Salt Generators & Accessories
Pros and cons of a salt water pool system.
Over the last few decades, many pool owners have turned to salt water pool systems as alternatives to traditional chlorine pools because of their many benefits. But it’s not all good news. Pool owners must balance the benefits of a salt water system with a few downsides. Here, we’ll talk about the good and the bad of converting to a saltwater pool.
What is a salt-chlorinated pool?
In a salt water pool system, salt cells are used to sanitize the pool water. The term salt water pool can be misleading, however, because a saltwater pool still uses chlorine. In fact, salt water pool systems actually require the same amount of chlorine to keep water clean that traditional chlorinated pools do - about 1-3 ppm. The difference is that the chlorine is actually made right in the pool by a salt chlorinator (also called a chlorine generator). Salt chlorinators work by changing salt that is added to pool water into chlorine through the process of electrolysis.
What are the benefits of a salt water pool system?
No Added Chlorine
One of the aspects of a salt water pool system which many pool owners love is that they don’t have to add chlorine. Chlorine can be expensive to buy, difficult to store and dangerous to use. Pool-grade salt is much cheaper and safer than chlorine pucks and granules. Salt generators reuse the same salt over and over, so you only have to refill the salt about once a season. It's an economical alternative to using chlorine and other types of chemicals, and is safer for the environment as well.
The water in a salt water pool system is much easier on the eyes and skin. Swimmers with chlorine sensitivity find the salt water pools to be much gentler. There is also no harsh chemical smell that many people find irritating. Plus, the water has a soft, silky feel that many people enjoy.
Stable Chlorine Levels
Salt water pool systems produce a slow, steady output of chlorine. This helps avoid problems with algae and cloudy water. This stable chlorine level also helps eliminate the presence of chloramines, a chlorine by-product that causes the strong chlorine smell.
What are the cons of a saltwater pool system?
The upfront costs of a salt water pool system are higher. Getting started requires you to purchase and install a chlorine generator, adding another piece of pool equipment to your setup. Hundreds of pounds of salt need to be purchased initially to reach the right salt level. Plus, the salt cell in your salt chlorinator will need to be replaced every 2-5 years. After start up, however, you will probably only have to add a few pounds of salt per year
Salt water pool systems also require regular maintenance. The salt cells need to be inspected and cleaned regularly and the water chemistry still needs to be balanced. Especially the pH. In a salt water pool system, pH tends to become elevated, which can lead to skin irritation, burning eyes, and calcium build-up or scaling on your pool equipment. In addition to managing the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels, cyanuric acid must be added to the water to prevent the chlorine that is produced from being burnt off by the sun. As in a chlorine pool, shock treatments may be required in saltwater pool systems to eliminate chloramines and sanitize the water.
Not Effective in Colder Temperatures
Salt water pool systems don’t work if the water temperature drops below 60° fahrenheit. So, pools in closer climates without heaters would not be great candidates for a salt-chlorinated pool.
Overall, the decision of whether or not to go with a salt water pool system depends on a number of factors including your budget and location. However, many people say the increased water quality and never having to handle chlorine again is worth it. Need help choosing a salt generator for your pool? Contact a pool expert at Doheny's today at 800-574-7665.
A salt generator can turn your backyard oasis into a sparkling saltwater pool, instantly softening the water and reducing the risk of eye or skin irritation that commonly occurs with chlorine.
Salt generators for pools work by adding a small amount of salt to the pool water, which is then run through it's normal filtration system. The amount of salt used isn't enough to taste, but you'll definitely notice a difference once it's been running.
Salt generators reuse the same salt over and over, so you only have to refill the salt about once a season. It's an economical alternative to using chlorine and other types of chemicals, and is safer for the environment as well.
Need help choosing a salt generator for your pool? Contact a pool expert at Doheny's today at 800-574-7665.