There are a few different sanitation options for gunite swimming pools. While each one has its own benefits, there is no single best system. Paradise Pools offers two options, chlorine and salt, with descriptions of each below for your review.
Chlorine is one of the most commonly used pool sanitizers. Chlorine works by breaking into two parts when it is introduced to the pool water, hypochlorite ion and hypochlorous acid. These two parts kill the bacteria that is in the pool by attacking the cell walls of the organisms.
PROS-It has a long half-life, making it able to be stored for long periods of time. Chlorine also has a residual effect, not only neutralizing contaminants when first added to the pool water, but also neutralizing it long afterward.
CONS- Chlorine byproducts can cause skin and eye irritation. Chlorine also dissipates very quickly, requiring pool water to be regularly tested and maintained.
Salt Chlorine Generator Systems
The salt cell or generator utilizes a process called electrolysis to break down or separate the salt in the water.
The chemical reaction created by electrolysis produces chlorine in the form of sodium hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid. These sanitizing / disinfecting / oxidizing agents are the same as chlorine commonly used in swimming pools in solid and powdered form. This means a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine free. It simply utilizes a chlorine generator instead of being dependent on chlorine added in other forms.
Salt chorine generators have a higher price tag than traditional chlorine, and the salt cells must be replaced once every three to five years. Excessive salt concentration can also cause corrosion, which can possibly affect the pool equipment and decking.