How Do Saltwater Pools Work?
The popularity of salt water systems to care for swimming pools has reached an all-time high and our indications are that their popularity is rising. Saltwater pools use dissolved salt instead of chlorine tablets to cleanse and sanitize pool water. One prevalent misconception is that if you have a salt water pool, you no longer use chlorine. Actually, a salt generator’s real purpose is to make chlorine from the salt present in the pool. The generator makes it easier to maintain the chlorine level in the pool. Make no mistake, a saltwater pool is still a chlorine pool.
However, the chlorine level of a salt water pool must still be monitored and maintained within acceptable ranges. You can adjust the amount of chlorine generated by regulating the percentage of output and the number of hours the filter pump operates. Each salt generator will vary on how these things are controlled so be sure to consult the owner’s manual for your system to learn more about how to regulate it.
The salt level in the pool water must also be tested and maintained per the salt system manufacturer’s guidelines. You can purchase salt test strips at our stores to test the level yourself. Or, you may bring a sample of the pool water to one of our locations for professional analysis and adjustment. Too high or too low salt levels will either damage the generator or force it to shut off, cutting off chlorine production.
It is important to use high quality pure salt that is packaged for swimming pools. Our Salt is refined to remove excess contaminants commonly found in other salts. These contaminants have a reputation for decreasing generator’s production and may even cause staining on the pool surface. It is important to use regular doses of Sequest-All Stain Prevention to prevent the staining and scaling often found in salt pools.
A by-product of chlorine generation from salt is the rise of pH of the pool water. The pH must really be monitored more closely than with chlorine pools, as it tends to rise more often and more sharply with a salt generator. When the pH of pool water is high, it becomes scale forming, causing the need to clean the cell more frequently, and the increasing the possibility of staining and scaling on the pool tile and surface. You will use more pH reducer or muriatic acid when you have a salt pool.
The routine maintenance of a salt cell is of utmost importance for its production and longevity. The environment inside the salt cell is very harsh, producing scale formation inside the cell on its electrolytic plates. This reduces its efficiency and shortens its life. It should be cleaned twice a year with Cell Cleaner to ensure its maximum efficiency. The routine addition of Sequest-All Stain Protection will prevent the scale from forming as heavily, but it will not negate the need to clean the cell routinely.
Salt water does have an effect on soft natural rock and flagstone around the pool as well. The salt will soak into the rock along with the water that hits those surfaces, the water evaporates and leaves the salt behind. This can cause a lot of scaling on these surfaces, and can even create a “spalling” effect, which is a deterioration of these surfaces. Research should be done before choosing to use a salt system with pools that have these types of surfaces around them.
Salt water is more comfortable to swim in for most people and it makes pool maintenance a bit less time-consuming. However, don’t think that a saltwater pool will take care of itself. It is not the maintenance free system that a lot of pool owners are told. In the long run, it may save you some time, but it’s not going to save you a significant amount of money over standard chlorine treatments.
Find a Poolwerx near you and discuss more differences between a salt water pool vs chlorine swimming pool
If you have any questions after reading these pros and cons call a Poolwerx near you. Choosing between chlorine and saltwater pools can be a difficult decision for any pool owner. Poolwerx technicians are pool experts and will be able to help you figure out the best option for you and your family.