How to Maintain a Saltwater Swimming Pool

 In Pool Maintenance

When people think of saltwater pools, they automatically assume they’ll need to dedicate more work for upkeep and that saltwater is overpowering or harmful. But what people do not know is that a saltwater pool is easier and less expensive to maintain compared to chlorinated pools. These innovative pools also contain ten times less salt than the ocean, so you won’t gag if you accidentally swallow a mouthful of water.

Instead of adding chlorine directly to the water, salt immediately dissolves into the pool while the salt chlorinator handles the rest of the work. Saltwater pools often prove more stable, and they need fewer chemicals!

As the No.1 pool company in New York and Connecticut, the Shoreline Pools team rounded up some helpful tips to effortlessly maintain your saltwater swimming pool.

The Difference Between Maintaining a Saltwater vs. Chlorinated Pool

Traditional chlorine pools rely on frequent chemical adjustments. This, in turn, requires pool owners to add chlorine as needed to maintain a constant pH in the pool. But when pH levels become too high, the water can cause skin irritation and corrode any metal in your pool. Yet when pH levels drop too low, the chlorine may become ineffective, encouraging bacteria and algae to grow in your pool.

Saltwater pools also use chlorine. But instead of adding chlorine tabs every few days, the saltwater pool passes water through a salt-chlorine generator. The generator uses salt and electrolysis to make hydrochloric acid and sodium hypochlorite. Electrolysis occurs when electricity from a battery goes through a saltwater solution, producing acceptable chlorine levels for your pool. These components chlorinate the water, which simultaneously prevents bacteria and algae growth from turning your clear pool water into a green mess.

Steps to Keep Your Saltwater Pool Running Smoothly

The first step to maintaining your saltwater pool involves the proper circulation in your pool. If there isn’t proper circulation in your pool, saltwater will manifest in concentration levels throughout your pool. Thankfully, you can use a saltwater concentration detector in various areas of the pool to confirm the levels remain consistent. If the numbers are significantly different, then you will need to change the angles of your jets to ensure good circulation.

Next, you will have to clean the pool weekly to remove any salt build-up or debris in your pool. So when owning a saltwater pool, you will need to invest in cleaning equipment built to withstand the saltwater compared to a regular chlorinated pool.

Don’t forget to take care of your equipment! Making sure that the equipment doesn’t splash water outside of the pool liner will be something to look out for because it can cause significant damage over time. Using a hose to sporadically add the saltwater back in the pool can also prevent any damage outside of the pool. Just like a chlorinated pool, be sure to check your filter, pool pump, and skimmer to make sure they are clean and working smoothly.

The Importance of Pool Chemistry

Just like a chlorinated pool, a saltwater pool also needs to have a steady balance of chemicals in it. According to Pool Research, the first step to success involves maintaining the salt level. The average salt level in a saltwater pool ranges around 3,400 ppm while the typical salt chlorine generator requires at least 3,000 ppm. If you find that your generator is not running, then that means your salt level is too low.  Having the right amount of salt in your pool water is crucial but it is not as difficult as it sounds, for balancing the pH in a traditional chlorinated pool is much harder.

After adding an adequate amount of salt to your luxury pool, you must then manage your stabilizer. The stabilizer, which you can find in most pool supply stores, effectively prevents chlorine from evaporating out of your pool. Using cyanuric acid will also help keep the chlorine in the pool because it bonds to it. The recommended amount of stabilizer for a saltwater pool ranges between 50-80 ppm.

Balancing Your Pool’s pH

Just like any other pool, you must make sure that your pH levels don’t reach alarmingly high levels. The ideal pH for a saltwater pool is 7.4 and will fluctuate over time. Just remember to keep an attentive eye so the levels don’t become too low or too high. Testing the pH and chlorine of your pool regularly by using a test kit will also further prevent algae or bacteria in your pool.

Lastly, you will need to shock your pool when you notice the water looks dirty or green. Most saltwater pools have a shock function on the chlorine generator but if not using granular or liquid shock will get your pool looking brand new. Granular is a solid form of shock, which you’ll need to dissolve in a bucket of water before dispersing it into your pool.

Taking Care of Your Salt Chlorine Generator

Though saltwater pools require less attention than a traditional chlorinated pool you must make sure that your salt chlorine generator is working smoothly.

Pool Research further outlines the five steps that you should take to ensure your generator is working smoothly:

  • Maintain salt levels between 2,700 and 3,500 ppm (3,200 ppm is ideal)
  • Clean the chlorine generator unit at least once per season
  • Track calcium levels
  • Turn the power off to the pool filtration system during electrical storms
  • Use a salt-chlorine generator with reverse polarity

Saltwater Pools: The Superior Option

Though it might seem like a big adjustment at first, saltwater pools require far less upkeep. There is less chlorine in the pool, which makes it easier on your skin, eyes, and swimsuits. There are also fewer chemicals involved in the upkeep of the saltwater pool, you just have to make sure there is enough salt in the pool for your generator to work.

Whether you need maintenance or want to completely renovate your pool, Shoreline can help you. Our employee training is continuous, and we are always learning new and improved ways to take care of your pool. We build custom pools based on the project scope and our clients’ needs to create a truly unique experience just in your backyard. Our award-winning pools use only the best products and we have created strong relationships with highly qualified partners to work with our crews to give our clients the best experience possible. Dial (203) 357-1544 to connect with our team today!

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