Salt water chlorinators provide exceptional water quality without the odor and irritation typically associated with traditional chlorine pools. Most people however don’t know that a salt water pool is actually a chlorine pool.
Pool water, containing salt between 3200 to 3500 PPM circulates through the electrically charged cell plates coated with a rare metal named ruthenium and the resulting chemical reaction, creates liquid chlorine. Salt is not used up in the process. The cells have to be cleaned every 500 hours of use and the chemical process does not occur if the water temperature is lower than 65 degrees.
The advantage of a salt water chlorinator is that they are extremely low in maintenance. To maintain chlorine levels in the water you simply add 2 to 4 bags of granular salt directly to the pool each season. Pool salt can be purchased from any store that sells pool chemicals, it comes in 20 kilo bags, and costs about $11 per bag. Even though salt water pools are extremely low maintenance, pool owners must maintain and test water chemistry weekly.
The initial cost of a salt water chlorinator is typically between $1,600 and $2,000. The salt will usually cost between $20 and $40 per season. You can also expect to replace the salt cell (the component that produces chlorine) every six years or so at a cost of approximately $400. If you compare this to a typical chlorine system pool where you spend between $300 and $400 on chemicals each season. If there is any disadvantage to a salt water system it is the initial cost, but most people find that it is well worth it in the long run.