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Thread: Chlorine vs Salt vs Minerals

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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Chlorine vs Salt vs Minerals


    I am looking into installing a new pool. I think I have it down to a Gunite pool. The salesman is telling me to go with salt. I would like to explore the pros and cons of chlorine, salt, and minerals. Can anyone body give me some guidance on the pros and cons of each. Also which is cheaper both from a chemical standpoint and replacement of equipment (ie: cells)

    13,500 Gallon Gunite Aggregate Finish, DE, SWG, 2.0 HP pump, 1.0 HP pump for 3 Sheer Descents

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Mexico, MO

    Re: Chlorine vs Salt vs Minerals

    A salt pool IS a chlorine pool. Your Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWCG) takes the salt and breaks it apart to release the chlorine.

    Mineral systems add silver nitrate, copper ions and other metals to your pool. Things you really don't want in there.

    The one thing that makes a SWCG pool attractive to some people, is that once you get your pool stabilized with traditional (BBB) methods you can set it up and it will keep a fairly close level of chlorine in your water. Caveat: the SWCG does wear out, and is expensive to replace.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Chlorine vs Salt vs Minerals

    Salt water pools use chlorine generators to produce chlorine, so it is still a chlorine pool. It is more convenient than lugging around jugs of chlorine, but the initial cost is greater. If you have any natural stone in the coping or water features you need to make sure they are compatible with saltwater.

    Chlorine without saltwater is effective for sanitizing the pool. We recommend liquid chlorine instead of dry chlorine because it will not add unwanted chemicals to the pool. Dry chlorine contains either CYA or Calcium. CYA and Calcium are needed to a point. Once you have reached the recommended CYA and Calcium levels you need to switch to another method of chlorination, since the only way to get rid of excess CYA or Calcium is to drain and replace a portion of the pool water. Chlorine can be added manually by pouring it into the pool as needed, or you can automate the process with a Liquidator or a Stenner pump.

    Just go ahead and cross mineral systems off the list. They add metals to the water which can stain pool surfaces and light colored hair if they are not carefully managed, they are expensive systems to set up and maintain, and we have had very few members who where happy with the water quality over time.

    Replacement costs can widely vary depending on how much automation you install, size of the cell, brand of equipment, ect.
    TFP Moderator
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    Vogue 21' round AG, Pentair 1 hp 2 speed pump, 36 sq ft DE filter, Hayward S180T 150# sand filter, Houston, Texas
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Tucson, AZ

    Re: Chlorine vs Salt vs Minerals

    Just to add what the others have said ... even with the mineral systems you STILL have to maintain a sanitizer (chlorine) in the pool. And since chlorine can do the job on its own ... why waste the money on a mineral system that could end up causing problems.

    There are only 3 approved sanitizers for pools: chlorine, bromine, and biguanide (often called Baquacil)

    You can find all the info you want about the 3rd in the Baquacil forum ... when a majority of the threads are about converting back to chlorine.
    Bromine is better for spas and indoor pools
    That leave good ol' chlorine as the overwhelmingly selected sanitizer of choice.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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