What is a Salt Pool?

What is a Salt Pool?

One of the more common questions I get is: Do you do salt pools? The short answer is yes I do. What I have come to realize however is that there is an abundance of misinformation and lack of knowledge out there when it comes to what a salt pool is.

diagram of how a fiberglass salt water pool works
Typical Salt Pool Plumbing
A salt pool can be referred to (several incorrectly) as many things. Saline pool, salt generator, salt chlorine generator, non-chemical chlorine pool, free chlorine, salt system, salt pool, Zero Chlorine, and even mineral pool. All of these mean the same thing. A "salt pool" is not any different from any other pool. It is not constructed or plumbed any differently. It simply has a chlorine generator installed in the filtration system, and high grade salt added to the water. Whala! A "salt pool."

To understand how a salt chlorinator works you must understand that chlorine comes in different physical forms. Liquid, solid, gas, chemical, non-chemical, modified solid, etc. A Chlorine generator works by converting the salt molecule that has been put into the water INTO a chlorine molecule. This is done by removing an electron from the salt though a process called electrolysis. The chlorine molecule then goes out into the pool, attacks a waste molecule, burns off (kind of like evaporating) and leaves behind the salt molecule to eventually go back to the pump and chlorine generator and repeat.

internal blades of a pool salt system cell
Where the magic happens
Maintenance on this type of system is VERY easy. Because salt does not evaporate, you will only have to add salt back into the pool to replace the salt that splashes out and that is lost by winterizing your pool. This equates to a just few pounds per year for most people and typically is about $10. Cleaning of the chlorine generating cell is periodically needed. Most private pool owners will do this once a year, and it takes about 10 minutes and a 1/4 cup of pool acid (muriatic). Some better units on the market will even clean themselves as well as tell you how much salt is in the pool making ownership and maintenance even easier.

As for cost, in my opinion modest. Typically, $1,200 to $2,000 installed and ready to go. The variables include: Cost of the unit, effort to wire it to your electric panel, and the amount of salt you will need (based on the volume of your pool). Here is the myth. If you own a fiberglass pool, you will not save thousands of dollars on chlorine. Why? Because you are not using thousands of dollars in chlorine. The cost savings commonly discussed online are experienced by those owning concrete or vinyl pools that are accustomed to spending $1,000 or more per year on chemicals. The benefits to having a salt chlorination on a fiberglass pool are all the other things. Soft smooth water, non-burning eyes, no bleached hair, no ruined bathing suits, and most important of all, EASY.

See more at:

Salt Water Chlorine Generators: History, Types, Operation, and Considerations
Auto Pilot: Salt Nano System
Auto Pilot: Digital Soft Touch

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