Salt Systems

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Almost all of the inground pools being built these days are coming with salt-to-chlorine generators. We carry the best one made, the Pentair Intellichlor, ourselves. The salt does make the water more comfortable, and it’s nice to not have to buy and handle chlorine. However, we are watching more people have problems with their pool because they seem to think that they have a completely automatic pool!

We do not have room for an entire discussion here, so this is the bumpersticker version:

1) Salt is not a sanitizer, you really have a chlorine pool. It still needs to be tested daily, and the chlorine still needs to be maintained between 1.0 and 3.0, with a pH between 7.2 and 7.6.

2) Water balance is even more critical in salt water than in regular water. Wait until you pay $800 for a new set of platinum electrodes, and you’ll take better care of the next set.

3) It’s really hard to shock properly just by setting your system to 100% – it’s generally not fast enough. It would be a big help to run your filter for 24 hours that day.

4) Salt is cheap, but electricity and platinum are not, so keep your stabilizer level higher than a normal chlorine pool – maybe twice as high.

5) Most pool equipment manufacturers are rewriting their warranties to disclaim salt pools that corrode their equipment. While the salesman told you salt was not corrosive at the right level in your pool (which is mostly true), it gets way, way stronger when it splashes on your diving board bolts and the water evaporates. Remember why you have to wash your car during the winter. So keep washing your pool, deck, and equipment.

6) We have lots of good information in the Salt Support System department; just past the Baquacil® and before the Relax™.

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