Salt Water Pools - The Huge Rip Off

by Pool Builders on 03-31-2012 in Articles

If I could talk anyone out there out of getting a salt water system for their swimming pool, I would feel satisfied. I've watched these systems come to market and pick pocket unsuspecting pool owners.

Salt water chlorine generators are overpriced pieces of equipment that are not needed. The sales pitch is always the same; soft pool water, less chemical smell/ feel and not having to deal with adding or storing chlorine.

In reality, these machines are not at all what they seem and any good pool service can achieve better results without one. Here is the run down.

The chlorine generator only produces chlorine while it runs. Large pools or heavily used pools may have to run 10- 12 hours a day to keep up with demand. That costs a lot to do. Tabs chlorinate 24/7 with out depending on the pump.

In late Fall until Spring the generator won't make any chlorine because the water is too cold. The unit just shuts off. You will need to, have to, add chlorine yourself at least half of the year.

The generators make the exact same chlorine as you would get from tabs or liquid. If you use the right amount of tabs there won't be a problem with smelling or feeling the chlorine.

Chlorine generators raise the Ph of the water rapidly so you will need to keep gallons of acid at the house to correct the water. Tabs have a low Ph so they keep the waters Ph pretty steady. They also aid in keeping the alkalinity in balance and conditioner levels up, however I won't get into those chemical reactions here.

The chlorine generator system is usually a $1500- $2000 "upgrade" and the life of the cell is limited to 3-5 years. Then you need another $700 cell. When using tabs, you'll need a new $8 floater about every 7 years.

The byproduct from a chlorine generator is a white "snow" that covers the bottom of your pool. Nobody told you about this??? Ask around. It is the build up from the broken down salt blowing into your swimming pool.

The generator will need to be cleaned every 3 months or so. This is a process where you soak it in an acid water mixture (more acid) for half an hour then try to hose out the build up. Not doing this will cause the generator to fail and won't be covered by the warranty.

You will have to bring the salt content of your water up to 3000 - 4000 ppm, depending on the brand you get. That's an additional $100 or so for hundreds of pounds of swimming pool salt. Plus you'll be adding about $30 worth of salt each year. The water will taste just about like sweat.

All of this for a fancy way of getting chlorine in your pool.

It's my opinion that if you want soft pool water, put some salt in your pool. There's no need for a chlorine generator.

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