Salt vs Chlorine

Salt vs Chlorine, How Will You Sanitize Your Pool?

chlorination, purification, sanitize - image is showing difference between salt and chlorine for a swimming pool.

Salt vs. Chlorine is one of the biggest fights in the battle for backyard glory. What’s in your backyard, salt water pool, chlorine pool or the empty space where your pool will go? Which system is better for keeping your pool clean? Neither, cleanliness isn’t the issue. Technically, both kill bacteria and both use chlorine. The difference is that conventional chlorine tablets have to be added every month, and salt systems convert salt to chlorine and back in an ongoing cycle.

Spoiler alert, most of the information below favors salt systems, the only thing going against salt water purification systems is the initial equipment cost.

Chlorine Swimming Pools

Chlorinating a pool is relatively inexpensive and usually labor intensive. Chlorine tablets are an expected monthly cost, and are easy to get a hold of, because every pool store sells them. Users need to buy and store hazardous chemicals, as well as counter chemicals to correct the pH balance if too much chlorine is used. This also means frequent testing, so you’ll need test strips. If you’re not into doing it all yourself, we have the technology to automate your system to the point that the pool will monitor itself and even automatically add chlorine as needed or alert your service company to do it.

However, it can easily be thrown out of balance by weather or neglect, turning it into a mosquito breeding bog of algae and bacteria. Fortunately, chlorine pools clean up quickly, by shocking the pool with a bunch of chemicals and get back on track. If you’re not careful though, you’ll over chlorinate and when you swim you’ll be able to feel the difference.

The major downside to chlorine purification systems is the affect they have on you and your guests. Regardless of your pH balance, swimmers will eventually notice their eyes burning, their skin itching, the sharp smell, the slightly greenish hue and the stiff crunchy texture of their hair. If the pH is balanced correctly it will take longer to notice, but if it’s too high, it will be immediately uncomfortable.

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Salt water purification systems don’t have these problems. It won’t fade the color of, or eat the elastic of your swimsuits, there’s no chemical smell, no burning eyes or skin and no discoloration or damage to hair. In fact, in most cases the salt water is a benefit to your skin and hair, leaving them soft smooth and hydrated. The water is similar to saline solution used in eye drops, basically artificial tears, so your eyes will be better off as well. The salt content is roughly 1/10th as salty as ocean water, so there isn’t a noticeable salty flavor either, just a nice comfortable swimming experience.

As I mentioned before, salt water pools don’t require monthly chlorinating, they are constantly converting salt into chlorine and back again. Seriously, this is awesome! Salt is a compound made up of two chemicals, sodium and chloride… that’s right, chloride as in chlorine. Electrolysis is used in the water to break the electrical bonds holding the sodium and chloride atoms together, the chloride is deadly to algae, bacteria and other smelly and harmful microbes, The sodium doesn’t have much to do, so it just hangs out waiting for the electrolysis to end, it doesn’t bond with water molecules though, so as soon as the cycle is over, the sodium molecules latch back onto the chloride molecules and instantly balance the pH level back to neutral.

Because it’s salt, you don’t lose your chemicals to evaporation, which is a big deal in Arizona, Nevada and Texas heat. If your water level starts dropping, you can refill it without adding any more salt to the water. In fact, where the average chlorine pool will cost between $50.00 – $60.00 per month to chlorinate, a salt water pool might go as high as $30.00 for the entire summer season!

The downside is the upfront cost. Yes, it’ll cost you a little more to purchase the electrolysis system and have it installed, then every 3 years or so you’ll need to replace the Salt Cell.
All things considered, the system will pay for itself within a few years and in the meantime you, your family and your friends will be able to swim in comfort without any of the drawbacks common to chlorinated swimming pools. Salt vs. chlorine swimming pools? It doesn’t really seem like much of a competition after all, does it?

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