The Scoop On Saltwater Pools

November 15, 2015
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Most pool owners have heard about salt water pools but many are misinformed about them. Before we go too far I’ll say this… We like salt pools but we also have an understanding of what they do and don’t do.

salt-water-chlorinator

The most common misconception is that the pool water needs to be changed before converting over, which is completely false, any pool can be changed over. If your water is older than say 5 years it might be a good idea to start with fresh water or have a reverse osmosis treatment done so that you’re starting with more pure water. Over 5 years minerals, byproducts of chemicals, and organic compounds increase over time making it harder to properly maintain a crystal clear swimming pool.

This is a close second misconception, the fact that it will be a chlorine free pool is also false. Chlorine is (sodium hypochlorite) made from salt. Chlorine is made in the factories by converting salt into hypochlorite on a very large scale. Your salt pool is basically a mini chlorine factory that produces it everyday. It uses a salt cell that has electric current sent by a control box that you dial in the desired amount. It is true that you can have lower clorine levels since it generates it everyday.

The levels of salt aren’t high enough that you will really taste it. The level is usually 3,000ppm while the ocean is 35,000ppm. On average sized pools it will cost less than $100 a year to maintain the proper salt levels.

The cell requires regular maintenance, depending on where you live you might have to acid wash more than others. The harder and more calcium there is in your water supply the more frequently you’ll have to wash it in a water and acid solution to clean the cell, sometimes as frequently as every 3 months.

If the decking around your pool isn’t properly sealed the salty water can degrade the finish.

Pros:

1- You can keep the chlorine levels lower
2 – It generates chlorine everyday when water temp is over 65 degrees
3 – The overall feel of the water is softer and people are more boyant

Cons:
The salt water system can be costly and cells have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years

Cell needs to be acid washed 2 to 4 times per year usually done by service provider
Since the chlorine levels are lower, if there’s a problem your pool can more quickly turn
The ph will bounce higher so more acid is required to maintain proper ph levels

Overall we love salt water pools. As long as you know all the pros and cons ahead of time you will have a better understanding of the system.

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