Salt systems have been popular for quite some time now and when they are functioning properly it can make swimming in your pool quite enjoyable. For most, the water feels “softer”, it’s easier to manage chemistry (chlorine levels) and leaves you feeling much cleaner when you get out of the swimming pool! But, what happens when the calcium hardness levels rise in the swimming pool causing the salt system to not work correctly? This is a common problem, especially in the Southwestern United States where calcium and other hardness mineral levels are extremely high in our fill water! When individuals and commercial properties purchase salt systems, this isn’t something that is usually brought up and unfortunately when calcium attaches itself to the salt cell, it no longer works. Sure…. you can acid bath the cell but that takes life off of your cell, you could drain it and refill it with hard water again or you can recycle it using our Mobile Filtration Puripool Process!
The biggest challenge one will always have with salt systems is as water flows through the cell and along the electrode plates it begins to scale because the water is so hard. When the scale becomes thick the electrode plates will no longer manufacture chlorine. As the saltwater flows through the cell, a low-voltage direct current is applied to flat, rectangular plates inside the cell, initiating electrolysis. Through electrolysis, salt and water break up into hydrogen gas and hypochlorous acid. The hydrogen gas simply leaves the swimming pool water in the form of small bubbles. The hypochlorous acid sanitizes the swimming pool water and ultimately reverts back into salt, and the process repeats. This process stops when calcium levels are too high, which means you will need to add chlorine to the pool or change out the water!
Recently, we were called out to a 15,000-gallon swimming pool in Lakeside, California because their salt system wasn’t working. Typically, salt systems like to see calcium hardness between the levels of 200 and 400 parts per million (ppm), which is pretty hard to achieve in Southern California. When we showed up for the job the swimming pool yielded the following initial chemistry…
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) – 8191 ppm (irrelevant in a salt pool)
Calcium Hardness – 820 ppm (extremely high)
Salinity – 5288 ppm (high)
Cyanuric Acid (CYA) – 140 ppm
After filtering the swimming pool for 14 hours we left our customer with the following end results, which is much better than a drain an refill, we conserved 85% of the existing water in the swimming pool and they now have a functioning salt system….
TDS – 834 ppm
Calcium Hardness – 150 ppm
Salinity – 574 ppm
CYA – 10 ppm
If you’re interested in learning more about how our mobile filtration system can help you and your swimming pool, call us today at 1-888-432-4794