How To Shock A Saltwater Pool
While most chlorinators have a super-chlorinating setting, this usually wont add enough chlorine to clear relentlessly clouded water or kill algae in your pool. It is also simply not a substitute for shocking your pool. To successfully shock the pool, you need to increase the free chlorine concentration to 10 parts per million , or more.
This is done in the same manner as you would shock a traditional pool by manually adding chlorine. Chlorine tablets, sodium hypochlorite, and calcium hypochlorite are all suitable for shocking. If the cyanuric acid concentration in your saltwater pool is too low, chlorine tablets are the ideal choice since they contain a stabilizer.
However, if the pools cyanuric acid concentration is already at the proper level, add pool chlorine, conventional bleach, or some sort of commercial shocking compound instead.
A Salt Water Pool Still Uses Chlorine
Wait, what? Yes, a salt water pool still uses chlorine to help keep your pool clean. The difference is that instead of adding chlorine tablets or liquid chlorine, a salt water pool uses whats called a salt chlorine generator to turn salt into chlorine.
You can use a salt chlorine generator in a fiberglass pool and a concrete pool, as long as the concrete pool is tile lined.
Myth : Switching To Saltwater Will Wreck My Pool
This one is a partial mythunless you take some precautions, converting your pool to saltwater might introduce rust. My recommendation is to get a sacrificial anode, which is a zinc cell that takes on the damage that would otherwise hit the parts around it. Youll want a professional electrician for thisas you probably know by now, electricity and water arent recommended for a novices first try. Yowch.
Its also best to avoid all steel, aluminum, or metal inside and nearby your pool, and invest in a vinyl pool liner if you have an above-ground pool.
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Is It Better For You
Absolutely. The biggest advantage of a saltwater pool is that it reduces your chlorine exposure. First of all, this prevents the “chlorine hair” phenomenon that serious swimmers know only too well, as well as reducing eye irritation. For young swimmers, this can be really important, as that eye irritation can make them unwilling to put their head under water and learn to swim properly. It’s also better for your swimsuit. Too much chlorine exposure may also increase your risk of cancer. So, yes, a saltwater pool is much better for you.
What Is A Salt Water Pool Chlorinator
The most popular type of saltwater pool disinfection system, called an SWG , works by converting ordinary table salt in the surrounding air to pure chlorine using electrolysis technology. It is a popular choice because it can be used for both swimming pools and spas without the need to modify components like you would with other types of salt systems.
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Saltwater Pools For Health
Swimming in a saltwater pool may be better for someone who has asthma or allergies. Thats especially true when it comes to indoor pools. You might notice a strong chlorine smell upon entering an indoor pool area. Thats because of the chloramines, the mix of chlorine and ammonia. In an outdoor pool, the smell quickly evaporates, whereas its contained indoors.
It usually is most strong around the surface of the pool, where swimmers take their breaths. If you have trouble breathing, you may find swimming in an indoor chlorinated pool irritating.
One 2003 study found that young children who swim regularly in an indoor chlorinated pool were at greater risk for lung inflammation and developing asthma. But more research is needed to determine if a saltwater pool is the best alternative.
Salt Water Pools Salt Cell Tips
If you were told a salt chlorinator needs NO maintenance, sorry, but its not true. What is accurate, however, is that the general maintenance required for salt water pools is minimal.
Its imperative to inspect your salt cell regularly and keep it free of scale. Scale is one of the most common challenges in saltwater chlorinator maintenance. It typically forms first on the salt cell plates, where it can remain undetected. Once scale forms, it lessens the salt cells effectiveness and life span, leading to premature cell replacement.
How much salt to add to your pool
The number of bags of salt is dependent upon how many gallons you have in your pool. Please talk to your dealer/installer and get the specific information available for your pool. Most salt bags come in 40 lb. sizes, but the number of bags you use will vary depending on the number of gallons you have.
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What Makes A Saltwater Pool Work
A saltwater chlorine generator utilizes a natural process to generate pure chlorine. The electrolytic process uses a very low concentration of salt and generates free chlorine. The chlorine continuously kills bacteria and algae and then reverts back to salt. This indefinite cycle leaves the water feeling silky, soft, refreshing and sparkling clear. Saltwater chlorine generators are easy to install, economical, and fully automatic.
Does The Water Taste Salty
No. Again, this isn’t ocean water. The salt levels are a fraction of what you encounter if you decide to swim in the sea or in a hotel’s sea pool. It’s well below the threshold of human taste at about 3,000 parts per minimum, as opposed to the 35,000 ppm in the ocean. If there is a salt taste to the water it may mean that you have a chemical imbalance or your salt cell has a problem. A very small number of people may be able to detect the faintest of salt tastes, but for most people there should be no detectable taste of salt. There also isn’t enough salt in the water to make swimming and floating easier.
Anatomy Of A Salt Water Generator
The saltwater pool chlorinator consists of three basic parts: the cell, the cation conductivity controller, and a chlorine contact chamber.
A cell is the part of a salt water pool chlorinator that generates chlorine using electrolysis technology. It does this by passing an electrical current through table salt in the surrounding air, creating pure chlorine gas and caustic soda .
The cation conductivity controller
The cation conductivity controller measures how much sodium chloride there is in the saltwater pool chlorinators cell. It then sends a signal to the electrolysis cell, telling it when and how much chlorine to generate for your pool or spa.
Chlorine contact chamber
The chlorine contact chamber is an air-tight container with a vent that emits pure chlorine gas. This container also contains negative oxygen ions, which are unstable molecules of oxygen. When these molecules come into contact with positively charged chloride ion , they join together to form hypochlorous acid which then becomes the germ-killing disinfectant in your pool.
What Are The Drawbacks Of A Saltwater Pool
While saltwater pools are pretty great, theyre not without inconveniences. Because the greater circulation system can be a little more complicated with the addition of the salt cell, it might be harder to fix any problem that arises without calling in a professional. Plus, they take a little more energy to run than a chlorine poolwhat amounts to about $35-$50 a year. Thats what Id call a minor inconvenience, especially if you have a variable-speed pump.
Although saltwater pools are cheaper than chlorinated pools over timeand thats a big deal if youre thinking long term like I recommendtheres also a major up-front cost to get your saltwater pool converted: a saltwater generator costs between $400 and $1,800 and the installation can be $300 to $500, unless you can do it yourself. Plus, youll want to install a sacrificial anode on the equipment, which only an electrician should do for safety purposes. This will keep your system from corroding due to salt exposure.
My recommendation? Get a salt chlorine generator you can trust, like the Salt Ways Eco Friendly Salt Chlorine Generator, which is the most cost-effective model on the market and comes with a lifetime warranty. Plus, it self-regenerates, meaning you wont have to buy chlorine or salt ever again. Why wouldnt you make maintenance as easy as can be?
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Where Do I Go From Here
Check out these articles to learn more about salt chlorine generators:
If you decide that a salt water chlorinator is the best fit for you, you may want to look into fiberglass pools as an option. The surface doesnt corrode or roughen with the salt, and the moderate initial price is offset by the minimal lifetime cost.
River Pools is located in Virginia and manufactures fiberglass pools for distribution throughout North America. Get in touch with us today if you’re in our service area and would like a world-class pool experience for your backyard. We’d be thrilled to help you.
Which Type Of Pool Is Safer
When it comes to health and safety, both saltwater and chlorine pools are safe as long as you properly maintain them, but there are a few added health benefits of a saltwater pool. Although its a misconception that saltwater pools dont use chlorine , the levels tend to be much lower. For anyone thats sensitive to chlorine, this might be reason enough to go with a saltwater pool. The chlorine level isnt usually enough to irritate your skin or eyes.
With a chlorine pool, frequent swimmers could be at a higher risk for certain eye infections, irritated skin, and even just faded and damaged swimsuits.
Not to mention, youll have to make sure the storage of your chlorine wont cause problems later on. If you dont store your chlorine in a dry, safe area, the chemicals could begin activating early on and render the entire supply useless. On top of keeping it away from your pool before youre ready to use it, you also want to make sure its far enough away that you and your family wont be breathing it in.
As a sanitizing product, chlorine isnt something you want to expose yourself to unless youre adding more to the pool water.
Immediate signs and symptoms that something might not be right with your chlorine supply include blurred vision, burning eyes, coughing, and even difficulty breathing.
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Is It True That Saltwater Pools Need No Maintenance
No, it’s not true that a saltwater pool needs no maintenance. What is true is that they need considerably less maintenance than a regular chlorine pool.
Saltwater pools still need to be properly winterized before closing them and opened when the season started. For routine maintenance, you should test the pH and free chlorine levels every week, the salt levels every month, and inspect the salt cell every three months. This is still a lot less work than a traditional pool. Adding PEPPER® to your pool can also help keep it in good health.
Saltwater pools are superior to traditional pools in many ways. It’s very important, however, to understand the differences and not believe the various myths that circulate. If you are looking at building or converting a saltwater pool, we have everything you need from sacrificial anodes and salt cells to full saltwater compatible pools, both above ground and in ground.
We hope that answered the most common questions you have about saltwater pools. Here are some additional resources you may find helpful!
Q: How Much Does A Salt Water Pool Cost
Most salt water systems cost anywhere from $1,400 to $2,000 upfront.
And then, you have to factor in the cost to replace the cell every 3-6 years, which is about $800.
However, you also need to take into account the cost to maintain it.
Most of the time, you can operate a salt water system for less than $100 a year, as opposed to about $300-600 a year for chemicals for a traditional chlorine pool.
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Distinction From Traditional Pool Chlorination
The presence of chlorine in traditional swimming pools can be described as a combination of free available chlorine and combined available chlorine . While FAC is composed of the free chlorine that is available for disinfecting the water, the CAC includes chloramines, which are formed by the reaction of FAC with amines . Chloramines are responsible for the “chlorine smell” of pools, as well as skin and eye irritation. These problems are the result of insufficient levels of free available chlorine, and indicate a pool that must be “shocked” by the addition of 5-10 times the normal amount of chlorine. In saltwater pools, the generator uses electrolysis to continuously produce free chlorine. As such, a saltwater pool or hot tub is not actually chlorine-free it simply utilizes added salt and a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of chlorine. It also burns off chloramines in the same manner as traditional shock . As with traditionally chlorinated pools, saltwater pools must be monitored in order to maintain proper water chemistry. Low chlorine levels can be caused by insufficient salt, incorrect chlorine-generation setting on the SWG unit, higher-than-normal chlorine demand, low stabilizer, sun exposure, insufficient pump speed, or mechanical issues with the chlorine generator. Salt count can be lowered due to splash-out, backwashing, and dilution via rainwater.
How Do Shock Your Salt Water Swimming Pool
Shocking your pool refers to adding a large or concentrated amount of chemical chlorine typically in liquid or powder format for the purpose of quickly raising the chlorine level in the water.
Even a salt water pool can benefit from shocking the pool from time to time during the pool season when the pool is being used and with the combined effects of direct sun and heavy rainfall, the chlorinator may have trouble keeping up with demand. Shocking the pool quickly raises chlorine levels to keep them in range.
Even if chlorine becomes a bit high, it will always start trending downwards again with pool usage, sun and other factors.
NOTE: It is important not to quickly dump highly concentrated liquid or powder chlorine into the skimmer of a salt water pool because it will quickly get pumped through the salt cell. Highly concentrated amounts of chlorine like this can damage the cell over time.
Liquid chlorine is usually best poured into the deep end or throughout the pool with the pump running. Powdered chlorine is best added to a bucket of warm water and mixed into a slurry and then slowly poured throughout the pool. A chlorine puck is usually put into the side skimmer basket and allowed to slowly dissolve over time.
Follow the product directions of your chosen brand in case instructions are different.
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What Is The Difference Between A Chlorine Pool And A Saltwater Pool
Chlorine poolsSaltwater poolssalt chlorinesaltchlorineChlorine pools
Beside this, what are the benefits of a salt water pool?
Salt Water Pool Advantages
- Because they have lower chlorine levels, salt water pools are much gentler on the eyes and skin.
- Research indicates that salt water systems may be safer than chlorine pools, which force owners to store and handle unsafe chemicals.
Also Know, do you use chlorine in saltwater pools? The main issue with a saltwater pool is the high chlorine level required to sanitize and oxidize the pool water. Saltwater pools rely 100% on chemical disinfection and the recommended free chlorine residual is the same as traditional chlorine pools, or 2 â 4 ppm.
Considering this, which is cheaper saltwater or chlorine pool?
This start-up investment may be recouped in a few years with less expensive day-to-day chemical needs. A saltwater pool requires less than $100 a year in salt and chemicals if it is consistently maintained. A chlorine pool, on the other hand, will cost between $300 and $800 per year in maintenance chemicals.
Can you convert a chlorine pool to a saltwater pool?
You can convert your chlorine pool into a saltwater swimming pool and enjoy the benefits of salt water chlorination right in your own backyard. If your pool has a traditional chlorine sanitization system, you can easily switch to Hayward’s advanced salt chlorination system.
Why Calcium Levels Are Important To A Saltwater Pool
Calcium levels in your pool are important to a saltwater chlorinator because they affect the efficiency of its use.
Saltwater pools have higher calcium concentrations than other swimming pools do, which means that you should be more aware of this when dealing with any problems related to your system. If it is too low or even worse if there isnt enough water flow for it to work, you could be facing many issues with your saltwater pool .
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Does A Saltwater Pool Freeze
Yes, saltwater pools will still freeze if you leave them full during the winter. They don’t have the salt levels of ocean water. The freeze point is slightly lower than a traditional pool, but you will still need to close or winterize your pool. Also, salt cells will not operate at temperatures below 50 degrees.
How Does A Saltwater Pool Make Chlorine
Although the biggest benefit of a saltwater pool is the ability to have a safe, soft, and clean swimming pool, the truth is that saltwater pools stay clean by manufacturing their own artificial chlorine. In a saltwater pool, the system uses a piece of equipment called a chlorine generator. This machine converts the salt into a usable chlorine form to fight bacteria and algae.
In an average size pool, expect to pay about $1,700 to $2,500 for a chlorine generator. Although this system may be more expensive, you can expect your generator to last about 7 years before it will need to be replaced.
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