If you did your research and realized the many benefits of a salt water swimming pool, you’re probably really glad you did. But in case you’re new to learning about salt water pools, we’ll give you a basic overview. Then we’ll help guide you through the unique maintenance needs associated with salt water pools.
Understanding How Your Salt Water Pool Is Different
First of all, calling them “salt water pools” – as distinct from traditional swimming pools with chlorinated water – can be a bit confusing. These pools are not actually free from chlorination; instead, they’re designed to be able to create their own chlorine from salt by way of electrolysis. What this does is removes your need to manually add chlorine. You will still need to monitor chlorine levels, but you won’t have to deal directly with caustic chemicals. While the water won’t be the same as that of a traditional swimming pool, it won’t be like ocean water, either; in fact, the ocean’s saltiness can be quantified as approximately 35,000 parts per million (or ppm); a salt water pool has only 3,000 ppm.
While a salt water pool does still have chlorine, the chlorine levels generated from salt won’t be as high as they would be in a traditional swimming pool; this reduces the potential negative effects of chlorine on eyes, skin, and hair. The treated water feels softer, in a way similar to that of homes with water treatment systems or “water softeners,” which neutralize minerals that naturally exist in the water. While still a form of chlorination, the more natural method of sanitizing water used in a salt water pool reduces maintenance requirements; however, it does not eliminate them completely.
Maintaining Your Salt Water Pool
Just like any appliance in your home, you want to schedule inspections and maintenance tasks on a regular basis, in order to avoid significant expenses or lack of usefulness. By properly maintaining your swimming pool, you can avoid your pool’s becoming unable to be used during the most lovely part of the year. In order to do so, you need to ensure that your pump, filter, and skimmer all remain clean and in good, working order. For a salt water pool, in particular, you need to make sure that the salt chlorinator cell undergoes regular inspection and gets replaced whenever necessary. The salt chlorinator cell must be regularly inspected and replaced when needed.
Just as you would do with a traditional pool, you’ll also want to frequently test the chemical levels of your salt water pool. Using salt water pool test strips, you can get a summary of various aspects of your pool water, including pH levels, salt, free chlorine, alkalinity, hardness, and stabilizer. Even if you’ve been following a recommended maintenance schedule, you’ll want to retest your pool an extra time after severe weather or a pool party, due to the way that those events can impact your pool systems.
In our next post, we’ll take a look at how to respond to common problems that may come up as well as steps for how to convert your existing swimming pool to a salt water pool!
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