Salt Water Pools are still one of the hottest trends in modern pool care but for many the problems with salt water chlorination still outweigh the benefits of this popular pool sanitation method. Issues abound thanks to a deficiency of consumer education and dealer / installer schooling with this popular pool equipment.
Issues with Salt Water Pools
What would be the issues? There are general problems. They start with proper pool equipment maintenance and end with water quality problems. The issues are water quality, the general misunderstanding of the goods and procedures necessary to keep a salt water pool functioning properly, lack of schooling (pool professionals together with pool owners), and lastly problems with the design of most salt water pool equipment.
Let’s first say plenty of clients are thrilled with their salt-chlorine swimming pools. Especially in the beginning, because usually the first-season you might have a freshly filled swimming (new water) and fervent care by the fresh pool owner, with brand new salt water pool equipment. In following years, routine sets in, insufficient passion for maintenance and pool care is standard, and problems start to appear.
Pool Water Quality
The initial common issue with salt – chlorine pool care is pool water quality. Quality is just that: in what way the water feels, looks, tastes, and performs. Salt chlorinated pools often operate with a pH that is higher than recommended. In fact, fighting the rising Ph in a salt water pool is a common problem. Therefore, a dry or fluid acid product must be added to the pool on a regular basis to maintain pool balance and keep water within recommended limits.
Many saline pools are started on “plain sodium,” that’s salt without the preservatives. In a swimming pool, these additional additives are required to 1) buffer the water, 2) protect the chlorine from UV-degradation – stabilizer, 3) blot and size prevention – yellowing and scaling of pool surfaces and equipment notably in areas of commonly “hard water”. These additives are usually necessary to keep pool water quality acceptable. The problem is all this additional material including minerals from the water itself are all run through the salt chlorination cell and can cause build up on the electrodes and cause the cell to fail.
Pool Salt Concentrations
Another problem is with proper salt concentrations. Often, swimming proprietors neglect to keep proper amounts of sodium in the pool, either too little or too much becomes a problem. Low salt intensities prevent appropriate chlorination. High amounts of salt may cause the water feel “thick” and appear lifeless and can also cause problems with the proper functioning of the salt cell.
Pumping and Filtering Time
Make sure that the system is operating 10 to 1-2 hours every day the peak swimming season to keep chlorine levels acceptable for proper pool sanitation. This is sometimes a shock for pool owners when they realize they must continuously pump and filter to keep chlorine production up. This increased pump/filter time leads to wear and tear on pool equipment and increased electrical costs.
Test the water twice each week – total alkalinity, chlorine level, pH. Add algaecide periodically. Contrary to what your builder told you, no salt water pool system is “set it and forget it.”
A salt in the pool program can become a huge expense. Do the homework that is required first to make sure you are getting what you want and are prepared to do what is required to keep your system functioning properly.
Salt Cell Failure
Eventually, there are problems with the pool equipment you must face. Salt cells will need regular cleaning and if this is not done then premature failure of the salt chlorination cell is imminent. The salt cell needs to be cleaned on a regular basis to optimize the chlorine generation process. Bear in mind that the interior of the chlorine generator cell is one of the most hostile environments on planet earth and proper maintenance especially with salt in the pool systems is critical.
More Salt Water Pool Information
There are other problems and issues to be aware of with salt water pools that you should acquaint yourself with before making a purchase. Check out the following resource Salt Water Pool Problems or see the salt water pool video on YouTube.
All that said, salt chlorine generation, salt water pools, whatever you choose to call it can be a fantastic method to sanitize and treat your pool when you understand the systems, and what is required.