How to Maintain a Salt Water Pool : A Pool Owner’s Guide

Regardless of whether you’re doing your research on which type of pool you should choose, or own a salt water pool already, you should be aware of how to clean and take care of your salt pool.

Though its easier to maintain a saltwater pool, you need to have a proper schedule for it. In this guide, I will tell that schedule.

Why do you need to well maintain your saltwater swimming pool? 

Important things to look while maintaining a saltwater pool:

  1. No debris or dirt
  2. Good chlorine level
  3. Good alkalinity levels
  4. Balanced pH level.
  5. Stabilizer levels

If you don’t have a proper schedule for it, things can get worse. Let me give you examples,

  1. Debris or dirt can make stains in the pool.
  2. If your pool water chlorine level is unbalanced, then it can cause skin irritation, asthma etc.
  3. Unbalanced alkalinity levels can cause equipment corrosion & scales forming beside the equipment.
  4. Skin irritation & eye burn occurs if your pool water has a low pH. If your pool has high pH, it can cause chlorine to stop working and bacterias will increase.

That’s a bunch of reasons why your pool should have a proper scheduled maintenance!

Now let’s see the schedule.,

I have divided the whole maintenance process into 3 parts, weekly, monthly & quarterly.

Weekly Maintenance.

Stabilizer levels:

Test your pool’s water weekly for pH and free chlorine. Use a drop test kit or test strip to test. The level of free chlorine residing should be 1-3 ppm. You can also adjust the output control using control cell or box. Apart from this, the pH should be maintained at 7.2-7.6. You can lower your pH level by using muriatic acid or raise it with sodium bicarbonate or soda ash. Before doing anything, refer to your “owner’s manual” to get specific ideal levels for that pool.

Monthly Maintainance.

Alkalinity, calcium, and salt levels: 

Every month, you should test your water for salt, calcium, stabilizer, and alkalinity. Again, this can be tested by using a drop test kit or using test strips. Review your owner’s manual to get a figure out specific ideal levels for that pool to make adjustments correctly.

Note: Majority of salt chlorinators display a salt reading. However, it would be a good idea to test salt yourself in case the salt chlorinator needs a re-calibration.

Quarterly Maintainance.

Generator cleaning: 

To ensure maximum performance, it is recommended that you are manually open and inspect the cell once every 3 months. Salt chlorinators will often remind you by flashing “inspect cell” light on their control box. Once it is removed, you should inspect the insides of the cell for debris or scale build-up that might have bypassed the filter.

If you don’t see anything concerning, reinstall it. In case there are visible deposits, flush the scale off by using a high-pressure garden hose. If this doesn’t work, use wood or plastic tool (not metal) to scrape deposits off of plates. If both scraping and flushing fail, a mild acid will do the job. Moreover, as always, refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions for your pool.

Most manufacturers recommend mixing water to muriatic acid in 4:1 ratio. Remember, always add acid to water, not the other way around ( water to acid ). Make sure that you pour the solution into a container in a way that it can reach the top of the cell without reaching the cable. Soak it for a few minutes and then rinse it off with a garden hose. Reinstall it in place after cleaning.

Step 4

Pay extra care to keep your Pump, Filter, and Skimmer clean. Debris dramatically impacts the water flow. If the flow is reduced dramatically, the salt chlorinator will stop generating chlorine.

Step 5

To winterize the salt chlorinator, remove the flow switch and salt cell and store them somewhere else.You can purchase dummy cells that take the place of the real salt cell during winters. The control box is capable of handling freezing temperatures and thereby should remain installed. For warmer climates, you should run the pump continuously if you expect a freeze.

Final words :
Salt usually sets at the base of pools, pay extra attention to avoid staining. Always keep an eye for the pool’s deck. Saltwater and wood don’t go well together. You can instead use a sealant to secure your deck from corrosion.

Author: Jack Iglesias

I am Jack Iglesias, the brain behind this blog. By profession, I am a pool heater and pump repairman. After being around heaters and pumps for so long, I started to consult people who wanted to build the pool for themselves.

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