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Going chlorine-free in our pool

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Has anyone else done this? Any recommendations? I saw instructions on the bag of Baking Soda -- apparently you can use BS instead of chlorine! But I'm guessing it's not as easy as just substituting. (I was never good at chemistry...)

I also found a site (haven't done much reading yet though) for Ecosmarte Pools. Any experience with this kind of system? I'd love both positive and negative comments.
post #2 of 14
Wow, I've never heard of using baking soda. Wouldn't that make the water cloudy? I've heard of people having salt water pools. A lady that I work with has a non-chlorine pool. I can't remember what she uses instead, but she gets it from the pool store.
post #3 of 14
We love the city pool that uses a saltwater system! Your skin feels MUCH NICER and your eyes don't burn. (We still wear goggles, though, out of habit since we go to a variety of pools.) I have never heard of baking soda instead of chlorine, though.
post #4 of 14
I've never heard of baking soda in a pool, and I don't know that I would try it. We are starting to look into making the switch to salt water next year. From what I understand, the salt can be rather corrosive on your pump, so we are weighing out the pros and cons.
post #5 of 14
I've never heard of baking soda, bu even with corrosive salt, it's worth it. Your body just feels amazing afterwards !
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
The thing that bugs me about salt systems (other than the corrosion issue...) is that it basically uses a chemical reaction to create chlorine from the salt (sodium chloride). So even though it's more comfy and possibly a great spa treatment as a bonus, you're still swimming in chlorine, and isn't one of the bad things about chlorine that it gets absorbed into your system through your skin? Obviously, it's still preferable to inhaling the fumes too, but I don't want to be absorbing chlorine into my system...
post #7 of 14
Get the pool frog system. That is what we have and it works really well. It's a mineral purification system that works w/the pool's filter.

http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/alter...s/poolfrog.htm
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but it looks like it still uses chlorine.... no?
post #9 of 14
I by no means claim to be a pool expert, but I was in the biz for several years.

Baking soda can for sure be used instead of soda ash in a pinch when you need to up your alkalinity, but you could never keep a pool sanitary/"clean" with soda ash, and I'm pretty darn sure you couldn't with baking soda either. It's a Ph balancer - not something that will keep the ickies out.

What exactly did the bag say. I am really curious. Most of what I'm finding on the web turns out to be people who thought the bag said they could use it instead of chlorine, but really it was the soda ash thing.

Like this is what Arm & Hammer apparently says:
Quote:
Here's how it works: ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda helps maintain the pH of the water in your pool in the desired range and provide necessary alkalinity (mineral salts found in water). Recommended pH control by ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda and a disinfecting agent will keep your pool water sparkling clear, and your eyes from burning.
That disinfecting agent would generally be Chlorine or Bromine.
post #10 of 14
Salt water systems are actually salt water chlorine generators. The pools aren't chlorine free, you just never put chlorine into them—it is created by electrolysis when the salt water passes over the cell in the chlorine generator.

We converted our pool a couple of years ago and it is so much nicer. The system works really well. The water feels nice, our eyes don't burn and our hair doesn't turn green.
post #11 of 14
Chlorine is Cl2. Salt is NaCl. Both deionize in water to Cl and Na and Cl. Either way...chloride ions. Kinda weird. When you eat salt, you aren't tasting salt - you're tasting chloride and sodium together.
post #12 of 14
So does this mean that the only advantage of a salt pool vs. a chlorine pool is that it's more comfy? We we're thinking of converting because we thought it would be so much healthier/better for the environment.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornflake girl View Post
So does this mean that the only advantage of a salt pool vs. a chlorine pool is that it's more comfy? We we're thinking of converting because we thought it would be so much healthier/better for the environment.
It can be a bit cheaper to maintain, and there is less maintenance (adding a bag of salt every once in a while, not weekly chlorine shocks) BUT that's only if the system really REALLY works. I know quite a few people with salt systems (including ones put in in the last couple of years) in which black mold grew, mustard algae and other algaes couldn't be kept away, etc. My BIL ended up picking up liquid chlorine again.

Then again, if the system really works (and I have no idea how to get one that definitely will, since I know of 4 people with them that are completely annoyed with them), I hear it's fantastic. Perhaps the technology is too new to be reliable?!?!?


I've heard ozone pools might be more environmentally friendly...but I'm really not sure. I think I was in a hotel once that had one, but don't have any friends with them.
post #14 of 14
This might be a little OT but can I use baking soda instead of the more expensive pH increaser?
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