Chlorine is the traditional go-to additive to keep pools fresh and algae free. But recently salt water pools have come in vogue. There are great reasons for this trend but as with all decisions there are pros and cons to be considered.
First of all, a little knowledge of how a salt water pool works. You may remember from Chemistry class that Salt is NaCl…. The Cl of course stands for Chlorine. So the basic explanation of how the salt works is that the Na is taken out and the Cl is left. A little more science – titanium electrodes in the filter split the sodium molecules from the Chlorine molecules the Sodium and Chlorine combine with the Water creating HClO and NaClO which are the traditional chemicals used in pools. So what makes this different from chlorine pools?
Traditional pools consist of a chlorine in combinations of FAC (free available chlorine) with CAC (combined available chlorine). Free Chlorine is what you want, combined Chlorine includes chloramines. Chloramines create that chlorine smell which irritates airways, and creates that stinging feeling for the skin and eyes. Since chloramines are a result of humans getting in the pool, there is no solution other than traditional shock which is 5-10 times the amount of chlorine needed on a regular basis. Salt water pools only need shocking if they have been neglected by not adding bags of salt about once a week (consult Paul Camp Pool Builders for exact amounts for your pool size.)
Let’s start with the cons so we can get to the fun stuff…
- The first con: The initial start-up is more expensive.
- Next: The cells require regular cleaning and failure to do so can damage the cell. Even with regular cleaning, the salt cell has a short life span, and replacement cells cost near half that of initial investment
- Lastly: Salt can spike the PH which can produce an unattractive scale that is not very easy to remove.
But now for the fun stuff. The advantages to owning a salt water pool. Is that the salt water is much easier on the hair, skin, eyes and respiratory system. It won’t turn blond hair green, or dry out and damage any color hair. Itchy skin after a leisurely swim will be a thing of the past. Red eyes from irritation after an hour’s worth of splashing fun are history. Breathing in Chloromines can cause or worsen emphysema and asthma.
Another advantage is that for the most part, the harshest chemical that needs to lay around your home and handle is salt. No worries about hiding things from the children or the animals. It’s just salt. As long as salt levels and ph levels are monitored and adjusted according to instructions, very little else is needed. In other words, salt water pools are very low maintenance. They require much less attention than chlorine pools which means more time to enjoy he pool!
Which brings us to the last advantage. Pools are a luxury, so it would be senseless to say it is inexpensive, however, a salt water pool costs much less in maintenance and chemicals than a a traditional chlorine pool.
Contact Paul Camp Pool Builders at (334) 798-1626 for a face to face meeting and property evaluation to help determine which type of pool will best suit your need.