Thursday, July 25, 2013

I dont use chlorine, I have a salt water pool.

Honestly only a very small number of pool owners can truthfully make the above claim, which we will explain in a few minutes. 

Salt chlorine generators have been around for decades, however their popularity has just mushroomed in the last 5 or 6 years.

What most people don't realize is that the purpose of the salt chlorine generator is to do what its name suggests, generate chlorine from salt water.  Some of the confusion most likely stems from these systems only being referred to as Salt generators.  Since chlorine is not mentioned in the name, pool owners don't think their pool uses any.  Also, because chlorine tablets or granules are not regularly used anymore, pool owners again don't realize or are not knowledgeable of how a salt chlorine generator works and what it does.   For the record, a "salt generator" or whatever you want to call it, creates hypo-chlorous acid from salt water using electrolysis.  Hypo-chlorous  acid sounds like some scary stuff right?  Well its the same stuff that chlorine tabs or granules releases into your pool water when they dissolve so don't be alarmed.

Lets talk about the differences in salinity levels of a "salt water pool" verses a pool with a salt chlorine generator.

True salt water pools, of which there are very few, will have salinity levels like ocean water.  Now ocean water salinity levels can vary from ocean to ocean but for a nice round number lets use 35,000ppm.  That's pretty salty!  The recommended salt level for a pool using a salt chlorine generator is about 10 times less than that at around 3,500ppm.  At 3,500ppm the feel and taste of the salt is still present but not nearly as much as it is in the ocean.

So hopefully that clears up the miss-conception regarding "salt" swimming pools.  Pools utilizing salt generators are generating chlorine, not salt!   Always remember that water balance with a salt chlorine generator is as important as a pool that uses chlorine tabs.  PH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, Stabilizer, Etc. are all still important parts of your water balance and need to be maintained properly to insure the safety of your swimmers and the longevity of your pool.