By Scott Newton

Summary: Dealers can help swimming pool owners reduce the maintenance of their investments drastically by following an easy program of upkeep. Here, the author describes the program in detail and its benefits.


Today, 87 percent of all swimming pool owners in the United States trust chlorine products to sanitize their water. Chlorine is a good traditional sanitizer but users don’t like handling many forms of the product. One alternative allows owners to chlorinate their pool without certain forms of chlorinating products with minimal effort.

There’s a natural, simple method to automated chlorinization that involves a three-step system consisting of an easy-to-install electrolytic generator and two applications of essential mineral blends. This article addresses this system of automatic chlorination, its components as well as its use, to allow dealers to explain it to customers as another option at their disposal.

Beginning the process
A program approach to pool water maintenance is the best way to effectively ensure clear, brilliant and balanced swimming pool water. Programs minimize the amount of time and effort that pool owners have to spend maintaining their pool water. A program approach to pool care requires only minutes a week.

This pool care system starts with an initial application of minerals. These minerals create a mineral water-bathing environment. The proprietary blend of minerals contains salts for generation of the sanitizer, boron salts for softening of the water, stabilizers to prevent degradation from sunlight and pH balancers/adjusters. They’re applied evenly in the deep end of the swimming pool while the pump is running.

Users will notice the change in the feel of the water. The water feels smooth, soft, comfortable and inviting. The beginning mineral infusion is essential to the proper operation of the system. Pool owners add 30 pounds of the mineral blend per 1,000 gallons of pool water at start-up. Pool owners may have to top off minerals at spring opening to maintain a 3,000 parts per million (ppm) residual of minerals. A low-mineral level will reduce the efficiency of the chlorination system and result in low or no sanitizer production.

Parts of the system
The system contains three parts—the electronic controller, the electrolytic cell and flow detection switch.

The electronic controller regulates the setting of the system, allowing users to adjust the amount of chlorine produced at any given time. The electrolytic cell brings the beginning and renewal mineral blends together to produce free chlorine (this process is called electrolysis). The free chlorine produced by the electrolytic cell sanitizes swimming pool water and kills bacteria and algae. The flow detection switch informs the controller that water is flowing and the generation process can start.

The cell and flow detection switch are plumbed into the pool return piping. Temperature and mineral level sensors are built into the electrolytic cell to keep the controller calibrated regardless of pool temperature. The amount of sanitizer generated by this system is a function of pump run time, pool water mineral level, water temperature and the setting on the sanitizer control switch, which monitors the amount of sanitizer the system generates.
This unit treats residential pools up to 40,000 gallons, or commercial pools up to 25,000 gallons. The actual amount of chlorination required to properly sanitize a pool varies depending upon bather load, rainfall, temperature and the cleanliness of the swimming pool.

Maintaining water softness
Once the beginning blend of minerals has been introduced to the swimming pool water, users will experience a European spa-like environment replete with soothing, soft water that’s gentle on skin, eyes, hair and even pool surfaces.

Maintaining this comfortable swimming environment proves relatively easy with weekly additions of a blend of mineral elements that renew the presence of minerals lost to normal pool use. This renewing blend of mineral elements contains salts for generation of the sanitizer, boron salts to soften the water, pH balancer/adjusters (to offset pH drift), chelants and scale inhibitors (to prolong the life span of the cell), stabilizers to protect chlorine from UV degradation, a filter aid and clarifier (to maintain crystal clear water), and a light fragrance. The replenishing application of minerals is all that’s needed to rejuvenate the system and maintain soft, gentle swimming pool water.

Now that there’s at least a basic understanding of the electrolytic mineral chlorination system, using the system is a cinch. Just add the beginning mineral blend to the swimming pool water as instructed—no pre-dissolving is necessary. There may be some temporary clouding, but it will clear within 48 hours with proper filtration. Adding the renewal minerals weekly maintains the luxurious swimming experience. Swimmers will be ready to get back into the water just minutes after the renewing minerals have been added.

Conclusion
Once started, the electrolytic mineral chlorination program is as easy as test, adjust and add. Keep in mind to remind customers to test for sanitizer and pH, adjust pH and the sanitizer production as needed, and add renewal mineral blend weekly. In no time at all, swimming pool water will be bright, soft and silky. You’ll ensure they’re on their way to the perfect European spa experience right in your own backyard.

About the author
Scott Newton is marketing director for BioGuard Inc., of Lawrenceville, Ga. The company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of pool and spa chemicals. Its line of swimming pool and spa products includes the Mineral Springs System, a revolutionary pool maintenance program, as well as pool and spa sanitizers, oxidizers, balancers, algicides, winterizers and other specialty products for residential, service and commercial markets. Newton can be reached at: www.bioguard.com

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