Myth or Fact? “Salt Pools Are Not Chlorine Pools”


This blog is part of our Salt Pool Myth or Fact? series.  Many people looking at installing a salt pool, or inheriting one with a new property, do not fully understand the system.  This series of blog posts will hopefully help clear up some of the questions that arise.

Salt Pool “Myth or Fact #1”

“Pools equipped with a chlorine generator (Salt pools) do not have have chlorine in them.”

Myth. Yes, Myth.

The misconception that Salt pools are “chlorine free” was widely spread for many years, but most people now realize there is chlorine in their salt pool.   As swimming pool experts, we are forced to attend classes and learn the chemistry behind how chlorine is formed when the electrolytic chlorine generator or ECG  breaks down salt and water, but as a consumer, you just need to know that Salt and Water go in, Chlorine (and other stuff) comes out.

Understanding this will help clear up the confusion caused by many of the other Salt Pool myths.  Basically, a salt generator could be added to almost any new or existing pool, even with water already in it.  Salt or Mineral Springs Beginnings has to be added to the pool, and once it reaches the proper salinity the generator can be turned on and will start producing chlorine.  But remember,  the generator only produces chlorine; it does not balance the rest of the water.  You will want to make sure to take care of the other areas of water chemistry and not expect it to be a one stop shop.  To find out more about balancing the water, visit Salt Pool Myth #2.

After hearing this, many people wonder why salt pools feel so different.  The answer is, in many cases, Mineral Springs Beginnings or some other borate product like Optimizer Plus.  Borates are added to the water to make it soft and help suppress algae growth.  This is often the true cause of soft, silky water.  If you add straight salt, it justs adds salt; it doesn’t soften the water like the water softener in your house.

One other common explanation of softer feeling water is a lower or more balanced chlorine level.  This is because chlorine is being added to the water at a steady rate through the chlorine generator.  That steady rate reduces high peaks of chlorine, which is one cause of skin and eye irritation in water.  If you are looking for the same effect without a chlorine generator there are still a couple ways to achieve this.  Using a chlorine feeder will feed chlorine into the pool at a steady rate as well.  Even better, use Silkguard Complete Sticks or Tablets.  They both have been reformulated to dissolve at a slow and steady pace and have added softeners.  However, to get your water feeling its softest, you can add Optimizer Plus to any standard chlorine pool as well.

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