The last year has been a challenge for many. A pandemic, along with several natural disasters, has left many industries reeling. The sanitation industry is no exception. The Biolabs fire in Louisiana played a significant role in the shortage of chemical products. This swimming season, we are preparing for the lack of chlorine and other pool sanitation products. During these times, you may look for other chlorine alternatives. A salt cell generator is one such alternative that pool owners may be considering. 

What is a Salt Cell Generator?

A salt cell generator, also known as a chlorine generator, is a system that uses salt to create chlorine naturally. These systems can be added to most swimming pools. The salt used, Sodium Chloride (NaCl), is chemically identical to average table salt, but held to a higher standard of purity. The salt is added directly to your pool water, where it will run through the water filtration system and pass through the salt generator on its way back into the pool. The generator uses electrolysis to break down the salt, freeing the chlorine from its bond to the sodium. The released chlorine then functions to keep your pool balanced and sanitized, with fewer chemical byproducts like chloramines.

Converting Your Pool

Converting a pool to saltwater should be done carefully, but the process is straightforward. First, we install the generator on your equipment pad to the return line. This acts as the last component water flows through before re-entering the pool. This installation helps to prevent the high concentration of chlorine from damaging the other equipment. The next step is to wire your salt cell generator to your control panel or timer. We will pour the high-purity salt directly into your pool until it reaches the appropriate level of salinity, stirring the salt around with a brush so it dissolves quickly and evenly. Once it’s dissolved, we will then let the water circulate for 24 hours before the generator is turned on. Once activated, it will convert the evenly dispersed salt directly into chlorine.

The Benefits of a Salt Cell Generator 

You wouldn’t consider something if there wasn’t a benefit for you. So what makes a salt cell generator worth the investment? Well, using salt in this way is a more natural means of sanitation. Salt generators produce fewer chloramines. This helps reduce chlorine smell and any irritation to skin and eyes. Swimmers often say that their skin feels softer and less dried out after swimming in a salt water pool. Routine maintenance can also be reduced, as the generator creates and disperses the chlorine for you. The system is user-friendly, and you won’t have to worry about keeping your pool sanitized during any future chemical shortages.  

Of course, there is always the question of costs. A salt generator conversion has a higher initial investment, but seasonal costs of pool salt vs. chlorine are more affordable. Since the generator is running continuously, fewer fluctuations in chlorine levels reduce the need to shock the pool. The supply of chlorine products is incredibly uncertain at this time; the price difference maybe even more significant moving forward.

Salt cell generators are another example of how technology can help make pool maintenance simpler for pool owners. In times of uncertainty, having a backup plan or multiple options can help a great deal. If you have been considering the conversion for some time, why not explore it a little further! Contact a pool professional for more information.