Salt water chlorinators, use electricity and dissolved salt to produce chlorine for the pool. This chlorine works just like the chlorine applied using traditional methods — The generation process yields hypochlorous acid, the active sanitizer in pool water.
ECGs work by converting dissolved chloride ions into available chlorine. Housed within the ECG are two types of electrodes called cathodes and anodes. As electric current passes through the cell, it generates chlorine gas, which provides a free available chlorine residual to the water.
Most ECGs are installed in-line and produce chlorine only when the circulation system is operating.
In-line generators are installed directly in the pool’s circulation return line and available chlorine is generated when dissolved salt passes through the device.
Since most of the chlorine generated reverts back to chloride again during use, the salt is automatically recycled.
Regardless of the type of system used, a pool with a properly sized and operating ECG shouldn’t require supplemental chlorine for daily sanitizer maintenance. However, supplemental oxidizers or a shocking may still be required on occasion (e.g., heavy bather load or for remedial treatments).