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July 6, 2015

Understanding the Limitations of Salt Water Pools and Hot Tubs

Understanding the Limitations of Salt Water Pools and Hot Tubs

Have you been thinking about converting your pool or hot tub from chemical chlorination to salt water? There’s no doubt that salt water pools have their benefits: they cost less and are easier to maintain, and they’re also easier on the skin and eyes. However, you should also be aware of their limitations if you are considering converting. Let’s explore the full picture:

Maintenance Still Required

Salt water pools do require less maintenance that pools chlorinated with chemicals. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just sit back and relax all summer with no work – unless you hire Purewater pool maintenance service to do all the work for you! You really need to stay on top of chemical balancing if you invest in a salt water pool. Salt water pools usually have higher pH than swimming pools with traditional chlorine products. If you don’t take measures to routinely lower the pH level below 8.0, corrosive scale will start to form around the pool.

Scale is a white crystallized deposit of carbonates like magnesium and calcium. If you aren’t maintaining your pool, you will also have high calcium levels, which only worsens the scaling problems. If you don’t take control, the scale will damage the pool lining, internal pool systems, and will eventually cause the chlorine generation cell to fail. You have to be very attentive and clean the generator regularly. Salt water pools require less maintenance than traditionally chlorinated pools, but they are certainly not maintenance-free.

Galvanic Corrosion

To avoid the science lesson about the electrochemical process of galvanic corrosion, let’s get to the point: it eats away at the metal components in your pool and pool equipment. We’re talking rotting pool walls, rusting screws, ladders, and failing heating systems due to corrosion if your pool is not properly electrically bonded. There are solutions to reduce this corrosion, but if you aren’t aware of the risks your pool could be deteriorating right in front of your eyes.

Bylaws for Discharge

Salt water is hard on the environment, and will kill grass and plantings if you backwash onto the water. If you have a salt water pool, you are prohibited from discharging the water into the storm sewer, according to City of Ottawa bylaws. Instead, you must carefully discharge the water into the sanitary sewer connection on your property, or the water must be removed by a licensed wastewater hauling company. Obviously, paying for a company to haul away your water instead of being able to freely discharge it into the city sewer carries an additional expense. If you break the law and discharge salt water into the sewer system, you will be subject to fines.

Come into the Purewater store and let’s discuss whether converting your pool or hot tub to salt water is the right decision.

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