Chlorine Alternatives for Your Swimming Pool

Chlorine is one of the most effective sanitizers for swimming pools, killing bacteria and organisms that can pose health risks to swimmers. But it is also a harsh chemical that can dry your skin and hair, bleach clothing and leave an unpleasant odor on your body. There are chlorine alternatives that can reduce the amount of chlorine needed for your pool for a more enjoyable, yet safe, swimming experience. Salt water generators and ozone systems are two popular choices for pool owners that want to reduce chlorine in their pools.

Salt Water Generators

Salt water or chlorine generators effectively sanitize by making pure chlorine from the salt that is added to the water. The generator is installed into the pool’s filtering system, converting salt into chlorine as it passes through. As the chlorine is used for sanitization, it converts back to salt. The water does not have the smell of chlorine and does not harm your skin or clothing.

Ozone Systems

Another alternative to chlorine for pools is a ozone system. These systems use ozone as the main sanitizer for killing harmful organisms in the pool. While some chlorine is still needed, it is a fraction of what is used in chlorine pools, reducing the odor and harsh effects. You can use up to 90% less chlorine with an ozone system for your pool, creating a more desirable swimming environment.

If you want to eliminate the need for using chlorine as your main pool sanitizer, talk to your local pool service company about chlorine alternatives. Both salt water pools and ozone systems have many benefits and can keep your pool safe and sanitized with minimal use of chlorine.

Posted on behalf of:
Somar Pools, LLC
6538 Collins Ave, #42
Miami Beach, FL 33141
(305) 767-7755

How to Clean a Salt Chlorinator Cell

If you have a salt chlorinator system for controlling water quality and safety in your swimming pool, there is some maintenance that must be done.  A chlorine generator, often called a salt system, is an excellent chlorine alternative but you do need to make sure the system is cleaned and maintained. Your salt chlorinator cell should be regularly cleaned to ensure it continues working as it should and to extend its life between replacements.

Calcium scale on the salt cell is the most common reason these components need to be cleaned. The calcium scale can form on the salt plates, reducing the effectiveness of the cell and shortening the lifespan. Each model may differ, but most salt cells should be cleaned at least every 3 months, sooner if you have high calcium in your pool water or with heavy use.

Steps to Inspect Clean Your Salt Cell

Every few months, follow these steps to maintain and clean your salt cell:

  • Turn off system and pump; remove salt cell
  • Inspect for calcium deposits or scale on the salt plates; this is a light-colored substance that is encrusted on the surface
  • If calcium scale is present rinse off deposits with a hose
  • Reinstall cell and turn on system and pump

In some cases, you may have calcium scale that does not come loose with only water. An acid solution can be used to soak away the deposits. Follow your manufacturers instructions for cleaning your salt cell with an acid solution, if this is necessary.

Another option is to have your pool maintenance crew check and clean your salt cell for you. This can ensure that is does not accumulate heavy calcium deposits, improving its performance and extending the life of the cell.

Posted on behalf of:
Somar Pools, LLC
6538 Collins Ave, #42
Miami Beach, FL 33141
(305) 767-7755

Salt Generators Are An Alternative To Chlorine

Recent reports linking swimming in chlorinated pools with an increased risk of cancer have led many pool owners to begin exploring alternatives to chlorine for keeping their pool clean and sanitized.  These reports are not conclusive and focused on a rise in blood markers for cancer rather than increased cancer rates. The authors admit that much more work needs to be done before a causal link between chlorinated swimming pools and cancer can be established.  However, there are other problems with chlorine such as causing dry skin, bleaching bathing suits, and aggravating asthma and other health conditions.

Fortunately, there are chlorine alternatives that can greatly reduce the amount of chlorine needed to keep your pool clean and sanitized.  Salt generators and ozone generators are two commonly uses systems that allow the pool owner to safely use much less chlorine.

With a salt generator, salt is added to the pool to increase the salinity to a low level.  The salinity level is a fraction of the level in ocean salt water and is even much lower than the salinity level of human tears.

The saline water flows though a cell where electrical current runs through the water to convert the salt into sodium hypochlorite which kills bacteria and other compounds in the water before reverting back into salt. A salt generator does not eliminate the need for traditional chlorine levels, but allows the level of chlorine in the pool to safely be maintained at a much lower level.

A pool equipped with a salt generator does not have that strong chlorine smell and the water feels better.  Dry skin and itching associated with chlorine are also reduced.  A salt generator can be somewhat expensive to install, but they greatly reduce the amount of chlorine that has to be stored and handled.  If you want to reduce the chlorine level in your pool while keeping it clear and fresh, talk to your pool service contractor about installing a salt generator.