Salt Chlorination – In my experience here in Thailand. I have found quite a few people have been ill informed about the advantages of the “Salt Chlorination” system. First thing is to understand, is that when we talk about a salt water pool. It doesn’t mean sea water salt concentration. We use about 15/20 % of sea water concentration. (4,000 ppm where as sea water 50/60,000 ppm) Unless you taste it you would not know it had salt in the water. The reason for the salt is that a chlorine generator is installed in the pump room and this uses salt to create chlorine via electrolysis.
Yes it is still a chlorine pool.
However the level of chlorine needed is in most cases a lot less. The salt water chlorinator system is made up of 3 main components.
1/ Salt in the water
2/ Control unit
3/ Salt cell.
Salt makes the water conductive so that the electricity can pass between the plates in the cell. If the salt level goes too low, then the chlorine production simply stops. Salt is also the raw material from which the chlorine gas is produced. Chlorine gas passes through the water to create “Sodium hypochlorite” Self-cleaning units have a feature built into the unit that reverses the polarity of the voltage through the cell in order to clean any scale buildup off of the cell plates.
The salt cell is a series of titanium plates with opposite charges in a cell. As the water passes between the plates, electrolysis takes place, creating chlorine gas which passing through the water creates the chlorine required for sanitation. The salt machine also controls the pump and they normally have a run dry mechanism that protects the pump and cell if no water is detected.
One thing I have noticed in Thailand is that nobody seems to take any notice of the calcium levels in the water. One of the first things that water looks for is calcium. If it is low the water will suck it out of the surface of the pool and surrounds. This is why you get sand wash falling apart, tiles falling off and white scale build up around the pool edges. I cannot believe the number of pools around Thailand that are only around one year old and the surface is deteriorated so much that they need resurfacing.
So by installing a salt water chlorinator system you take a lot of aggressiveness out of the water and reduces this issue. Salt water chlorinators are easy to fit whether you have an existing pool or you are in planning stages.