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SALT CHLORINATION


An Alternative Way To Sanitise Pools


SALTWATER CHLORINATORS ARE WIDELY USED AROUND THE WORLD BUT IN THE UK, THEY’RE NOT AS MAINSTREAM A SOLUTION, BUT IS THAT SLOWLY CHANGING? WE TAKE A LOOK AT THIS GROWING SOLUTION TO POOL WATER TREATMENT


By Andrea Hartshorne T


he idea of a relaxing swim in clear, fresh smelling water is now more of a reality than ever. With the development of new sanitising


systems and equipment, the days of swimming in a pool with that all too familiar smell of chlorine could soon be a distant memory. Saltwater chlorinators are one of the products that are helping realise this vision and as well as providing water that lessens skin and eye irritation and is odour free, end users will find that these systems are eco friendly thanks to the reduction of the chemical footprint of the swimming pool. They are also very easy to use and relatively maintenance free too. So with these benefits, it’s no wonder more and more pools are turning to salt chlorinators. The science behind the products is simple. When water that contains sodium chloride (salt) has a small electric current applied to it, the salt converts into chloride ions and then into chlorine gas. Once the chlorine gas dissolves back into the water, a pure form of chlorine is created and distributed throughout the pool.


Salt chlorinators are far from a new product but their use in the UK is not as widespread as in other countries. Europe is a strong market for SCP which has focused on France, Spain and Italy. In France in 1997, one new pool in seven was equipped with a salt chlorination system, now it’s 50%. In Italy this figure is around 30%. Approximately a third of new pool constructions within Europe are now equipped with salt electrolysis equipment and this market continues to grow as consumers discover


Europe is a strong market for SCP where approximately a third of new pool constructions are equipped with salt electrolysis equipment such as the IntelliChlor IC40


the benefits of salt chlorinators. The UK market has proved


tough as many pools are equipped with a heat pump with metallic components which can sometimes be damaged by salt electrolysis. Although this may not always be the case, it can be a hard mentality to change.


Commenting on the popularity of salt chlorination products this season here in the UK, a Certikin spokesperson said: “We have found our sales on salt chlorinators have been largely unaffected by economics, more weather affected by the cold spring putting back pool building and they have been on the up this summer. The considerations for running on salt are usually guided by the pool owner considering the other benefits a salt


chlorinator provides, other than not having to buy chlorine.


“The main consideration is to check the compatibility of any heating equipment when retrofitting or for a new install. Most salt chlorinators have a self-cleaning electrolytic cell as standard, but if pH or automated chlorine monitoring are desired then the specification of the salt chlorinator would need to be checked as most do not offer these functions,” advises Certikin. Dorothée Nachez of


SEAL Pool Equipment offers advice on what to avoid in the vast and often confusing market of salt chlorination systems: “One of the main problems is that people fail to read the documentation which accompanies the product and this can lead to damaging the equipment. A basic understanding of how to use the product is a necessity to prevent costly repairs or replacements. Customers


58 October 2013 SPN


SEAL Pool Equipment first launched its popular range of saltwater chlorinators, the CL series for residential facilities


should be able to trust their pool builder and follow their guidance. Another important consideration is to avoid gimmicks. Buy a good, reliable pool chlorinator and don’t waste money on gadgets and extras that increase your bill but add nothing of value to the systems. Take guidance from those who are qualified and trained to offer advice.” Speaking about the current market and the company’s position within it, Dorothée says: “SEAL are in a privileged situation and from our point of view because we are a small company the economic downturn hasn’t really affected us as we have smaller overheads and outlay than many of the other companies looking for business. The impact on exports have been felt in Spain and France but as we sell a lot elsewhere we have picked up some other customers. Encouragingly, it would appear that those with a good product survive!”


She goes on to say: “The outlook for the company is very positive and we are not worried about the market. Our business is


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