Salt Water Pools (Salt Chlorination)
A lot people are under the impression that a salt system is a non-chlorine pool. This is not true. What it does is convert salt (sodium chloride) into liquid chlorine.
What made it convenient was you didn’t have to handle chlorine because the salt was converted to chlorine via a salt chlorinator. So that became very popular the last 10-15 years. So a lot of pool companies, us included, jumped on the bandwagon. We were told by the manufacturer it had no side effects, it was wonderful! Well after a few years we found out there were some side effects. One of the things we discovered is that it is the most expensive sanitizer on the market overall, not just in terms of the cost of the unit, but what it costs you on an ongoing basis, plus what it does to your equipment. It is highly corrosive to pool equipment. In fact, a lot of manufacturers of pool equipment, especially anything that has a steel base, will void their warranty if you use a salt chlorinator.
One of the other issues is that water from a salt pool is toxic because it has a high concentration of chlorides. In some places, they have been banned completely! What you have to do is de-chlorinate the water when you backwash your filter or pump the pool down.
The other problems are scale, staining, cloudy water, and it doesn’t work under 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Because salt has a tendency to create scale, your salt cells can get scaled up. They have to be checked regularly. When they have to be replaced, they will cost somewhere between $500 and $700. So, it’s got it’s pluses, but the negatives far outweigh the pluses.
Ionization is probably the least expensive way to sanitize a pool. In combination with chlorine, It kills bacteria and viruses and prevents algae growth. It has no effect on the eyes or skin, so you don’t get sore eyes or itchy skin. It has no effect on the pH of the water whereas a salt chlorination drives the pH up and you have to be bringing it down constantly. It’s totally noncorrosive to equipment, unaffected by sunlight, and you can reduce the chlorine concentration by up to 40%. Combined with zinc chlorine tablets, you have a complete solution. You simply drop one tablet into the skimmer once per week with a large pool or once every two weeks with a small pool.
The ionizer builds up copper, silver and zinc in the water. Any time you use an algaecide in your pool, it’s mostly copper based. So the copper is what kills algae, the silver kills bacteria and the zinc prevents staining. So with this system, you get all of the benefits without any of the negatives.
Ionization, combined with a reduced amount of chlorine, is by far the best solution for sanitizing your pool on the market at this time.
– Pat King, Leisure Industries