Friday, 01 February 2013 18:51

Chlorine Pools and Saltwater Pools: What's the Difference?

Choosing whether to have a chlorine pool or a salt pool is a decision being made by swimming pool owners everywhere. What's the difference? Are saltwater pools more expensive? These are all questions that might be running through the head of a new or existing pool owner. Learn about the differences between the two pool water types in these questions and answers about chlorinated pools and saltwater pools:

What is the main difference between a saltwater pool and a chlorine pool?

-A chlorine pool uses a chlorine product such as granular chlorine or chlorine tablets in the pool water to sanitize and prevent algae growth. A saltwater pool uses a filtering process that converts regular salt into chlorine. The chlorine made from salt consists of a gentle, low chlorine level.

Do I need special equipment to get chlorine into my chlorinated pool?

-No extra equipment is needed to chlorinate a pool with granular chlorine, which is simply broadcast over the pool's surface. A floating chlorine dispenser is needed to keep chlorine tablets out of direct contact with swimmers.

Do I need special equipment to produce saltwater in my pool?

-Yes. You will need to purchase a salt chlorine generator to provide the required amount of chlorine to disinfect the swimming pool. Saltwater pools use a chlorine generator to convert salt to chlorine.

Do saltwater pools need more maintenance than chlorinated pools?

-No. Salt chlorine generators produce a more consistent lower level of chlorine thus keeping your pool cleaner for a longer period of time.

Can my above ground swimming pool use a salt chlorine generator?

-Yes. Both inground and above ground swimming pools can be saltwater pools.

Are saltwater pools more expense than chlorinated pools?

-Initially, yes; in the long run, no. Saltwater pools are typically more expensive to install. However, over time a salt chlorine generator will save you money because it significantly reduces the need to purchase swimming pool chemicals. Salt chlorine generators eliminate the need for packaged chlorine, although the use of pool chemicals is still required. Once you've purchased and installed a saltwater pool, you add only occasional doses of common salt and minimal amount of salt pool chemicals.

Do saltwater pools feel or look any different than regularly chlorinated water?

-Yes. Saltwater pools are known for their silky-smooth feeling water and are also less likely to irritate the skin of swimmers. It is the "feel" of the water that attracts most pool owners to salt pools.

These basic facts should help answer some of your frequently asked questions about saltwater and chlorinated swimming pools. Both methods of chlorination will sanitize your pool water and eliminate swimming pool bacteria.

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James Atlas

James Atlas, an 22-year veteran of the swimming pool industry, is the owner and co-principal of Platinum Poolcare Ltd., a residential swimming pool construction, renovation and maintenance company with service to several commercial aquatic properties including the Bulls, Bears and White Sox training facilities.

Platinum Poolcare Owner James Atlas came to the pool industry after three years of options trading after college, cashing in his chips to work with father Ronald Atlas, owner of Paragon Pools, a commercial pool construction and design company. An entrepreneur at heart, Atlas quickly started up an off–shoot company, Fountain Technologies, through which he designed and constructed water features for luxury residential and commercial properties.

When his brother took over that company, Atlas founded Pool Watch, a management company servicing recreational pools with lifeguard staffing, facility openings, closings and general maintenance. He sold Fountain Technologies and Pool Watch in 1994 and 1995.

Looking to broaden his skill set in the pool servicing industry, Atlas went back to his family pool business, working as a project estimator for multi-million-dollar waterparks, competition pools, high-rise pools, and other large-scale projects.

After a few years, Atlas began receiving consistent inquiries from residential property owners interested in pool construction and servicing. With his father’s blessing, Atlas took the reigns on those new accounts and formed a new company called Platinum Aquatech.

Again looking to go off on his own, Atlas teamed up with Terry Smith, owner of Poolcare Aquatech, another partner company with Ronald Atlas which focused on the service and maintenance. The two companies merged, with Terry and James owning a fifty-fifty share in 2007, effectively becoming Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.

Company Background

Platinum Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd., founded in 2007, and resulting from a merger of Platinum Aquatech, Ltd. (luxury swimming pool construction) and Poolcare Aquatech, Ltd.(service, repairs, renovations of swimming pools and spas), specializes in all aspects of pool design, construction and renovation with added focus on specialty aquatic features such as waterfalls, lazy rivers, rock water applications, statuary and other luxury waterscape amenities. The company also provides installation and maintenance services for its customers.

Platinum Poolcare has raised the standards of excellence in residential and commercial pools, spa and waterscape design and construction. We have a combined half-century of experience in building, servicing, maintaining, and renovating award-winning and nationally-recognized gunite pools throughout the greater Chicago area and other Midwest states.

Based in Wheeling, Ill., the company’s headquarters spans 10,000 square-feet of warehouse and office space with 46 trucks, 130 employees during peak season, and one of the industry’s largest onsite replacement parts inventory for quick fixes.

Platinum Poolcare has repeatedly graced the cover of various industry magazines, and has earned hundreds of awards for its designs. The company belongs to the prestigious, invitation-only Aquatech Society for professional pool builders.

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