While you may have maintained a traditional chlorine pool before, you must handle salt water pools slightly differently.
You should know that the water has to be circulated and balanced like a normal pool, but you must pay more attention to the scale build-up and pH levels. Also, getting a saltwater generator is essential when you opt for saltwater pools. This can turn the salt in the pool into chlorine and keep the levels of chlorine in check.
We will take you through more maintenance tips in the following sections, so read on!
Your Guide To Salt Water Pool Maintenance
You will always need to keep the chlorine levels up for saltwater pools to maintain clean and healthy water. To do this, you can drop in a chlorine tablet every week. You should also test the chlorine levels regularly to ensure they are where they need to be.
Aside from that, be careful about the chemicals that are used. Some pool chemicals can damage the salt cell and other parts of your pool. Hence, always read the chemical bottle labels to see if they are compatible with your pool and carefully follow the directions.
It would be best if you also backwashed your pool regularly, at least once a week. This will help in removing any dirt or debris that has built up in your pool. And to keep your saltwater pool looking its best, vacuum it often for deep cleaning. In other words, it will eliminate the debris trapped in your pool’s pores.
Apart from these, you should:
1. Pour The Right Quantity Of Salt Into The Pool
One of the essential aspects of saltwater pool maintenance is ensuring that you pour the right quantity of salt into the pool. This salt water will not dissipate; the chlorine will be produced using salt water and then recycled back. So, keep in mind that salt will need to be added after a lot of rain or after adding fresh water.
Additionally, it would be best if you always stuck to using pool-grade salt, up to 99 per cent pure. Depending on your machine, you might need to turn off the chlorine generators while adding salt. Check the manual thoroughly to know how to operate it.
The right amount of salt is also required to maintain adequate salinity levels in the pool, which usually ranges from 2,700 to 3,400 PPM. This will keep the pool water suitable for swimming.
You can use a digital salinity tester to measure the salt levels in the pool.
2. Maintaining The Right Water Circulation
Another important aspect of saltwater pool maintenance is maintaining the right water circulation using a pump and filter. We’d suggest running them for a minimum of eight hours every day.
Good circulation is necessary to distribute the salt and chlorine throughout the pool evenly. Additionally, it helps to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris in the pool.
3. Test The Water Quality Regularly
Make it a point to regularly test the water quality in your saltwater pool, as this will ensure that the chlorine levels are right at all times. Besides, testing the water will allow you to catch any problems early and fix them before they cause serious damage.
4. Prevent Calcium Buildup And Erosion
Calcium build-up and erosion can be severe problems for salt water pools. The former usually occurs around the pool due to the splashing of saline pool water, which can cause the soft stones and limestone to erode gradually due to all the salt.
One way to prevent this is washing the pool’s surrounding area with a garden hose to eliminate any excess salt concentration. And if you notice white flakes in the pool water, these could be from calcium carbonate. This reaction occurs when the pH level is high, and there is salt scale formation.
You should regularly clean and vacuum your pool to prevent calcium build-up and erosion.
5. Check The Salt Cell
The salt cell is responsible for converting chlorine into salt but can become clogged and stop working properly over time. In such cases, you will need to clean it by hand or with the help of a hose.
Turn off the salt water generator and unscrew the cell, then look for flakey spots and remove them. The larger deposits may need to be removed by hand or use a muriatic acid solution to clean the cell thoroughly.
Simply mix 1 part muriatic acid in 5 parts of water ratio and pour it on the required areas. Leave for 10 minutes to allow the solution to foam, and wash it with water.
6. Keep The pH Level Balanced
If the pH level of your pool becomes too high or too low, it can damage the surface of the pool and mess with the chlorine levels. Additionally, a pH imbalance can cause skin and eye irritation.
7. Shock The Pool Every Seven Days
By shocking the pool, we mean the process of adding a large amount of chlorine to the water to kill any bacteria or algae that may be present. You should do this every seven days to keep the water clean and healthy.
Also, skim your pool using a skimmer net and then use a pool brush to clean it every week.
8. Maintain The Cyanuric Acid (CYA) Level
CYA is a stabiliser that helps maintain the chlorine level in the pool, and the CYA level should ideally be between 30 and 50 PPM. However, some pool owners maintain a higher CYA level of 80 PPM to ensure proper chlorine levels, which can be difficult otherwise.
Taking Care Of Your Saltwater Pool
Before signing off, we have a few more tips for you.
Firstly, we’d suggest manually testing the salinity levels of your saltwater pool every month during the pool season. You should also check if it has rained heavily, increasing the water level in the pool. For this job, you can use salt test strips or get a digital salinity reader.
Additionally, you must check alkalinity and stabiliser monthly for calcium levels. The ideal alkalinity level is from 100 to 150 PPM, and the right total alkalinity level will prevent the pH level of the pool from fluctuating too much.
Lastly, the calcium hardness level of your pool should be from 200 to 400 ppm. The cell of the salt can be damaged if a higher level, or you might even see scale build-up. In this case, some water may need to be drained, and freshwater may need to be added to restore the calcium level.