Salt Water Pools: The Ins and Outs

March 28, 2017

Most of the pools around the USA are fresh water pools, meaning that the water in them comes straight from the water mains and is then subsequently treated with various chemicals in order to keep it clean and algae free. However, there is an alternative. Salt water pools offer a lot less hassle over maintenance. If you are excited by this prospect, here’s an analysis of pros and cons of these systems, so you can decide whether it’s the right thing for you.

What is it?

A salt water pool is essentially the same as the regular pool. The only difference is that the water in it is salty. Even though there are some benefits to having salt water in your pool, the main issue is with older pools. If your pool is relatively old, chances are that the pipes used in the construction are suited for fresh water use, meaning that salt water will corrode them faster. Of course, there’s a cure for this ailment, so contemporary fittings are corrosion resistant.

How does it keep your water clean?

Just like the fresh water pools, salt water pools still need chlorine to sanitize your water. The key difference is that salt water pools get their chlorine from the salt dissolved in the water. The salt used for this purpose is sodium chloride, NaCl, regular kitchen salt. Chlorine is extracted from salt using the process of chemical electrolysis. That means that you will no longer have to store chlorine (a poisonous substance) at your home in a dangerous form, but rather in a harmless form of salt.

What are the benefits?

Apart from not having a potential safety hazard at your home, salt water usually contains less chlorine. Additionally, you only need to add salt occasionally, since salt does not evaporate from water. Only if you have changed or added water for some reason do you need to re-salt your water.

How does that water affect the swimmers?

Chlorine in its free form is an irritant. It was actually the first chemical weapon used in World War I. Lower amounts of chlorine in the water mean less irritation to the skin and eyes for the swimmers. The drying sensation of the skin comes primarily from chlorine, so this sensation will also be reduced. And finally, that chemical odor pools have comes from conversion of chlorine to similar compounds called chloramines. The less chlorine in the water, the less conversion into smelly substances.

How expensive is it?

This part depends on the age of your pool. The initial cost is quite steep. If you have an older pool, it is likely that you do not have a control console. If not, you can expect your conversion to cost over a thousand dollars, and likely upwards of two thousand. Regular maintenance is cheaper once you have set up, but the salt cells are expendable and need replacing every 3 to 5 years.

Does it require any changes to the pool?

So, we have established that a conversion is not cheap. However, once you have installed the system, no further alterations are needed. Your filtration system is perfectly fine to work with salt water systems.

Pool designs and technologies constantly change and get better. However, they all still need to be thoroughly maintained in order to keep them clean and safe. If you feel you aren’t up to the task of regular maintenance, you can hire professionals to do this part for you. If you are on the lookout for a pool service in San Diego, Payan Pools has been here for three decades and offer a wide variety of pool goods and services. Contact us today to learn more.