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October 21, 2015

Salt

salt

Heard the buzz about salt water? Wondering if you should convert your pool? There’s a few things you need to consider first.

  • Salt Water systems convert salt (sodium chloride) to chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) by passing lightly salted water through a series of electrically charged metal plates.  Salt water systems are therefore a method of CREATING or MANUFACTURING chlorine inside your pool.  A Salt System is not an ALTERNATIVE to chlorine, it IS chlorine.
  • Salt Water systems do not replace all other chemicals.  You still have to minerally balance your pool, making sure alkalinity, hardness, etc.. are in range.  We recommend you use stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) with your salt system to help reduce the loss of chlorine to sun.  Salt Water systems will generally cause the pH to rise, so it is not uncommon to need to use pH reducer on a regular basis.  Salt Systems also have a limited output capacity, so you often need to use chemical oxidizers / shock when the pool is heavily used or temperatures are high.  In certain cases / conditions you may also find yourself needing to use algaecides, scale inhibiters, clarifiers, and other treatments.  Finally, when the water is cold (generally below 70 degrees) Salt Systems do not operate efficiently and the pool has to be maintained using traditional chlorine products.
  • Salt Systems introduce a small amount of electrical current (it is safe, you won’t get electrocuted!) but a salt water environment also results in higher conductivity in the water.  As a result if your POOL or your EQUPMENT are not properly electrically bonded you can experience premature corrosion or wear of metallic pool parts, from ladders to screws to escutcheons to heaters!  The presence of salt can accelerate galvanic reaction between aluminum and stainless steel components further accelerating corrosion.  Last but not least the presence of salt in the pool water often means premature corrosion to surrounding metal objects including fences.
  • Salt Systems are highly sensitive to and dependant on the level of salt in the pool being correct.  Too much or too little salt can be hard on the system, can cause it to operate improperly or even to fail prematurely.  You need to regularly test and monitor salt levels, particularly after you backwash, after rain, etc…
  • Salt Systems can cause or contribute to scaling.  One immediate result is that the plates and sensors inside the salt generator (or salt ‘cell’) become coated over time.  Frequent attention and cleaning is required to make sure that the generator is working, and that the sensors are reading the correct salt level in the pool.  We have seen many occasions where salt levels are incorrectly measured by a dirty or coated sensor, a false ‘add salt’ warning is triggered, the homeowner adds too much salt, and up to 50% of the water in the pool has to be drained off and replaced to bring the salt level back to an acceptable level.
  • Salt water is hard on the environment.  Backwashing or wasting salt water onto the lawn or plantings can kill them.  Many towns and municipalities now prohibit the discharge of salt water into storm drains and culverts and both homeowners and pool companies are subject to fines if they do so.  We strongly recommend that you consult with your own municipal authorities and know the rules before you convert.

ON THE PLUS SIDE

  • We (humans) have salt in our skin, our eyes, our bodies.  Bathing in a mild salt solution is closer to our own body chemistry and therefore can make your skin, hair, and eyes feel batter while and after bathing.
  • Salt Systems are basically an alternative way to sanitize USING chlorine.  They   help keep the water in your pool feeling great and looking fantastic with little less work and lower chemical costs than you are used to.  Understand what salt is, what it can and cannot do, and make an informed and educated decision.
  • We carry NEW technologies include systems such as the Hayward Low Salt Generator, allowing you to cut the amount of salt in the pool in half.  This should help address many of the concerns itemized above.
  • What is it that appealed to you about the idea of a Salt System?  If you were looking to reduce the use of harmful chemicals and improve the look and feel of the water, if you were looking for convenience and simplicity in pool care, SPEAK TO US!  At Purewater we have numerous alternative systems and products that we have tested and can recommend to give you the results you want without the concerns and side effects associate with Salt Water systems!
  • Curious? Interested?  CALL or CLICK for more information!