Salt Chlorine Generators
Salt Chlorine Generators Turning Your Pool into a Chlorine and Caustic Chemical Factory!
The reasons why salt systems are coming under a lot of criticism lately: the expensive high amperage process of creating pure concentrated chlorine in its acid form in a pool’s return line has come under critical review quite a bit in recent studies. There are a lot of misconceptions and misinformation in the marketing of these corrosive systems.
Let’s establish the basic facts of operating this type of chlorine generator. First, very high concentrations of corrosive salt are added to water. (Usually 40,000 times more chemical product than healthy alternative systems). The potential for scaling, staining, corrosion to heaters, pumps, pool equipment and surfaces is a serious problem. The reaction necessary to break down the salt into hypochlorous acid chlorine and caustic soda uses expensive amounts of electricity and creates a breakdown of electrodes (replacement frequently costing upwards of half original equipment cost!) Caustic soda (NaOH) or sodium hydroxide is the other byproduct of this chemical manufacturing process. This caustic chemical is the main ingredient in Drano or Liquid Plumber, etc that is used to breakdown hair clogs in plumbing in sinks and drains. These chemicals breakdown fats, skin cells, damage hair, swimsuits etc… Add to this the drying salt water and ALL the well publicized problems of toxic chlorine and its byproducts and you clearly understand some of the criticisms brought up recently.
The support of this technology is problematic and requires dosing of shock, use of chlorine stabilizer – cyanuric acid – (also causing additional damage to pool equipment), algaecide, clarifier and sequestering/chelating agents. All expensive, time consuming maintenance, testing etc…associated with any standard chemical program. Draining of salt water to drains, lawns, plants and the environment only add to the above problem. Safe, economical automatic and healthy options are widely available that are far more effective and avoid all of the toxicity, corrosion and expense.
Pool & spa News: August 7, 2006 article: “Understand that salt is corrosive. Salt likes to remove ions and can take zinc away from galvanized steel. And this type of chlorine is five times harder on plaster than regular chlorine. I don’t like them in vinyl pools either. I build galvanized steel vinyl pools and if there is a leak around a gasket or a little hole somewhere in the lining and the water gets through, it will eat the hell out of the wall. And you won’t even know it is happening.”
Hose down potentially corrosive parts:Steps should be taken to protect ancillary equipment as well. For instance, if the pool has an automatic cover, Chandler recommends hosing off its tracks and other parts each time it is about to be closed back up. “We sell a lot of covers with aluminum parts. If you have a salt chlorinator, we recommend washing down all the aluminum and metal parts on the cover and around the pool,” he says.