There has never been a better time to trigger the salt chlorination switch…
With news of chlorine shortages impacting on both residential and commercial pools and persistent enquiries for more eco-friendly pool water treatment, now could be the ideal opportunity to add the option of saltwater treatment systems to your customer offering. You could argue, it is a perfect storm Available for more than 50 years, salt chlorination is a love it or loathe it concept for the UK pool and spa trades.
Despite its obvious eco-credentials, the British take-up of salt chlorination continues to lag behind the rest of the world While an estimated 90% of all Australian residential pools and half of new domestic pools in France and North America favour saltwater chlorination, the British market share languishes at a mere one per cent. Many wholesalers and the trade generally have resisted the temptation of selling salt chlorinators for many years for fear of historic failure rates. Yet, without question, the technology, the build quality and the reliability of salt systems has improved vastly over the past few years and most salt systems are now highly reliable.
So enter; stage left, the Aguapure; a salt chlorinator that does not add salt to the swimming pool water. A closed circuit that offers all of the benefits of salt chlorination without the risk of adverse effects of corrosive water in the pool. Tried and tested on the continent for more than six years, the Aguapure is developed in Belgium, and is one of the exclusive new product finds for the emerging Ocea UK wholesale group. The Aguapure does not work like standard salt electrolysis equipment.
With this system, the electrolysis happens within a closed cell system. A pure disinfecting gas dissolves completely, with no residues ending up in the pool water. In addition to the cell compartment, the Aguapure has a built-in tank for the storage of up to 85kg of salt. “The salt chlorinators available in today’s market are plagued with two main problems,” says Ocea UK’s Alan Thorne. “Electrolysis in the pool can cause major corrosion issues on stainless steel fittings while there is a fine line when it comes to maintaining the correct mineral content in the pool water to ensure the salt chlorination system works. “We’re excited to be involved in a new product that overcomes these two issues and are working with our dealers to bring it to the UK market at the end of this year.
The Aguapure really is a huge game changer for the UK market.” “The Aguapure enclosed technique sidesteps all the negatives associated with salt chlorination,” he continues. “All the anxiety associated with salt chlorination in the past has been swept away by the Aguapure. “It is such an exciting prospect for specialist pool companies who can offer a more sophisticated, reliable system,” he adds. Available now through the Ocea UK’s approved dealer network, the Aguapure offers highly efficient disinfection and exceptionally low levels of chlorine. The fully automatic, easy to install and much of the technology involved with the Aguapure method has been patented.
There are pluses and minuses on pricing the installation of salt chlorinated pools. The sums need to be balanced. The retail price of the unit plus professional installation could put the initial lay out over the £1,250 mark. But this start-up investment could be recouped in a few years with less expensive day-to-day chemical needs typically about £100 a year in salt and chemicals compared to £1,000 on the average residential pool.
While the chemical cost will be lower, the electricity cost of running a saltwater system will be slightly higher than a traditional pool pump system. For instance, a 20,000-gallon saltwater pool will use about 500 watts of electricity to power the salt generator. This is in addition to the electricity required for the pool pump and other features. Most pool professionals agree that the saltwater generator should run about four to six hours per day in the winter and about ten to 12 hours per day in the summer. These numbers will vary depending on the water temperature and how much you use the pool
On the flip side, a saltwater pool requires less than £100 a year in salt and chemicals to maintain. A chlorine pool, on the other hand, will cost between £500 and £1,000 per year in maintenance chemicals. Salt cells used in most residential saltwater pools are good for 10,000 hours of operation, or approximately three to five years. The life of a generator depends on multiple factors, including the frequency of pool maintenance, salt level, water chemistry, and other factors. With a typical lifespan of five years, a new cell will cost around £400 to replace and you can double that for a replacement control board. As salt is added to the pool, a saltwater generator produces hypochlorous acid for sanitation through electrolysis.
So yes, a saltwater pool will have lower levels of chlorine than a traditional chlorine pool because the chlorine is produced at a steady level. With salt content approximately that of human tears, and about one-tenth of sea water, salt chlorinated swimming pools are a more pleasant experience for the sensitive swimmer whose skin will feel more comfortable as they can swim underwater quite comfortably with their eyes open. Perhaps among the greatest benefits of a saltwater system to homeowners is the low maintenance the pool requires. The most up-to-date systems can maintain a clean and sparkling pool for up to two weeks without intervention. While chlorine in a traditionally treated pool is higher in concentration and can cause the skin to itch, burn, and become dry, the salt chlorinated pools is of particular benefit to swimmers with allergies; even reducing swimsuit fading.
Another topical news issue is that the storage of salt requires no special considerations, while chlorine must be stored as a hazard product, in cool, dry and well-ventilated locations ensuring no fumes are allowed to leak. Salt chlorination was first introduced to the UK pool trade during the late Seventies as industry expert, Chris Carr, of CC Filtration Services, recalls: “Sales of salt chlorinators in those days were based on their simplicity of operation and cost saving over traditional chemicals. “But although these devices operate on a relatively simple basis, there was a serious lack of understanding by some installers and owners alike,” Chris explains.
“Pre-internet of course, there were very few places to learn about salt chlorination at that time,” Chris points out. “As a consequence, a few problems were seen, the most memorable being the occasional disintegration of stainless steel pool ladders. Most likely this was due to incorrect pH or poor quality materials. “When things went wrong in the early days, it was inevitably the salt chlorinator that got the blame.” Chris adds: “As you might imagine, it didn’t take long for the ‘nothing but trouble’ whispers to get round the pool trade and before long promoters of salt chlorinators became a rare breed here in the UK.”
Lighthouse Pools has remained a strong advocate of salt chlorinators championing its Zodiac® brand. “With its ever-more effective treatment solutions, Zodiac® makes it easy for customers to maintain clear, healthy water,” says Lighthouse’s John Whiteside. “Salt chlorinators offer customers incomparable bathing comfort, all the time.” 100% automated, Redox regulation includes Auto-Adaptive Dosing (AAD) technology to maintain ideal chlorine levels continuously in your swimming pool. Combined with automatic pH regulation, you are guaranteed a perfectly healthy swimming pool, without tedious dosing and manipulation.”
Zodiac® salt chlorinators work continuously, without adding chemical product and without requiring intervention or maintenance: electrolysis converts salt into chlorine, which recombines into salt under the action of UV rays in sunlight. Endlessly reproducing this cyclic reaction, they give you unequalled bathing comfort in soft and slightly salted water (2 g of salt per litre, compared with 38g per litre in sea water, for example). Combined with automatic pH regulation, they offer a complete and totally automated water treatment solution for your swimming pool.
What is more, the popular eXo-iQ unit is now available in a “LowSalt” version ensuring even more comfortable water to swim in. Offering the most complete and most upgradable system in the range of Zodiac® chlorinators, with its different sized eXo-iQ models, allows the customer to manage both the disinfection and pH regulation of the swimming pool completely automatically. Fitted with several safety alarms and a ‘Boost’ function for intensive bathing and ‘Low’ for reduced use periods. Along with Self-cleaning electrodes using adjustable polarity inversion to reduce maintenance on its Titanium elctrodes. with an exclusive alloy coating, on top of all this the unit has an unconditional warranty on the control and cell whatever the causes of damage. Worth a note; the eXo-iQ LS, eXo-iQ and Magnapool Hydroxinators are available as exclusive Lighthouse dealer products, unavailable on the internet.
More than established on the salt chlorination starting blocks, AstralPool UK proudly boast the future of salt chlorination is here with its Elite Connect high performance chlorinator. The Elite Connect controls the water quality and the pool’s equipment through one single interface (standard or low salt electrolysis, pH dosing, ORP or free chlorine regulation, 4 inputs and 4 outputs including filter pump control).
Also compatible with Fluidra Connect &Go pool automation using NN app, all the information related to the pool are remotely available using built-in Ethernet port and the PoolStation app. The Elite Connect is a step up from the longer established Smart Next from Fluidra. Offering saltwater chlorination for all pools, the Smart Next can treat pools up to 180m3 thanks to its sturdy cell. Easy to operate the Smart Next offers a touchscreen to control control pH, chlorine (ORP method) and can be controlled remotely with the Fluidra Connect & Go* pool automation and its NN smartphone app. If your customer can afford the extra cost, a saltwater pool can offer significant benefits you don’t get from traditionally chlorinated pools and is more than worthy of a mention on initial design and build or as an eco-friendly upgrade.
Tel. 01329 514000
CC Filtration Services
Tel. 01795 841747
Tel. 01752 253525
Tel. 01993 707910