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How To Care For Salt Water Pool

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Benefits Of A Salt Water Pool

How To: Maintain a Salt Water Pool

So, if its not maintenance-free, then why the heck would you even want a salt water pool in the first place?

Actually, there are some other benefits to salt water pools that may make you want to convert.

  • Water in salt water pools feels much softer than water in traditional chlorine pools.
  • Even though your salt water pool will be generating its own chlorine, most people consider it gentler on the pool and the swimmer .
  • Salt water pools do not produce those nasty chloramines that traditional chlorine pools produce because they burn them off during their generating process .
  • Since the salt water cell produces its own chlorine, you dont have to handle and store dangerous chemicals.
  • When the settings are properly adjusted, salt water pools produce the right amount of chlorine instead of the pool-owner having to add it.

How To Maintain A Salt Water Pool

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There are many benefits to operating a saltwater pool. The benefits include softer water, lower cost of operation, and no chloramines. Many people believe that a salt water pool will be maintenance free. Although there is less maintenance required with a salt water system, there are still necessary steps required to maintain a stable pool.

How To Avoid Common Salt Pool Maintenance Issues

There are few topics with as many misconceptions as saltwater pools. Perhaps it all went wrong from the start, when the term was coined about 40 years ago. The name certainly gives you the least relevant information the pool is not salty like the ocean, and the salt in the pool isnt even the star of the show. So let’s dive in.

A salt pool just means that the pool has an electronic chlorine generator installed, also called a salt chlorine generator , or an SWG . Put simply, an SCG utilizes a low level of salinity in pool water to continuously generate chlorine when the pool equipment runs every day. Despite the unfortunate confusion, it has still managed to become the standard in pool sanitation1. Still, theres a lot of work that can be done to help those that care for pools understand that the differences involved when it comes to using and maintaining salt pools and their equipment.

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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
  • 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

S To Keep Your Saltwater Pool Running Smoothly

How To: Start Up a Salt Water Pool

The first step to maintaining your saltwater pool involves the proper circulation in your pool. If there isnt 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.

Dont forget to take care of your equipment! Making sure that the equipment doesnt 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.

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How Do You Clear A Cloudy Salt Water Pool Fast

First, you’ll need to determine what caused your pool to cloud up. It is usually a problem with the circulation, unbalanced chemistry or algae.

If its unbalanced chemicals, the fastest way to clear it up is to balance those.

If your chemicals seem balanced, check your filtration system. You may need to clean out your filter.

If its algae or some other contaminant, you can use a pool clarifier and vacuum up the residue.

A Pool Cleaning Schedule

If it has proper circulation, youve already made cleaning your pool much easier. But youll still need to apply some good old-fashioned elbow grease. The basic tools youll need are:

Both Mother Nature and the folks using your pool bring all sorts of wild and wacky things into your pool, from leaves, mold, and the odd duck or frog to residues from shampoos, perfumes, and hair products. Add in the risks of bacterial contamination, and cleaning your pool becomes an absolutely essential part of safe swimming.

Skim, brush, and vacuum your pool weekly, at a minimum. This will keep debris out of your water, and your walls sparkling clean. Baking soda paste works particularly well as a basic scouring cleaner that wont damage delicate tile or a vinyl liner when you brush.

An automatic pool cleaner can significantly cut your pool cleaning time. It wont eliminate the need for regular skimming and brushing, but itll make both tasks easier, freeing you up to spend time enjoying your pool instead of cleaning it.

You can also make your cleaning life easier with a few unorthodox additions to your pool. Toss a few tennis balls into your skimmer basket, or even right into the pool, and theyll absorb surface oils left behind by suntan lotion, cosmetics, etc. You can also wrap your skimmer baskets with pantyhose to create an extra-fine filter thatll catch more contaminants than a skimmer alone.

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Chlorine And Salt Levels

It is a common misconception that saltwater systems do not have . In fact, these systems are currently the most popular of the chlorine systems. A saltwater pool will have lower levels of chlorine than a traditional chlorine pool because the chlorine is produced at a steady level rather than added to the pool with chlorine sticks or tablets. Salt is added to the pool instead, and a saltwater generator produces hypochlorous acid for sanitation through electrolysis, which is the breakdown of the salt by passing electricity through the saltwater solution.

Despite the name of a saltwater pool, the salt content is approximately that of human tears, about one-tenth the salinity of ocean water. Swimmers can open their eyes underwater, and their skin feels softer after a swim.

Monitor Your Ph Level Weekly

Salt Water Pool Care -DIY

Your pool’s pH needs to be balanced, otherwise it can make your chlorine ineffective, can cause pool swimmer discomfort, and can greatly impact scaling and/or corrosion. When many people measure and maintain their pH balance, this comes down to regularly adding muriatic acid to lower the pH. If you want consistent pH balance, there’s nothing more convenient than a pH balance system.

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Converting Your Pool To Salt Water

If you do decide to convert your pool to a salt water system, there are some basic things that will help you out.

For example, choose your salt water generator based on cost and pool size. These babies can get expensive, so dont go overboard with the biggest one when a smaller model will serve your purposes.

Make the decision upfront as to whether you’ll be installing the system yourself or hiring a professional.

Read up on exactly how its done and decide whether or not you have the time, patience and willingness to learn to get the job done right.

If you think you need a professional, get estimates and include that in your financial decision.

Know that you’ll sometimes still have to use regular chlorine.

While salt chlorinators do usually have a super chlorinate function that will give it a boost, its not a substitute for pool shock.

Usually, your pool will still need to be shocked at least once a month to keep algae at bay.

Keeping The Pool Clean

  • 1Remove surface dirt and debris with a hand vacuum twice a week. Get a hand vacuum for the pool at your local pool supply store or online. The vacuum attaches to your skimmer box to create suction. You then push the vacuum around the surface of the pool with a pole to suck up dirt and debris.XResearch source
  • A good hand vacuum of the pool will take 1 to 1.5 hours. Get in the habit of cleaning the pool at least 2 times a week, especially if your pool is outdoors and uncovered.
  • 2Get a mechanical pool cleaner. You can also buy a mechanical pool cleaner that works on its own to suck up debris and dirt.XExpert Source
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    Know When To Replace The Salt Cell

    In some ways, a salt cell is analogous to a car tire its a consumable part that slowly wears out as it works. Accordingly, theres not really any benefit from replacing your SCGs cell early. Getting the longest life out of your cell means getting the most return on your investment.

    When a cell is depleted, the SCGs controller typically displays an error message or warning light as mentioned previously, such errors can sometimes be displayed due to other related issues. These are seven troubleshooting checks you should perform before replacing your cell in order to eliminate the possibility of other minor fixable issues being the cause. Unlike a car tire, you cannot visually see when a salt cell is worn out so dont even try. Use these tried and true methods instead:

    • If your model has different cell type settings on the SCGs electronic controller, ensure that this setting has not inadvertently been changed. Youll need to refer to the manufacturers documentation to do this, but its a final item to check which can cause a false error.

    • Check how old your cell is. How many summers has it been since this cell was put into operation? Is it nearly as old or older than the length of its warranty period?

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    Assess Free Available Chlorine

    Salt Water Pool Care, Part One

    Monitor free chlorine levels by testing and adjusting on a regular basis. The recommended free chlorine levels should always be between 2-5 ppm, depending on the level of cyanuric acid in the pool as indicated in this chlorine/CYA chart.

    Low salinity levels reduce free chlorine. If your free chlorine falls below the recommended levels, you need to measure salinity and increase it if it is below the recommended levels before even thinking of adding chlorine shock in the pool.

    Very low salinity levels may bring down your available free chlorine to 0 ppm, which will almost certainly encourage algae to thrive.

    Apart from low salinity levels, low free chlorine can be caused by:

    • Calcium buildup on the salt cell
    • An expired cell
    • Excess stabilizer
    • Poor circulation

    If the salinity and everything mentioned above is just fine, but free chlorine is too low, this may be the result of heavy pool usage and you may need to add a small amount of regular chlorine .

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    Winterize The Salt Generator

    Its best to remove the salt cell for winter. Start by turning off all circuits to pool equipment, including the pool pump. Unscrew the unions to disconnect the generator cell from the pool lines. You can replace it with a temporary dummy cell to keep the line properly spaced and sealed through the winter.

    Check for scaly deposits on the plates inside the salt cell, and clean it well with a high pressure hose. You can also use a plastic or wood tool to very gently scrape away any scale buildup. NEVER use metal to scrape the generator plates, and dont aggressively scrape at deposits. Doing so can damage the coating on the plates and shorten the lifespan of your generator cell. For particularly stubborn scale, you can use diluted muriatic acid to soak the cell. Once dry and clean, store it indoors. If its time to replace your salt cell, make a note to purchase one before spring opening.

    S For Winterizing A Salt Water Pool

    Never closed a salt water swimming pool before? Not to worry! There are a few key differences compared to closing a regular chlorine pool, but its still a simple process that most pool owners can handle themselves. To prevent algae growth, surface stains and expensive pool damage, weve broken down the process for winterizing a salt water pool into 10 easy steps.

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    The Pros And Cons Of Salt Water Pools

    Hazardous to handle and store, chlorine can irritate the skin and the eyes. Its no wonder, then, that many people opt for salt water pools, which offer some big advantages over traditional chlorinated swimming pools. Salt water pools do have some downsides you need to consider before purchasing one, however. To decide which type of pool might be right for you, consider the pros and cons of each.

    Salt Water Systems vs. Traditional Chlorinated Pools

    If you dont know much about salt water filters and pools, the facts may surprise you. For one, they arent anywhere close to being as salty as seawater. In fact, they have only about one-tenth the salinity. Second, they arent completely chlorine-free. Instead, the system uses a process called electrolysis to create chlorine, which disinfects the water.

    What are the Pros and Cons of a Salt Water Pool?

    Salt Water Pool Advantages

    • Because they have lower chlorine levels, salt water pools are much gentler on the eyes and skin.
    • Research indicates that salt water systems may be safer than chlorine pools, which force owners to store and handle unsafe chemicals. Likewise, studies suggest that regular exposure to heavily chlorinated swimming pools could pose long-term risks.
    • Salt water pools produce softer-feeling water, which many find desirable.
    • Because the salt cells in a salt water system only produce chlorine as needed, the pools require far less maintenance when compared to traditional chlorinated swimming pools.

    Handling Corrosion/metal Stains In Saltwater Pools

    Salt Water Pool Care, Part One – Overview & Chemistry

    Saltwater often leads to faded surface and metal stains or corroded steel hardware parts.

    Most salt chlorinator users, including myself, use zinc anode as part of the pool system to form stainless metal parts. Also known as a sacrificial zinc anode, it protects metals that come in contact with saltwater. Zinc anode also plays a very important role in preventing:

    • Plaster discoloration
    • Heater damage
    • Black stains

    Zinc anode works by corroding or ‘sacrificing’ itself before any other metal part can be affected, like an underwater electrical system that can develop stains. You need to check on the anode at least once a year to ensure that it has not fully degraded.

    This article is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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    The True Pool Maintenance Cost Of Owning A Salt Water Swimming Pool In 2020

    by Katy-TX-Pool-Builder Katy-TX-Pool-Builder | Apr 13, 2020 | Pool Care

    Are you dreaming of floating in your backyard pool, relaxing and sipping your favorite cocktail?

    Of course, you are! But, if you dont have a pool in your yard yet, you have some important decisions to make before you can make this dream a reality.

    One of the biggest choices youll have to make is whether to go with a traditional chlorine pool or opt for a trendy saltwater version.

    Saltwater pools bring many awesome benefits, but how much will the ongoing pool maintenance cost? Dont worry, were here to give you all the details you need so you can make your decision and get started on your new pool installation project.

    Q: What Chemicals Do I Need For A Salt Water Pool

    Some pool owners overlook cyanuric acid for their salt water pools, but this stabilizer is still important to maintain the right sanitizer levels.

    Remember, your salt water pool is still a chlorinated pool. Its just generated differently.

    You may also need muriatic acid to lower pH levels when they get too high and soda ash to raise them.

    You’ll also need sodium bisulphate to lower alkalinity, sodium bicarbonate to raise alkalinity, and of course pool salt to keep your levels in check.

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    Test And Adjust Salt Concentration

    • Saltwater pool systems operate efficiently only when salt is in the right concentration.
    • Different chlorine generators require different salinity levels. This is the first thing you need to take into consideration before adding or reducing salt in your pool.
    • Chlorine generators operate well with salinity levels between 2500 and 3500 ppm. You must either test the salinity level before adjusting it or use a chlorine generator that monitors and displays the salinity reading.
    • Cooler geographic regions will experience reduced water conductivity, and if you are taking the reading of salinity from the generator, you may get a much lower and inaccurate reading, so you need to be extra careful not to add too much salt.
    • Make sure that you dont add too much salt into the pool. The only way to reduce salinity is by draining the water and refilling with fresh water.
    • Test for salinity every week. Keep in mind that salt levels will be recycled during the process of chlorine production, and you may not need to add more unless the level falls way below the recommended range.
    • Here is a salinity calculator that will guide you on the correct amount of salt to add to your pool to avoid excess salinity.

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