What Happens When Temperatures Drop In The Autumn
When summer comes to an end, you may still be able to use your pool especially if you keep your pool heater running or if youre ok with cooler water after the best days of summer are behind us.
But later in the autumn when the temperature drops, your pools chlorine requirements decrease and at some point your chlorinator will stop producing chlorine. Many chlorinators will no longer produce chlorine when the water temperature drops below 60° F .
Its a safety mechanism because when the temperature drops this low, the chlorinator has to work harder to produce chlorine and taxes the system. Plus as mentioned above, your pools chlorine requirements are lower than during the hot summer anyways.
So if you keep your pool open late in the season and the chlorinator shuts off due to low water temperature, the salt isnt getting converted into chlorine anyways so adding more salt will have no effect.
Adding more salt at this point in the season really isnt necessary unless your salt level is low. Keeping an eye on salt levels during the season helps to ensure you dont need to add salt later than about halfway through the pool season.
Maintaining A Salt Water Pool
There is very little difference in the day to day maintenance between salt pools and chlorine-tablet pools. The biggest difference is that youre not opening a smelly chlorine bucket every week to fill the chemical feeder or floater. You still need to test and adjust your water balance and chlorine levels, you still need to use chlorine stabilizer, and may need other helper chemicals to maintain water quality.
There are some additional tasks that come with a salt water pool however. The energized plates of the salt cell attract calcium scale, which deposit upon the metal surfaces, reducing chlorine output, and eventually damaging the cell. Salt cells need to be cleaned regularly in a mild acid solution, to dissolve the scale. Advanced inground salt systems are self-cleaning, accomplished by reversing the polarity to the salt cell, and sloughing off the scale, which is carried away by the water.
In addition to testing your chlorine, pH, alkalinity, calcium and cyanuric acid levels regularly, salt water pools should be tested with salt test strips throughout the pool season. Salt does not evaporate, but is diluted by rain and fill water added to the pool, or when lowering the water level for winterization.
Determine How Much Salt Is In Your Pool
Salt test strips are the best way to test how much salt you have in your pool. Brand-new pools usually have 0 ppm, which makes the calculations much easier. Traditional chlorine pools often have around 500 ppm.
Alternatively, you can take a sample of your swimming pool water to your local pool store. Most stores provide free, accurate tests.
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How To Add Salt To Your Saltwater Pool
Adding salt to a swimming pool is pretty much as easy as it sounds, but there are a few nuances to be aware of.
Heres how to do it:
Are There Salt Chlorinator Cons
Not all swimming pool structures are ideally suited for salt chlorination. Lets compare.
Unfortunately, salt chlorinators are not ideal for concrete swimming pools. Salt chlorinators can be up to five times more abrasive than traditional chlorine on concrete surfaces. Although salt chlorinators can still be used with concrete swimming pools, theyll require more frequent resurfacing which is a very costly repair.
Vinyl Liner Pools
The metal walls can rust. Vinyl liner pool owners often use salt chlorination, but because of the rust factor its not ideally suited to this type of pool structure.
Composite Fiberglass Pools
The boating industry led the way with fiberglass the most robust material for saltwater. The swimming pool industry followed suit but with significant refinements. The non-porous nature of composite fiberglass makes it ideal for swimming pools especially those with salt chlorine generation. Their polished surfaces make them soft to the touch, impenetrable to salt, and algae has a tough time adhering to surfaces.
The Ideal Combination
Salt chlorination has become the leader in pool and spa sanitization for five good reasons.
1. Salt is a low-cost solution for keeping swimming pool water sanitized.
2. Salt reduces the time spent maintaining a pools water.
3. Salt delivers silky-soft water.
4. Salt wont turn swimmers eyes red.
5. Salt wont bleach swimsuits and towels.
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How Regularly To Add A Salt
If youre a first-time pool owner, you need to know how much you need to add salt to the pool. Remember that if you add salt into the pool for the first time, add only if necessary.
But if you think that the salt will lose through evaporation, it isnt practical, and instead, it increases the concentration.
The water you usually add to help bring the water levels to be expected will help increase the salt concentration back to 4000ppm.
There are also chlorine generators that have salt indicators with digital ones that even show the salt level. Like how much salt that you still need to reach the 4000ppm.
Mistake #2 Not Testing Your Free Chlorine Levels Each Week
Like we said, your salt water generator produces chlorine. And that means you need to test and balance your free chlorine levels to keep your water sanitized. Your free chlorine levels should be between 1 and 3 parts per million, with 3 parts per million being ideal.
Test your water weekly with test strips or a liquid test kit. Then adjust your generator accordingly if your chlorine levels are off. You can keep your chlorine levels slightly higher than you would with a traditional pool because of how the chlorine is produced and dispersed by your salt water generator.
Just make sure your salt levels are high enough for your generator to work correctly and that you dont have any calcium build-up on your salt cell.
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Should You Shock A Saltwater Pool
Shocking is the process of adding a lot of chlorine to get rid of the bacteria in your pool, and theres a common misconception that it isnt okay to do this to a saltwater pool. That myth only exists because saltwater pools are thought to be completely different from regular pools, but they arent they too produce chlorine!
So yes, its okay to shock a saltwater pool. Not only is it okay, but its probably necessary to do every now and again to maintain the health of your pool.
You can buy granular pool shock to shock your pool, as it will very quickly raise the levels and is just pure chlorine. You can also use liquid chlorine to do this. Again, stabilizers arent the best as they may not provide the shock of chlorine your pool truly needs.
Warnings Mean Electrical Resistance
A SCG is always checking the electrical power passing through its cell. A good salt level in the water makes it easier to pass power through the cell, and a bad salt level makes it harder. What is happening in the above example is that a depleted or dirty cell makes it harder to send power through the cell, but the unneeded addition of salt counteracts this for a time by making it a little easier to send power through. So how do you know whether you need to A) add salt, B) clean the cell, or C) replace the cell?
When to add salt
The most important thing to do is always test your water and independently measure its salinity before adding more salt. You dont need to add salt unless the pool waters salinity actually drops below range . Salt doesnt evaporate or break down, and the salt that a SCG uses to generate chlorine doesnt get used up. So you only ever need to add more salt to a pool when it gets lowered due to dilution of the pool water typically after large amounts of rain or after partially draining & refilling. Remember: refilling due to evaporation does not count. If the pool water gets diluted, the low readings and warning indicators that SCG displays could be correct, and only raising the salinity will clear these errors.
When to clean the salt cell
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Pool Water Circulation Hack
Most above ground pools do not have a main drain and are limited to only the thru-wall skimmer. In order to have the benefit of the water leaving the pool through the floor, here is a good trick:
Plug in you vacuum hose to the skimmer and leave a vacuum head on the floor of the pool UPSIDE DOWN.
Vacuuming your vinyl lined pool is a breeze with this specially designed vinyl liner vacuum head. Precisely weighted for effortless use, it leaves no trail at the pool bottom like other vacuum heads.
Now when you start the filter, all the water is being pulled from the bottom of the pool. This will also help speed up the process of dissolving the salt.
This also works well when you have cloudy water that settles at the bottom of the pool. Give it a try!
If the salt generator system has a built in salt level display, the salt needs to be fully diluted in order to give a proper reading. Be sure to wait at least 24-48 hours after adding salt to rely on the display.
How Do You Add Salt To A Salt Water Pool
You can safely add your salt directly into the deep end of the pool and let it do its thing. Dont put salt into the side skimmer as you dont want highly concentrated salt going through the pump or salt cell and there is really no need to so either.
If youre using salt pellets you definitely dont want to pour salt into the skimmer because itll quickly clog up.
Your best bet is to confirm the amount of salt you need and simply dump it in the deepest end of the pool with the pump running.
Itll dissolve and make its way through the pump and chlorinator with some time.
Its a good idea to use your pool brush to move the salt around a bit so that it doesnt sit in a big lump on the bottom of the pool as this will help it dissolve quicker.
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Should I Add Salt To The Water Shortly Before Closing The Pool For Winter
Adding salt shortly before closing the pool for winter should be avoided. Having a high salt level in a pool that is closed and has stationary water that is not moving can lead to stains on the pool walls and floor if the salt level is too high. Remember that salt has a corrosive effect on metal too.
If youre going to drain water so you can cap the water returns and winterize the pool because you live in an area with freezing cold winters, there is even less point in adding salt shortly before closing the pool. When you drain the water at closing time, youll just drain much of the salt with it.
In this instance, youre just wasting money on salt that will literally be going down the drain along with the water that is removed for winterization.
How Does Pool Salt Work How Much Salt To Add To Pool
Adding salt to water is a commonly used method for disinfection of swimming pools. Furthermore, salt water pool treatment stands out with its numerous advantages compared to other disinfection methods.
In this article, we will explain the specifics of pool disinfection with salt, and theideal salt level for the pool.
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Test Pool Water With Salt Chlorinator
Hold a test strip underwater for 10 seconds. Hold the strip so it is below the water line, but not in the stream of the jet-returned water from the filter. Test kits typically come with a test tube or small glass jar. If yours did not, use a small, clean juice glass. For instance, if you have a 20,000-gallon pool and your chlorination system requires you to have 3,500 parts per million of salt, that is equivalent to 834 lbs. If your salt reading is 5,000 ppm, it is recommended that you drain water from the pool, add fresh water from your garden hose and adjust the water accordingly.
Mistake #3 Not Keeping Your Ph Levels In Check
Your pH will run on the high side in a salt water pool because your salt water generator naturally raises your pH as the system runs. High pH levels above 7.6 can lead to skin irritation and burning eyes and cause scaling on your pool equipment.
So be sure to test and balance your pH every week. You can add a pH decreaser to lower your pH levels or muriatic acid.
If you have a chronically high pH problem, make sure your other levels are balanced, like your CYA. And check the run times on your salt water generator.
Remember, its your system running that produces higher pH levels. So you shouldnt need to run your system for more than 10 hours a day. For more information on how long your run your filter system, .
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Benefits Of A Salt Water Pool
Salt water pool owners love the soft and silky fee of the water, due to the 3000 ppm of dissolved salt in the pool. 3500 ppm is point at which human taste buds can sense salt, so you may not taste it, but can feel the difference.
Salt water pools can often be easier to manage, as many salt system owners report reduced chloramine formation combined chlorine molecules that smell bad and are eye irritants. Indeed, most users of salt systems report much less chlorine smell, in the water, or on their skin after swimming, and no more red-eye swimmers. Some users also claim to have a more stable pH and alkalinity, with less frequent adjustment needed.
Salt water pools may be safer to operate, in that you have less contact with chorine products. In theory, you no longer have to buy, store, transport and handle chlorine products ever again! In practice however, many salt pool owners use pool shock for opening, closing or periodic shock treatments.
Pool tablets or shock can also be very handy in case of pump or filter problems, as chlorine is not produced unless water is flowing through the salt cell. They also can be needed during cold weather, as chlorine is not produced when water temperatures are below 60° F.
Process For Adding Salt
- First, determine the pools current level using the saltwater strips. The recommended salt level for any pool is around 3500 ppm.
- Determine the amount of salt required for reaching the recommended salt level. There are many guides available for knowing the salt required.
- To get the best results, always add salt at the shallow end of the pool.
- After salt dissolves in the water, you should turn on the salt chlorinator and check if the salt level is around 3500 ppm.
- Pool salt manufacturers recommend using 99.8% pure non-iodized salt.
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How Much Salt To Add To Your Pool
After purchasing a salt chlorine generator it is important to know how much salt to add to your pool, the correct salt levels needed for your above ground pool will help you get the best results. The target salt level is 3200 3400ppm . Depending on the size of the above ground pool, the number of pounds of salt will vary to reach this ideal range. The way in which salt is added to the pool though stays the same, no matter what type of salt system or above ground pool you have.
Remember to first test the pool water to see the current levels of salt. One should either bring their pool water to a local professional, or if they should purchase their own tester the staff at The Pool Factory recommends the Solaxx Digital SafeDip Tester. The source for your pool water may contain some salt levels already and it is a good idea to find out the level in which you are starting prior to figuring out how much salt to add to your pool.
The SafeDip is a digital chemistry reader designed to make measuring pool parameters easy. Simply collect the water sample from the pool using the onboard cup and press the Start button to take your measurement.
DO NOT USE Rock Salt, it is not very pure and hard to dissolve.