Many pool owners ask the question, ‘can I use water softener salt in my pool?’ This is because there is this common problem of hardness in water all pool owners face now and then.
What is hard water, though? Hard water is what you call water that contains a lot of hard minerals, and these troubling minerals can deposit in pipes, the pool surface, the pool equipment and other places causing malfunction and blocks.
These unhealthy minerals can irritate the skin causing many health problems, so many opt for these water softener salts to fix the problem.
What is Water Softener Salt?
Water softener salt is simply sodium or potassium chloride used to remove unnecessary minerals in the water.
This turns the hard water into soft water by removing the minerals that cause the hardness. These water softeners work by recharging the resin beads periodically to remove the hardness in the water used.
These water softener salts are used to remove the minerals deposited inside the fixtures, the water heaters, pipes etc. when the softener salt is used, and it benefits the user by reducing, preventing and removing the mineral build-up spots in the dishes, sinks, bathtubs, clothes, and even washing machines.
Pool Salt vs Water Softener Salt
Pool salt is what you identify as the purest form of salt, which should have 99.8% of purity. The pool salt is much bigger compared to table salt crystals. Pool salt is considered the most economical and environmental disinfectant used in pools compared to highly concentrated chlorine. Pool salt has much less odour and is less harmful to the body than chlorine.
The pool salt works by the salt electrolysis process. For this, one should add an initial solution of saline water that is very much diluted. One should dissolve 4 to 6 kilograms of salt per cubic meter into the pool. This process forms an environment suitable for chlorinators. Add 16kg of salt to every 4000 litres of water for complete pool disinfection.
The difference between pool salt and softener salt is pool salt is used to disinfect and lower the pH level of the pool water. In comparison, softener salt removes the hardness in water by removing unnecessary minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Can I Use Water Softener Salt in My Pool?
Since water softener salts are as pure as pool salt, they can be used to disinfect the pools, just like how pool salt is used. But when choosing a softener salt for the pool, buy the salt that is not brown, pink, or grey; these salts are impure and unsuitable for swimming pools. If you use them, the water will get discoloured, and the impurities will stain the pool.
If you ever come across softener salt that is pure white and clean chips or pellets, you can add them to your pool without worry. To make the decision easier and more straightforward, check the package for pure sodium or potassium chloride.
These salts are suitable for removing hardness and disinfecting the pool more cheaply and naturally. And a tiny drawback to using these salts in your pool is that they take longer to dissolve as it is a little slow.
What are the Potential Benefits of Using Water Softener Salt in a Pool?
The water softeners are a form of pure salt added to water to keep it soft and mineral free. Here are some benefits we can derive from using these salts in our pools.
- One can easily remove components that contain metal in them, reducing the corrosion of these metals inside the pool.
- Hard water is notorious for creating clogs in the pool, which can create potential risks to the pipes and pool equipment. Using a water softener can help reduce or remove the hardness caused.
- Many of the appliances and components of the pool can be protected and used for much longer with added pool softener.
- Soap foam and lather can be easily removed from the pools, especially the chlorine foam; the softener can also kill germs and infections and reduce health risks caused by infections and algae.
What are the Potential Risks of Using Water Softener Salt in a Pool?
Water softener salt, unlike pool salt, has a few risks and drawbacks that can damage the pool and its equipment and other potential health risks. Let us explore some potential risks of adding softener salt to your pools.
- The pool and equipment can be stained when low-grade softener salts with impurities are used. It becomes difficult to remove and clean the stains with time as they become more prominent and permanent. The stain can be seen in pipes, the pool equipment and the bottom of the pool.
- Using softener salt in pools can either increase or decrease the pH balance of the pool. This can affect the skin causing potential irritation and damage to the skin and eyes.
- When the added softener salt additives and components get collected or deposited on the electrodes, the correct level of salt present in the water cannot be identified. Continued use over time can result in damaged electrodes.
- The transparency in water will be lost when you use softener salts in the pool. This happens due to the extra additives in the salts reacting to create a haziness in the water.
- Another minor drawback is these salts take much longer to dissolve, unlike pool salt. So, dump them in a shallow corner of the pool to dissolve more quickly.
What Can You Use Instead of Pool Salt?
If you run out of pool salt, you can add magnesium salt or chlorine, which is just as effective as the pool salt. Even softener salt can be used in your pools; they can work well as long as the salt is purest. The other alternative you can try is the bromine system, as it is found to be more stable compared to chlorine.
Is Pool Salt the Same as Sea Salt?
The pool salt is not the same as sea salt, which is as pure as 99.8% compared to sea salt, which is impure with dirt and debris. Pool salt is also something that cannot be ionized, like sea salt. The pool salt is a disinfectant to kill algae, bacteria and fungus in water. At the same time, sea salt is not that strong or effective compared.
How to Soften Pool Water Naturally?
The natural way to soften the pool water is to reduce some pool water by pumping them out and adding fresh and new water with a lower mineral content. Other than this method, the other methods to soften water are chemical usages like pool softener chemicals and flocculants.