Once you’ve made the decision to build a salt water swimming pool, you need to make sure to properly maintain it. Pool maintenance ensures that your pool stays cleaner and lasts longer. For standard chlorinated pools, you need to add chlorine and other chemicals on a regular basis. For salt water pools, you need to add pool salt to keep your salt chlorine generator running properly.
You probably already know that you can’t simply add table salt into your pool. Although pool and table salt are the same chemical compound (sodium chloride or NaCl), proper pool salt has several properties that make it better suited to use in pools. However, there is more than one type of salt. It can be confusing to choose which type you need for your salt water system.
Here is a basic guide to the types of pool salt you can choose:
Since each of these options is the same chemical compound, the main difference between them is how the salt is collected and refined. Companies produce solar salt by diverting sea water into holding, where the sun eventually evaporates the water. Since there are bacteria in this salt, it stays in the sun longer so that the heat and the high salt level kills this bacteria.
Even after this process, solar salt often contains organic impurities. This includes microscopic dead shrimp, dead bacteria, and more. These make your pool filter work harder to keep things running smoothly. Overall, pool experts do not recommend solar salt for use in your swimming pool.
Mechanically evaporated salt is similar to solar salt in that it comes from seawater. Instead of the sun evaporating water, however, an artificial heat source purifies the salt and kills bacteria. As a result, there are often fewer organic contaminants in mechanically evaporated salt than in solar salt.
However, mechanically evaporated pool salt still has its downsides. This type of salt often has minerals in it and is not of very high purity. If you have a concrete pool, you may even see staining from the minerals in this salt. These minerals, especially calcium, can even damage your pool chlorinator.
Mined salt is the final type of pool salt, and most experts recommend it over the other varieties. This salt does not come from seawater but instead comes directly from salt mines. As a result, it is purer and causes fewer problems for your pool.
This type of salt is very high quality, with between 95% and 99% sodium chlorine. However, there are still some concerns with mined salt. You need to make sure you add it to your pool properly by adding it to the deep end and making sure it does not sit on any pool surfaces. Mined salt can also cost a bit more, but it is a better option in the long run and is worth the slightly higher cost.
At Pools by Design, we can help you create a new salt water pool system that you will enjoy for years to come. We will help you decide what type of salt works best for you. From the very start of the design process, we make sure you understand how pool maintenance will work for your new custom pool.