Salt water pool systems have been growing more and more popular lately as an alternative to the usual chlorination. Filling your pool with both chlorine and sodium comes with a number of benefits, after all, but at the same time salt water also have some drawbacks that can catch you by surprise.
How It Works
Chlorine may be a particularly deadly chemical on its own, but when it’s paired with sodium it’s as harmless as the salt shaker on your dinner table. A salt water system takes advantage of this fact and provides swimmers with a much more pleasant experience which is widely considered to be better for your skin and lacks the usual chlorine smell. The amount of salt in the water is also very low, and at most you’ll experience a slightly salty taste if you get some pool water in your mouth.
Of course, your pool still needs chlorine on its own in order to keep the water sterile, and so the salt water filtration system also performs electrolysis to isolate the chemical and ensure that the available chlorine level remains high enough to work. However, salt water can also slowly corrode unprotected metals left near the pool, at least if you don’t take the proper precautions.
Maintaining A Salt Water Pool
Despite what you may have heard, salt water pools require a different maintenance routine as compared to regular chlorine pools . You still need to check the water’s chemical and pH levels every week, for instance, and you still need a steady supply of cyanuric acid so the chlorine doesn’t evaporate out of your pool.
Salt water pools also come with some unique features:
- If it’s too low the salt water can start to corrode concrete and plaster, which carries some obvious problems, but if it gets too high it can clog the filter and turn the water cloudy.
- By installing a sacrificial zinc anode in your salt water system, you can protect all the other metals which come into regular contact with the pool water. You should still use high-quality metals along with paints and sealants where it’s expedient, but a properly installed and maintained zinc anode can do a lot to keep your pipes and machinery safe.
A salt water pool system can cause you some problems, but that’s only if you don’t do the proper research into what’s different about salt water and what’s the same. So long as you know what to expect and how to maintain a salt water system, your pool area should stay in good shape indefinitely.