Salt Water Pool Basics

POSTED Aug 19, 2020

Did you know that over 70% of all new pools being built today are salt water pools?  And they continue to gain favor over traditional chlorine pools.  Why all the excitement?

Salt water pools provide:

  • Refreshing water that’s more soothing to skin and hair than traditional chlorine pools and is easier on eyes and noses
  • Less maintenance time and expenses, more time for enjoyment
  • No unpleasant chlorine smell
  • No need to purchase, transport, store or handle hazardous and costly chlorine chemicals 

Requirements & Care

Salt water pools differ significantly from traditional chlorine pools.  They require unique equipment and special care.  With the proper support, it’s an investment that will pay dividends in total pool enjoyment for years to come.

Salt Water Pools Need Salt Water Pool Equipment & Specialized Chemicals:

  • At the heart of the system is the electrolytic chlorine generator (ECG) – a sanitizing system designed specifically for salt water pools.  It uses a powerful cell to produce natural chlorine from salt and keeps sanitizer levels balanced, so manual additions of chlorine are no longer needed on a frequent basis.
  • Salt water pools require specialized salt water pool chemicals, designed to perform inside the harsh environment of the ECG. Chemicals designed for use in traditional chlorine pools can break down as they pass through your chlorine generator, robbing you of needed performance and value. 

The Right Salt Makes All the Difference

All pool salts are not the same.  Ordinary pool salts contain varying levels of undesirable contaminants that can result in problems and challenges unique to salt water pools.  Additionally, using salts not specifically designed for salt water pools or chemicals formulated for traditional chlorine pools, can affect pools in a variety of ways, including:

  • Staining – Naturally occurring, inorganic materials such as metals (ie. iron) can be found in inferior salts or from your source water, and can lead to unsightly stains and discolouration of pool finishes. Even salts labeled as “food grade or food quality” can contain levels of inorganic materials which, while fine for human consumption, can prove problematic when salt is added in the large quantities needed to create a salt water pool.
  • Water clouding – Organic contaminants, particularly those found in solar salt, can result in dull cloudy water.
  • Chlorine demand – Organic contaminants from conventional pool salts or the pool environment can cause inconsistent chlorine levels requiring constant adjustments and chemical additions.
  • Scaling inside the ECG – Scale occurs naturally as part of the chlorine generation process and can be made much worse by inferior conventional pool salts.  This can result in:

– Reduced chlorine levels that contribute to cloudy water, chlorine demand and algae growth

– Longer running time, higher electricity bills

– More cell cleanings, premature cell failure, frequent replacement and associated greater time and expense

  • Scaling on Pool Finishes – The introduction of inorganic and organic contaminants by conventional pool salts can cause pool finishes to become discoloured, faded and unattractive.
  • Chemical Breakdown – Many chemicals designed for traditional chlorine pools break down in the harsh environment of the ECG and lose their protective properties, and in some cases contribute to the very problems they try to address, such as scale and algae.

When the ECG is working to convert salt to chlorine, a very harsh environment is created which includes:

– High-temperatures up to 50° degrees C (120° F)

– High-chlorine levels up to 50 parts per million

– Swings in pH from 1.0 to 14.0 as water goes through the ECG

– Fluctuation of the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI). Swing from 0.3 to -0.3 increases your pool’s tendency to scale by 6,000 times 

The Perfect Solution for a Perfect Salt Water Pool

Whether you’re considering building a pool, thinking about switching over your traditional chlorine pool, or seeking better care for your existing salt water pool, the Pristiva® 3-Step System is the perfect solution. After conducting extensive research with pool builders, retailers and service companies to understand the unique needs and challenges of salt water pools, we designed an entirely new program to not only meet but also exceed those needs.

The result is the fast, easy, affordable Pristiva 3-Step System.

The Pristiva System utilizes proprietary formulations, developed specifically for salt water pool environments. These formulations provide unique combinations of powerful enhancements that address the most pressing needs of the salt pool; preventing scaling and staining and reducing corrosion to protect the ECG and the pools surfaces and equipment, improving your water’s clarity and softness and  aiding in the prevention of algae. Pristiva also provides the quickest, easiest pool maintenance available with fewer expenses and fewer applications. The Pristiva System is built on a convenient once per month application.

The Pristiva System is the only system that was designed specifically for salt water pools, not adapted to salt water from another purpose. Because of that, you get products that work, a pool that is protected and the value you expect.  

Pristiva System Summary:

Step 1 – Manage the salt level of your pool water with Pristiva Premium Salt. The purest form of salt available on the market today. That means less contaminants and undesirables entering your water with every top-up of your salt level. The manufacturer of your salt chlorination device determines the ideal salt level for your water. Usually this is in the range of 3,000 – 4,000 ppm. A monthly test by your Pristiva Professional will ensure your salt level stays at the optimum level for your device all summer long. Use ultra-pure Pristiva Premium Salt any time an addition is needed.  

Step 2 – Apply Pristiva Primer once per month to optimize the care of your salt pool. A monthly application of Pristiva Primer protects your ECG and pool surfaces from unwanted scale, stains and corrosion. It also adds unique water enhancements to aid clarity and comfort and prevent algae.

Step 3 – Apply Pristiva Premium Shock each month, immediately after the application of Pristiva Primer, for the only shock treatment your salt pool will usually require. Pristiva Premium Shock activates some of the components in Pristiva Primer while also removing unwanted waste buildup, recharging the stabilizer level, enhancing the water clarity and targeting any resistant algae that may be lingering. Simple and easy.

And that’s the Pristiva System. We got tired of seeing salt pool owners struggle with their salt pools and not realize the benefits they thought they were going to get. It’s not true to say that a salt pool needs no other products. It does need a few. They should be specifically designed for salt pools and they should be added infrequently to maximize the benefit of the ECG. That’s the Pristiva System. Pristiva Premium Salt added whenever salt is required and Pristiva Primer and Premium Shock, added once a month to ensure the problematic issues are kept under control.


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