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.

32 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.

  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.

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