Trusted Pool Contractor
Salt water chlorination systems for commercial swimming pools in Fayetteville provide pool owners with clean, comfortable water without the unending maintenance that traditional chlorine pools demand. Salt systems are simple to operate and a pleasure to own, but they do have an enemy: phosphates. Phosphates are compounds of phosphorous ions and other elements, such as sodium, calcium, or potassium, and they are everywhere. To help us better understand the battle between salt systems and phosphates, let's first consider how salt systems work.
Salt systems, such as the IC40 Pentair salt system, create chlorine using electrolysis. Water containing salt (NaCl) in a concentration of at least 3000 ppm (parts per million) enters into the pool's chlorine generator and passes through the salt cell. The cell is where electrolysis takes place. During electrolysis, a low-voltage electrical current passes between two electrodes. One electrode, the anode, is positively charged and the other, the cathode, is negatively charged. When the salty water molecules pass between these two oppositely charged electrodes, the molecules are pulled apart, or split. The split creates hydrogen gas and hypochlorous acid. The hydrogen gas leaves the pool in bubbles and the hypochlorous acid, or free available chlorine, sanitizes the swimming pool water, reverts back to salt, and the process begins again.
Keeping in mind this basic understanding of how an IC40 Pentair salt system works, there are basically three things that can cause the system to fail: insufficient power to the salt cell, insufficient salt in the system, or compromised electrodes. Two of these three reasons for failure—insufficient salt and compromised electrodes—can be, at least in part, attributed to phosphates.
Remove leaves and other debris promptly.
Avoid using yard care products such as fertilizers that contain phosphates.
Have swimmers rinse before entering the pool to remove hair products, lotions, etc.
Monitor the pH level of your pool carefully and keep it within the acceptable range.
Avoid introducing scale and stain products to your pool that contain phosphates.
Test your pool's phosphate level periodically and use a phosphate removal product if the phosphate level exceeds 1000 ppm (parts per million).