In Australia and South Africa nearly all the domestic swimming pools are sanitised using salt water chlorinators. In the UK very few swimming pools use salt water chlorinators. The Aussies think we are crazy not for using salt water chlorination, so what are the pros and the cons?
At PoolStore we have recently become converts to the idea of salt water chlorination. This is mainly down to the introduction of a new product that means you can retro fit a salt water chlorinator to your pool wheras before the units were installed when the pool was first built or had to be installed by a pool professional.
The biggest and most obvious advantage of salt water chlorination is that you never have to add any chemicals to your pool ever again. Cleaning chemicals that is – chlorine, algicides, clarifiers will be a thing of the past. All you will need is pH balance chemicals now and then. No more pulling back the cover and finding the water has gone green since you last looked at it. Provided you don’t switch it off your salt water chlorinator will keep your water pristine clean all season.
The water will “feel” much nicer. This is a difficult concept to explain but the water will feel softer and more inviting. Because the salt content is much closer to that of your eye water, red eyes and eye irritation will be greatly reduced. Your fingers will not go as “wrinkly” due to the salt content and you will not come out of the pool smelling of chlorine.
So with pristine clean water for ever and no chemicals what could possibly be the downside to salt water chlorination? Well not much really. Despite what the manufacturers might claim, the water does taste salty. Not very salty,  at 10 times less salt than the sea it is not unpleasant, and after a few weeks regular users will get used to the taste and barely notice it at all.
The installation process involves putting a lot of salt in your pool. Eight 25kg bags for a 50m3 (11,000 gallon) pool. But at least you only have to do it once. You will need to keep a few bags of salt on hand because as you top up after backwashing or evaporation you will need more salt sooner or later.
The biggest disadvatage is the cost. For a 12 x 24 pool a salt water chlorinator will cost about £850.00 and the salt will cost about £100.00.  That is about 10 years worth of chemicals but factor in never having to go out there and dose your pool, except for the pH now and then, and the pay back may well seem to come a lot quicker.
We like the Zodiac EI salt chlorinator because it can be retro fitted to just about any pool.

The Zodiac EI salt water chlorinator is our favourite

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