By Marcelle Dibrell
According to last year’s Service Industry News survey, technicians reported that a large percentage of the pools that they service each week are equipped with a chlorine generator. Specifically, across the nation, professionals reported an average of about 20 percent of the pools that they see are saltwater chlorine generated.
Why so popular? Bathers love them. They say the water feels better on their eyes and skin, and they like the feel of the water. There’s also a bit of a set it and forget it mentality when it comes to chlorine- generated pools. The continuous production of chlorine ensures that the water is always disinfected. Swimmers don’t worry as much about contamination. With a constant supply of chlorine, there is less of a chance for algae to take hold.
But customers should be warned against the tendency to develop a lackadaisical attitude toward the units. Set it and forget it is a dangerous approach toward the only thing that stands between swimmers and waterborn diseases or chemical injuries, not to mention the risk of damage to pool surfaces and equipment. There have been incidences of chlorine chemical burns when users fail to test the water and allowed the units to produce too much chlorine.
As recently as this January, several Pennsylvania children were taken to the hospital for first degree burns after swimming in a Hampton Inn pool with chlorine levels that may have been as high as 10 ppm. The pool has a chlorine generator.
In addition to monitoring chlorine, it’s important to pay special attention to the pH in a saltwater chlorine-generated pool. One of the by-products of the generation process causes the pH in a chlorine-generated pool to drift up and that must also be monitored. Further, the chlorine generators themselves must be regularly serviced, or become less efficient, and the cells replaced every three to five years. So while chlorine generators have many benefits, they are not maintenance free, details to be explored in the articles that follow.
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