is 3,400 ppm
    * You should disable salt cell production (Aquapure brand anyway) when adding chemistry to the pool. My 24 hour recommendation is conservative. Link to Aquapure manual below.

    I needed to go back and verify the sources of some of my information.

    For the first few years of pool ownership, I worked very closely with the pool company that installed it (Desjoyaux Pools). They had a reasonable pool water testing setup and, most importantly, the folks there knew how to use it. The results were consistent week-by-week: When it rained heavily I could see my PH had risen the next time I tested (I tested religiously weekly), likewise the salt concentration would be slightly more dilute, etc.

    Their salt tests tracked very closely with the salt concentration indication from my Aquapure Salt Cell so I learned to trust the Aquapure for this.

    Eventually my pool company fell under new management with new people and I started receiving testing results that I knew could not be accurate. Nor were they consistent week by week. I took my water samples to some other pool places and got similarly varied results. This was when I started really educating myself on pool chemistry and bought my Taylor test kit.

    However, it was before this that I was struggling with the copper staining issue. So, once I had identified that as a concern, I was using the pool store’s testing capabilities to keep an eye on my copper levels until I was satisfied that there were no more issues. i.e. I never investigated a home copper testing solution.

    It seems most Zinc anodes have some copper in them but the amount varies wildly. I at one time tried an anode designed to be used on the hull of a boat and the copper level in my pool shot up almost immediately. So when I am saying that the Fastlane anodes have very low copper i’m saying it’s close enough to none to not matter.

    I wouldn’t bother testing for copper unless you experience staining or something else you can’t explain.

    I checked my old Fastlane owners manual for the refurbishing recommendations and see that they were recommending the same times back then (4 years for chlorinated, 2 years for salt water). However, I had a number of conversations with their product folks when I was troubleshooting the copper contamination issue and was told that the salt water number was somewhat speculative at that time as they had very little experience with salt water, salt water pools apparently being mostly only in Australia. So it was subject to change.

    My situation is probably the kindest of possible environments for the Fastlane: The pump is housed in an open “car port” off of my back yard shed meaning it is well protected from the elements and sunlight but has plenty of ventilation. There is maybe an 8 foot section of the rubber hosing that is exposed to the outside and it is in a location where it is never hit by sunlight. The rest is in PVC piping leading from my pool equipment area then under my cement deck to the Fastlane unit itself. The pool is nearly always properly (chemically) balanced and I don’t let the temperature get below 40 degrees on even the coldest winter days. Finally, I have a lanai which prevents a great amount of junk from making its way into the pool which would serve to unbalance the chemistry.

    Every spring and usually once again during the summer I pull off the top of the Fastlane, pull out the honeycomb grate and inspect the hoses and interior of the unit for corrosion. I also replace at least one of the anodes at that time. I always have two anodes, one on each side of the handle and I prefer to stagger them so one is replaced while the other is only partly consumed.

    I cannot see INTO the impeller motor but I can clearly see it through the protective screening on the outside and also see no corrosion forming there either.

    So, for my installation, I have confidence (now) that my original 5-year-wait-and-see approach was justified and I will almost certainly refurbish at the end of this year or beginning of next even though the hoses and motor still appear to be in great shape.

    I sat down with all of my equipment manuals and came up with those chemistry ranges that you saw in the blog post. My Polaris cleaner wants a certain PH range, the heater likewise wants that plus you need to be careful for the water hardness, etc. So I overlapped them all and came up with those figures. Based on that my personal Salt range is 3300 – 3500 so I target 3400 as ideal for my purposes.

    I’ve uploaded my Aquapure manual here: http://marc-bourassa.com/jandy-pro-series-aquapure-installation-and-operation-manual-2018/, checking the “Don’ts” on page 37 is where I got the idea to disable salt cell production while doing chemistry. I think it’s pretty clear that they mean only while actually adding chemicals and salt, but I’ve expanded that to mean “wait for any chemistry you’re adding to fully dissolve”. So I am absolutely being very conservative with my statement to wait 24 hours. It just kind of grew to that over time in my head. I will still adhere to that since it really won’t hurt unless you have a serious problem maintaining chlorine levels. I don’t think I would reactivate it any less than 2 hours after adding anything to the pool.
    While I got this from my Aquapure manal, I would imagine other salt cells would be similar? But your pool guy should have the resources to confirm.

  37. Such good info. So you are trusting the automatic reading on your Aquapure system it sounds like? We are about to install the Hayward. My pool guy says the readings tend to be inaccurate so they also test the water. My contractor, who seems very savvy with chemicals, says the new Haywards read them accurately. So I’m a bit stuck in the middle, but my contractor has been so great, I’m going with his recommendation. He put the anode on yesterday even though we won’t have salt for a month (I forget why….it takes time to turn it over from chlorine, maybe?)

    So is it a good idea to have two anodes on at a time? Does that help prevent the corrosion? I will get more ordered asap.

    As for the testing kit, why don’t you get the salt one? Just curious what the point is otherwise? Again, I’m new to all this. Thank you!

  38. Hi Jill,

    In my case, when I was working with the original pool folks, my Aquapure salinity readings were pretty spot-on relative to their results.

    But it *has* been a while and mechanical equipment being what it is, I think it’s prudent to revisit my salt situation. So I just ordered one of the Taylor K-1766 kits from Walmart.
    It’s good to have these conversations as they make you question your assumptions. What was valid 4 years ago may not be valid any longer.

    A single anode is fine for starters, especially without the salt in the system yet. The anodes provide a “path of least resistance” for oxidation to occur (i.e. they corrode before your Fastlane metal parts), so having more anodes doesn’t necessarily confer more protection but it does provide you with the opportunity to allow one to deplete completely while still affording protection until you replace to expended one. Often the depleted anode looks OK but when you grab it it immediately crumbles.

    Being human I know I’m going to forget or be lazy about it (other things going on in life) so the two-staggered-anode method is my way of guarding against myself. So far I’ve always managed to replace the depleted one long before the second one has significantly corroded.

    Again, this is me being conservative.

    Feel free to hit me up with any more questions. I’m happy to share.
    Honestly, as I review some of this information with you I’m cleaning up and reassessing some of my current practices so it’s a win-win.

  39. Great to hear my questions aren’t a pain. Okay, cool on the anode. I will order some to have on deck. So if I order the Taylor K-1766, do I also need the other one for chlorine purposes? Or does the salt one cover all the same chemicals as the other one, plus salt? That’s my only question….for now! (btw, we got the fastlane working yesterday. It is STRONG. It’s an insane current. It’s like we have a water park in our yard. Our kids are in heaven (ages 8 and 10) playing in it. and we lower it to workout in because I can’t come close to keeping up with the jet at its strongest! What fun this is going to be! Best, Jill

  40. Hi Jill,

    The Taylor K-1766 is ONLY the salt testing kit. There are some other options out there that involve strips being soaked in water, but I’ve found the Taylor kits pretty definitive in their readings.

    I invested in the Taylor k-2006 as having everything I wanted and nothing that I did not. It does Chlorine, Free Chlorine, Hardness, Alkalinity, PH and Cyanuric acid.

    I see there is a K-2006 SALT kit which is probably what I would buy now if I were to do it again. It costs the same as the K-2006 and the K-1766 combined but looks to be all in the one box.

    As you run out of reagents – and the way the tests go you will run out of different reagents at different times – you can just buy replacement reagents as you go along. Longer term you will want to replace the low-consumption reagents as a matter of course since they will lose effectiveness over time. TroubleFreePool offers complete reagent replacement kits at a good price usually at the beginning and the end of the season.

    Yes, we love using the Fastlane as a “Lazy River” for kids and young-at-heart adults!

    It also works surprisingly well for encouraging folks to get out of the pool at the end of the night…

    If you are serious about using the Fastlane for actual swimming workouts you might consider adding the “Fastlane Swim Pace LED display”. It’s very difficult for me to add it in a fashion that would be convenient for me in my current pool setup. But it’s something I miss.
    You no longer have the objective end-of-pool length to evaluate how you are doing so your performance over time becomes somewhat subjective unless you’re also visiting a “normal” pool periodically.
    Basically I set the Fastlane speed based on my perceived pace and then adjust it by ear as I move from warm up to exercise sets and back to warm down again. A lawnmower in the area can make that a bit tricky as you can imagine.

    You’ll understand what I mean after you get your swimming routine set up and then host a party. The next time you go to use your fast lane you’ll be “Hmm… I *think* this is about where I had it set last time.”.

    It’s really a first-world problem. You can usually figure it out with 30 seconds or so of swimming, it’s just a tad disruptive to have to readjust the speed mid-set because you realize it was too slow (too fast isn’t usually a problem – too slow and you start pushing yourself back from the unit).

    Enjoy your Fastlane and new pool!

  41. I am probably risking bad luck here but, knock on wood, here I go. We have had our Fastlane for a little over 10 years in our salt pool. It is a built in. In that time I changed the hydraulic oil once (about 5 years ago), but that’s it. I just use it. Its been in the pool 24/7 since the start. We live near Sacramento, California and only get snow a couple times a year, so I leave it in the pool year round. I haven’t done anything with the sacrificial anode because I didn’t know it had one, and I don’t see it mentioned in the Owners Manual. The hoses and all other equipment are original. I tried calling them today to go over all this (after reading the above) but due to the Covid stuff I was put on a long hold for tech support and just hung up. I take good care of my things so now I am worried. Thanks guys! 😉 I keep the pool in good balance, but there are times when we’ve had various pool service companies involved, and they were much less attentive to chemistry. I do it myself now, and will only use them on vacations. I find the Trouble Free Pool website to be very good for pool maintenance recommendations. I like their straight forward approach.

  42. Hi Guys i have had my system in an intex salt water system for 9 years now with no issues, I also live less than two blocks from the ocean with heavy salt air in the winter. I have not changed oil or hoses. I do inspect them frequently for cracks and any signs of damage. Listening about the recommendations from Fastlane about replacement parts honestly do not sound right. I use a very similar system for my boat as well as my hydraulic steering. we never replace, but rebuild when we find it reducing speed or pressure. The same hydraulic systems are used in heavy equipment. I would check with a heavy equipment mechanic to give you better ideas how many hours these pumps can operate for .

  43. Marc,
    Thank you, thank you and thank you! Such good info. Why doesn’t Endless Pool support an owner’s forum where valuable info like this can be easily sourced?

    I installed a marine anode on the stainless steel housing of my circa 2003-2005 Endless Pool which I purchased second hand in 2011. The pool waited 10 years in my garage while I renovated the basement (digging down, etc.). Now it has been installed for a little less than a month and all’s going pretty well.

    It is a chlorine pool, but I installed a marine anode on it because the metal pool panels (vinyl pool) were heavily corroded when I disassembled it (that was a disappointment, but a good lesson). During the reassembly process I have been highly focused on preventing future corrosion, hence the zinc anode.

    I thought the anode was overkill and that it would sit down there unchanged for years. To my great surprise it has billowed in oxide and the surrounding area looks as though it’s got smoke damage (black soot radiating out from the 2″ anode about another 2 inches). At least now I know what it is. The anode is on a vertical piece of stainless steel housing and just an inch above where the horizontal stainless steel channel crosses under it. The horizontal channel feels kind of gritty underneath the anode, and the black soot wipes off the vertical surfaces pretty easily, with an inky residue on my fingers.

    I would send you a picture if you were interested and there was any easy way to upload it (or email if you like).

    Presently I have a bonding wire that enter’s the pool directly above the vertical SS housing and attaches to that housing. The anode is at the bottom of that SS housing. I was thinking that I might just unscrew the marine anode from the SS housing, and attach it to a copper wire (problem?, I could leave the plastic coating on the wire) and drop it in my scupper which is about 6″ away. Then I could connect the other end of the “anode wire” to the bonding wire. Then as the anode deteriorates, the oxide will get swept by the water flow into the filter (by way of the pump).

    I’m not wild about oxide particles and that black mess coating the insides of my pvc pipes and pump motor, but it would save me the need to clean up the oxide and black mess in the pool. The mess can’t really hurt anything can it? It might eventually clog up my filter, but that would take quite some time (it’s a 50 sq.ft. cartridge filter with very low demands from the inside environment).

    What do you think?


    1. Hi Darryl,

      I’ll shoot you a quick note to the email you provided so you have my direct email if you’d like to shoot me a picture. I’m interested to see your setup.

      In my own pool, everything is done on the water side (sacrificial anode is in the water attached to the metal handle of the Fastlane which is bonded to all the other Fastlane metal parts). So it’s easy to understand what’s going on.

      I’m a bit surprised at how the metal panels on your pool turned out to be so corroded. If the vinyl is protecting the water-facing side, then it seems that the other side of the panels are where the corrosion is starting? Perhaps from splashing or excessive humidity in the place where the endless pool was located with the previous owner? Is it possible to have the anode mounted outside of the water since it’s still in contact with the metal? I’m absolutely no expert on this aspect of sacrificial anodes.

      It seems to me the black sooty stuff you describe is still the same thing I was facing and that it’s coming either from the marine sacrificial anode itself or from one or more of the pool maintenance chemicals, perhaps the algaecide. If you have not already come across it, I have a subsequent blog post that explains what was causing the issue for my installation and an inexpensive and non-toxic (won’t mess up my pool chemistry and won’t kill me) product that turns out to be pretty much powdered acetic acid. It’s performance in clearing away that sooty deposit seems nothing short of miraculous after spending time trying to physically scrub the stuff off.


      When I was experiencing the issue I can’t say I noticed any fouling of my filters, but I think my greatest concern would be for my heat exchanger and possibly reducing its efficiency or clogging it up as you can see how tenacious the sooty stuff is once it attaches.

      But those days are gone now that I use pure(r) zinc Anodes and I don’t need algaecide.

      I don’t know if it’s practical for the larger area you’re protecting, but check out these anodes (http://marc-bourassa.com/2019/04/13/found-a-great-source-for-my-sacrificial-anodes/ ). These are the exact ones offered by Endless Pools but I found them at about half the cost.

      Best of luck,


  44. Super helpful again.

    My pool is indoors and brand new (about 3-4 weeks), so no algaecide (and none ever expected to be used). The Endless pool did come with a 2 year supply of Nature2 cartridges, which release some copper, but supposedly very little. The black soot seems to be coming from the zinc disc, which I foolish presumed was just zinc.

    I was worried that there was some chemical dielectric occurring between the zinc and the SS which was “burning” the SS chemically somehow. Like driving the carbon out of the steel. I’m making up as I type, and it sounds ridiculous, but I would not have fingered copper as the culprit, which is normally blue green in my experience, like copper flashing.

    Lucky for me, when I was building the basement for the pool I laid radiant pex lines in the slab below the pool, so it is heated as a separate zone off my boiler. As a result I have no inline heater to corrode and break or get gunked up by the black mess. It’s just the pump and filter downstream of the scupper. It doesn’t seem like it would be a major clogging problem. If the filter does start clogging up once a month, I could always switch to the pure(r) anodes, right? Then I would feel foolish for allowing the black gunk to accumulate, but it seem nearly impossible.

    As for the panel corrosion, yes, I think that water was getting past the liner (at first I thought that it might be slowly permeating the liner over years (which is still within the realm of possibility), but now I think it was getting between the gap between the top of the liner (where the liner enters the liner hanger) and the top of the liner hanger itself. From there it can work it’s way around the vinyl liner hanger top bead and then behind the liner and against the steel panel. The excess corrosion in the corners would support that theory, which is why I have caulked that gap between the liner and the liner hanger now.

    The pool was previously installed in an indoor pool house and the back of the panels were pristine, so all corrosion was occurring on the water side.

    I’ll be interested to know the condition of your panels when you replace your liner. I hung a secondary high-mil vapor barrier between the new liner and the steel walls as a precaution.

    The citric acid sounds like what my wife has been using as post-swim de-chlorinator, rather than the premium priced swim shampoos. I think she got the idea from the US swim team website and she says it works fantastic. She the swimmer in the family (just HS swim team).

    The chlorine is relatively low to begin with and the available chlorine will be even lower once I get the CYA up a bit. That has been a very slow process, and I might pick your brain on that some more in the future.

  45. Hi Marc,
    Happy to have found your website. We have had a FastLane for over 9 years. It is installed at the end of a salt water pool. We live in SW Florida and use the pool and FastLane at least 5 days a week all year long. We do not have the “black soot” on the handle. Our handle has rarely been cleaned and looks pretty good. We use a sacrificial anode tethered to the FastLane “box” and replace it perhaps every 2 months. Right now I am trying to figure out if I can make my own anodes out of a piece of zinc. The ones I have been buying are about $16 each. Seems pretty expensive. Thanks again for having this website. We are always looking for other FastLane owners and advice on various things. Hopefully someone can give advice if they have made their own anodes. Thanks!

    1. Hi Sue,

      I’m envious that you get year ’round use of your Fastlane.

      Mine just gave up the ghost last year. I think the motor shaft sheared. So I have all the bits and pieces required to refurbish it (new motor, new hydraulic lines and fluid) sitting in my hallway waiting for the weather to warm up a bit so I can get out there and bring it back up to spec. I would say I got about 9 solid years of use out of it without any maintenance beyond replacing the sacrificial anodes so I count myself lucky on that front.

      Vis-a-vis anodes, if you are able to make yours out of pure zinc then that would definitely be the way to go. I tried using a few different, far less expensive anodes meant for protecting boat hulls and engines in salt water environments but none of them were pure enough and they ended up contaminating my pool with the trace metals so I didn’t stick with that strategy.

      I just checked and can see that the Pool Tool 104-F sacrificial anodes have jumped again in price. Surprisingly, one of the best prices I’m seeing for them at the moment are at Walmart and that is still about $18, 🙁 Fortunately, I have a stash from my last bulk purchase to help me wait out until the prices hopefully get more reasonable again..

  46. I use the following anode that I buy from Amazon. “Pool tool 104D Inline Zinc Anode”. I permanently installed it in the pvc piping between my pool heater and filter, & has a bonding wire. Best of all it is located outside of my pool for easy access. It lasts 3 to 5 years. I’ve been replacing it about every 3 yrs. Works great.

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