How to Maintain Saltwater Pools

Learn how to keep your saltwater pool clean and fresh year-round.

Salt water poolsSaltwater pools are becoming a more popular alternative to chlorine pools. And for good reason!

Compared to normal chlorine, salt is less harsh on skin and hair. It’s a gentle disinfectant that can keep cuts and scrapes clean, without the sting associated with a chlorinated pool. It’s also far more cost effective for the upkeep.

Though we have previously covered how to open a saltwater pool, there are steps to take to keep your saltwater pool fresh while it’s open.

Manually Moving Debris

It’s important to remember that you will still need to remove any debris from the pool. Pumps and filters should regularly be inspected to make sure nothing is clogged, as this can slow down the flow of water. Salt chlorinators will often have an indicator when there’s an issue, but it’s best to check out the chlorinator and the cell at least every three months.

Test the Water

On a weekly basis, test your pool water for free chlorine and pH levels. Testing is done by using test strips, or you can purchase a drop test kit. Your free chlorine levels should be 1-3 ppm. If it’s too high, the chlorine is adjustable via the control cell. The pH should be 7.2-7.6. If you need to lower pH levels, use muriatic acid, and if it needs raising, use sodium bicarbonate. Consult your owner’s manual for ideal levels.

On a monthly basis, test salt, alkalinity, stabilizer and calcium levels. To raise the salt levels, add salt to the pool. If the levels are too high, add more water. The alkalinity level (which helps with pH levels) should be between 80-120 ppm. Run your pool’s filter for at least eight hours to ensure even distribution. Again, test with the test strips or a drop test kit. Your owner’s manual will tell you ideal levels for these as well.

Salt water pools

In Times of High Traffic

During times when you know your pool is going to be used more often, like a party, “shocking” the saltwater pool can help prevent the water from becoming cloudy and unsanitary. You can shock your pool by allowing the generator to run on the super-chlorinating feature. This will increase the amount of chlorine in the pool and give it a deep cleaning, leaving it safe to swim in the next day.

Remove Chlorine Cell

Due to the nature of salt, minerals can build up over time on the generator cell, which can cause scaling or crystallizing. Every couple of months, use a wooden tool or soak the cell in muriatic acid and water to get the buildup off the cell. Regular maintenance of the cell will help maintain its functioning capabilities.