Helpful Tips for Salt Water Swimming Pools
Salt water pools can be a great alternative to a traditional chlorine swimming pool. With proper attention, a salt water pool can be less costly, less work, and more comfortable for the body. Following are several tips that can help make caring for a salt water pool easier.
Monitor Salt Level
The first key to success with a salt water swimming pool is to always maintain the minimum salt level required for your automatic chlorine generator. If the salt level is not properly maintained, no chlorine will be produced which will lead to pool water problems quickly.
Maintain Proper pH
The pH with salt water pools is consistently higher than that of pools using conventional chlorine. Test the pH once or twice a week and add muriatic acid as needed in order to keep the pH between 7.4 and 7.8.
Don't Skimp on Filtration Time
Remember that chlorine is only being added to a salt pool when the filter is running. One of the biggest mistakes made with salt water swimming pools is trying to save money by reducing the filter run time. Reduced filtration time means reduced chlorine and if enough chlorine is not being added to the swimming pool, frequent algae problems will persist.
Maintain Stabilizer Level
Cyanuric Acid, otherwise known as stabilizer or conditioner, is necessary in order to protect the chlorine from the sun. Without stabilizer, it will be difficult to maintain the proper level of chlorine to sanitize the pool. Test for cyanuric acid levels every few months to make sure a cyanuric acid level of 20 - 60 ppm.
Clean the Salt Cell
It is very important to keep the salt chlorinator cell clean. Check the cell regularly and if there is visible calcium build up on the cell plates, clean the cell as recommended by the owner's manual of the salt chlorinator. If the cell is not kept clean, the salt chlorinator will stop producing the necessary level of chlorine.
Understand that Salt Swimming Pools are NOT Maintenance Free
Salt water pool systems are often sold as "maintenance free" leading pool owners to believe that the only thing necessary to maintain their pool is to keep the salt level in check. This couldn't be further from the truth. The pool water chemistry still needs to be tested weekly in order to keep the pH, alkalinity, stabilizer level, and salt levels in check. Without routine and proper maintenance, a salt water pool like any other pool will quickly turn into a maintenance nightmare.