Low Maintenance Salt Water Pools  

by Pool Builders on 03-25-2008 in Articles

Salt water pools have been in use since the 1960s in Australia. Owners of these new, virtually maintenance free, pools say that you will never go back once you have tried them! There is no more itchy skin, stinging eyes or bleached out bathing suits with a salt water pool.

The old fashioned method of reading the Ph balance and shuddering every time the rain turned your pool green is over. Gone are the bottles of chlorine and the necessity of 'shocking' your pool back to a healthy color. Nowadays there is such an invention as the salt water pool.

The idea was derived in Australia, and unlike the constant monitoring of the chlorine based out-door pool that we are all used to, it will only need 'doctoring' about twice per year!

It sounds a little too easy to be true, but when you think that we all swim in the salty ocean, it is amazing that it has not been thought of before! The cleansing agent in the salt water pool is saline (surprise!) but it is not used in the same ratio as it is found in the sea.

There are 50,000 parts per million in ocean water, and the recommended salt concentration in a pool is 2800 to 4000 parts per million. The Dead Sea is 8% salt which is 80,000 parts per million. (Of course the Dead Sea also has large quantities of several other minerals.)

Instead of adding the chlorine 'puck' shaped tablets to the erosion feeder system pumping mechanism so that the water is constantly monitored to avoid health hazards, this system has a far simpler way of staying healthy.

Unless you want a lesson in Grade 12 chemistry, it will suffice to say that once a year (say at the start of the season) you need to attend to your pool's needs. Once a year you will need to add chlorine (a low amount) and salt to the pool.

After that your pool will need a refresher once or twice a year at the most. This is because the salt water pool is designed on a completely different system from the chlorine pool.

The erosion feeder system is not used at all, in fact a built in generator is used which automatically uses a form of electrolysis to separate water molecules. These water molecules (H20) split into separate hydrogen and oxygen which then combine with the salt and the chlorine in the water. Because this sets up a chemical process which is self perpetuating the water is always safe to swim in.

The initial cost of installing a salt water pool will be more expensive than installing a chlorine pool. However, the amount of money saved on all those chlorine pucks and chemicals soon adds up. (Also you can factor in the amount of wear and tear on mum during those 'down' days when the pool is not usable.)

Fewer chemicals may be a good thing. It has been noted that the amount of toxins that we absorb through our skin when we are totally immersed in water is far greater than if we actually drank a glass of swimming pool water!

There will have to be one change if you have a salt water pool, the metal ladder in the pool must be properly grounded. If not, it will probably oxidize over time due to the electrolyzing process going on.

If you already have a chlorine pool, then it is easy to change it to a salt water pool. You will need a built-in salt water generator and a new hobby to fill up the extra time that you will have once you are not checking all those little pH tables!

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