What Is A Salt Water Swimming Pool  

by Pool Builders on 12-28-2011 in Articles

When using salt to chlorinate your pool you are using electrolysis to break down the salt (NaCl). Once the salt is broke down it turns into hypochlorous (HCIO) and sodium hypochlorite (NaCIO). These are sanitizing materials commonly found in swimming pools already. One may think you are getting away from chlorine, but in fact you still have a chlorine pool, you just don't get the smell and irritation of chlorine. Reason being, is that chloramines are absent in a salt water pool.

When using a salt water pool you will find that is very easy and straight forward. To €shock€ the pool you would simply hit €super chlorinate€ or €boost€, these terms are most commonly used on name brand chlorine generators (salt system). Once these buttons are activated the unit will produce 100% of chlorine for 24 hours and then return back to its normally setting automatically. Normally operation and settings vary based on several factors. For example, is the pool indoors or outdoors, bathing load, in direct sunlight or shaded. These are just a few examples. Most consumers will have to play with the settings for a week or so to see what works best for them.

Because salt water pools are basically producing an unstabilized chemical the use of stabilizer (cyanuric acid) is needed to prevent UV rays from burning out the free chlorine in the pool. PH levels should be kept between 7.2 €" 7.8. Salt levels should be kept between 3000 €" 5000 ppm. This is fairly low considering the ocean has a salt level of around 35,000 ppm.

When using the salt system all you need to do is install the unit (normally plumbs inline), hook up the electrical (some are 110V and some are 230V), and then simply pour the salt in the pool. It will typically take 24 hours to get a good salt reading. Once you have established the correct ppm then you will have to adjust the settings based on your usage.

Benefits of the salt water are that the salt makes the water softer and better for people with sensitive skin. A major factor people like is you don't get the burning or irritated eyes. Also, you will save money in the long run because the salt does not have to be added constantly like granular chlorine or tablets.

Maintenance on these units is very simple as well. Most name brand units have €reverse polarity€, this means by reversing the electrodes it causes any calcium build up to dissolve and break away from the unit. It is still recommended to occasionally manually clean the unit. If the pool is only open for the summer months you can disconnect the unit and store it indoors. This is a great time to clean the unit and get it ready for the next season.

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