If you have a salt water pool, you may be wondering what kind of salt you need to use and how it works. Pool salt is not the same as the salt you use in your kitchen or on your food. It has a different texture, purity, and purpose. In this article, we will explain what pool salt is, how it sanitizes your pool water, and what are the benefits of using it.
What is Pool Salt?
Pool salt is a type of salt that is specially designed for use in saltwater pools. It is usually made of pure sodium chloride (NaCl), which is the same chemical compound as table salt, but with a coarser grind and larger crystals. Pool salt is sold in bulk bags or buckets, unlike table salt, which comes in small canisters or shakers.
Pool salt is used to create chlorine or bromine in your pool through a device called a chlorine generator or a bromine generator. These devices use electricity to split the salt molecules into sodium and chlorine (or bromine) ions, which then dissolve in the water and act as sanitizers. This process is called electrolysis.
What are the Types of Pool Salt?
There are three main types of pool salt that you can use for your pool: mined salt, mechanically evaporated salt, and solar salt. Each type has its own pros and cons, depending on the purity, cost, availability, and compatibility with your chlorine generator.
- Mined salt: This type of salt is extracted from underground deposits by mining. It is the most common and affordable type of pool salt in the US. It has a high purity level, ranging from 95% to 99% sodium chloride, which means it has fewer impurities that can damage your chlorine generator or cause scaling in your pool. Mined salt also dissolves quickly and evenly in water.
- Mechanically evaporated salt: This type of salt is produced by heating salty water and evaporating the moisture, leaving behind the salt crystals. This method uses artificial heat sources, such as power plants or factories, to create salt. It has a very high purity level, up to 99.9% sodium chloride, which makes it ideal for chlorine generators that require fine-grained salt. However, it is also more expensive and less available than mined salt.
- Solar salt: This type of salt is harvested from natural salt ponds or lakes by using solar energy to evaporate the water. It is the most environmentally friendly type of pool salt, as it does not use any fossil fuels or chemicals to produce. It has a lower purity level than mined or evaporated salt, ranging from 85% to 98% sodium chloride, which means it may contain more impurities that can affect your water quality or your chlorine generator performance. Solar salt also dissolves slower and less evenly than other types of pool salt.
What are the Benefits of Pool Salt?
Using pool salt for your pool has many advantages over using traditional chlorine or bromine tablets or granules. Some of the benefits of pool salt are:
- It saves you money: Pool salt is cheaper than chlorine or bromine products in the long run, as you only need to add it once or twice a year, depending on your pool usage and weather conditions. You also save on maintenance costs, as you do not need to buy stabilizers, algaecides, or shock treatments for your pool.
- It is gentler on your skin, eyes, and hair: Pool salt creates a natural form of chlorine or bromine that does not have the harsh effects of chemical chlorine or bromine. It does not cause dryness, irritation, itching, or burning sensations on your skin, eyes, or hair. It also does not bleach your swimsuits or damage your pool equipment.
- It improves your water quality: Pool salt helps to balance your water chemistry and keep it stable. It also prevents algae growth and bacteria formation in your pool. It makes your water softer and clearer, giving you a more pleasant swimming experience.
- It has health benefits: Pool salt can help to soothe various skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, or cuts. It can also help to reduce inflammation and joint pain, as well as improve blood circulation and respiratory function.
Pool salt is a great option for sanitizing your pool water without using harsh chemicals. It is easy to use, cost-effective, and beneficial for your health and comfort. However, you need to choose the right type of pool salt for your pool and follow the instructions of your chlorine generator manufacturer to ensure optimal results. With pool salt, you can enjoy a clean and refreshing pool all year round.