The popularity of saltwater pools has grown exponentially in the last two decades. However, many people still don’t understand how they work or why they might be the preferred choice for pool owners. To better understand how saltwater-generated chlorine in pools can keep you safe and improve your pool experience, you first have to understand how saltwater pools are different from traditional swimming pools.
How Traditionally-Chlorinated Pools Work
In traditional swimming pools, chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, and other chemicals are used to treat the water. When added to the water, liquid chlorine and chlorine tablets breakdown into other chemicals, like hypochlorous acid. These chemicals do their job of killing bacteria to make the water safe for swimming, but they must be constantly monitored and additional chemicals added on a regular basis. Failure to properly manage the chlorine levels in this type of pool can result in increased bacteria and algae growth, which requires extensive cleaning and additional chemicals to correct. When properly managed, traditionally-chlorinated pools are perfectly safe for swimming. However, traditional pools can be tricky to manage and maintain the required chemical levels for safe swimming.
How Saltwater Pools Work
It’s a common misconception that saltwater pools don’t contain any chlorine because they don’t require chlorine to be added. However, the salt system actually produces the chlorine needed to keep the pool safe for swimming. Saltwater pools work through a process called electrolysis. The water passes through a salt cell and a small electrical charge is applied, which breaks apart the components of salt (sodium and chlorine). The chlorine is then free to do it’s work in eliminating bacteria in the water. Once the chlorine has done its job, it reunites with the sodium to begin the process again. Because the process is ongoing, it is easier to keep the chlorine levels consistent. So, as you can see, saltwater pools still use chlorine to kill bacteria and algae and keep the water safe for swimming, but they do so in a less obvious way than traditionally-chlorinated pools.
Benefits of Saltwater Pools
There are a lot of benefits to choosing a saltwater pool over a traditionally-chlorinated pool.
Saltwater pools work to constantly maintain chlorine levels, which significantly reduces the possibility of algae growth and other bacteria in the water. This means that as long as the saltwater system is functioning properly, you’ll likely only need to clean a saltwater pool once per season. You will still need to check water levels regularly to ensure the system is working correctly and the levels are balanced, but much of the other maintenance work is completely eliminated or significantly reduced.
Because saltwater pools work off of a salt system, you don’t have to store potentially hazardous chemicals such as liquid chlorine for the pool. A saltwater pool allows you to keep the water safe and enjoy your pool with significantly less chemicals than a traditional pool.
While saltwater pool systems do require a larger investment upfront, the cost of operating the pool over time can be significantly less than with a traditional pool. Since the salt system chlorinates the water constantly, the pool is more likely to remain at balanced levels for long periods of time. In addition, saltwater pools don’t require chlorine to be constantly purchased and added to the water.
An additional benefit to saltwater pools is the feel of the water. Many people report it feels softer and silkier than swimming in a traditional pool, and that’s due to the salt in the water. Unlike the ocean, which contains up to 35,000 ppm of salt, saltwater pools only contain about 3,000 ppm of salt. The result is water that can actually help your skin retain moisture and feels much more luxurious than swimming in the ocean or even in a traditional pool.
As you can see, there are significant benefits to choosing a saltwater pool over a traditional pool. Though saltwater pools may seem mysterious or magical, in reality, the saltwater system keeps the pool safe through a simple chemical reaction. However, there’s nothing mysterious about the time and money you’ll save in maintenance by choosing a saltwater pool for your home.
A Choice of Saltwater for Safety
In the end, with a salt water chlorination system, you’re making a smart choice for your safety. You don’t have to worry about all the hassle of manually chlorinating the pool, but can feel confident that bacteria will be killed and all other hazards will be cleared. Chlorine in a pool keeps you safe by chemically decontaminating your water. With a salt water chlorine generator, this process is constantly ensured, as long as you add the salt. By upgrading to a salt water pool system, you will never again have to worry about safety when it comes to your pool water.