The Difference Between Pool Salt & Solar Salt

By Nida Rasheed

Salt is integral to human life. In fact, salt is ubiquitous in life forms on earth. The cells of the human body contain large proportions of saline (salt dissolved) water. The sea is the largest source of salt, or NaCl -- sodium chloride as it is known chemically. Salt has 14,000 thousand types of uses to mankind. It is a purifier, an ingredient in our food, it even renders products environment-friendly when added to them. Salt is named according to how someone obtains it (example: solar salt) or according to its uses (example: pool salt).

There are different varieties and uses of salt.

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Difference In Definition

Solar salt is the name given to salt obtained by evaporation of sea water with the application of solar energy or the energy from the sun. Wind and sun energies evaporate sea water. The evaporation increases the concentration of salt until the salt can crystallize. This crystalized salt is known as solar salt. It renders swimming pools clean or impurit- free by the adding refined salt and using a chlorine generator. This refined salt, added to swimming pools, is pool salt.

Difference in Physical Properties

Solar salt is directly evaporated sea water. It may consist of sea impurities, dried debris and weeds along with remains of marine life forms like fish or mollusks. By contrast, pool salt is highly refined salt which has a uniform pollutant-free appearance. Solar salt is more granular. Pool salt, on the other hand, is made of smaller crystals. Solar salt, though easily soluble, may leave behind impurities on dissolution. Pool salt is specially adapted to dissolving without any insoluble impurities, as pool managers use it to service swimming pools.

Difference in Availability

Solar salt is available in the form of bags of large crystals and as pellets. You can find it in stores dealing with water-softening products and at factory outlets where solar salt is made. Pool salt is available in a range of granularity and you can buy it in stores that sell swimming pool cleaning agents, chlorinators and pool accessories.

Difference in Utility

Solar salt is the source for other salts. Pool salts, canning (edible) salts are all derivatives of solar salt. Solar salt can reduce hardness of water and conserve energy. Processors heat salt in containers deep beneath the earth's surface. This stored heat can power heat-energy based machinery like cooling and heating systems. A chlorine generator can electrolyze pool salts. Electrolysis is the process of supplying electric current to the salt water to break it into its constituent elements, sodium and chlorine. Chlorine released thus becomes hypochlorous acid in water, which kills bacteria and algae.