What Is A Salt Water Swimming Pool
A saltwater pool is not a chlorine-free pool. Salt chlorine generators offer an alternative method of sanitizing a pool by using salt to produce its own chlorine automatically. A saltwater pool works much the same way as any other swimming pool, but instead of adding chlorine tablets, you’ll add a fine-grain salt. If your salt pool is properly maintained, it shouldnt taste or smell salty at all.
Salt Pool Myths: Take Them With A Grain Of Salt
The most common myth regarding salt pools is that they are a better choice if you have sensitivities or allergies to chlorine. Salt pools are, in fact, sanitized using chlorine. A salt-chlorine generator separates the chlorine and sodium molecules in salt and reintroduces them into the pool water. It is still the chlorine that sanitizes your pool!
Another misconception is that salt pools do not require other chemicals. This is completely false and not using other chemicals could damage your pool or be potentially harmful. There is no magic inside a salt-chlorine generator that balances pool water. All parameters should be checked and balanced regularly. Additionally, salt pools need to be shocked on a regular basis and salt-chlorine generators typically do not have the ability to effectively shock your pool. All pools, no matter what the sanitizer, need to be shocked regularly preferably once per week during warm weather.
How Does A Salt-Chlorine Generator System Work?
How To Convert A Standard Pool To A Salt Water Pool
How To Take Care Of A Salt Water Pool
Wish you had a salt water pool? Want to learn how to take care of a salt water pool? Youve come to the right place! Hayward is an innovator in salt water sanitization and an expert in salt water pool maintenance.
Haywards industry leading residential and commercial salt water pool systems turn your pool salt into a self-regenerating supply of pure chlorine for clean, clear, and luxuriously soft pool and spa water. Along with easy maintenance, its no wonder so many pool owners are converting their traditional chlorine pools to salt water pools!
Maintaining a Salt Water Pool
To maintain a salt water pool youll need to keep your filter, pump, and skimmer clean and in good operating condition. With salt water pools, you must inspect the salt chlorinator cell and replace it when needed. Test regularly for proper water chemistry to maintain clean, clear pool water.
Salt Water Pool Chemistry Tips
Using a salt water pool test strip, test your water for free chlorine, salt, pH levels, total alkalinity, stabilizer, and total hardness. Use our online Water Chemistry Calculator to help make those adjustments and balance your pool water.
Following severe weather or times where the load is increased such as pool parties, be sure to test again to maintain your pools water chemistry within proper levels. Once you have tested your pool, balance as needed.
Did You Know?
7 Common Salt Water Pool Care Concerns
2. Is a salt water pool easier to maintain?
4. Is a salt water pool, salty?
Give It To Me Straight: What Exactly Is A Saltwater Pool
You didnt think we found a total chlorine workaround, did you? Its common to assume that a saltwater pool doesnt use any chlorine, but it actually doesin fact, the difference is that it produces chlorine on-site, and only as much as is needed.
Basically, a saltwater pool uses a salt cellwhich is added to your greater circulation systemto make chlorine. Not only does this mean youll never have to remember how to chlorinate your pool again, but it also means that your pool will have super stable, super low chlorine levels. Theres so little chemicals, youll hardly know theyre there. Cool, right?
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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Saltwater Pools
If you’re considering a saltwater pool, whether as a new build or converting your existing pool, then you probably have a lot of questions. You may have heard that saltwater pools have financial and environmental benefits, but what if they make your pool rust? Here are some questions you might have and the answers:
Does Swimming In Saltwater Burn More Calories
Swimming in a saltwater pool doesnt burn more calories than a regular pool. Still, swimming is an excellent form of exercise. No matter which type of pool youre swimming in, wear goggles to protect your eyes and avoid swallowing water. Want to learn more? Find out how many calories you burn swimming.
Its important to regularly test a saltwater pool. Weekly, test for free chlorine and pH using a drop kit or test strips. Monthly, its important to test for:
- salt level
You may need to make adjustments.
Every three months or so, you need to test the salt chlorine generator for buildup and clean it off. Also watch for signs of deposits and erosion, and perform maintenance as needed.
At any pool, its important to practice basic safety measures:
- supervise children at all times
- secure your pool with a fence so kids cant get in the water unsupervised
- enroll anyone who doesnt know how to swim in swim lessons
- enforce rules like no diving or no running near the pool
- when swimming laps, stop and take a break when youre out of breath
- warm up before entering the pool and stretch afterwards
- avoid drinking alcohol when youre in and near the water
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Which Pool Is More Time
Besides easygoing annual costs, one major benefit of a saltwater pool is that they dont require tons of regular maintenance. The pool can self-maintain itself for up to two weeks, but after that, adding more salt isnt usually too time-consuming.
However, you should count on checking and even cleaning the cells in your salt chlorine generator a couple of times a year. This can require a delicate touch, but keeping those cells clean can help reduce how often you have to replace them.
With a chlorine pool, theres no generator that you need to maintain, but you will need to add chlorine to the pool on a weekly basis. Youll also have to keep any chlorine you buy in a separate dry area to avoid activating the chemicals until its time to use it.
Even once you do add the chlorine, youll have to keep an eye on the pools chemical composition. Traditional chlorine pools require other balancing agents, and you dont want to end up with water that has too much or too little chlorine in it. Homeowners usually monitor their pools chemical composition on a weekly basis, but sometimes even more than that.
Myth : Saltwater Pools Need No Maintenance
Oh, boy. Saltwater pools need less maintenance for sure, and they require maintenance less frequently, but they absolutely need consistent care. And when you have a saltwater pool, you might have less chemicals to worry about. But you still need to make sure your:
– pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.8
– Free chlorine is between 1 and 3 parts per million
– Salinity level is between 3,000 and 3,500 ppm
– Stabilizer is between 70 and 80 ppm
– Calcium is between 200 and 400 ppm
Its not a lot, but it certainly does take some time. Make sure to check your levels every other week. Still sound like a lot? Compare that to the frequency of maintaining a chlorinated pool… thats half!
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The Biggest Misconception: Saltwater Pools Are Chlorine
Lets start by busting the biggest misconception about saltwater pools a saltwater pool is not a chlorine pool. Wrong. Chlorine is required in both types of pools to keep the water sanitized it just gets added to the water differently.
A saltwater pool is a chlorine pool. The difference is instead of adding chlorine to the water, you add salt, and a salt-chlorine generator converts salt to chlorine.
Unfortunately, the chlorine created by the generator is unstabilized chlorine that dissipates more quickly. This means the chlorine in a saltwater pool doesnt have as much sanitizing power.
Why chlorine systems beat saltwater systems: the basics.
Can I Change My Chlorine Pool To Saltwater
You can convert your chlorine pool into a saltwater swimming pool and enjoy the benefits of salt water chlorination right in your own backyard. If your pool has a traditional chlorine sanitization system, you can easily switch to Hayward’s advanced salt chlorination system.
Correspondingly, how much does it cost to convert a pool to saltwater?
Expect to pay between $500 and $2,500 to convert a traditional chlorinated pool to a salt water system, depending on the size and type of pool you have. Salt systems can feature self-cleaning and diagnostics, digital salt readouts, and the ability to control pool equipment.
Also Know, can you add chlorine to a salt water pool? There are a few considerations about which chlorine you add, and how you add it, but in short yes it is completely safe to add chlorine to a “salt pool“. Do salt water pools need chlorine? – Yes. Without enough CYA the sun will burn off the chlorine in your pool as fast as your salt system can make it.
Keeping this in view, is a saltwater pool better than chlorine?
Pros. Lower chlorine levels make saltwater pools gentler on skin and eyes. Chlorine levels in saltwater pools are enough to disinfect, but not enough to fade expensive swimwear and gear. Because of the natural chlorine, saltwater pools require fewer chemicals compared to chlorinated pools.
Do you have to drain your pool to convert to saltwater?
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How Salty Are Saltwater Pools
Saltwater pools aren’t salty like the ocean, says Ray Denkewicz of Hayward Pool Products, a manufacturer of salt chlorination machines. Seawater has concentrations of salt of about 35,000 parts per million .
Saltwater pools have much lower salt concentrations of 3,000 to 5,000 ppm — about the saltiness of a teardrop. Pool saltwater closely resembles the water that naturally bathes eyes and therefore, doesn’t irritate them.
What Is A Safe Level Of Chlorine In A Pool
Even a saltwater pool must contain chlorine to help control bacteria and algae. A salt system will generate its own chlorine, but it may take some time. Additional chlorine tablets may be necessary to keep the chlorine in a pool at a safe level.
As a best practice, pools should be kept at about 3 parts per million of chlorine. If your system can only produce about 2 parts per million, adding a small chlorine tablet is enough to supplement your water with the correct level of chlorine to keep a safe and clean swimming environment.
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What Kind Of Filters Do Salt Water Pools Use
The salt cell in a saltwater pool is not responsible for the filtration. This job belongs to an ordinary pool filter that connects to the salt generator system. You can use most pool filters with saltwater systems, including sand filters, cartridge filters, and diatomaceous earth filters. Each has advantages and disadvantages. One important thing to remember is that the filter will need to run a lot because the pool will only generate chlorine when the filter is on.
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Why You Should Leave Pool Maintenance To The Pros
With all the expense involved in owning a pool, cutting extra costs may seem like a good idea. But the reality is that a pool is a lot like your house: you have to take care of it to protect your investment. Regular and preventative maintenance is part of that.
If you think youre up for handling your own pool maintenance, heres what you can expect to do on a weekly basis :
- Remove leaves and any other debris floating in the pool, and empty the skimmer basket.
- Vacuum the floor of the pool and use a stiff brush to remove dirt and algae from the walls of the pool.
- Test the water and adjust chemicals as necessary .
- Service the filter and pump system.
If you live in a part of the country where swimming outdoors is not a year-round activity, youll also need to winterize and close the pool at the end of the summer and open it again in the spring. These tasks are typically more labor intensive.
This may not seem overwhelming on paper, but schedules get busy, and finding an hour or two to devote to your pool several times each week can be easier said than done. Thats why hiring a pro is your best bet.
Pool professionals have seen it all, and theyre experts when it comes to balancing chemicals, catching problems with pump and filter systems before they become expensive disasters, and finding ways to make your pool more efficient. On top of all that, the pros can usually knock out standard maintenance tasks in a fraction of the time they would normally take you.
Are Salt Water Pools Safe
Yes. Because the salt water chlorinator generates the same levels of chlorine found in a traditional pool, there is no difference in the sanitizing power. The only exception is when stabilizer levels are not kept high enough. Hypochlorous acid is not a very stable chemical and breaks down quickly in the sun. Because of this, you will need to maintain adequate stabilizer levels in a salt water pool.
In some ways, saltwater pools are even safer than chlorinated pools. Saltwater pools do not produce chloramines, a chemical commonly found in traditional pools that can irritate the skin and eyes. And in general, saltwater pools require fewer chemicals.
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Myth : Switching To Saltwater Will Wreck My Pool
This one is a partial mythunless you take some precautions, converting your pool to saltwater might introduce rust. My recommendation is to get a sacrificial anode, which is a zinc cell that takes on the damage that would otherwise hit the parts around it. Youll want a professional electrician for thisas you probably know by now, electricity and water arent recommended for a novices first try. Yowch.
Its also best to avoid all steel, aluminum, or metal inside and nearby your pool, and invest in a vinyl pool liner if you have an above-ground pool.
What Kind Of Salt To Use In A Saltwater Pool
The main thing to look out for in the salt you use in your pool is purity. Make sure to use salt that is at least 90-95 percent sodium chloride, and stay away from food-grade iodized salt. You can use solar evaporated or machine evaporated sea salt, but the purest form of sodium chloride comes from mined salt. It is purer is because bacteria and microorganisms found in the ocean will not mix with the salt.
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How Much Salt Does The System Require
The amount of salt your pool requires depends on size of your pool. Your chlorinator needs a certain salt level to keep everything optimal. Check the instruction manual as it will advise what the desired level is, it usually ranges from 3,000 to 4,000 ppm . Don’t worry, it’s all there in the manual and if you run into any trouble with your computations, you can just Contact Us with your pool specifications and chlorinator model and we’ll do all the math for you!
A common misconception is that more salt is better, this is not the case. High salt levels could lead to over conductivity within the water and the resistor inside the chlorinator box to overheat and trip. Some Salt Water Chlorinators will have a low salt, LED light to alert you to the need to adjust your salt level.
Question: Are Salt Water Pools Less Maintenance
Less maintenance With a salt water system, pool maintenance is much easier. However, saltwater pools still require little chlorine. is minimal. In these pools, the salt cells produce chlorine on demand, but you need to check your chlorine levels regularly to make sure everything is working properly.
Look Out For Stabilizer Levels
If you add external chlorine to a saltwater pool on a regular basis to maintain the free chlorine levels, you need to keep an eye out for the stabilizer levels, or cyanuric acid . When the CYA level in a saltwater pool is kept between 30 and 50 parts per million, it shields the chlorine from UV degradation. With too low CYA, the sun will burn off the chlorine in your pool as quickly as the system can generate it.
Whereas, if the cyanuric acid level is too high between 80 and 100 parts per million the chlorine will no longer be effective at killing bacteria and algae in the pool. When this occurs, it is known as chlorine lock and the only way to fix it is to partially drain the pool and refill it. That said, its not an issue to manually add chlorine to a saltwater pool but you do want to keep an eye on the stabilizer levels and maybe consider using a type of chlorine that does not have CYA.
Note:Cyanuric acid is not as important for indoor pools as it is for outdoor pools. If you have an indoor saltwater pool, a cyanuric acid level between zero and 20 ppm is ideal.