The popularity of salt water pools has spiked in the last few years and now makes up about 30% of all pools installed.
The interest and use of these salt water pools come from users’ belief that they take less maintenance, are less costly month to month, and are more natural than your typical inground pool.
The salt chlorine generator is viewed as a natural way to control the pool’s salinity level and hypochlorous acid. For the most part, people who have installed these types of pools are highly pleased with their pools over the short and long term.
In the following article, we’ll discuss the basics of salt water pools so you can decide if they are right for you.
The Basics of Salt Water Pools
A salt water pool is a chlorine-based pool. However, instead of testing and doling out chlorine chemical treatments, a salt-chlorine generator uses electrolysis to create and add chlorine to the pool. Then, you add salt, or sodium hypochlorite, to the generator.
In most models, the generator self-tests and adds the appropriate amount of salt. You keep the generator stocked with the sodium hypochlorite. You don’t need to test your water levels daily or weekly and add concentrated chlorine to a feeder.
A traditional chlorine pool doesn’t have mechanicals adjusting the salt and chlorine.
So, without proper salt water pool maintenance, a system will not last as long as a typical chlorine pool setup. This is because the plates and salt cells responsible for the electrolysis in a salt water pool are susceptible to calcium scale.
You can remove this scale and extend the life of your generator by washing the cells with a mild acid solution.
Cost of Salt Water Pools
The initial expense of installing a salt water pool is because there are more parts to buy. Most of this lies in the extra purchase of the salt water generator.
However, the cost of sodium hypochlorite is much cheaper than the cost of the chlorine chemicals you need for a traditional pool. So, although the price of a salt water pool is higher because of the purchase and replacement of parts to the salt water generator, the monthly cost of running the pool is much less.
For this reason, most people who turn to a salt water pool are OK with these trade-offs, so they are not beleaguered with the daily regimen of testing the pool water and maintaining chlorine levels. They set it and forget it an aspect of salt water pools more than makes up for the uptick in costs in their minds.
Unfortunately, there is one more added cost that accompanies salt water pools that new owners should know before installing one. Since the salt water generator is self-monitoring, it also runs continuously along with the pool pump.
You can offset this usage through the use of electrical timers to cut down on energy consumption. Also, some inventive pool owners use a solar energy system to reduce the pool’s electricity usage cost.
Have a Budget in Mind
When weighing salt water pools, it’s essential to already have a budget in mind. You should have an idea of how much you are willing to spend on installation and monthly maintenance. Don’t forget to include into that monthly budget the uptick in electricity consumption.
When you have a sense of this budget, contact a certified salt water pool installer for an estimate. This is the best way to make sure you get the backyard oasis you want while not regretting the cost.
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