Salt chlorination is the most popular method of sanitizing new pools and it is no wonder when you consider the comfort, convenience and cost savings it provides. Despite its popularity, there remains a number of myths amongst consumers about various aspects of this water treatment method. This article dispels them for you.
Myth 1: You need to drain your pool when switching to salt chlorination
Truth: Not true. No matter what type of type of chlorine you use, all you need to do is add some salt to get your pool to the right level. Simply bring your dealer a water sample and your pool dimensions. Your dealer will measure your pool’s water salt level, (yes, there is already salt in your pool if you use chlorine) and help you calculate how much salt is needed.
Myth 2: Salt is the sanitizer
Truth: Not true. Your salt chlorinator converts salt into chlorine automatically – chlorine is the sanitizer. The salt used for pools is good ‘ole sodium chloride, the same ingredient in table salt that you add to food. In order for your salt chlorinator to operate most efficiently, the salt concentration must be within a certain range, typically about 3,000 parts per million (PPM), which is about 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon.
Myth 3: Salt evaporates
Truth: Not true. The salt in your pool doesn’t evaporate or degrade. In fact, it never leaves the pool unless removed by draining, backwashing or with splash out. To address environmental concerns, use a filter that requires little or no backwashing such as a cartridge filter.
Myth 4: A salt pool’s water is like ocean water
Truth: Not True. While there are some pools that use ocean water as their source, they are very, very rare. Salt chlorinated pools have about 1/10 the salt concentration as the ocean. In fact, the salt levels in salt pools are about the same salinity as a human tear, and that’s why eyes aren’t irritated like they are after swimming in chemical chlorine-treated pools.
Myth 5: If I use salt, I no longer have to test my water chemistry
Truth: Not true. Maintaining the proper levels of pH, total alkalinity and water hardness is essential for every pool whether it is salt chlorinated or not. Proper water balance helps protect pool equipment and bathers by making the chlorine more effective at destroying bacteria, viruses and algae.