The saline chlorination is, today, the ideal substitute for traditional disinfection systems with chlorine or other chemical products. Through this system we obtain benefits for both the health of pool users and the quality of the water.
What is salt electrolysis?
Chemical process in which salt water is transformed into sodium hypochlorite, passing it through the electrodes of the salt chlorinator. Sodium hypochlorite is a much more effective disinfectant than any other chemical and much less harmful to the health of bathers.
The process of Saline Electrolysis circulates an electric current through which the saline solution circulates, the very water of the pool to which we have added around 4 - 6 kg / m3 of sodium chloride pure (salt). Two processes take place at the electrodes: anodic and cathodic.
In the POSITIVE (anode) pole, 3 processes will be developed:
- Oxidation of water to oxygen (O2).
- Oxidation of the chloride provided by the common salt to chlorine (Cl2).
- Oxidation of organic matter.
At the NEGATIVE (cathode) pole, 2 processes occur:
- Reduction of water to hydrogen (H2), with the formation of hydroxyl ions (OH) and alkalinization of water.
- Reduction to some extent in the level of chloramines in the water due to their direct reduction on the cathode.
The pool water will not contain chlorine at any time, since once it is generated together with the sodium hydroxide se they recombine in the water to give rise to a mixture of hypochlorous acid (HClO) and hypochlorite ions.
In the process it also generates active oxygen (O2) which provides extra disinfectant power to the entire process.
How does a salt chlorinator work?
A salt chlorinator transforms salt into a much cleaner and healthier disinfectant than chlorine, through an electrolysis process, generating a continuous cycle in which you do not have to add salt again except for replace possible evaporations.
Check out the complete process, explained step by step, on how a salt chlorinator works:
- After starting up the filtering equipment, the water will go through the chlorinator, which through an electrolysis process transforms the salt into sodium and gaseous chlorine. Chlorine in gas form recombines with the water again, becoming the same disinfectant that is obtained when liquid chlorine is added: hypochlorous acid.
- When the hypochlorite decomposes it becomes salt again, generating a closed, continuous and ecological cycle, in which it is not necessary to add salt again unless the volume changes drastically due to evaporation , in addition, a massive influx of bathers, solar action, etc.
We don't have to worry about the level of salt in the pool water, since it is much lower than that of seawater. There are salt chlorinators with different working capacities, so it is important that when you choose one you check that it is the right one for the volume of water in your pool.
Advantages of salt chlorinators
In a pool we can have three types of contaminants: suspended solids, dissolved organic matter and biological matter, so a treatment system should respond to each of them.
- It acts as a disinfectant preventing the formation of algae and bacteria.
- It groups particles in suspension providing a flocculant effect that maintains clarity and sharpness.
- There is no need to buy chlorine or other chemical compounds, which represents an financial saving.
- We avoid having to transport chemical bottles continuously.
- The water treatment is automatic and comfortable, we can forget about applying bromine, chlorine, etc.
- The risk of accidents due to the handling of chemical products is minimal.
- A high water quality is achieved. The naturally generated disinfectant does not irritate the eyes, the mucous membranes, nor does it dry out the skin, thus avoiding dermatological problems for users. It also does not produce the smell and taste of traditional chlorine. It is much more respectful with the hair.
- Salt is a natural antiseptic, its presence in the water is healthy like seawater.
- The disinfection process is natural and ecological, respectful of the environment. The chlorine produced does not degrade, unlike conventional chlorine, but is eliminated by the sun, evaporation and use.
- The iodine content in salt favors tanning.
Disadvantages of salt chlorinators
- High initial investment: the purchase of the salt chlorinator and the complementary equipment recommended for its use is usually a high amount compared to other disinfection systems.
- Requires periodic cleaning: the cells that have electrolysis equipment need periodic cleaning to prevent deterioration, these cleanings must be meticulous to avoid early breakage.
- It is necessary to control the level of salt in the water: the concentration of salt must be controlled when filling the pool and when installing the chlorinator, replenishing salt periodically if necessary.
- Disregulates the pH: salt electrolysis causes an increase in the pH level of the water, it must be corrected by adding a pH reducer to the water and controlling the levels periodically.
- Increased electricity consumption: chlorine degrades rapidly thanks to the UV rays of the sun, which will cause the water filtration system to work harder to keep the water clean and crystal clear, increasing with it the electrical consumption.
False myths about salt chlorination
It's like bathing in salt water or sea water
No, since the reality is that the concentration of salt is much lower than that of seawater. In this way we achieve total disinfection and, at the same time, be careful with the skin and the eyes.
It is a complex system to install
The installation of a saline electrochlorination system is very simple. You only need to place the chlorinator in the return pipe of the pool so that the water passes through the cell and can carry out the electrolysis. After them, it will be necessary to install the rest of the elements necessary for the complete system to work or, if we have them, other elements such as the pH reducer.
Salt water is harmful to garden plants and furniture
It's completely false. The concentration of salt in the water is minimal and, in the same way that it does not affect the users, it will not affect the plants or other elements of the garden or the construction materials or furniture of the house.
We just have to add salt and forget about the rest of the maintenance tasks
Although saline electrochlorination is a simple and very cheap system to maintain, it does not mean that you have to neglect some minimum pool maintenance guidelines.
Factors to consider when choosing a salt chlorinator
We must take into account two aspects before buying salt chlorinators that adapt to our pool.
- Know the capacity of the pool: calculate the cubic meters of water that our pool contains.
- Calculate how much chlorine the chlorinator should produce that your pool needs for electrolysis.
Reference measurements of recommended chlorine per cubic meter of water:
- Up to 20 m3 - 10 g / h
- Up to 40 m3 - 15 g / h
- Up to 75 m3 - 20 g / h
- Up to 120 m3 - 30 g / h
When you know this, you will be able to choose the ideal chlorinator for your pool by consulting their technical data and without the risk of making a mistake.
Main brands of salt chlorinators
There are many brands related to materials for swimming pools that already have their own catalog of salt chlorinators. After many years of experience, Mercapool has products for salt electrolysis from 3 main manufacturers, selected for their reliable operation when it comes to producing chlorine while consuming as little as possible and that has a technical service accessible to any type of user.