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Does A Salt Swimming Pool Use Chlorine?


The Age-Old Question About Salt Pools

We get asked a lot of questions, and I mean a LOT of questions! But the one question we get asked more than any other is: Does a salt pool use salt or chlorine to disinfect the water? In this article we are going to answer this question so you never have to wonder about it again! Let's dive in. 


What is a pool or hot tub Sanitizer?

When talking about salt or chlorine doing the sanitizing or disinfecting of the water, it's important to first understand the defining requirements for a chemical to be considered a sanitizer or disinfectant. According to accepted swimming pool standards, a chemical must kill or inactivate 99.99% of tested contaminants in order to be considered a sanitizer or disinfectant. This understanding of what defines a sanitizer is very important when it comes to understanding a saltwater pool system.


Does Salt Sanitize or Disinfect a Pool?

Simply put, salt itself does not sanitize or disinfect your pool or hot tub. If salt alone was a sanitizer, all the sea life in the oceans around the world would likely die due to its sanitizing qualities! So, if it isn't the salt doing the sanitizing, then what does salt in a pool actually do?


 Is A Salt Pool A Chlorine Pool?

Think of it this way: A saltwater pool system is more like a chlorine factory. In a salt pool, the salt itself is converted into chlorine through a really cool chemical process known as electrolysis. The way it works is that the saltwater in your salt pool passes through something called a chlorine generator, which contains an electrolytic cell. When the saltwater flows over this cell’s plates, an electric current running through the plate breaks down the salt into sodium and chlorine. Pretty awesome, huh?


Can I Use Chlorine In My Salt Pool?

A lot of operators and homeowners are concerned about adding additional chlorine (Granular or liquid) to a salt pool in fear that it might react with the salt in a negative way. But rest assured that you are more than welcome to adjust your overall chlorine levels using a a granular or liquid chlorine without risking a bad or scary chemical reaction. Please due note that it is recommended that you don't use a calcium based chlorine like calcium hypochlorite on your salt pool as it will contribute to the rise of calcium hardness levels in an already high calcium environment. 


How Do I Learn More About My Salt Pool?

Salt pool systems can be a little bit complex, that is why we offer our award-winning Certified Pool Operator (CPO) Certification! This program walks you through all the in's and out's of swimming pool and hot tub operation so you don't have to stress or worry about if what you're doing is the right or wrong way to approach taking care of an aquatic facility. Pool Training Academy's fully accredited CPO class is a great way to learn everything you need to become the best aquatics operator you can be. Our fully online class offers you the flexibility you need and our in-person courses offer that classic classroom feel. For more details or to get signed upclick here


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