North Bay Pool & Spa

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Our service professionals at North Bay Pool and Spa stay at the forefront of new trends in the pool industry and are prepared to help you make the best decision for your pool.

Chlorine Generators or Salt Water Pool Systems?

We get many questions about salt-water pools, chlorine free pools or any other number of questions regarding chlorine generators, which is the correct definition of what many people are asking about. Chlorine Generators have been around for more than 30 years and are not a NEW idea in swimming sanitation. In fact they have come and gone several times in various designs. The process of making the chlorine with these systems is the same it is just the electronics and construction materials that has gotten significantly better over the years. Advanced microprocessors and electronics, better more resistant plastics and precious metals used in the cells have contributed to the advancement of this technology.
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Ocean water has a salt content of around 35,000 parts per million. Most humans have a taste threshold of around 3500 parts per million. Most chlorine generators use a salt content of 2500 ppm - 6000 ppm. You want a unit that needs less than 3500 ppm to operate effectively.

Swimming in a mild saline solution is much like taking a shower in soft water. The water feels smoother. Maybe a better way to explain this is when many people swim in a non-chlorine generator pool (a pool with no saltwater in it) they feel like their skin dries quicker and chlorine flaking takes place after they exit the pool and dry off. You can feel and see a whitish residual on the skin. It makes you want to get into a shower as soon as possible. In a saltwater pool (chlorine generator) this does not take place. The water feels smooth, your skin feels smooth and many people feel a little more refreshed.

A chlorine generator's main function is to produce chlorine at the pool. These are big advantages for many pool owners. This keeps a residual of chlorine in the pool that prevents algae from growing. The secret is keeping the cell free of calcium and mineral deposits so it can continue to make chlorine. The cell itself is made up of precious metals with each manufacturer using what they believe is the best technology and manufacturing methods. In the 21st century, most of these units will be similar in quality and performance.

Through the process of electrolysis, water passing over the chlorine generator cell produces chlorine that is instantaneously transformed into Hypochlorous Acid. When any type of chlorine is added to water it ALL makes the SAME thing, Hypochlorous acid! Sure they affect the water chemistry differently and some add to TDS or increase calcium levels, the point is this; Hypochlorous Acid is the active sanitizer. This is what kills algae and other harmful stuff in the water. Its effectiveness is totally predicated on balanced water conditions and more importantly proper pH.

Solar Swimming Pool Heaters

Increasingly our customers are finding that Solar systems can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs. They're very cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters and have very low annual operating costs (with the benefits of free sunshine).

A solar pool heating system usually has a payback of between 2 - 5 years, depending on your local energy costs and the location of your house. They also typically last longer than gas and heat pump pool heaters. Of course, your actual cost and payback depend on many factors.
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Most solar pool heating systems include:

  • Solar collector through which pool water is circulated to be heated by the sun
  • Filter to remove debris before water is pumped through the collector
  • Pump to circulate water through the filter and collector and back to the pool
  • Flow control valve that diverts pool water through the solar collector

A solar pool heating system usually has a payback of between 2 - 5 years, depending on your local energy costs and the location of your house. They also typically last longer than gas and heat pump pool heaters. Of course, your actual cost and payback depend on many factors.

We will work with you to evaluate the appropriateness of a solar heater for your pool. We will:

  • Evaluate your site's solar resource
  • Determine the correct system size
  • Determine the system's efficiency
  • Compare system costs
  • Investigate local codes, covenants, and regulations


Single Speed Pump versus Two-Speed Pump?

A standard single speed pool filtration system operates on a time clock for approximately 8 hours/day. A 2 horsepower pump consumes approximately 1.5kw per hour. Assuming an electric rate of $0.10 per kWh, the following equation would apply: 8 hours X 1.5kw per hour X the rate of $0.10 per kWh = $1.20 per day. $1.20 per day X 30 days = $36.00 per month total.

A two-speed system can operate your pool's filtration system 24-hours per day; 3 hours per day on high speed (2 horsepower) and 21 hours per day on low speed (1/3 horsepower) for about the same costs as the single speed system running 8 hours.
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3 hours X 1.5 kWh per hour X the rate of $0.10 per kWh = $0.45 per day= $13.5/Month 21 hours X 0.375 kWh per hour X the rate of $0.10 per kWh = $0.7875 per day= $23.65/Month. Total is $23.65+$13.5= $37.15/month

The bottom line, for about the same money as running a single speed pump for 8 hours on high speed you can run a 2-speed pump 24 hrs a day and take advantage of all the items listed below. Smaller pumps will save even more energy as well!

Benefits of the Two-Speed System

1. 24-hour per day filtration keeps your pool cleaner by circulating and filtering water 24/7. You turnover the water in the pool almost twice as many times - this results in healthier water conditions.

2. Chemical needs are reduced as your pool remains cleaner because it is filtering constantly. Chemicals and temperature are evenly mixed throughout the pool.

3. Energy and chemical costs can be reduced.

4. This helps your pool remain clean, fresh and ready for swimming.

5. If you use a robotic cleaner, most of them will only work in high-speed. Since you would be running the pump in high-speed less than ½ the time of a single speed pump, you could effectively increase the life of your cleaner by twice as long.

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