POOL SCHOOL 122 DE FILTERS

ProGridDE_1

Hayward DE 2400 Filter

Every pool must have a filter, if you don’t the pool is going to turn cloudy and green. The purpose of a filter is to remove particulate that form in the pool water. There are three types of filters on the market today. D.E. (an abbreviation for Diatomaceous Earth), sand, and cartridge. They all have pluses, they all have minuses. Today in class we are going to discuss D.E. filters.

When it comes to filtration you will not find a filter, on the market today, that will remove a smaller particle from the pool water. If you use Diatomaceous Earth in a D.E. filter, the filter will remove particles down to about 2 microns. A grain of sand on average is 100 microns, to give you a comparison. You can also use cellulose fiber in a D.E. Filter. Cellulose fiber filters just as well as D.E. but, has some advantages over D.E. First, it does not require as much cellulose fiber volume wise as D.E. Second, it backwashes better than D.E. And third, it is biodegradable, D.E. isn’t, D.E. is in its elemental form. There are a lot of localities that have banned the discharge of D.E. so cellulose fiber is an excellent substitute.

D.E. filters can be configured on a filter system several different ways. Some, in my opinion are better than others. One of the least common methods is to simply plumb the pipes into the filter and then out of the filter. That means when the filter is dirty and needs to be cleaned you have to take the filter apart and hose everything down. A messy job at best, hence this is my least favored method of hooking the filter to the system. If you currently have this type of setup, don’t despair, you can always upgrade your connection to make your life easier. I will discuss that in just a bit.

The next method is to use what is called a push/pull valve. This valve will allow you to easily backwash the filter by simply turning the pump off, then pulling the handle on the valve up, then turning the pump on again and running the pump until the filter is clean. Then you would turn the pump off and push the handle down, lock it then turn the pump on. Once the pump is on you will need to put more D.E. into the filter. How much you need to add we will discuss in just a moment. This, also, is not my favorite method of connecting the filter to the system because; it is very limited in what it can do. You have two options, either filter or backwash, that’s it.

The last method, my favorite, is a multiport valve. The multiport valve allows you to not only backwash the filter, it allows you to drain water without backwashing the filter (something you cannot do with a push/pull valve), it allows you to bypass the filter, and it allows you to stop the flow of water out of the filter when you turn the pump off and open the strainer lid on your pump. Proper operation of this valve requires you to turn the pump off before moving the handle to a different position on the dial.

If you have either no valve, or a push/pull valve you can switch to a multiport valve easily. All that is required is some re-plumbing, if you are not comfortable doing that type of work an Aegean Pools service technician can do that for you.

A D.E. Filter is a great filter, but not so great a backwashing device. Let me explain why; the way a D.E. filter works is the water comes into the bottom of the tank and is spread evenly inside the filter and over the grids inside the filter. When you add D.E. to the skimmer, by the side of the pool, the D.E. is delivered to the filter and the D.E. coats the grids evenly. As the water passed through the D.E. it leaves behind all the solid particles that will not fit through the D.E. As the D.E. gets clogged up with debris the pressure goes up on the filter tank. When the increase in pressure goes up ten pounds higher than the clean pressure you will need to clean the filter. Here I want to note that when you charge your filter with D.E. it is important that you make a note of the pressure reading because that is your baseline or reference pressure to determine when you need to backwash the filter. When we backwash the filter we are going to reverse that process filter process. The water will be entering the filter from inside, instead of outside, the grids. As this happens the D.E. is pushed off the grids and goes out the backwash line. If you are using a multiport valve to do this, you will watch the sight glass on the side of the multiport valve, when it is clear you will be done. Next, you want to turn the pump off (remember any time you change the position of the multiport valve you have to turn the pump off) and rotate the valve to the Rinse position. You then turn the pump on again and run the pump for twenty seconds. Next, you would go back to the backwash position again, this time for not quite as long, again waiting for a clear sight glass. You can repeat this process two times after the initial backwash. After you have done the backwash/rinse thing three times you have reached the point of negative returns and you should stop.

Your filter is now empty, well, almost empty. Remember, I said the D.E. filter is not a very efficient backwasher? Well, when the water enters the grid assembly during the backwash cycle it shoots straight down to the bottom of the grid. It usually misses the top four or five inches of the grid, so not all of the D.E. gets knocked off the grid. This said, if you put the full amount of D.E. that the manufacture calls for back in the filter you will end up with too much D.E. inside the filter and a higher starting pressure than normal. So I recommend you take one pound of D.E. off the recommended re-charge of the filter to compensate for the D.E. left in the filter.

For maintenance you need to take the filter apart once a season and clean it completely. D.E. will get caked up between the grids and not backwash out over the course of the summer. Taking it apart and hosing it down helps keep the filter working efficiently. You also want to, once a season, chemically clean the filter grids with BioGuard Kleen It® to keep the girds in top order so you get maximum flow through the grids.

There are nine rules of engagement for D.E. filters; I am going to list the top three rules for you today. For the other five rules, visit our store or visit our blog on Word Press:

Rule One – You NEVER run the DE filter without the DE powder in the filter.

Tip: if you need to circulate the water and you do not have DE in the filter, and you have a multiport valve on the filter, you may run it with the valve in the re-circulate position. This will bypass the filter. If you don’t have a multiport valve you cannot by pass the filter, sorry.

Rule Two – NEVER SKIP RULE NUMBER ONE.

Rule Three – Always use the proper amount of DE in the filter. This amount will depend on if you are backwashing the filter or you are taking the filter apart and cleaning it out completely. If you are taking the filter apart and cleaning it out you must use the full amount the manufacture indicates in the owner’s manual. If you are backwashing the filter take one pound off the manufacture’s recommendation and use that amount.

So that is everything you need to know about D.E. filters. See you next class.

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Pool School 121 Salt Generator Update

Aqua Rite wTCell_RGBThe first thing I want you to understand about Salt Generators is that the salt is not what is sanitizing the pool water. The salt is being converted from sodium chloride (salt) to sodium hypochlorite (chlorine). If you don’t take anything else away from this lecture remember that. One reason I want you to remember that is that this is the basis of the design of all salt generators, most go about it a little differently, but the end result is chlorine is being created from salt in the pool water.

Now that we have the foundation, let’s talk about how the systems work. As I stated before, each system is a little different, but they all operate on the same principal. First, you have a control device that allows you to change the output and gives you feedback on how the system is operating. The control device sends power to a cell. Inside the cell is titanium plates, these plates are coated with a special mineral call ruthenium. The ruthenium is what causes the salt to be converted to chlorine when a small electrical charge is applied to the plates. As this process occurs a small amount of ruthenium is released from the plates and the cell’s efficiency in producing chlorine is reduced. Over a period of time, several years, the cell will be worn out and have to be replaced. How many years it will take the cell to wear out will depend on how many plates are in the cell, how much ruthenium is coated on the plates, and how much time you send power to the cell.

Your goal is to find the lowest possible output that will give you the proper amount of chlorine in the pool (assuming the output level is based on the amount of time the control box sends power to the cell.). In order to know if you have the salt generator set at the proper level you will have to test the water once a week to insure that you have a sufficient amount of chlorine in the pool. If you do not test the water once a week, you run the risk of either over chlorinating the pool and wasting you salt cell, or not producing enough chlorine and developing algae in your pool.

Now that we have covered the salt conversion process, let’s talk about what happens next. You have this chlorine floating around your pool. It is either going to meet up with something it is going to oxidize (kill), or it is going to evaporate. In either case you don’t lose because when the chlorine is done, it goes back into the form of salt and stars all over again. Win, win! They only time you lose salt from the pool is when you add fresh water to the pool. If you have an indoor pool you will rarely add salt. If you have an outdoor pool and it never stops raining you will be adding salt all the time. However, on average you don’t lose much in the way of salt over the course of a year.

Salt generation has many advantages over other types of sanitizers; the biggest advantage is you have an endless supply of chlorine in your pool. If you are gone for ten days and you have a chlorine tablet feeder chances are you will run out of chlorine before you get home. With a salt generator the pool will still have chlorine in the water and it will be clear and blue.

When it comes to troubleshooting a salt generator problem each manufacture’s design is different, so it would be impossible to go over troubleshooting in general. But if you are having a problem with your salt generator get the brand and model of your salt generator then give us a call at Aegean Pools and tell us what your unit is doing and we will help you resolve your problem.

No homework today so go out and enjoy your pool!

© Aegean Pools 2015

Pool School 108 Manual Vaccuming The Pool

Rainbow193VinylVacThumbManually vacuuming the pool is an important step in caring for your pool.  By using your manual vacuum you will be systematically cleaning the entire pool, something that no automatic cleaner on the market today can do.  This fact is often overlooked because vacuuming the pool can be an arduous task, and who wants to perform an arduous task?  But if you know how to set the vacuum up properly, vacuuming the pool is a lot easier.

Follow these easy steps to set up the manual vacuum:

  1. The multiport valve, also know as the backwash valve (if you have one), should be in the filter position
  2. Turn the main drain valve (if you have a main drain) off or ¾ off, what gives the best suction
  3. If you have more than one skimmer, you’ll need to plug the skimmer you’re not using.  Always use the skimmer closest to the filter system
  4. Assemble the vacuum hose to the vacuum head; ensuring that the swivel end of the hose (this is referring to the cuff that is attached to the end of the hose) attaches to the vacuum head.  This is important because if you attach the wrong end of the hose to the vacuum head you may not be able to vacuum the pool because the vacuum hose will allow air into the system and the pump will lose it’s prime.  Not all vacuum hoses have a swivel cuff; the best way to determine if your hose has a swivel cuff is to grab the hose with one hand, and with the other hand try to turn the cuff.  If it rotates 360 degrees then you have a swivel cuff.  If it does not rotate it is a fixed cuff.  You need to check both ends of the hose because only one end will swivel
  5. Attach the vacuum head to the pole and place it in the water.
  6. Connect the vacuum plate to the vacuum hose (if you have one) at the opposite end of the vacuum hose from the vacuum head.  Using a vacuum plate is very important, it keeps large debris from getting stuck in the plumbing that may require a service call to remove the debris from the plumbing.  The cuff at the end of the hose you are attaching to the vacuum plate should be the cuff that does not swivel
  7. While the pump is running, place the end of the hose, not the end with the vacuum head, over the return and allow the hose to fill with water until all the air in the hose has been removed.  Make sure you are holding onto the pole when you do this or the pole may slip into the pool
  8. Without lifting the hose or vacuum out of the water; move them to the skimmer (keeping everything in the water!) Note: If you don’t have a vacuum plate, remove the skimmer basket, slide the hose under the water, and down into the hole farthest from the pool at the bottom of the skimmer.  We do not recommend you use this method as you could possibly clog the piping with large debris.  Rather, we recommend you leave the skimmer basket in place, ensuring that it is not damaged, place the vacuum plate on top of the skimmer basket
  9. Begin vacuuming the pool.

Once you have the manual vacuum set up you will want to pick a spot at one end of the pool, and systematically vacuum the bottom of the pool.  Then starting at one point on the wall, vacuum the walls starting just below the tile line going down to the floor.  Don’t forget to vacuum the stairs if you have them, however, you don’t want to vacuum the very top step as there will be too little water and the vacuum will loose it’s prime

Once you are done cleaning the pool rinse the equipment with fresh (not pool water) and make sure you store your vacuuming equipment out of direct sunlight because the UV light will oxidize the plastic housing and bristles making them brittle.

Class dismissed until next time, now go out and enjoy your pool!

Pool School 105 Calcium Hardness

16 lb Calcium Increaser

There are two things you want to keep in mind about calcium in your pool or spa; first, calcium is your friend and second calcium is your enemy.  “Wow, Jim, that is pretty conflicted,” you say, but the proper amount of calcium in your water with a proper water balance will keep your water looking clear and protect your pool surface.

The proper level for calcium in your pool will depend on the type of pool surface you have.  Vinyl liner, painted and fiberglass pools will need at least 170 ppm of calcium in the water and levels up to 400 ppm are acceptable.  Concrete pools will need a higher starting point of at least 225 ppm.  If you have a new masonry finish in the pool you will need to pay very close attention to your water balance to protect the new surface from all types of complications once the pool is full.

Why do you need calcium in the pool water anyway?  This is a question we are frequently asked.   Calcium does several things for you; first it helps the filter be more efficient at doing its job to the best of its ability.  If your calcium is too low you may have difficulty getting your pool to clear.  The other reason it is important relates to the other mineral balance in your pool, total alkalinity.  You will recall in Pool School 104, when we talked about total alkalinity, water wants a certain water balance and if it does not have that balance it will begin to satisfy it’s need by drawing chemicals, or mineral, out of whatever vessel it is being held in.  How that translates to your pool will depend on the type of surface you have in the pool.  For people who have vinyl liner pools it will pull plasticizers’ out of the vinyl making the liner brittle.  I had a customer whose wife left him, he had purchased the pool for her and when she left he was over the pool and he turned it off.  The pool sat unused for two years.  Not only did he not ever touch the pool, he didn’t even look at the pool.  Fast-forward two years, he has a new girlfriend and she is all about the pool so he figures he better get it going.  He hires someone to come out and clean up the swamp.  The problem is the chemistry has been so neglected that the liner has not only badly wrinkled from low pH and no alkaline minerals, the liner has turned so brittle that when you push a brush across the folds of the wrinkles the liner cracks, because it is brittle from low calcium.  Needless to say he had to replace the liner.

So what happens if the calcium is too high?  Calcium in and of itself is not a problem; it is when you combine it with other minerals in the water that it becomes an issue.  Temperature also is a factor in overall balance of minerals.  We just talked about what happens if the water isn’t satisfied with the mineral balance but the other side of the scale is when there are too many minerals in the pool water.   What happens is the water has to release something and the first thing it gives up is calcium.  Calcium will deposit it on the surface of the pool making the surface feel like sandpaper.  Think of it like over-eating, if your stomach can’t hold any more food it will, not to be graphic, get rid if it.  Not a pleasant experience, and while removing calcium from the surface of the pool is not exactly the same thing as what your stomach just did, it is still an arduous, un-pleasant task.  Removing calcium from the surface of the pool will usually take about 2 to 4 weeks and require the addition of a chemical specifically designed to re-dissolve the calcium back into the pool water and hold it there.  It will also require you to brush the surface of the pool everyday in order to facilitate the scale removal.

The other unique thing about low calcium is that it can make the water have a slight green tint to it.  We usually see this in pools where the calcium level is below 100ppm.  The water will be clear, it just will have a green tint and shocking does not clear the green tint.  I once had a commercial customer that was an hour ride from my store, and they called me and told me the pool was clear but green, and when they shock the pool it doesn’t go back to blue.  So I told them I needed a water sample to resolve the problem.  They made 2 more attempts to solve the problem themselves, one of which involved the chemist from the local paper mill.  The paper chemist had declared the water in perfect balance, but the pool water was still green.  They called me again, and again I asked them to bring me a sample of the pool water, since they had not had any luck so far they finally relented and brought the sample to me.  When I tested the water I discovered that the calcium hardness was at 30ppm, way to low, I had them add a sufficient amount of calcium and, low and behold, the pool was blue again.  While the paper mill chemist was an expert at paper chemistry he really did not understand swimming pool chemistry.

This concludes this class on calcium hardness, next class will be on stabilizer so make sure you are on time, late arrivals will be sent to the principals office!

Pool School 104 Total Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity Increaser 25lb Bucket

In Pool School 103 I talked about pH and how people get confused with the terminology when we refer to the pH being either Acidic or Alkaline, so Pool School 104 is where we are going to clear up that confusion and explain why this mineral level in the pool is important.

When we are talking about Alkalinity we are really talking about Total Alkalinity, which is a measure of all the alkaline minerals, dissolved into the pool water. Remember when the pH is above 7.0 the pH is considered alkaline, but here we are talking about alkaline minerals dissolved into the pool water not pH (the amount of hydrogen in the water).

The question often posed to us is; Why is Total Alkalinity important? There are actually two mineral balances that are important to your pool water and water in general; they are Total Alkalinity and Total Calcium Hardness. In this class I am just going to talk about Total Alkalinity and I will address Total Calcium Hardness in Pool School 105.

You will want to remember this for this class and for the next class; water wants a certain water balance, if it does not have that balance then it will go looking for it in whatever vessel it is being contained in. So in our case it is the surface of the pool that will be in jeopardy if the water is “out of balance.” Vinyl and painted surfaces will be the most often affected if your Total Alkalinity is not properly maintained.

What is the correct level for your pool? There isn’t actually one level that you would maintain but a range, we like 100 ppm to 150 ppm. This range gives you a good buffer. Some sanitizing systems require a different range usually 80 ppm to 100 ppm. People who use Ionizers (we talked about in Pool School 102) would maintain this level in the pool. There are some areas of Hampton Roads where getting the Total Alkalinity down below 150 is almost impossible because their make up water is very high in Total Alkalinity, for these customers we usually will allow up to 200 ppm but we have to balance that with the Total Calcium Hardness so we don’t end up with other problems in the pool.

What happens if the Total Alkalinity is below 100 ppm? The lower the Total Alkalinity the more difficult it will be to maintain a steady pH level. Total Alkalinity actually acts as a buffer to the pH, like a shock absorber so you don’t get big swings of the pH when you are trying to adjust it. In addition, you can actually get the Total Alkalinity down to zero (0) where there are no alkaline minerals in the water. This is a condition you really don’t want because the water is going to begin removing minerals from the surface of the pool and in a vinyl liner pool you will begin to see wrinkles form as the liner begins to relax and stretch. The wrinkles can only be removed by replacing the liner.

What happens if the Total Alkalinity is above 200 ppm? When the Total Alkalinity is too high it will have the opposite effect on the pH from a too low situation. So it creates a pH lock where you cannot get the pH level to move no matter how much pH lower or pH rise you add. It may also, if the pH gets too high, create an environment where scale is likely to form anywhere and everywhere on the pool surface, plumbing and equipment. When scale forms it is very difficult to remove from the pool surface, note I said difficult I did not say impossible. It takes weeks for the chemicals that remove scale from the pool surface to do their job, so prevention is your best protection.

Total Alkalinity is not a balance that changes day to day like Chlorine and pH, Total Alkalinity is a more long-range balance. What causes Total Alkalinity to change? Total Alkalinity has to be affected in order for it to change. The most common thing to affect Total Alkalinity is rain; rainwater is distilled water that has no minerals. So if you get a lot of rain your Total Alkalinity will be decreased the more rain the more the Total Alkalinity will be affected. If we get a hurricane with 20” of rainwater you can pretty much plan on having to adjust your Total Alkalinity. The other thing that affects Total Alkalinity is stabilized chlorine tablets and muriatic acid. Stabilized chlorine tablets have a pH level of about 2, so when they are dissolved into the pool water they drag down the pH level and the Total Alkalinity. At least once a week it is important that you check not only the chlorine level in your pool but also the pH level. You will usually find that the pH level will have dropped and will have to be adjusted up to keep the pH from falling below 7.0. If you let the pH level drop below 7.0 the water has gone from alkaline to acidic, once the water is on the acidic side it will begin to dissolve all the alkaline minerals from the pool water slowly dragging down the Total Alkalinity. If you let this go on for weeks on end you will end up with zero (0) Total Alkalinity, a very bad place to be. The other thing that affects Total Alkalinity is muriatic acid, we use muriatic acid to lower the Total Alkalinity when the level is 200 ppm or higher. There is a specific process we use to lower Total Alkalinity when using muriatic acid. When you have the water tested here and we determine that it needs to be decreased we will give you specific instructions on how this is to be done.

Some important things to remember; the Total Alkalinity does not change everyday and really only needs to be checked and adjusted every two to three months. If you are using stabilized chorine tablets keeping the pH above 7.0 is very important and should be checked and adjusted weekly. If you are busy and really don’t have time to keep close track of the pH we have a product that will help keep the pH in check called Balancer Tabs. When you add your chlorine tablets to your chlorine feeder you put one Balancer Tablet in the skimmer for every chlorine tablet you put in your chlorine feeder. NEVER put the Balancer Tablets in the chlorine feeder or the chlorine tablets in the skimmer with Balancer Tablets. Using Balancer Tablets will make it less likely the pH and Total Alkalinity will go way out of whack, but they do not eliminate the need to test the pool water at home or at our test lab, they just help keep the water balance from going too far out of whack.

Now that you have a better understanding of Total Alkalinity in Pool School 105 we will be talking about Total Calcium Hardness and your pool water, don’t be late for class!

Jim Garrison
The Guru of Pools at
Aegean Pools.

Pool School 103 pH

When it comes to the terminology of pH understanding it can be confusing, however if you pay close attention I think this class will clear things up nicely.

When we are talking about pH we are talking about the amount of hydrogen that is in the water. This level directly affects your sanitizer’s ability to do its job. So it is vitally important that you keep a close eye on your pH level and adjust it when necessary. The range for pH is 0 (being perfectly acidic) to 14 (being perfectly alkaline). The ideal range for your swimming pool is 7.4 to 7.6. The pH of your eye is 7.4 so if you go below 7.4 on pH you may encounter eye irritation. If you have see the eye wash commercials that ask you if the chlorine in the pool is burning your eyes, don’t believe them it is the pH that is burning your eyes not the chlorine and if the pool you are swimming in is irritating your eyes then the pool water is not properly balances and it is time to get out of the pool. The pH can either be acidic or (and this is where people get confused) alkaline. People will confuse the water being alkaline with the mineral balance “Total Alkalinity” (which we will talk about in Pool School 104). When the pH is below 7.0 the water is considered acidic. When the pH is above 7.0 the water is considered alkaline. 7.0 is perfectly neutral, the water is neither acidic nor alkaline.

The pH will only change when it is affected, in other words something has to be added to the water to make pH change. The method of sanitizing your pool is the most common cause of pH fluctuation. Different methods of sanitizing will affect the water differently. I am going to talk about the three most common methods of sanitizing, Chlorine Tablets, Salt Generation and Biguanides.

Chlorine tablets have a pH of about 2.0. That said when you dissolve a chlorine tablet into the water it is going to lower the pH level. When the pH level drops below 7.0 and the water becomes acidic lots of bad things begin to happen. First thing you will notice, as I mention before, your eyes will begin to burn and turn red from the irritation. This is kind of the canary in the mine situation. If you see this happening do a test with your test kit then adjust the pH as soon as possible. One of the other bad things that happens is the Total Alkalinity will begin to be dissolved by the acidity of the water and thus make your pH more difficult to control (we will talk more about this next week). Also when the pH drops below 7.0 the water will begin to etch away at everything metal in the pool and the filter system including; handrails, ladders, bolts and nuts, shaft seals in pump and spring in your multiport valve. Plus low pH levels will begin to make all plastics more brittle over a period of time and also negatively affect any pool surface.

Salt generators have opposite effect on the pH from chlorine tablets! So as the units make chlorine the pH level is increased as a side effect. This sounds great until you realize that as the pH increases the ability of chlorine to sanitize the water decreases. As you get up to the 8.0 range the chlorine is not effectively sanitizing the water. So it is important that you adjust the pH level about once a week when you have a salt generator. When the pH is about 7.8 your cell could begin to form scale which is not a good thing because it will require you to acid wash the cell, which in itself is not good for the cell but if it is scaled it will be necessary. So just to restate it you should keep a close eye on the pH and adjust it when necessary.

Biguanides have no effect on the pH level. However if the pH gets about 8.0 it could cause cloudy pool water. So just like all other systems it is important to keep an eye on the pH level and adjust it if necessary.

There are other things that affect the pH level like rain (which is usually acidic, below 7.0) and chemicals that you add to the pool water will have an effect on the pH. As we go through the pool school series I will talk about each product effect on the pH. So make sure you are on time for the next class!

pH Scale

This chart will give you a visual comparison for the pH of different products.

Pool School 101 Swimming Pool Sanitizers

This is part one of a multi

N. Jonas On Guard 3″ Chlorine Tablets offer a great value combined with a quality product!

part series about pool water chemistry. In part one I am going to talk about sanitizers and I promise to keep it as entertaining as I possibly can.

When it comes to sanitizers think of it like they type of fuel your car uses. Some cars use gasoline, some use diesel, some are all electric; the possibilities go on and on. It is the same thing for you pool’s sanitizer. You have all kinds of options chlorine, bromine, Biguanide, ionization and ozone.

Let’s start with the most common sanitizer chlorine. Chlorine is a very effective sanitizer that is found in all kinds of products today from household cleaners to your pool sanitizer and it is used extensively throughout the world. The only thing that kills faster than chlorine is ozone. The advantage chlorine has over ozone is that chlorine can be held in the water in residual but ozone cannot and this is a huge advantage. I will talk more about ozone in Pool School 102.

Many people who have salt generators don’t realize that they are using chlorine as their sanitizer; they mistakenly believe that they are using salt. Salt is an inert product and cannot sanitize their pool water, what they are doing with the device they have is converting salt (sodium chloride) into liquid chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite) through an electrolysis process. The beauty of this system is that when the chlorine they created is done doing whatever it is suppose to do it reverts back into a usable form of salt and you run it through the conversion process all over again, a very efficient process.

The two other most common methods of adding chlorine to the pool are Stabilized Chlorine Tablets (both 3” and 1”) and Calcium Hypochlorite. Stabilized Chlorine Tablets have been the preferred method of sanitizing pools from the late 70’s to the mid 90’s when salt generators took over the position as the most popular method. The best way to add chlorine tablets is in an in-line feeder installed after the filter and heater (if you have one). Putting the chlorine tablets in the skimmer is not good for your whole filter system and it will shorten the life of your skimmer basket. The chlorine tablets contain a very strong oxidizer and will oxidize everything plastic and metal in the system and cause premature failure of many of you systems components. If you don’t have an in-line feeder the next best option is a chlorine floater but you will need to tie it off by the return jet where the water comes back into the pool because the chlorine tablets are erosion tablets and they need the water running over them to dissolve them. If you just let the floater float the tablets will only soak and they will not dissolve quickly enough to keep up with the chlorine demand in the pool water.

The other method, which harks back to the 1930’s, is using Calcium Hypochlorite. Every day you go out mix up some Calcium Hypochlorite and pour it in the pool. This system was fine for back in the days when there was no filter system and the water was stagnant. But by today’s standards this would be a major hassle and cause many water problems.

So the best choice for a chlorine sanitizing systems is by far a Salt Generator. Several key reasons for this are:

– Chlorine is one of the fastest sanitizers on the market today.
– As the Salt Generator is making chlorine it is actually shocking the pool water for you so it eliminates the need to routinely shock the pool water.
– If necessary you can go up to two weeks or more without making any adjustments to your pool water, because you have an unlimited supply of chlorine in your pool.

I want to go into a little more detail on the last statement. A salt generator will continue to produce chlorine as long as the unit is working and there is sufficient salt in the pool water. We recommend you check your pool weekly because during the summer your pH will usually need adjusting after a week. As the water-cools and you turn the operation of the Salt Generator down the pH will be less affected and you will not need to adjust the pH as often. Hence you can go longer without any chemical adjustments if you were out of town and did not have the ability to make adjustments on a weekly basis. We don’t recommend this but in a pinch it will work.

In the market today chlorine is the dominant sanitizer because it is effective and cost efficient compared to other methods of sanitizing the pool water.