If you own a swimming pool you’ve probably been introduced or curious as to how a salt water system would work for you. Years ago they came onto the market quickly and were extremely popular because they were sold as easier maintenance for your swimming pool and most importantly the ability to swim in much softer water. As soon as swimming pool owners heard this, they were sold. The thought of softer water and less maintenance is a dream come true for most swimming pool owners but unfortunately they forgot to discuss with everyone how hard our water is in the Las Vegas area and Southwest United States. This was something huge that was never really discussed and unfortunately due to the hard water, most of the salt water systems don’t work the way they are supposed to. In this blog post we want to highlight how salt systems work, why they have challenges with the hard water and how Clark County Pool & Lawn can help!

How Do Salt Water Systems Work?

According to Wikipedia, “Salt water chlorination is a process that uses dissolved salt (2,500–6,000 ppm) as a store for the chlorination system. The chlorine generator (also known as salt cell, salt generator, salt chlorinator or SWG) uses electrolysis in the presence of dissolved salt (NaCl) to produce hypochlorous acid (HCIO) and sodium hypochlorite (NaClO), which are the sanitizing agents already commonly used in swimming pools. As such, a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine-free; it simply utilizes a chlorine generator instead of direct addition of chlorine.”

Why Do They Have Challenges With Our Hard Water?

Most salt water systems sold suggest that calcium hardness be in the range of 200 – 400 parts per million (ppm) and some of them can handle up to 600 ppm. Typically, in our area the calcium hardness coming out of the tap starts at 400 ppm so you are already harder than what the system can handle. As water evaporates, calcium and other hardness minerals remain in solution and gradually build up in concentration. This is where the problem exists! As hard water builds up it will begin to scale the tile, the liner of the swimming pool, filtration equipment and the salt cell. When calcium builds up on the salt cell it won’t allow it to generate chlorine anymore because the electrode plates are covered with it. At this point, you can acid bath the cell (which takes life off the system) or change out the water. Please keep in mind that when you change out the water you are still putting hard water back in the swimming pool. So, what should you do?

Recycle Pool Water

Our mobile filtration trailer

The Clark County Pool & Lawn Solution

To be honest, when we go into homes with salt water systems they are usually unplugged and they run their pool with chlorine and tabs. To give you an opportunity to use a salt system in your swimming pool you must use our mobile filtration system. It is equipped with a large industrial Reverse Osmosis (RO) system that recycles the existing swimming pool water. They key with this system is we have the ability to lowering your calcium hardness in your swimming pool to 150 ppm. By achieving this level, your salt water system can work optimally, Please note, this is a system that we suggest running on your swimming pool each year to prevent calcium buildup on the system so you can use it the way you wanted. If you have questions on how this system works, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today!