Opinions on Saline vs Chlorine?

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Opinions on Saline vs Chlorine?

Postby PackLeader » Thu 03 Apr, 2008 09:57

I don't have a pool, but I really want to get one someday. I've got 3 dogs, and would be swimming with them each time. I don't like the smell of chlorine, and I'm pretty sure it's not that good for dogs.

I'm assuming saline would be better for them, but would it be as effective as chlorine, especially in a case like mine?

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Postby chem geek » Thu 03 Apr, 2008 10:30

A saline or salt pool also has chlorine in it. The only difference is that the chlorine is produced from the salt via a Saltwater Chlorine Generator (SWG) cell. In either a manually dosed chlorine pool or an SWG pool, if it is properly maintained then you should not smell any chlorine or if you have a very sensitive sense of smell (like my wife), then a faintest hint of chlorine smell.

If you smell a typical bad chlorine smell as found in poorly managed pools, such as some commercial pools especially indoors, then that is due to not maintaining such pools properly -- usually too little chlorine so that bad smelling monochloramine is produced or having no Cyanurid Acid (CYA) (as with indoor pools) so that really foul smelling and volatile and irritating nitrogen trichloride is produced or having too much CYA in an indoor pool with high bather load so that monochloramine builds up and smells.

For technical reasons I won't get into here, pools without CYA such as most indoor pools have over 20 times the amount of effective disinfecting and oxidizing chlorine (hypochlorous acid) in them as pools with CYA. You can't just look at the Free Chlorine (FC) number to know the effects of chlorine in the pool. A properly managed pool with CYA where the FC is 11.5% of the CYA level is technically equivalent to a pool with 0.2 ppm FC and no CYA so is very low in effective chlorine level (but still plenty to kill pathogens quickly).

My wife is VERY sensitive and loves our outdoor pool. The key is to maintain a minimum Free Chlorine (FC) level that is at least 7.5% of the CYA level (I usually keep it around 10%). An SWG pool can usually run a little lower in FC level without getting algae, but not below 4.5% of the CYA level so it's not much lower.

The main reason most people get an SWG pool is for the convenience (for those that like the feel of salt, you can just add salt to the pool without getting an SWG), but one can also dose a pool with chlorinating liquid or unscented bleach with some automation by using The Liquidator that is talked about in this thread.

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Postby muss08 » Thu 03 Apr, 2008 17:44

If you are swimming with dogs be prepared for problems. There hair clogs everything! At the end of every season our company has a pet day at the community pools we run and it clogs skimmers, filters, pumps. Its such a pain. We also have a customer who is a dog breeder and he said he learned a long time ago to keep his dogs out of the pool. Just a warning.

Postby Guest » Fri 04 Apr, 2008 19:01

Oh my goodness, am i going to have to take a crash course in chemistry? :lol:

My dogs are very short haired and they do tend to keep clean somehow. I would imagine muddy paws would be an issue too. I've got long hair and I probably shed more than they do :( Sounds like it would be a tough job maintaining a pool....

Info has been great, Thank you!
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Opinions on Saline vs Chlorine?

Postby danneva » Tue 16 Nov, 2010 06:06

The only thing I know about salt water pool is it is much easier on the skin. It will not irritate my eyes and the slow destruction of swimsuit materials. A salt water system is safer when you have children around as there are no toxic chemicals around for them to get into (as well in your dogs).

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