Salt pool or not? A lot of people ask whether they should have a salt pool. Several considerations present themselves in this situation. For those who already have a “regular chlorine” pool, there is an initial expensive outlay to have it converted to salt. If you are trying to save money over a long period of time, switching to a salt system will not accomplish it. Liquid chlorine is very inexpensive, which is why most pool owners go that route. What many do not realize, is even with a salt system, chlorine is still in your pool as the sanitizer. The salt “cell”, which is installed into your piping system, generates chlorine from the salt water as it passes through the plates inside the cell. Bags of salt are dumped into the pool itself, and this salt water passes through the generator, or cell, and back into the pool. The presence of salt in the water gives it a soft feel to the touch.
The benefit of having a salt pool is that there is a constant feed of chlorine into the pool as long as the pump is running. In a liquid chlorine pool, our weekly visit includes adding the appropriate amount to last through the week until we are there again. There is that initial load of chlorine, or spike in the chlorine level, which then gradually dissipates over the next 6 days. We have to put enough in so there is a chlorine reading when we return, called a residual reading. The chlorine level needs to be in the normal range of 1 to 3 ppm (parts per million), which is needed to kill germs and bacteria, and to keep algae from growing. The liquid chlorine is gradually eroded, mostly from the sun’s UV rays, splash out, topping off the water level, suntan lotion, and body oils. Anything that enters the pool is being sanitized by the chlorine.
So if you are thinking of having a salt pool, do so for the benefit of having a more consistent and stable chlorine level. The more balanced the chemicals remain, the healthier your pool will stay, thereby keeping you and your family healthy.