For salt water Swimming Pool Owners
Misinformation and misconception are prevalent when it comes to salt water pool sanitation. Here are some quick facts for those considering purchasing a saltwater pool, or for those who already have a saltwater pool.
The biggest misconception about salt water pools is that they chlorine free. This could not be further from the truth. Salt systems do not contain fewer chemicals and they are not somehow more natural. If you think you have a chlorine allergy, a saltwater pool will not solve your problems. To have a properly sanitized pool, you need some sort of disinfectant to kill the bacteria and algae in the water.
Salt cannot do this. Salt is not a disinfectant. salt systems are more appropriately called salt water chlorine generators. The “generator” converts salt into chlorine.
Sanitation is just one aspect of water quality maintenance. Pool water must also be kept in balance.
Water balance is about maintaining a variety of other chemical levels in the water. With out balance, the water it self will damage your pool shell.
Without balance, one of two outcomes will occur. Either the water will become cloudy , Ultimately depositing scale on the walls and causing equipment failure: or the water will leach material out of the shell, causing shell pitting and equipment failure.
Both of these outcomes are bad. Pool water needs to be balanced. Salt systems don;t balance the water.
If the generator is not maintained, it will lose efficiency over time, and produce less chlorine. Before too long, the pool will turn green. The generator is made of electrodes that require regular maintenance and cleaning to remove the deposits that accumulate and reduce efficiency.
These deposits prevent the generator from doing its job. To maintain maximum performance, most cells need inspection at least every two months. The slightest blockage may render the entire unit inoperable. Generators that have a “self cleaning” feature also need a maintenance.
Even with regular maintenance, the generator’s cell will fail in time. A properly maintained salt cell will fail in time. A properly maintained salt cell typically lasts from 3 to 5 years; and an improperly maintained cell can fail in a year.
The cells require periodic maintenance to remove scale and deposits but even with care, the cell will wear out and require replacement.