How salt chlorine generators work
Salt chlorine generators are becoming increasingly popular. In the U.S. alone, over 1.5 million pool owners are enjoying the benefits of salt water chlorination. These benefits include an amazing swimming experience – no more red eyes, dry itchy skin, chlorine odor or bleaching of clothing, toys or floats. But quite possibly an even better benefit is: your pool and spa are chlorinated automatically, not manually. That means no more trips to the store to stock up on chlorine: your chlorinator will treat the water for you. Mixing and measuring factory-produced chlorine is a thing of the past, and so are the days of unhealthy chlorine highs and lows.
The science behind the technology
There are two components to a salt chlorinator: the control box and its salt cell. The salt cell is an electrolytic converter that installs on your system’s return line, behind the pump, filter and heater. As pool water passes through the salt cell, an electrical charge, generated by the control box, automatically converts the dissolved salt into fresh, natural chlorine. This electrical charge is extremely safe. The newly-chlorinated water is then dispersed evenly throughout the pool by the return jets, where it prevents algae and kills bacteria. After the chlorine has done its work keeping your pool sanitized, it is then transformed back into salt and then the process happens all over again. The salt is never consumed – it simply cycles between salt and chlorine forever. The only time you might need to replenish salt is due to splash out, if your pool overflows in a rainstorm or when you backwash your filter.
Salt chlorinators require a low concentration of salt (sodium chloride) – approximately a teaspoon of granular table salt per gallon of water. The correct salt level is comparable to a human tear and as such, imparts no or little taste. The actual amount of chlorination required to properly sanitize a pool varies due to the pool size, bather load, rainfall, temperature and the pool’s cleanliness.
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