Salt Water Pools
Salt Water Pools
There are common misconceptions about alternatives to chlorinated pools. Many are turning to salt water pools in a belief that it will be less expensive and lower maintenance. These assumptions are totally false. If it is sodium hypochlorite pool you desire you can save money, many headaches and a great deal of time by just using bleach. Bleach is usually 6% sodium hypochlorite.
A saltwater pool is a sodium hypochlorite chlorine pool rather than calcium hypochlorite pool. The difference is that you make the chlorine yourself. Technically, a Salt Water Chlorinator works by using electrolysis to release chlorine gas from the salt in your pool water. Two to five hundred pounds of salt is added to the pool water to achieve a saturation of approximately 3200 parts per million. The salt water is then passed though a chlorinator cell that is electronically charged and this process releases chlorine gas from the salt. The chlorine gas then combines with the pool water to create liquid sodium hypochlorite chlorine.
If you are considering such a Salt water Chlorinator, there are a few things you will want to be aware of before you buy. Many pool stores and builders tend to only mention the pros of these units. You should know what common problems usually arise and the reason for them so you can avoid unnecessary disappointment with this new investment.
This list will help you recognize some of the most common problems with Salt Water Chlorinators
Many complain about the inability of reaching the desired chlorine level. This may be caused from the pool pump/filter not running long enough for the unit to create the needed amount of chorine. The factors that increase chlorine demand are heavy bathing load, sunshine, hot weather, low stabilizer level.
If the salt level is too low, then the unit will not produce enough chlorine.
If the stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) level is too low, the chlorine will not stay in the pool water long and the unit will not be able to keep up with demand. This is very common. Many problems occur when the stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) levels are too low. 80ppm is recommended by most manufacturers. In humid climates, as much as 120m ppm may be necessary to keep the chlorine in the pool. If stabilizer levels are too low the chorine produced will be burned off by the sun. Conditioner acts as sunscreen for your chlorine. You may damage the pools interior surface with high levels of Cyanuric Acid. High levels of stabilizer will also cause your skin to itch.
If salt level is too high the cell might be failing thus giving a faulty salt reading. The cell may indicate to add salt. If this is done without double checking the true reading you can over salt the water. Most systems will not work if the salinity of the water is too high or too low.
If phosphates are present in the water (stain removal products on the market are loaded with phosphates) they are food for algae. Some may disagree about these products and say they have no effect. We have seen this on a regular basis and have the water analysis that tell otherwise. If phosphate levels are too high, your Salt Water Chlorinator will act as though it is not creating chlorine. When the chlorinator creates the chlorine it immediately has to fight off the algae that is growing, even when it not visible. When this happens your pool can not catch up and build a reserve of chlorine in the water. (1-3ppm)