Salt water pools utilize salt/chlorine generators which produce chlorine by converting salt placed in the pool into liquid chlorine. Salt concentration can range from 2,500 parts per million (ppm) to 6,000 ppm. At these concentrations of salt the swimming pool water is corrosive and can cause deterioration and corrosion to the swimming pool’s interior finish, decking and pool equipment. (14) (16)
Due to the deterioration and corrosion issues inherent in the use of salt/chlorine generators, swimming pool construction and the materials used for construction are particularly important when considering the use of a salt /chlorine generator for pool sanitizing.
The components of salt water swimming pool construction need to be made of corrosion resistant materials due to the corrosive properties of the salt water.
Pool ladders, pumps, filter housings, screen enclosures, tile grout and deck drains need to be carefully selected to minimize corrosion damage from the salt water. (16)
Great care must be taken when selecting a pool construction method. If a pool surface is applied over metal lathe, the corrosive salt water in the pool may penetrate the surface of the pool wall and cause spalling of the pool surface.
If a pool owner is considering converting their pool from liquid chlorine bleach or chlorine tablets to a salt/chlorine generator system they should carefully evaluate the materials used to construct their pool and pool equipment and determine whether the pool materials and construction method are suitable to withstand the corrosive effects of a salt/chlorine generator. It is advisable to obtain professional advice when considering changing sanitizing methods to a salt/chlorine generator and to fully understand the additional water testing required in order to maintain optimum performance of salt/chlorine generators.
Another important factor to consider when using a salt/chlorine generator is whether the use of a salt/chlorine generator will void warranties applicable to the pool, pool deck and pool equipment. Some equipment manufacturers and pool builders disclaim responsibility for deterioration/damage/corrosion caused by salt/chlorine generators and their warranties may be voided by the use of salt/chlorine generators. (16) (17)
Another important factor to consider in connection with the use of a salt/chlorine generator is whether local laws/regulations prohibit their use in your locality. Some localities prohibit the use of salt/chlorine generators for environmental reasons. (17)
Salt / Chlorine Generators: Other Pool Chemicals Needed Maintenance Requirements Long Term Cost