You’ve probably heard about salt water systems, as they are a popular choice when it comes to luxury pools. There are lots of questions and misinformation about salt water systems. The swimming pool contractors of Hop Cassidy Pools, Inc. are experts at installing them, so we’ll answer a few commonly asked questions about them.
What is a Salt Water System?
A salt water system is a pool sanitization alternative to the traditional chlorine sanitization system. In the traditional chlorine sanitization system, you add liquid or dry chlorine to the water. In a salt water system, a salt-chlorine generator (also called a salt cell, salt generator or a salt chlorinator) uses electrolysis to break down salt and create chlorine, which is then automatically added to the pool water.
If a Salt Water System Adds Chlorine, How Is It Different?
In a traditional system, adding chlorine to the water results in chloramines, which are the chemicals that irritate eyes and skin and damage hair. With the salt water system, if the pool is properly maintained, there are no chloramines. Also, since the salt water system creates its own chlorine, you will no longer have to handle chlorine liquid or tablets.
Does a Salt Water System Make the Pool Water Taste And Smell Salty?
No, salt water systems result in 2,500 to 6,000 ppm salt content. To put that number in context, ocean water has about 35,000 ppm salt content. The water will not smell or taste anywhere near the saltiness of ocean water. Also, salt water systems won’t have the same chlorine smell of traditional chlorine pools, due to the lack of chloramines.
Will I Notice a Difference When I Swim In a Salt Water Pool?
Yes! The water feels smooth, similar to taking a shower in soft water. When you get out of the pool, your skin will feel soft. You will also notice the lack of red eyes, dry skin, damaged hair and chlorine smell that traditional chlorine pools give you.
What Kind Of Maintenance Does a Salt Water Pool Need?
Salt water pools are often referred to as maintenance-free. This is incorrect. Just like traditional chlorine pools, salt water pools need regular care and upkeep to prevent algae and bacteria growth. Maintenance varies for each brand of salt water system, so please consult your owner’s manual for exact steps for your pool; however, these are the common maintenance tasks for most salt water pools:
- Maintain the minimum salt level required for your salt-chlorine generator
- The pH level needs to be between 7.4 and 7.8, so pH should be tested every few days and muriatic acid added to keep the pH at the right level
- Add stabilizer to keep UV rays from breaking down the chlorine
- In a salt water pool, chlorine is only added to the water when the filter is running, so run the filter in order to maintain the correct chlorine levels
- The electrolysis method the salt-chlorine generator uses results in calcium build up, so the generator needs to be checked regularly. Clean the salt chlorinator cell when it has visible calcium build up, following the instructions in the owner’s manual
- Test pool water chemistry weekly to make sure pH, alkalinity, stabilizer level and salt levels are correct.
If you are interested in building a salt water pool for your yard, please contact us for a free pool quote.