To most people hearing the words “salt water pool,” they will be able to guess that salt water means ocean water. That is incorrect because in the world of swimming pools, “salt water” refers to one that uses a salt chlorine generator for sanitization.
Now, should you get a salt water system in your lovely swimming pool? We can’t answer a “yes” for that, but we will help you to decide by providing a brief and concise explanation of salt water pool maintenance.
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What is a Saltwater Pool?
Salt water pools are pools that are filled with ocean water. They require specialized equipment and surfaces to endure the very salty 35,000 parts per million of salt obtained in the ocean.
There are additional maintenance and filtration concerns as sea water possesses minerals and other organics not found in the public tap or well water used to fill utmost pools.
Benefits of Salt Water Pool
There are plenty benefits to operating a saltwater pool including lower cost of operation, softer water, eliminate germs and neutralize contaminants, and no chloramines. Even most people believe that running a saltwater pool is maintenance free.
Salt Water Pool vs. Chlorine Pool
The comparison between chlorine pools and salt water pools is chlorine pools only need commitment while salt water pools will take more money up front. The technology for an affordable and safe chlorine pool has been existed for around 50 years compared with salt water pools that only been existed around since the 1980s.
Most of the water parks and hotels are converting to salt water pools primarily because they do not require much of money to keep clean. Because the maintenance for a salt water pool is less compared to chlorine pools, those with the money upfront enjoy their decision to pick salt water pool.
We recommend that in times of choosing your best options, it greatly depends on how dedicated you wish to be with your pool both time-spent and financially.
Salt Water Pool Problems
Salt water pool costs a little too much. The salt chlorine generators cost anywhere around $800-$2000 installed. But actually, there are 3 top things of salt water pool problems.
Salt water pool tends to have a high pH due to the chlorine produced from the salt system having a very high pH. This is not a problem as chemical balance is a part of the regular spa and pool maintenance.
The problem is that a lot of pool owners wrongly buy a salt system thinking that it does not need maintenance. Later on, it will all be a disaster because a preventive and corrective action are not taken by them.
The next thing to consider is how you manage to drain your pool when time comes. Some larger urban centers are now starting to ban salt water pool draining into the street. Lot cities are implementing a bylaw which needs salt water pool owners to pay to have their water carried away or send the water into the sanitary drainage system.
Those options are far from ideal. Just be sure that you know the bylaws in your area regarding waste water to guarantee you are not taking extra maintenance costs for your pool.
The final thing to consider when thinking about operating salt water pool is galvanic corrosion. A process which dissimilar metals are submerged in an electrolyte solution developing a current that travels in between metal components in the pool.
This process is similar to how you make a battery. If you fail to prevent this from happening, it will slowly eat away at your pool especially equipment inside the pool are all sorts of metals such as galvanized steel, copper, nickel, and titanium.
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How to Maintain a Saltwater Pool
We provide you steps on how to maintain a salt water pool.
- Test the pool water for free chlorine and pH weekly by sung test strips or by a drop test kit. The pH should be maintained at 7.2-7.6 while free chlorine level should be at 1-3 ppm.
- Check the pool water for alkalinity, calcium, salt, and stabilizer monthly by using test strips or by a drop test kit.
- We recommend to open and inspect the cell every three months to keep the maximum performance. Inspect also the inside of the cell for any debris that may have slipped the filter. Reinstall if no deposits are visible.
- Maintain the pump, filter, and skimmer clean. The water flow will be reduced if all those three is full of debris.
- Remove the flow switch and salt cell from the plumbing and stored inside out of the elements to winterize the salt chlorinator (recommended by most manufacturers).
How to Shock a Saltwater Pool
Shocking a salt water pool is similar with any other chlorine pool.
- Set the chemistry to the proper amount by testing and adjusting your pH, calcium, and alkalinity levels. Chlorine will react slowly if pH is high and less potent as well. Shocking the pool can cause a temporary stain if metals (copper and iron) are aloft.
- Measure the dosage by adding the proper amount of shock. If you cannot reach the breakpoint chlorination, the result won’t be fully done. Use three lbs. per 10000 gallons (granular pool shock) for a total shock to kill any substances in the pool.
- Add the shock while the filter system working, pH on the low side (7.2-7.4), add the chlorine (granular or liquid) to the pool water little by little, dissolving it around the pool edge. We recommend using Shock ‘N Swim or Lithium Shock to dissolve directly when it hits the water and safe for any type of pools.
- Test the chlorine level in the next day (preferably morning), and it should still be sky-high. If not, it means something has consumed all of the chlorine, and you should perform another shocking of the pool.