- Q: Is the water salty like the ocean?
- A: No, it’s much less salty. Though saltwater chlorination uses the same type of salt as found in the ocean, it’s at a far lower concentration. Seawater contains about 30 grams of salt per liter while saltwater chlorination pools are 1-3 grams per liter, less than one third of your own tears. Many swimmers cannot even detect the salt.
- Q: What kind of salt is used?
- A: Common salt (sodium chloride). It’s inexpensive and readily available in pool supply and home improvement stores.
- Q: Where does the chlorine come from?
A: The chlorine is produced as part of a natural chemical process that occurs when the salt interacts with the chlorinator. The salt breaks down to sodium and chloride ions in solution. Chloride is then converted to chlorine. How it Works. Once the chlorine treats the pool, it turns back to salt and the process repeats itself.
- Q: How much salt do I need? Is it expensive?
- A: Depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, it can take 8 to 25 pounds of salt per 1,000 gallons of pool water to start up your pool. Depending on rainfall and other factors, it might be necessary to add small amounts of salt during the season. Salt costs about $7 per 40-pound bag, so this would be between $14 and $50 to start a 10,000-gallon pool, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations for salt concentration.
- Q: Is the technology new or unproven?
- A: Not at all. The technology was invented in the late 1970s and manufacturers have been making saltwater chlorinators ever since. These systems are the standard for in-ground pools around the world.
- Q: Can it be installed after construction?
A: Yes. Any pool can be retrofitted with a new salt chlorination system. You can just add salt to the water as directed in the manual, install the unit and start it up.
- Q: Can I install it myself?
A: Yes, or you can hire a professional. There are several DIY kits that make it easy for the pool owner to install the system. Retailers and pool service companies typically can install, or you can go here to find a certified installer in your area.
- Q: Will it corrode the metal in the pool?
- A: Proper pool chemistry needs to be maintained in order to prevent corrosion for your heater and metal surfaces in the pool.
- Q: How long will the system last?
A: Typical chlorinator cells last 3 to 5 pool seasons. The power supplies last longer. The cells are self-cleaning, but many manufacturers advise pool owners to check them periodically and clean them if necessary.