Salt Pool Myth or Fact?
“Pools equipped with a chlorine generator do not require any other source of chlorine.”
There are some instances where the chlorine generator may not be able to produce enough chlorine to overcome the contaminant burden in the pool. Pools equipped with an ECG (Electronic Chlorine Generator; ie “Salt Pools”) can often struggle with chlorine demand just as any other chlorine pool might. In these instances, a larger than normal amount of chlorine may be required for treatment. Also, keep in mind that these pools require routine oxidation or ”shocking” just as any other chlorine pool does. Many times this can be accomplished by using a boost setting on the chlorine generator itself. If you aren’t sure if your’s is enough, a big clue is in the generator percentage. If it is running at 30% on a daily basis, boosting it once a week will increase the chlorine produced by 70% for 24 hours. On a routine basis this should be enough. However, if your generator is already running at 80%, boosting it the additional 20% is unlikely to be enough to oxidize away “dead” chlorine. This can result in higher combined chlorine levels each week. Another way to check these numbers is to test using test strips that include both Total and Free Chlorine, or bringing a sample into your nearest UAG or BioGuard dealer.
To prevent combined chlorine or chlorine demands, you may have to use a weekly shock in addition to your boost setting. A side benefit to doing this is if you add shock instead of boosting your generator will likely last longer. Boosting is harder on the generator and can shorten the lifespan.
If a chlorinating product is needed to help raise the chlorine level, you have a couple of options.
Super Soluble is a good option for raising both the free and total chlorine. If the pool has enough free chlorine but has a combined chlorine level, use SaltScapes Non-Chlorine Shock Oxidizer. This product will not raise the chlorine residual, but will provide supplemental oxidation to the water. This will help water clarity and burning eyes by getting rid of the “dead” chlorine. Finally, a chlorine shock like Smart Shock or Burn Out 73 are good options for adding residual free chlorine while also oxidizing out the combined levels.
And, as with any pool, additional oxidation will be needed after heavy bather loads, rain or if contamination is suspected. To find out the best way to inspect and treat a salt pool for algae, check out our upcoming post on algae treatment.