Salt Chlorine Generation: A Better Way To Balance Swimming Pool Water In Fiberglass Pools.
Saltwater pools are powered by salt chlorinators, also known as salt chlorine generators, and they have become very popular for good reason. They deliver a luxurious swimming experience while reducing the time it takes pool owners to maintain their swimming pools.
All About Salt Chlorine Generators
It’s very simple: Salt Chlorine Generators turn salt into chlorine. It’s the chlorine, not pool salt, that will sanitize your swimming pool’s water. Your Salt Chlorine Generator uses electrolysis to create pure or good chlorine from a small amount of swimming pool salt. Then, once the chlorine sanitizes your pool’s water, the chlorine converts back to salt, and the process happens over and over.
How Salt Chlorinators Work
Salt Chlorinators are comprised of two components – the control box and salt cell. The control box is the brains of the operation while the salt cell does all the work. The salt cell received commands from the control box to make chlorine – when and for how long. Also, salt chlorinator cells can shock, or super chlorinate, your pool’s water.
The more technical name for salt cells is electrolytic converters. They’re plumbed into your swimming pool’s return line. The key is that the salt chlorine cell MUST be installed AFTER or BEHIND the other pool equipment. The salt cell should always be installed behind the pump, filter and heater.
When a swimming pool’s water enters a salt chlorinator’s salt cell, the control box generates a very safe electrical charge, which turns dissolved pool salt into Free Chlorine. The Free Chlorine is then distributed evenly, by the pool return jets, throughout the water. Once the Free Chlorine has chlorinated the swimming pool’s water, the control box tells the salt cell to convert the chlorine back to salt, and the process happens over and over forever. We say forever because the salt in a saltwater swimming pool doesn’t break down or evaporate. It only needs to be replaced when new water is introduced to the swimming pool due to splash out or backwashing.
Salt Chlorinator Potential Cons by Pool Type
Salt chlorinators are a great alternative over traditional chemical chlorine for the sanitization of swimming pool water. However, they’re not right for every swimming pool type. Let’s evaluate the different pool types and how they fare with salt chlorination.
Composite Fiberglass Pools
The swimming pool industry followed the boating industry to pursue the ultimate material that can stand up to salt. Because fiberglass isn’t porous, it’s the ideal material for swimming pools. Even with the addition of salt chlorination, they’re still impervious to salt and make algae hard to form.
Salt Chlorine Generators are not ideal for the rough and porous surfaces of concrete swimming pools. In concrete swimming pool applications, salt chlorinators are more abrasive than traditional chlorine. More frequent and costly resurfacing will consequently be needed on concrete swimming pools with salt chlorinators. Many pool owners are willing to take on these additional maintenance costs in exchange for the silky-soft water that only salt chlorinators can deliver.
Vinyl Liner Pools
Like with concrete swimming pools, some pool builders advise against salt chlorination on vinyl-liner pools. Also, like with concrete pool owners, some are willing to take on additional maintenance costs. Also, in vinyl-liner applications, salt chlorination can cause metal surfaces to rust.
Salt and Fiberglass Are A Perfect Match
Composite fiberglass swimming pools are designed and ideally suited for salt chlorination. While fiberglass swimming pools offer lower maintenance costs, salt chlorination further reduces time and money to keep your swimming pool water chlorinated. Like the silky-soft surface of a fiberglass pool, salt chlorination offers silky-soft water—what a perfect duo.
For more technical details on how salt chlorinators work, read our Definitive Guide to Salt Water Pools. In the guide, we cover the specific type and amount of salt used with Salt Chlorine Generators and the ins and outs of how they work.
3 Simple Steps To Keeping Your Water Chemistry Balanced
Step 1 – Keep Your Water Free And Clear Of Debris
Step 2 – Skim And Filter The Water Regularly
Step 3 – Test Your Swimming Pool Water Regularly And ONLY Treat The Water With What It Needs, Nothing More
When you test your swimming pool water regularly to keep it in balance, it’s easy. It’s only when water chemistry levels get far out of acceptable range that it gets challenging and costly to maintain. From small to large lap pools, the chemistry levels and maintenance are the same. However, each day of the swimming pool season can bring new challenges. Weather, changing the treatment of surrounding landscape and even different chemicals used can alter your pool’s water. To the challenges you and your swimming pool’s water face, we stand firm. As long as you are vigilant in testing and treating your pool water, it’s easy as 1, 2, 3.
To learn more about Salt Chlorine Generators, check out our Definitive Guide to Salt Chlorination.