Are you dreaming of having your own backyard oasis ? If so, you have likely contemplated building a swimming pool at some point. At that stage in the journey, we commonly get questions from customers like this: "We're considering building a pool, why do people build salt pools?"
Building a saltwater pool isn't something exotic, in fact it's quite common. There are still plenty of traditional chlorine pools (that way of doing things is about a century old, so for some people its all they've ever known) but did you know that as of 2016 most new pools were salt pools? There's a reason. So if you're trying to decide if its right for you and your family, we'll clear up some of the basics ideas about salt pools, as well as mentioning the advantages and benefits of using saltwater pool technology to make pool ownership simple & cost-effective.
Are people trying to recreate the ocean in their pool?
Some people hear the term "salt pool" and get the idea that it's about trying to recreate a beach experience in the backyard. That's fair - most of us think of the ocean when you hear “saltwater.” Actually, the "salt" in a "salt pool" is really one of its least noticeable aspects of the water. The pool is not salty and if you get some of the pool water in your mouth it does not taste like the ocean at all. It's important to know that the salt levels are at such a low level, it's safe for your pool surfaces and, in fact, the experience of swimming in a salt pool is much more like being in a natural body of water: silky soft water, no chemical smells, no dry eyes, no damaged hair or skin.
So then why is it called a salt water pool?
What makes it a saltwater pool is that you'll install a salt chlorine generator in addition to your standard pool equipment, the pool circulation pump and filter. A salt chlorine generator sanitizes the pool so it stays blue & clear and eliminates the traditional process of chlorination. In other words, your pool stays sparkling clean without having to add tablets or pour chlorine into the water.
How does a salt pool work?
A salt chlorine generator works by naturally creating chlorine from an electrical reaction that occurs between the low level of salt in the water and the titanium electrode in the generator's salt cell . Basically, the salt system generates free chlorine everyday, consistently, automatically whenever the pool circulation pump runs. So a salt pool remains chlorinated, but it chlorinates the pool in a way which continually removes the caustic qualities of a conventional pool, what are called "chloramines", the substances that cause the harsh chemical smells and effects in the pool water.
Do you have to build a pool as a "salt pool" from the start?
No, while you can always upgrade later, you'll maximize your benefits and its convenience by choosing to use a salt chlorine generator from the start. Those that have owned a pool for years and know the struggle of fighting algae can tell you, you'll appreciate converting the pool to salt even more than someone who never had to fight to keep the pool blue! If you're building the pool, tell your builder you want to use a CircuPool salt chlorine generator, and it's a snap to install alongside your other pool equipment. If you are going to retrofit your pool, you'll simply add your salt chlorine generator in the plumbing on the return side of the pump and filter. When retrofitting, if your pool pad is a little cramped and you don't have much space, take a look at our adapter kit accessories - you can install a chlorine generator with as little as a 7" footprint on your pool plumbing for some models. A salt chlorine generator is compatible with almost any existing pool pump and filter.
How Much Salt Does a Pool Need?
The addition of salt is typically only needed when you first install the chlorine generator. The salt in a salt pool does not get used up, dissipated, consumed, or evaporated - the salt continually gets recycled by the chlorine generator! So unless you drain your pool or get lots of rain, you won't frequently need to add salt. Even better, the chlorine generator let's you know when you may need to add more salt. For salt you'll use common sodium chloride (same as table salt), frequently available from hardware stores as high quality "pool salt". You can also use regular water softener salt (with no special formulas or additives).
Benefits of a Salt Water Pool Compared to a Traditional Pools
It's not complicated. The advantages of salt pools are crystal clear:
- No need to buy chlorine - typical cost savings of conventional chlorine of up to 40% or more.
- Significantly easier maintenance - get consistent, reliable pool sanitation.
- Luxurious swimming - get water that feels soft and natural on your skin & eyes.
How to Get Started with a Salt Pool System
Determine your pool size (ask your pool builder, or measure your existing pool), and choose a salt system with approximately 1.5x to 2x the capacity of your swimming pool. You want a salt chlorine generator with plenty of power so that you can keep the water clear even during heavy pool usage. You can learn more here: Salt System Sizing
Are Salt Water Pools Right for You?
If you want to learn more about saltwater pool installation or conversion, contact us. Our professional team can help ensure you get the pool you really want.