Never Buy Chlorine Again
Salt water pools are pools that use salt to generate chlorine. Salt water pools are simply swimming pools that use a chlorine generator, rather than requiring the direct addition of chlorine to the water. A chlorine generator in salt water pools passes water through an electronic cell that produces sodium hypochlorite or liquid chlorine. So, salt water pools are not chlorine free pools. Salt water pools are swimming pools that manufacture their own chlorine.
Not Really Salt Water
Most chlorine generators used in salt water pools require salt content of 3000-4000 parts per million (ppm). By comparison, sea water has a salt content of around 35,000 ppm, or 10 times as much as salt water pools. The average person cannot taste the salt in salt water pools since the salinity is so mild. In salt water pools the salinity is close to that of the human skin. The water is comfortable and your skin feels smooth when you get out of the pool.
How Do Salt Water Pools Work?
The chlorine generator system in salt water pools consist of a control unit and a salt cell. The control unit regulates how long the power is supplied to the salt cell. Chlorine is produced when power is supplied to the cell. Typically, digital controls for the unit regulate the amount of power going to the cell. The digital controls adjust the supply of electricity to the salt cell for different periods of time. Salt water flows through the cell when the pump is operating and through the process of electrolysis, and the salt in the water is converted into liquid chlorine.
Benefits of Salt Water Pools
- Continuous salination eliminates free chlorine volatility
- There is less eye irritation with salt water pools
- You’ll have softer skin with a salt water pools
- There are no noxious chlorine smells with salt water pools
- You never have to handle, store or transport chlorine
How Often Do You Add Salt To Salt Water Pools?
Salt in salt water pools is only lost when water leaves the pool through backwashing, splashing, leaks, or vacuuming to waste. Most salt water pools require replacement of about 10% of their salt during each season.
Salt Water Pools Required Maintenance
You will need to monitor and keep the salt concentration between 3000 to 4000ppm to have an adequate amount of salt for the cell to produce the chlorine necessary to maintain salt water pools. Salt test strips and kits can be purchased at your local pool supply store. However, most controls will display the salt content on the LED panel on the control. Your controls may also have to be adjusted, up or down, as required to keep the chlorine production in line with the demand. Since the chlorine generator will only make chlorine when the pump is running you need to have the pump on when demand is highest. Typically setting your timer to run during the daylight hours from about 8am to 6pm daily in the summer is about right. Through a bit of trial and error you will find the control setting and filtration time you need to meet the chlorine demand during different points in your swimming season. Occasionally, if the chlorine reading is below recommended levels you may need to super charge the pool to supplement the chlorine feed in order to raise the chlorine level quickly.
Salt Cell Required Maintenance
Most units have a self cleaning feature built right in that reverses the polarity of the voltage through the cell to clean off scale buildup off of the cell plates. If the unit does not have a self cleaning feature, at the end of the season, a mild muriatic solution may be used to clean the cell of 10 parts water to 1 part muriatic acid.
Salt is poured directly into the deep end of your pool, usually during the off season. Using your telepole and brush head, brush any salt that is lying on the floor of the pool until it is fully dissolved.
Chlorine is most effective and your pool healthiest for swimmers and equipment with properly balanced water and salt systems only generate chlorine. Alkalinity, pH, calcium and acid levels still need to be monitored and maintained at proper levels.
Salt systems produce a certain amount of chlorine per hour. You will need to consult with Aquatic Pools And Spas to purchase the system that will keep up with the chlorine demand for the volume of water in your pool. Manufacturer specifications will indicate the number of gallons of pool water for each model. If your pool volume falls between models, buy the larger system.
Additional Benefits of Salt Water Pools
Most pool owners purchase salt water pools for improved water quality, greater comfort and the other benefits discussed above. Nonetheless, salt water pools are also substantially less expensive to operate than are conventional pools. You will save a good bit of money because you will no longer be buying chlorine. Most people who purchase salt water pools find that it takes about 2 to 3 years for the system to pay for itself.
Additionally, swimmers who are typically sensitive to the chlorine in pools do not experience sensitivity in salt water pools. Packaged pool chemicals have additives and by-products that don’t exist in the chlorine generated by salt water pools.
All things considered, salt water pools improve quality of life while saving money.