5 Things You Must Know About Your Salt Water Pool or Hot Tub
A “salt water” pool is nothing different from an ordinary swimming pool. The difference is instead of physically adding a liquid, powder or solid form of chlorine as needed, a device is installed in your pool’s plumbing and it manufacturers chlorine for you automatically and disperses the chlorine into your pool water.
No mysteries, no hype, a salt water pool is a chlorinated pool. Shocked?
1. Your pool or hot tub uses salt to generate chlorine
A salt water chlorine generator (SWG) uses pool salt, which is added to your pool’s water (typically hundreds of pounds) prior to activating the system. The elevated sodium chloride (salt) level is increased to an appropriate recommended level as determined by the systems manufacturer. Next, a controller and salt cell are attached to the pool plumbing system and BINGO! Your pool is manufacturing its own chlorine.
2. It still needs chemicals…just not how you imagine
Both pool types need equal attention to the other factors, which make up swimming pool (or hot tub) chemical water balance. But, there may be some trade-offs. For instance, a pool using solid chlorine, i.e. jumbo tablets or chlorine sticks may find that the pH (acidity) remains fairly stable, while a SWG pool more than likely finds that the demand of the pool for acid (i.e. reducing pH) is greater.
Also, a SWG pool will require more frequent additions of chlorine conditioner, as the chlorine your system is generating does not contain the chlorine conditioner.
3. “No need for maintenance” is a myth
A pool using a solid form of chlorine may occasionally require a “shock” to boost or super-chlorinate your pool, removing organic contaminants. A SWG typically has a built-in feature, which allows the SWG to perform a “super-chlorinate or “boost” function. A SWG system does require maintenance at times, including a process to remove scale, which may build up on the cells. The lifespan of a SWG cell is approximately 3-5 years.
Your pool may also require a topping-off of the salt level due to splash out, walkout or dilution from evaporation.
4. It is gentler on your skin
It is observed that a SWG pool feels more comfortable because salt in water soothes the skin. In addition, the lower chlorine content compared to pure chlorine water is less harmful to the skin, making it better suited for people with skin or water allergies.
5. Higher installation cost pays off long term
Cost comparison in the long term is virtually equal. Biggest advantage may be that you don’t run out of chlorine and have to drive to the local pool store to re-stock. And there’s no need to store chlorine around the home.
What Does All This Mean to You?
Whether you choose conventional chlorine additions or a SWG, at the end of the day they both do what they’re intended to do: sanitize the pool or hot tub and protect you the bathers from cross-contamination and help keep the pool crystal clear and free of algae.
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