5 Steps to Success For Salt Swimming Pool Maintenance

by Pool Builders on 05-08-2010 in Articles

Salt water pools have many advantages when compared to traditional chlorine pools. Softer and more comfortable water, less chemical expenses, and more flexible maintenance scheduling are just a few of the potential benefits. Unfortunately salt pools systems are often sold by telling pool owners that the pool will be "maintenance free", which is just not the case. A salt pool requires the same care and maintenance that a traditional chlorine pool needs, along with a few additional tasks that are specific to the salt chlorine system. Below are five tips that will lead to success with maintaining a salt swimming pool.

Salt Level - be meticulous about monitoring and maintaining the salt level in the pool. Consult the owners manual of the salt chlorine generator for the level of salt required to produce chlorine. Then, check the salt level at least once a week and add additional salt as needed.

Stabilizer Level - stabilizer (cyanuric acid) protects the chlorine from the sun and without it any chlorine in the pool will quickly dissipate, leaving the pool water without chlorine protection. Since the chlorine produced by salt chlorinators is not stabilized, stabilizer will need to added from time to time. Test the stabilizer level at least quarterly and adjust as needed. For salt pools, maintain a level of 60 - 80 ppm.

pH Level - the acceptable range for pH in swimming pools is 7.2 - 7.8. With salt pools the pH has a tendency to move to the high range and can easily move above 7.8. It is very important to test the pH at least once a week and add muriatic acid as needed to keep the pH in the proper range. If the pH is allowed to stay too high, it could lead to problems with the salt cell... read ahead.

Salt Cell Maintenance - calcium buildup on the salt cell, caused by unbalanced water chemistry, will render the cell inefficient at best and could get so bad that chlorine production will completely stop. Be sure to inspect the salt cell at least quarterly and clean as necessary. See the owners manual for inspection and cleaning instructions.

Run Time - since the salt chlorine generator is the only source of chlorine for salt pools, it is extremely important to run a long enough filter cycle to allow enough chlorine be produced for the pool. Too short of a filter cycle is probably the number one mistake salt pool owners make that leads to algae and other pool problems.

Salt swimming pools are certainly not "maintenance free' and perhaps require even a little more knowledge than the conventional chlorine swimming pool. But the advantages of a salt pool are well worth it to many pool owners. Spend a little time studying and understating how the salt system works and follow the five steps listed above on the way to successful salt swimming pool care.

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