While the phrase “saltwater pools” may bring to mind sand, waves and jellyfish, in reality, this alternative to standard chlorinated pools isn’t really like the beach at all. The water in the ocean has a salt content of about 35,000 ppm, while the water in a saltwater pool has a far lower concentration of salt at around 3,000 – 6,000 ppm. The water in a saltwater pool is actually more like a saline solution, which contains about 6,000 ppm. This means that if your pool is properly maintained, it shouldn’t taste or smell salty at all. Saltwater pools can be found both in the United States and in other countries. Saltwater pools are not chlorine-free pools. The saltwater system is actually just an alternative method of chlorinating a pool, making your own chlorine daily.
The most common myth regarding salt pools is that they are sanitized by salt and a better choice if you have sensitivities or allergies to chlorine. Salt pools are, in fact, sanitized using chlorine. A salt-chlorine generator separates the chlorine and sodium molecules in salt and reintroduces them into the pool water. It is still the chlorine that sanitizes your pool! Another misconception is that salt pools do not require other chemicals. This is completely false and not using other chemicals could damage your pool or be potentially harmful. There is no magic inside a salt-chlorine generator that balances pool water. These parameters should be checked and balanced regularly. Additionally, salt pools need to be shocked on a regular basis and salt-chlorine generators typically do not have the ability to effectively shock your pool. All pools, no matter what the sanitizer, need to be shocked regularly – preferably once per week during warm weather.
If you already have a pool, you can convert your standard pool to a salt pool. Two components will be added to your existing system, a salt cell and a control unit. The salt cell is attached to the pipes between your filter and water outlet and the control unit allows you to monitor the salt cell. The price for a salt system will vary based on features and brands. Check with your local Pinch A Penny expert for the latest products and pricing.
In short, a salt water pool is just another way to keep your pool clean and sparkling. Although the initial set-up is more expensive than a traditional chlorine pool, owners have found that the time it takes to maintain it is less. If you are interested in installing a salt system in your new pool, or converting your current pump system, stop in to a Pinch A Penny location. The experts at your local store will give you all the guidance and expertise you need to successfully instate a salt-cell system in your pool.
Discover ways to make the most of your pool—from the ABCs of Pool Care to DIY guides—in our How-Tos.