Why are so many individuals and institutions converting their chlorine-based swimming pools to saltwater? Does it mean that saltwater pools are better than chlorine-based pools? What are the benefits of salt water pools? This article will answer these and other concerns related to saltwater pools.
What’s a Saltwater Pool?
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A saltwater pool is a swimming pool that uses a salt chlorine generator for sanitization of the pool water. So, instead of adding chlorine to your swimming pool water, you add salt. The salt chlorine generator converts the salt to chlorine to clean the water.
When you’re cleaning your pool water with salt, you are supposed to add salt to a level that allows the salt generator to work effectively and make the water feel smoother. This salt tastes mild and enjoyable. But you shouldn’t let your pool’s salt level exceed 5,000 parts per million (PPM) because it will affect the taste.
The ideal range of salt chlorinator in your saltwater pool should be between 3,000 and 4,000 ppm. Compared to the ocean, the salinity level of a saltwater pool is 1/10. It’s like a teardrop or a contact lens solution. Swimming in a saltwater pool feels like swimming in a lake of your own tears.
In short, when you add salt to your pool water, the salt chlorine generator converts it to hypochlorous acid (chlorine), which is very effective in removing organic and mineral impurities from the water. But you have to choose the right type of salt for your pool. Currently, there are different types of pool salt that you can use in your pool, including mechanically evaporated salt, mined salt, and solar salt.
Make sure that the salt you pick for your pool is more than 99 percent pure and has more sodium and chloride ions. The salt chlorine generator features two main components: the control board and the cell. As the pool water goes through the cell, a series of metallic grids with a low-voltage current cause a reaction that converts the salt to small bubbles of pure chlorine.
When the chlorine exits the chlorinator, it reacts with the pool water to form hypochlorous acid, which is required to purify your water. Previously, people added liquid chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) or solid chlorine compacted with cyanuric acid (granular or in tablets) to cleanse their swimming pools. But with the emergence of salt chlorine generators, the use of salt (NaCl) has become the norm.
But whichever additive you put into your pool water, it must go through two chemical reaction stages before it can take on the form (hypochlorous acid) that will eliminate bacteria, algae, and other organic and mineral contaminants from the water.
While the ideal salt level in your pool should be between 3,000 and 4,000 ppm, you need to check your cell’s rating because some salt chlorine machines have different rates. If your swimming pool is brand new, you should add between 40 and 50 lb. of salt for 2,000 gallons of water.
But if you’ve had the pool for some time and you’ve added purification chemicals severally, start by testing the water. There are online calculators and charts that you can use to figure out how much salt your pool needs to have the right ppm.
9 Benefits of a Saltwater Pool
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A saltwater pool is the next best option after swimming in the ocean. Instead of taking a salt bath at home, you should convert your chlorine-based swimming pool to a saltwater pool. This pool offers loads of financial, health, and beauty benefits. Here are the main benefits of having a saltwater pool.
1. Reduced Allergies and Enhanced Breathing
The American Lung Association (ALA) reports that inhaling fine salt particles helps to improve your breathing and reduces allergies. When you inhale the fine salt particles, they draw water into your lung airways thereby thinning any mucus present. This is the same idea applied in halotherapy, which primarily focuses on inhaling fine salt particles through halogenerators and bathing in saltwater.
2. Exfoliating Agent
If you have sensitive skin, then you understand the difficult task of finding an exfoliating agent that can exfoliate without irritating your skin. But with a saltwater pool, you’ll enjoy gentle exfoliation sessions. This saltwater is a gentle and effective exfoliation agent that works on different skin types.
It’s also safe for swimmers with conditions like scaling psoriatic skin, acne, eczema, and more. The salt helps to draw out impurities, dirt, and toxins on your skin, allowing it to heal. Furthermore, the sulfur properties in the salt have a keratolytic effect that softens and gets rid of dead skin cells to prevent the problem of clogged pores.
3. Gentle on Eyes and Skin
Chlorine-based swimming pools are known to cause red, burning eyes and itchy hives, especially in people with sensitive skin. Therefore, if you always experience these problems when you swim in your chlorine-based pool, it’s time to switch to a saltwater pool. Saltwater pools don’t have chemicals that cause these problems. Saltwater produces free chlorine, which is a natural disinfectant that’s gentle on your skin and eyes.
4. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Saltwater therapy isn’t just good for the physical body, but it also helps the mind by alleviating psychological problems like stress and anxiety. This water offers soothing and cleansing effects that promote relaxation and a feeling of ease. Therefore, if you want to relax and unwind after a long, stressful day, you should take a bath in your saltwater pool.
5. Maintaining Your Body’s Natural Moisture Balance
Dermatologists claim that the minerals found in saltwater, including magnesium and potassium, help to balance your body’s natural moisture production. So, your skin won’t produce excess oil and sweat. This enables your skin and the entire body to remain hydrated for a long time, even without drinking too much water.
When the purifying properties in the saltwater open up your skin pores and remove dead skin cells, they allow your skin to absorb more moisture from the topical lotions and moisturizers you apply regularly.
6. Relieving Sore Muscles and Joints
Have you ever tried bath bombs or salt baths? If you haven’t, you have missed out on one of the best therapies. This therapy involves washing your body with salt water to promote healing. Saltwater has pain-reducing properties like bromine, which helps people suffering from joint aches, soreness, arthritis, and muscle injuries.
7. Environmental Friendly
Saltwater pools are friendlier to the environment than their chlorine-based counterparts. Chlorine-based pools emit a very strong chlorine stench, which comes from chloramines found in chlorine. Chloramines attach themselves to dirt and bacteria to keep your pool clean, but they emit gases that are likely to pollute the air.
A saltwater pool, on the other hand, doesn’t pose serious danger to the environment, even though it contains small amounts of chlorine, because saltwater doesn’t release harmful gases into the air when it evaporates.
8. No Need to Keep Chlorine
Storing and handling chlorine regularly can be a serious nuisance and risk, especially if you have kids or pets in your house. So, this risk is completely eliminated when you convert your chlorine-based pool to a saltwater pool because you no longer need to keep chlorine in your house. These pools rely on salt chlorine generators to generate enough free chlorine to keep them clean.
9. Inexpensive to Maintain
Salt is readily available and cheaper than chlorine. Therefore, it will cost you significantly less to maintain your saltwater pool. In fact, you could cut your swimming pool maintenance budget by half when you convert it to a saltwater pool.