Leading chlorine generation technology manufacturer, Australian Innovative Systems (AIS) raises an important question: Is the pool industry at risk of echoing Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes?
The story tells of weavers who create a ‘new’ suit for a narcissistic Emperor. They say the suit is invisible to all who are incompetent, ignorant or stupid. Not wishing to be perceived as such, the Emperor believes the weavers’ claims and parades naked before his subjects. No one dares to say that they cannot see any clothes for fear that they will be branded as simpletons. Finally, common sense prevails and a small child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all.”
AIS CEO Elena Gosse is calling for similar levels of common sense from pool industry distributors and retailers when it comes to considering residential or commercial chlorine generators. Elena states that it’s important to understand that not all technologies are created equal as far as quality and performance is concerned. A common denominator, however, is that all chlorine generators employ electrolysis to produce chlorine to disinfect pool water.
Disinfection via electrolysis is when pool water passes through an electrolytic cell converting minerals and salts to sodium hypochlorite (commonly known as liquid chlorine). The chlorine is then distributed directly into the water, keeping it clear and bacteria free.
“There are so many outrageous claims made such as ‘salt or chlorine-free’ pools which use electrolysis, or pools that cure all ails and illnesses, and don’t get me started on the cheap, off-shore manufactured pool equipment that is often sold online and may not last longer than its packaging.
“Companies are losing money and customers are losing faith and patience, which it’s why it’s so important for the industry to work together in the interests of integrity.”
So how can you be sure you are offering the right chlorine generator to your customers?
Elena suggests asking the following five questions:
1. Can I buy or sell this product with confidence?
Is it a respected brand which offers the best in quality, performance and technology? Does the product perform as it claims? Am I sure that I am not the victim of dishonest marketing or sales tactics?
2. What are the chlorine output and salinity levels of the technology?
- Every salt water chlorine generator can produce chlorine in low salinity water but often it’s at the expense of chlorine output and/or electrode lifespan. Do you know that the product will live up to its claims? Unscrupulous companies can sometimes over inflate figures about chlorine output or the lifespan of parts. They know retailers and consumers are unlikely (or unable) to test these aspects for themselves.
- TDS and salinity are not the same, despite being both measured in parts per million (ppm). Salinity only measures salt concentrations in pool water. TDS measures all soluble substances, including salt. To specify the correct chlorine generator for your pool you must know the concentration of salt in your pool (salinity), which will always be lower than the TDS level.
- Any technology which employs electrolysis produces chlorine. In the case of claims of ‘salt free’ or ‘chlorine free’ pools any device using the method of electrolysis is generating chlorine from dissolved salts (in the form of sodium, magnesium or potassium chloride) in the water. A residual chlorine level is required to comply with current Australian health standards. Even pools disinfected by conventional chlorine dosing have a salt content which increases over time.
- Mineral water pools are technically salt-water pools and still contain chlorine (produced by the chlorine generator). Blended mineral options are technically salt, often in the forms of magnesium and potassium chloride.
3. What are the safeguards for the consumer?
- Is there a clear and fair warranty program in place? AIS warns to beware of pro-rata warranty programs where customers pay sliding scale percentage costs over a period of years. In the event something goes wrong this can be a very expensive exercise for customers.
- Are spare parts readily available?
- Does the system offer safety features such as water flow, overload protection and ingress protection?
- What is the lifespan of major components such as the electrolytic cell?
4. Can you offer the right product to suit your customer’s individual circumstances?
- Does your chlorine generator manufacturer offer a wide range of products in different sizes and outputs and across various pool types (such as fresh water, salt water or mineral water) to enable you to tailor a water disinfection solution which is suited to your customer? One size does not fit all.
5. Is this a product which is helping to further the industry?
Is the manufacturer committed to innovation, research and development and the long-term viability of the industry? Does the company develop quality relationships with distributors and retailers?
Unlike the tale of the Emperor’s new clothes, when it comes to integrity in the pool industry, AIS believes that transparency is the key.
Talk to us if you would like more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (07) 3396 5222.