What Is A Saltwater Pool
First, lets make sure everyone understands what a saltwater pool is and how it works.
If youre thinking about buying a swimming pool, youll need this information, so stick with us. If you already understand the basics, then skip ahead to the next section.
A saltwater pool uses a salt-chlorine generator, which converts salt into chlorine. For the machine to function, youll need to add salt to it. This is different from a traditional chlorine pool, which requires you to add chemicals.
Contrary to what some people believe, a saltwater pool doesnt taste or feel like the ocean. Instead, the water has a very silky feel and a mild taste. The salinity of saltwater in a pool is about one-tenth of what youll find in the ocean.
Its actually closer to what you would find in contact lens solution or a natural teardrop.
Saltwater pools have less chlorine in them, which makes it gentler on the skin and eyes. If you have children in the home or you plan to swim for long periods of time, this is a major advantage.
The chlorine levels are high enough to disinfect your pool, but theyre not so high that you need to worry about it damaging your hair or fading your swimwear.
Considering all of these advantages, you might wonder why everyone doesnt use saltwater. Is it a lot more expensive or harder to maintain? Keep reading as we explore the answers to these questions.
How To Care For A Fiberglass Salt Water Pool
Taking care of a salt pool or a saline pool is no different from any other swimming pool. Why you ask? Because there is NO DIFFERENCE between a SALT pool and a “Chlorine pool.” They both have chlorine. The difference is that a salt pool MAKES chlorine derived from salt and a “Chlorine pool” requires you purchase and inject the chlorine. That’s it.
Interesting Facts About Salt Pools
A salt cell generates unstabilized chlorine which means it diminishes rapidly when exposed to sunlight UV rays. SunShield® Stabilizer shields against sunlight to extend the life of generated chlorine and minimize cell run time.
The process a cell uses to convert saltwater into chlorine contributes to higher water pH every time a cell runs. pH Reducer corrects high pH to protect surfaces and equipment.
The environment within a cell can cause chalky white calcium-scale deposits to form on a cells wall over time, decreasing the chlorine output. Scale Defender protects against damaging scale for efficient, long-lasting cell performance and Cell Cleaner removes built-up scale to restore cell to peak performance.
Chlorine is effective at killing bacteria and algae, but creates unpleasant by-products when it reacts with contaminants like sweat, sunscreen or fertilizer. Chlorine-Free Shock Oxidizer eliminates contaminants for clear, fresh water.
Saltwater pools need to have water balance levels tested on a regular basis just like traditional chlorine pools. Balance Test Strips ensure proper water balance for the best swimmer comfort, equipment protection, and sanitizer efficiency.
The amount of salt in a pool and the amount of chlorine being produced are independent of each other. Adding more salt to the water does not improve efficiency or increase the generation of chlorine. Salt Level Test Strips ensure correct salt levels.
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Saltwater Above Ground Pool Cell Maintenance
Most Saltwater generators, such as the Solaxx Saltron Retro Jet RJ, have a cell inside that needs to be cleaned off at the end of every season. They may have an indicator light that will flash check cell to remind you to do this. You should carefully follow the manufacturers instructions to determine the proper way to clean them.
Specifically made for Above Ground Swimming Pools, The Solaxx Retro Jet system produces a pure, elemental form of chlorine by electrolysis of salt added to the pool water. After the salt is converted to chlorine and bacteria has been killed, the chlorine reverts back to salt and this process is ongoing.
What Should I Know About Salt Water Pools
You add salt to your pool water, and the salt chlorine generator converts it to chlorine . You should use salt that’s 99% pure or higher. Salt chlorine generators typically cost $1,700$2,500 upfront and last about 37 years. They’re easy to maintain, keep the water clear, and annually cost less than traditional chlorine.
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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.
Saltwater Pool Maintenance 101 For Dummies
If you are searching for saltwater pool maitenance, salt water pool maintenance for dummies or saltwater pool maintenance 101, this post should help!
There are a lot of benefits to be had from a saltwater pool. These benefits include a lower cost of operating, no chlorinates to deal with, and softer water. However, there are a lot of people who are under the impression that a saltwater pool is maintenance free. A saltwater pool will require less maintenance, but the truth still stands that in order to keep and maintain a stable pool your saltwater pool will require some maintaining.
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At The End Of The Swim Season
It is vital to correctly close and winterize your pool at the end of the swimming season.
- Test the water remaining in the pool and adjust the chemistry as necessary. This might not seem important, but it creates the best environment for winterizing.See more on general winterizing here.
- Use a pool closing kit to help prevent algae and cloudy water. Winterizing kits normally consist of shock, algaecide, and metal remover. In warmer climates, it is particularly important to use an algaecide. Cleaning out algae from your pool is not fun.
- Remove the flow switch and salt cell and store them indoors. Use a dummy salt cell in it’s place if you plan on leaving the pool running over the winter. Another form of chlorine will need to be used. Set the salt chlorine generator to winter or neutral. This is a good time to clean the salt cell.
- Drain the water from the pool’s plumbing system. If you can’t drain it completely, fill the skimmer with antifreeze.
- Thoroughly clean and brush the pool itself.
- Drain the water level just enough to allow the cover to be deployed. Remove any pool accessories that can be removed and cover any that can’t.
- Clean the pool cover prior to deploying it. If you have leaves overlooking the pool, consider adding a leaf net.
- Shut off the breaker the pump at the main control panel.
Stabilizer Or Cyanuric Acid
Ideal Stabilizer or CYA: 30 – 80 ppm
The stabilizer level is very important to the over salt water pool maintenance, and is often overlooked by owners and professionals. A proper cyanuric acid level will prevent chlorine from being lost due to the sun’s UV rays. An outdoor pool without stabilizer could lose up to 95% of it’s produced chlorine on a sunny day leaving your pool unsanitary and potentially unsafe to swim in.
A salt water pool requires slightly higher levels of stabilizer than a regular pool and should be kept in the range of 70 – 80 ppm. If you have an indoor salt water pool that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight you can keep levels in the 5 – 30 ppm range. Stabilizer and chlorine work interchangeably and when one rises, the other should also.
- Lower Stabilizer levels by diluting your pool water either by draining and adding fresh water or correct over time.
- Raise Stabilizer levels by adding cyanuric acid and following the manufacturers instructions.
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What Chemicals Are Needed To Maintain A Saltwater Pool
Your pool pH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness must be maintained by testing and adjusting the levels as needed, just as with a traditional chlorine pool. You will also still need to use cyanuric acid, or chlorine stabilizer, to control UV chlorine degradation, and prevent overworking your salt cell.
How Do You Clean A Salt Water Pool That Is Green
Most salt cell generators have a super-chlorination switch that is great for adding a little extra boost of chlorine, but you shouldnt use it as a replacement for shocking your pool regularly.
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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.
Pool Maintenance Cost: Chlorine Vs Salt Water
One reason why everybody doesnt use salt water is that it costs more upfront. The initial cost of a salt-chlorine generator is usually between $1,700 and $2,500. They also only last around three to seven years before they need to be replaced.
The warmer the climate is where you live, the more chlorine your pool will need. This means the generator needs to work harder. So, those living in warm climates will likely be on the lower end of the replacement time-frame.
While they do cost a bit more on the front end than a chlorine set up, the ongoing maintenance for saltwater pools is typically far less expensive.
Generally, you can expect to pay somewhere around $300 to $800 a year on the chemicals youll need to maintain a chlorine pool. For a saltwater pool, you can expect the cost of chemicals and salt to run closer to $70 to $100 a year.
However, there are other expenses to consider.
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Testing Kit We Recommend
A good test kit for salt water pools should be able to test chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness and stabilizer .
Here’s what we recommend:
This kit from Taylor Technologies will test everything you need in order to keep your salt water pool chemistry balanced.
All their kits come with thorough instructions so they take all the guesswork out of testing your pool.
Additional Tasks Involving A Saltwater Pool
Theres an additional task thats unique to saltwater pools and that is to check and maintain your salt cells! Even if your chlorinator is marked as self-cleaning, you will still need to check and maintain your saltwater cells and remove any calcium buildup on the cells themselves. We have an in-depth guide on how to clean your chlorinator cells here which you can check out as a handy reference. Need a dedicated cleaning kt for your saltwater cell? Check out the Aussie Gold Clean A Cell below!
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Minimize Your Chlorine Demand
You wouldn’t be ok with trying to have your home’s HVAC unit try to compensate for windows and doors that were left open all the time, right? It’s the same with your pool’s sanitation. It is crucial to eliminate issues that can multiply the amount of chlorine it takes to keep clean water . The most high-impact levels to monitor are phosphates , nitrates , and stabilizer . When any of these three are at issue, it’s possible for a pool to require many times higher amounts of chlorine in order to maintain the extra 1-3ppm residual level of unused free chlorine that you need.
Come On In The Waters Finethanks To You
Owning a swimming pool is one of the most rewarding ways to enjoy fun in the sun at home. Yes, it needs regular care, but that doesnt mean youll spend your life shackled to a vacuum or fiddling with your chemistry set.
In fact, when you know how your pool works, understand the care it needs and plan ahead, you might find yourself taking pride in your pool care prowess. Youll enjoy not just your swim, but the peace of mind that comes with regular and thorough pool maintenance.
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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.
Keep Ph Between 74 And 78
If you have ever owned a traditional chlorinated pool, then you recognize that this is much higher than the pH that was optimal for it. This is because salt water pools do naturally require a much higher pH. Remember to check the levels twice a week and put in some more muriatic acid as is needed in order to keep the pH level balanced in the right range.
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Are Salt Pools Easier To Maintain
Yes, a salt water pool is easier to maintain! Simply add salt and your pools salt chlorinator will do all the work of making chlorine. While all pools require chemicals to maintain clean, clear water, salt water pools are more stable than traditional chlorinated pools, so they require fewer chemicals.
How To Take Care Of Your Fiberglass Swimming Pool
Fiberglass inground pools are manufactured in one, ready-to-install piece, which makes them easier to clean and maintain. The non-porous gel-coat surface of fiberglass pools also requires less frequent cleaning when compared to other pool types. Basic fiberglass pool maintenance consists of cleaning and appropriate maintenance of water chemistry, surfaces and water levels.
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Why Is My Salt Water Pool Turning Green
While green algae are endemic in salt water pools, they are the easiest to kill. Green algae tend to grow during summers when the temperatures can get high. They float freely in the pool, making the water green. You might even see them growing on the bottom of the pool, on the walls, or in the crevices.
How To Maintain A Saltwater Pool
A clean saltwater pool is as easy as filtering out the dirt while also checking to ensure your water levels stay balanced.
This type of pool gets preferred as it doesnt produce a strong chlorine smell. It is also healthier for the skin and those with allergies.
Some people choose to hire a professional to handle their saltwater pool care. Yet, it is also easy to maintain your own pool using the following tips.
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Check Your Pools Ph Weekly
The first step in maintaining your pool is to check its pH level weekly, much like with a chlorine pool. Use test strips or a drop test kit to ensure that the free chlorine level is between 1 and 3 ppm. If that proves it needs to be adjusted, do so using the output control on the control box or cell. The pH level should remain between 7.2 and 7.6 at all times. If it should need adjustment, lower it with muriatic acid or raise the level with soda ash or sodium bicarbonate.
Inspecting The Salt Cell Generator
Minerals like calcium tend to build up on salt cells over time, so youll need to examine the cell visually and use cleaners as required. As with your chemicals, the exact process to follow may vary slightly based on the system you have. That said, most salt cell generators are compatible with these instructions.
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What Chemicals Do You Need For A Saltwater Pool
Salt water pools are most stable with a pH of 7.6, and Alkalinity of 70-80 ppm. A stabilizer level of 50-80 ppm is recommended by most salt system manufacturers. High calcium hardness levels have no effect on salt water pools, but a level of 180-200 ppm may result in less scale on the salt cell plates.
Forgetting To Inspect Your Salt Cell
It is crucial to check your salt cell every three months at the beginning and end of pool season.
Open and check your saltwater cell if there are bacteria built up inside. In many cases, they used high water pressure to remove them. Furthermore, to make sure that it is well clean, use a diluted mixture of muriatic acid to get rid of bacteria.
As a tip. Always follow the cleaning procedures with your saltwater generator. It would also be best if you will contact a pool contractor in phoenix az to help you maintain your saltwater pool whether it is daily, weekly or monthly.
Interested in a free quote and you live in Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Mesa, or Tempe please contact Aloha Desert Pools at 480-625-8794 or email us!
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