When the first saltwater pools appeared in the 1980s, we bet people didn't think they would become so popular. Today, they are one of the most sought-after landscaping features for modern-day homeowners.
But have you thought about what makes saltwater pools challenging to maintain? For starters, these pools pass saltwater between two electrically charged metal plates to make chlorine. Therefore, you can't take care of them like the traditional units.
Well then, what should you do? It's important to note that these pools have many advantages, so they are in high demand. And we'll be discussing all these essential aspects to help you gain insight into the topic.
Gone are the days of red-eyes and the smell of chlorine; from now on, you can enjoy the feel of salt water for maximum comfort. So whether you are looking for a relaxing indoor pool, or a fun and playful backyard oasis - saltwater pools provide many benefits for their users. Without further ado, let's make a splash.
How Much Salt To Add To A Pool?
It's pretty obvious that to create a saltwater pool, you need to have salt. And lots of it. Keep in mind that standard pools need to have a value of 2400-3200ppm to reach the minimum salt level. To achieve this, you'll have to add 90kg (200lbs) of pool-grade salt to 38,000 litres (10,000 gallons) of water.
However, if you're worried about salt loss due to backwash or splash out, it's better to use annual boosters to replace the salt and maintain quality. But the most critical aspect is adding the appropriate amount of salt in the correct manner, for which a chlorine generator is vital.
A chlorine generator is pretty easy to install. This is because saltwater pools have an inground salt system, thanks to a control box that derives power from an electric outlet. Next, an inline salt cell connects to the return line, and all you need to do is input the amount of chlorine needed. As a result, it will become convenient to manage output.
The pool has indicators for water flow, temperature and salt level for all-round coverage. Once you switch on the chlorine generator, the control box reads the temperature in the pool. If it's more than 16 degrees Celcius (60-degree Fahrenheit) and the pool has sufficient water flow, a low voltage is supplied to the salt cell, helping to produce chlorine.
You should know that the level of chlorine is controlled automatically for the best results. But we’d advise you to manually check the chlorine concentration from time to time for making the necessary adjustments.
Taking Care Of A Saltwater Pool
Now that you know how to create a saltwater pool, it's vital to talk about maintenance. It might please some users to know that maintaining saltwater pools is quite similar to taking care of chlorine-tablet pools. While the pool system controls the chlorine level, you need to conduct regular checks, ensuring that everything is in working order.
So, what are some of the things that you need to do? Firstly, the salt cell is the most vital component of the pool that needs regular maintenance. Since it uses electricity, the charged plates attract calcium which starts depositing on the plate surface.
Over time if the amount of calcium increases, chlorine production drops, thereby damaging the salt cell. As a result, you’ll need to clean the cell regularly using a slightly acidic solution for optimum results.
Users can also install a self-cleaning in-ground salt system that works by reversing the polarity of the plates. Meaning, it’ll be easier to reduce calcium deposition while the system preserves the integrity of various components.
Also, people who have additional pool features like ladders and pool lights need to be vigilant of the corrosive properties of salt. Remember how we spoke about adding the right amount of salt? Well, if you don't, the corrosive nature tends to erode stainless steel surfaces leading to injuries.
To stop degradation, you’ll need to seal the area around the pool and clean the different structures. Many people also use sacrificial zinc to draw attention away from other metal objects that have lost their lustre due to excessive salt use.
Additionally, salt-resistant pump shafts and lubricated o-rings help improve longevity. Meanwhile, it would help if you used salt testing strips throughout the pool season to maintain quality.
What Chemicals To Add?
Occasionally, you may need to add certain chemicals to maintain the composition and integrity of various pool elements. For instance, although the pool has a chlorine generator, we recommend keeping a supply of granular chlorine. This will come in handy if the pump malfunctions.
Other than that, to maintain the perfect balance of chemicals, you can use pH reducers. Unlike chlorine-tablet pools, the pH level of saltwater pools goes on increasing, making it necessary to add a stabiliser. It would be best if you kept the pH level at 7.6 and the alkalinity at 70-80ppm.
Are Saltwater Pools Costly?
We've covered several aspects, but before wrapping up, it's critical to discuss the cost of having a saltwater pool. Although the difference in price with chlorine-tablet pools is negligible, saltwater pools tend to be more expensive on account of their many components.
The price of chlorine generators can vary from $250-1,250 while replacement salt cells don't come cheap either. If your salt cell malfunctions, it might cost up to half or even more than the total cost of the pool to change the metal plates.
Plus, you need to factor in the expense of salt lost due to backwashing, splash out, and reduced water levels. To counter this, most people use annual boosters, bought separately.
On top of that, some components have a short lifespan of 3-5 years, after which it's essential to make changes. So, you need to have a flexible budget to enjoy the comforts of a saltwater pool.
Adding Salt To Your Pool
We've tried to give you a comprehensive idea about saltwater pools and salt levels, ensuring that you can make an informed decision on the amount of salt to be added.
If you're looking for a saltwater pool in your Sydney home, talk to your local Sydney pool builders at The Pool Co. today.
Now, it's to take your leave while you decide if you want to enjoy some quality family time in your pool this summer. Take care and see you soon. Bye!