One of the most colorful types of stone for pools is Crab Orchard stone from Tennessee.Its is a sandstone which can range-in the same pallet- from soft to hard. the grays are typically the hardest and the pinkish color the softest. Most people prefer the brown to tan color range with small amounts of pink and gray. We have used this stone for coping,decks and stacked walls on many pools with salt chlorine generators and didn't have any problems to start
with but now we have had several pools where the coping is disintegrating.The tops of the stone are peeling like sun burn and the front edge, which is a chipped edge to start with, is now worn smooth and is powdery on the surface. A pool which was finished a year ago and the stone work sealed with a high quality stone sealer is now showing major deterioration from salt.Another pool which is about three years old has a -or should i say had a-dark gray sand stone coping which was a very hard sandstone. About 20% of the coping is almost white with the salt sunburn peeling in several places. This stone was not sealed with a sealer.
We are also seeing the effects of salt on our limestone coping. It is bleaching out and becoming splotchy and only on pools with salt systems.
Pools we have built and used travertine coping have had no noticeable effects. This stone has been honed and filled so it is not porous and seems to be unaffected by the salt.
We have tried cleaning the surfaces but it seems once it is in the stone it is like a cancer that keeps deteriorating. Customers expect this to be corrected,new stone installed to replace the old, but there is no way to determine if the new stone will be resistant -even with sealer- to the effects of salt water.
I now feel a little chlorine and a UV generator might be a better option when using sandstone around a pool,especially when the replacement of the stone is expensive and there is no assurance the replacement will be any better.
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  • I've had three SWCG (different brands all) on my pool, which is an Arizona Flagstone pool, and have experienced the same. My flag gets a coat of Porous Plus 511 Impregnator every year also.

    I have removed all three SWCG and am now using a Liquidator from HASA. It is much more reliable than the salt systems were, especially here in So. California where we have hard water, which impedes the ability to make chlorine on a calcified cell! The Liquidator is not foolproof, and I am willing to publicly state that HASA has (arguably) the worst customer service on the planet, but I find the product to be solid (with a little tweaking!). I just got tired of cleaning the salt cell every 6 months and had to find a better way to introduce chlorine.
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