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Thread: Non-SWG Salt Pool Alternatives

  1. #1
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    Non-SWG Salt Pool Alternatives

    For the sake of not getting off topic in Ever know of anyone who doesn't like a SWCG pool? I have started this topic.

    Does anyone know of an alternative to salt use in non-swg pools that will provide the same benefits as salt pools without the potential for damage to the surrounding surfaces and materials? I know that potassium chloride is used as a dietary alternative to sodium chloride (I believe Papa Dash was one of the brands). From what I remember, it tastes similar to salt, but wasn't as strong. Would something like this still cause the same problem as salt as it works its way down into rock, etc? If not, would it still provide the same feel and reduction in irritation to nose, eyes, etc?
    27' AG w/Deep End ~ 19,060 gallons
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    If you haven't already, read about the benefits of borates at this link.
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    I have a potassium Chloride water softener at home... if it works for drinking water I can't see the harm in swimming in it.

    But I am not a chemistry expert..

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    Senior Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycanuck
    I have a potassium Chloride water softener at home... if it works for drinking water I can't see the harm in swimming in it.

    But I am not a chemistry expert..
    I am no chemist either, but the brine in your water softeners salt tank isnt making chlorine, but is there to strip the iron and minerals from your softeners bead bed during backwash. Just because it works in a water softener doesn't necessarily mean it will convert to chlorine in your salt generator.

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    Sorry, I thought the original question was whether there was an alternative to salt in a non-swg pool.
    Not an alternate to swg chlorine generation.

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    Senior Member Backglass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazycanuck
    Sorry, I thought the original question was whether there was an alternative to salt in a non-swg pool.
    Not an alternate to swg chlorine generation.
    Ahh, I misunderstood you as well! You are wondering if Potassium Chloride would give the same "skin feel" as salt in a non-swg pool. Anyone want to try it and see? :P

  7. #7
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    Potassium chloride would do about exactly the same as sodium chloride in a pool except you woud need slightly more to get the same chloride concentation because of the different atomic weights of sodium (11) and postasium (19). As far as corrosive effects there would really be no difference.
    The reason postassium chloride is used in some water softeners is because some people want or need to limit their dietary sodium input. Either can be used with a SWG but you would need more of the potassium chloride and it costs more so there is no benefit.

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    As far as Potassium Chloride goes, I asked the question here last week. In a nutshell:

    It is compatible according to the person at Goldline Controls (Aqua Trol), but will require 17% more Potassium Chloride than what you would need Sodium Chloride.

    and as far as corrosion see the quote from Waterbear:
    Quote Originally Posted by waterbear
    Actually, there would be no difference to speak of in terms of corrosion whether you use sodium chloride or potassium chloride. The potassium chloride would just cost you more money. Both are 'salts' that can be corrosive. The main reason postassium chloride is used in water softeners is because of people who are concened about sodium intake.
    Waterbear beat me to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poseidon
    If you haven't already, read about the benefits of borates at this link.
    I have. Are there any hidden corrosion or other detrimental effects of having borates in the water?
    27' AG w/Deep End ~ 19,060 gallons
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  10. #10
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    besides the slightly higher toxicity of borates than chlorine not really. Borates have been used in pools for a while now. Products such as bioguard's Optimzer, Proteam's Supreme, Poolife (Arch Chemical) Endure, and Guardex Maximizer are all borax! Many companies are including borax in their cal hypo and trichlor products now (Proteam, Bioguard, Guardex, Omni, AquaChem, to name a few) and many of the proprietary 'salt mixes' for SWGs are mixtures of basically salt and borax (BioGuard's Mineral Springs and Natural Chemistry's Salt Water Magic to name two.)

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    Senior Member mbar's Avatar
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    Waterbear, do you think the borax in the water helps to control metal staining in a fiberglass pool? I am thinking that since it is so good for keeping algae at bay, you shouldn't have to shock the water, which is a good thing when dealing with metals. It also should keep the ph from bouncing too right? I am about to add the borax to my pool to see if there is any difference with stains. I like to experiment , so I can see what is best - I really, really hate those stains I am seeing a lot of people in my area that have fiberglass pools getting a lot of staining this year, and it seems to be returning very easily this year . It is a bad year for algae in this area of PA this summer.
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

  12. #12
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    Marie,
    I really haven't noticed a difference in the staining after adding borates. Then again I was not looking at that so I am not sure. I still have to fight off staining and need to use ascorbic acid yearly and keep sequesterant in the water. I have recently started adding a chitosan based clarifier weekly since I just read some research on the net about using chitosan to remover metals from wastewater and drinking water to see if it helps. The chitosan based clarifiers are actually supposed to chemically adsorb the metal ions and allow them to be filtered out.

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    Senior Member mbar's Avatar
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    Great! Where do you get that kind of clarifier - is it common? Since I haven't used clarifiers in a long time, I am not familiar with what they usually are. I am going to try the borates anyway , living in the woods I get lots of bugs
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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    Marie,

    I've found it here: http://www.seaklear.com/seaklear_2.0/p_1natural.asp. Never actually used it, but it looks interesting.

    Tom
    27' AG w/Deep End ~ 19,060 gallons
    (1 HP Pump, 24" Sand Filter, 7 kids!)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Backglass's Avatar
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    FYI: Chitosan is also used in the wine industry to aid in clearing. I have used it and it works amazingly well.

    It is derived from shellfish however so if you or someone in your family has a severe shellfish allergy you might want to shy away from it.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mbar's Avatar
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    hmmmm, found in wine - I know I will like it Derived from shellfish - now I'm getting hungry
    16x33 fiberglass pool sand filter

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