Chlorine is a typical chemical used to combat the pathogens that would otherwise grow naturally in pools. It prevents the growth of algae, mold and bacteria that can grow in a pool if the chlorine level is not maintained correctly.

Under-utilizing the chemicals can throw the water pH completely out of balance. Overusing chlorine can severely irritate the skin, increase the chlorine smell that comes with use, fade your bathing suit’s colors and cause a buildup on pool equipment.

Thankfully, there is an alternative to adding chlorine into your pool: a salt water generator.

What is a Salt Water Generator?

A salt water generator is a piece of pool equipment designed to replace the manual process of adding chlorine to your pool. Instead, the machine utilizes salt within the pool’s water to generate chlorine through electrolysis, or “shocking” the salt molecule.

Once the molecule is electrified, it separates into hydrogen gas and hypochlorous acid, the active sanitizing chemical in chlorine that kills unwanted organisms. This mechanism is also called a chlorine generator.

What are the Advantages of a Salt Water Generator?

The major difference between salt water generators and regular chlorine systems is that the concentration of chlorine is much lower. Also, the way the chemical is introduced into the water provides more consistent treatment than trying to dissolve a denser liquid or powder. 

Another major advantage is that there is no need to buy, store or handle large amounts of chlorine.

Does Using Salt Water Make the Pool Unpleasant?

The first thing many people imagine when they hear about salt water generators is the ocean. The ocean is fun to swim in, but the salt in ocean water is not so fun when it gets in your mouth or eyes. This saltiness is because the concentration of salt in ocean water is typically around 35,000 parts per million (ppm).

Humans can taste salt in concentrations of around 3,500 ppm, meaning that ocean water is ten times saltier than what we are able to notice. By contrast, most salt water generators need a salt content of 2,500-6,000 ppm.

Customers generally prefer the units that need less than 3,500 to operate, as this provides the optimum level of salt so that it is not noticable. At this level, the water no longer has a taste, and the mildly saline concentration can actually feel smooth and pleasant upon the skin. Swimming in a low concentration salt water pool is the equivalent of taking a warm shower with soft water.

Caring for a Salt Water Pool

The pH in a salt water pool must still be balanced in order for the equipment to work properly. There is also the risk of mineral deposits forming on the salt water generator’s cells, and this build up must be removed periodically to keep the equipment functioning.

Another fact to consider is that the salt concentrations can eventually cause damage to pool equipment when not maintained, especially metal components. Preventing this occurrence is a simple matter of rinsing the equipment off with fresh water every couple of weeks.

To find out more about salt water generators and other Boca Raton pool maintenance equipment we offer, visit our equipment page.