For those people who love swimming in the ocean or those that prefer less chemicals in their life, a salt water pool might be just the ticket. The biggest difference between a salt water pool and a traditional pool is how they are sanitized. Traditional pools uses chlorine based products, while salt water has it’s own sanitizing properties. If you are deciding whether a salt water pool is a good option for you, here are a few things to consider.
How Traditional Pools are Cleaned and Sanitized
Typically, sanitizing a traditional pool involves treating the water with chlorine. A chlorine dispenser is attached to the filtration system of your pool which disperses the cleaning agent. You will need to add chlorine on a regular interval, which is usually weekly or biweekly.
Salt Water Pool Maintenance
A salt system works a quite differently. A salt cell is connected to a control box through two pieces of metal. An electrical charge from the control box starts a process called electrolysis. The water flows through the salt cell and the salt that it carries with it turns into hypochlorous acid. The chlorine that is used in traditional pools is a type of hypochlorous acid.
With salt water pools, there is no need to add any additional chemicals to the water in order to sanitize it. You control how much salt is mixed with the water at any given time via the control box. You can also “shock” the pool by using a boost mode, which outputs the salt at a maximum level to give the pool a quick cleaning.
Concerns With Salt
There are some concerns with salt water, in that is is more corrosive, so your pool ladders should be plastic, and your initial investment may be higher than with a traditional sanitizing system. You can install a zinc anode near your filter that will absorb the electrical current that comes into the water. Since zinc is a soft metal, the current will hit the anode first, and it will take the brunt of that excess current and salt. This means that you may only have to replace these anodes, which is quite simple, as opposed to the other metal accessories in the pool. Another issue is that water from the pool can damage deck and stone if it is not salt-friendly. Splashes from the pool will leave salt residue, which can corrode or stain certain materials. Flagstone, bluestone, or travertine are particularly susceptible to salt.
At Backyard Paradise Pools, we can advise as to whether a salt system is right for you.