Salt Water Swimming Pools
Posted by Norman Fong
Salt Water Swimming Pools that are not too common in the United States but are catching on fast. Salt Water Pools are slowly making inroads because most new pools are specified as them. They use a chlorine generator so they are not chlorine free. Swimming in a regular pool may make you feel or see a whitish residual or chlorine flaking, on the skin, frizzled hair or red eyes. In a salt water swimming pool, the water feels smooth and refreshing and does not taste like the ocean. The swimming pool is only 8-9% as salty as the ocean.
Roughly 13% residential and commercial pools were salt water pools in 2010.
How does a saltwater pool work?
Salt reacts with electricity in the chlorine generator. A chlorine generator’s main function is to produce chlorine for the pool so you do not have to buy it, store it or handle it. A generator produce chlorine constantly. A 40 pound bag of salt costs $9 and needs to be replaced roughly 6 times a year. We have a vinyl cover over our pool, which reduces the amount of salt we need to add. The average yearly cost for residential pool chlorine is around $700. Salt dissipates over time, gets diluted by any rainwater, and also gets filtered out. Water chemistry will be simplified moving to a salt water pool. Note that chlorinators that display salt levels show inaccurate levels when water is cold, so you need to use salt test strips in this instance. More muriatic acid will be utilized to control the pH in a saltwater pool.
It costs from $1000 to $3000 to retrofit an existing pool. You do need to maintain the generator every 3 – 6 months or so by cleaning it out with a muriatic acid wash. Salt needs to be replenished every year or so, but costs very little. A 40lb bag costs about $9. The best time to upgrade to it is when you install a new controller for a variable speed pool pump. These new controllers like the Easytouch can handle salt water pools. The only problem areas for a salt water pool installation are if you have stainless steel plumbing or stainless steel in your heater, which will corrode.
Natural Swimming Pools
Recently, we read about an alternative way of creating a chemical free swimming pool. This method seeks to utilize filtration and purification as mother nature performs it. A water garden with specially selected native plants is grown in special gravel, and is created adjacent to the pool or as part of the pool. Additionally, energy efficient pumps and filters are utilized. These pools look far more natural than your typical swimming pool. The method is used more widely in Australia and Europe.
Alternatives to salt water pools
Other unconventional alternatives to chlorine in pools include systems that release ozone gas (roughly $8,000) or use ultra-violet light to kill bacteria. The UV technology kills cryptosporeidium, something chlorine does not.
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