Salt water pools are becoming increasingly popular due to their many benefits compared to traditional chlorine pools. In this complete guide, you’ll learn about the distinct advantages and disadvantages of having a salt water pool, which factors to consider before installing one, how to maintain and care for it properly, and more.
What is a Salt Water Pool?
A salt water pool harnesses the power of electrolysis to convert sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt, into hypochlorous acid, which is a natural disinfectant. This process creates a safer and more pleasant swimming environment that is easier to manage than chlorine pools, as well as less prone to eye and skin irritation.
The Chemistry of Salt Water Pools
At the heart of salt water pools is the process of electrolysis. Electrolysis takes place when electrolytes, like salt, are dissolved in water, creating a type of electric current. This electric current comes in contact with electrodes, which convert the current into hypochlorous acid. This acid is responsible for sanitizing the pool and killing bacteria.
Advantages of Salt Water Pools
Salt water pools offer several advantages over traditional chlorine pools. First and foremost, salt water pools are much easier on the body and eyes. The hypochlorous acid in salt water pools is gentler than traditional chlorine, reducing dryness, itching, and other skin irritations. Salt water pools also don’t produce a strong chlorine smell, and they don’t require the use of harsh chemicals. Additionally, these pools are much easier to maintain and keep clean, as they only need to be shocked on a semi-annual basis.
Disadvantages of Salt Water Pools
The primary disadvantage of salt water pools is the cost. Converting a chlorine pool to a salt water system can cost between $2,000 – $5,000, and significant maintenance is also required to keep the system running. Additionally, a salt water pool system shortens the life of the various components of the pool, such as the filter and pump.
Factors to Consider Before Installing a Salt Water Pool
Before installing a salt water pool, there are several factors to consider. First and foremost, it’s important to make sure the pool is properly sized for the system. Additionally, the pool needs to be of a specific configuration, as the system must be able to handle the pressure from the salt. Environmental factors also play a role, as certain regions may not be suitable for this type of pool system due to the salt water levels.
How to Maintain and Care for a Salt Water Pool
In order to keep a salt water pool in good condition, it’s important to maintain and care for it properly. This includes maintaining proper salt water levels, cleaning the pool filter regularly, and annually shocking the pool to ensure the pH and chlorine levels are balanced. It’s also important to make sure the pool’s plumbing is in good condition and that the salt cells are working properly.
People Also Ask
Q1. Do salt water pools need chlorine?
Yes, salt water pools still require chlorine – but differently from traditional chlorine pools. The chlorine is created inside the salt water pool system using electrolysis and salt, and it’s more pleasant for swimming.
Q2. How long does a salt water pool last?
The lifespan of a salt water pool is typically shorter than that of a traditional chlorine pool, as the salt can corrode the filter and pump. Depending on usage and proper maintenance, a salt water pool system can last anywhere from 5-7 years.
Q3. Are salt water pools good for allergies?
Yes, salt water pools are known for being generally easier on the skin and body than traditional chlorine pools. The hypochlorous acid in salt water pools is much gentler and less likely to cause allergies and irritations.
Q4. How often do you shock a salt water pool?
It’s recommended to shock a salt water pool every 6 months or so to make sure the pH and chlorine levels are well-balanced. Additionally, it’s a good idea to shock the pool after heavy use or if the water looks cloudy.
Q5. Does a salt water pool save money?
Due to their complexity, a salt water pool system typically costs more to install and maintain than a traditional chlorine pool. However, salt water pools use less chemicals over the long run and require less frequent maintenance, which can save money in the long run.
Salt water pools have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their many benefits and easier maintenance compared to traditional chlorine pools. Before installing a new salt water pool, it’s important to understand the distinct advantages and disadvantages, as well as the costs and maintenance requirements involved. With proper care, a salt water pool can provide a safe and pleasant swimming environment for many years to come.