A salt chlorine generator is a device that is used to create chlorine to purify and clean the water used in swimming pools. Chlorine is created through a process that coverts ordinary salt in pool water to chlorine. Salt chlorine generators have grown in popularity in recent years as they are often more economical to use and operate than traditional chlorine systems, are milder on the skin and are considered to be more environmentally friendly.
Contrary to what some may believe, a pool that uses a salt chlorine generator is not chlorine-free. In fact, while chlorine is not added to the pool, it is chlorine that helps to maintain the quality of the water in a pool. In traditional chlorinated pool systems, chlorine is added to the pool water to preserve and maintain water quality. While chlorine is an effective water purifier, it often causes negative reactions such as eye irritation, dry skin and damage to clothing.
Pools that use a salt chlorine generator system create chlorine through a chemical process that converts sodium chloride, or salt, in the water to chlorine. Pool water, containing salt, is directed over metal plates that possess an electrical charge. As pool water passes through this electrical field, the salt is separated into sodium and chlorine molecules. The created chlorine in the water is then distributed back to the pool, where it purifies and cleans the water, much like with a conventionally chlorinated system.
Once the chlorine in the water is used, it converts back to salt and the entire process starts again. As long as the system is properly maintained, chlorine does not need to be added to the pool because the system generates the chlorine that is needed. In essence, a salt chlorine generator can be considered an automatic pool chlorinator, as the system is designed to create chlorine whenever it is operating. For many users, salt only needs to be added to the pool water about once a year.
The elimination of the need to add chlorine is a large factor in making pools with a salt chlorine generator system more economical to operate. Many pool owners with these types of systems also appreciate not having to handle or store chlorine, which can be quite hazardous. It should be noted that salt water pools are not maintenance-free and still require consistent monitoring and maintenance to maintain the proper balance and quality of the water.