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Salt Pools

The technology that produces chlorine for swimming pools was originally used to create caustic soda and the by product was chlorine. Some genius scratched his head and put the technology to work for swimming pools. Caustic soda is very high in pH, so salt pools constantly need quantities of acid to lower the pH. Salt pools do not usually require adding chlorine, but do require adding salt, acid, scale preventative, and stabilizer. The short version is that salt pools are a much better deal for the pool industry than the pool owner. They create more problems than they solve. If you like the soft water and silky feel of a salt pool, add salt to your pool and keep your floater full of tabs. A $10 chlorine tab floater is actually the most effective and least expensive way of chlorinating your pool. If you have a chlorine smell coming from your pool, shock it to get rid of the chloramines. Chlorine itself has no noticeable odor, up to 20 parts or more per million .
Avoid a salt chlorine generating system - They are expensive to install and expensive to repair when they break down. You can buy about 10 years worth of chlorine for the cost to install the system. They do have some benefits, but the pH and total alkalinity are constantly out of balance, they require quantities of muriatic acid, and often salt and stabilizer; salt pools are more susceptible to staining from high pH and alkalinity. The disadvantages typically outweigh the advantages. You will NOT save money with a salt pool, regardless of what your builder or salesman tells you. He will make more money by installing a salt system. The cells last 3 to 5 years and cost $500 or more to replace. The control panels have problems sometimes and need expensive repairs. Salt pools are trendy. If you want to get one because they are trendy, you should. But you will not save money and you will have more problems because salt pools are more complicated. Many pool owners have abandoned their salt systems and gone back to tabs in floaters.