How to Take Care of a Saltwater Pool

Many homeowners who install swimming pools in their homes for the first time choose saltwater pools ahead of the traditional chlorine pool. Also, a lot of seasoned pool owners are converting their old chlorinated pools to salt water pools.

Why are people making the switch from chlorine swimming pools to saltwater pools? Saltwater pools have at least three vital advantages over chlorine pools.

They are easier to maintain: Swimming pool owners can eliminate the need to buy and store chlorine. They only need to add salt to the water, and the salt chlorinator will make the chlorine that the pool needs.

They are cheaper to maintain: Since there is no need to buy chlorine often, owning a salt water pool is cheaper, points out State Management. Furthermore, several other chemicals needed to keep a chlorinated pool clean and clear are unnecessary in a saltwater pool.

They are more enjoyable: The water in a salt swimming pool is gentler on the skin, hair, and eyes. People find bathing in a saltwater pool more soothing than a chlorine pool.

But this does not mean that a saltwater pool doesn’t need maintenance. Owners of saltwater pools should know the steps for maintaining their pools to reap the promised benefits of a saltwater swimming pool.

If you are one such owner, what are the things you need to know about maintaining your pool? Below is a breakdown of the different tasks to do daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly if you want to keep your saltwater pool in the best condition.

How to maintain your saltwater pool

Daily tasks

  • Skim the surface of the pool: Do this to remove all floating debris. You can do this manually or with an automatic skimmer.

  • Clean the pump baskets: If debris clogs the baskets, the pump will not pull sufficient water to keep the pool clean.

Weekly tasks

Ideally, it is advisable to perform this task on the same day every week; this minimizes the risk that you will forget to do a specific job.

  • Test pool’s pH and free chlorine levels: Do this to make sure the salt cell generator is working as expected. The pH level should be in the range of 7.2 – 7.6, while free chlorine should be between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm). If the levels are slightly off – a little high or a little low - adjust the output setting on the chlorine generator accordingly. If the chlorine level is too high, you should reduce the length of time you run the circulation system. You can raise chlorine level by increasing chlorine production or with super chlorinate. Raise the pH levels by adding baking soda and lower with sodium carbonate or muriatic acid.

Monthly tasks

The monthly tasks will be more tasking because they involve testing and balancing several chemical levels. Do the following once a month:

  • Test for salinity: The salinity of the pool should be in the range of 3000-3800 ppm. This also depends on the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular model of salt cell generator. If the salt level is low, you should add salt to the pool. If it is too high, the best way to remedy it is to dilute the water.

  • Test for alkalinity: The pool’s alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm. High alkalinity is usually easy to detect because it will result in cloudy pool water. Adding a sodium bisulfate product or muriatic acid to the water will lower alkalinity. On the other hand, if alkalinity is low, it can be raised by adding sodium bicarbonate.

  • Test for Cyanuric acid (CYA): The CYA in the pool is what keeps pool chlorine from being eaten up by the sun’s UV rays. Saltwater pools need higher CYA levels than chlorine pools: around 70 - 80 ppm. To raise the CYA level, add more. To lower CYA levels, dilute the pool.

  • Test for calcium hardness: High or low calcium hardness will lead to scaling or corrosion, respectively. The proper level is between 200 and 400 ppm.


Quarterly tasks

It would be best if you do this every three months.

  • Inspect the salt cell generator: Open the generator, remove the cell and look inside for scale or debris. If there is any unwanted material in there, flush the cell with a high-pressure garden hose or scrape away the deposits with a wood or plastic tool. If this doesn’t work, mix water with muriatic acid (4 parts of water to 1 portion of acid) and submerge the cell in the solution. Leave it there for a few minutes.

Apart from regular cleaning of the pool sides and decks, if you follow this maintenance routine, you will have a salt water swimming pool that you, your family, and others will be happy to swim in. And if you need any help or would like to sign up for our weekly pool service just give us a call at (305) 386-4831.


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