Why Salt Water Pools Are a Big Deal?

Salt Water Pool Systems

The newest system to come out in the pool industry is a salt water system. Originally popular in Australia they have become more and more common around the world. Salt water systems are not like swimming in the ocean. The water is not salty like an ocean though. They do make for advanced improvements over a chlorinated pool.

Advantages of A Salt Water Pool

Salt-water pools solve the problems of dry skin, damaged hair, and red eyes. They create a smoother feeling swim and you no longer have the risk of dragging dangerous clothes destroying liquid chlorine.

Ocean Pool

This system works by using a cell that turns the salt in the water into chlorine. For those that remember middle school chemistry will know that chlorine is one of the two elements that make up salt. (I.e. NaCl is the periodic makeup of salt) The cell generates the chlorine and the chlorine cleans the pool. So you are still using chlorine.

Disadvantages of Salt Water Systems

There are downsides to this system though. The initial startup is several thousand dollars and you still have to buy and replace the salt at least once a year if not more in warm climates. Also this cell only works a couple years before needing to be replaced.

Another drawback is the pool still needs to be tested for chlorine and your pH. Yes you still need to test for chlorine. The salt cell generates the chlorine but adjustments must be made to prevent the levels from becoming to high or low. If the ph level becomes too high or low the salt chlorine generator cell can be damaged leading to replacement and extra cost.

Energy costs

Then there is the challenge of how much time is needed to run the pool pump. Many people want to run their pump a few hours a day. This produces a conundrum.  They become accustomed to the low electric bills. Then when they purchase the salt system they find that more hours are needed for the system to work correctly. This leads to higher bills so people tend to turn the pump time back down. Guess what happens then? Well if the pool experiences heavy use the chlorine level drops or disappears. So one has two choices, they can either run the system longer or add liquid chlorine. The later kind of defeats the whole idea of a salt-water pool.

Not good for old Pools

Another drawback is that a salt system cannot be installed in pools that have copper pipes. Many pools in the sixties and seventies had copper plumbing. Salt will eat away at the copper over a period of time. So plastic pipes need to be installed which can become very costly. Also many heaters have copper elements in them too. The salt water can destroy this and then you are faced with the question of a cold salt-water pool or warm chlorine based pool.

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