Salt Chlorinators and High Calcium Hardness

Salt systems are extremely popular but there is maintenance involved. Some of the reasons why swimming pool owners are interested in salt systems is because it produces its own chlorine, the water is softer and you don’t have to worry about dangerous chlorine fumes or the harmful effects of swimming in pools with high levels of chlorine. Salt systems work by electrolysis. Electrolysis is a process by which bonded elements in a liquid solution are separated by passing through two charge electrodes or plates. Salt (NaCl) is made up of sodium and chloride. When salt water passes through the charged plates of the salt cell, the chlorine, which is positively charged separates from the sodium and is released into the pool as free chlorine.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges with salt chlorinators is our hard water in the Orange County area. Our water comes out of the tap hard (300 parts per million and higher) and it scales the salt chlorinator. This occurs because over time as the water passes through the salt cell it scales the electrode plates causing them to not work properly. It’s not uncommon to see white flakes on the bottom of salt water pools which is calcium. It literally gets blown back into the pool from the system. At this point, you will need to change out the water in your swimming pool. You can choose to drain your pool but it’s possible that the water you put back into the pool will be harder than what is recommended. Or you can recycle the swimming pool water with our Reverse Osmosis (RO) mobile filtration process which will leave the customer’s swimming pool water in the area of 100-200ppm. Most salt chlorinators recommend your water being in the range of 200-400ppm so RO filtration is the best solution because our water coming out of the tap is 300ppm and higher.

Just last week we filtered an 11,000-gallon salt water swimming pool because their salt cell wasn’t working. The following is the initial chemistry:

Calcium Hardness – 700ppm (this is the primary reason why their salt cell wasn’t working)

Total Dissolved Solids – 5824ppm

Salt – 3824ppm

Cyanuric Acid – 25ppm

After filtering this swimming pool for 8 hours we were able to leave them with the following ending chemistry:

Calcium Hardness – 150ppm (much better than a drain and refill)

Total Dissolved Solids – 1024ppm

Salt – 824ppm

Cyanuric Acid – 0ppm

After the filtration process was complete they needed to add salt and stabilizer to the swimming pool according to what is recommended by their salt system. In conclusion, Reverse Osmosis filtration is the only real solution if you have a salt system and want it to work efficiently. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today!