A saltwater pool system (also known as a saline pool system) is different than what many people imagine. Rather than turning the water in the pool into saltwater like the ocean, the sodium chloride is converted into chlorine by the chlorinating machine. Saltwater pools are lower maintenance than traditional chlorine pools because the chlorinator breaks down contaminating molecules before they become large enough to harm the pool. Caring for a saltwater pool system consists of regular brushing and removal of large debris from the pool, and replacing the salt when necessary.
Things You'll Need
- Chlorine shock treatments
- Pool vacuum
- Pool brush
- Water test kit
- Pool net
Test the chemical and salt levels with a water test kit designed for use with saltwater pools. If there is too little salt, algae will bloom. If there is too much salt, the pumps and filter in the swimming pool may corrode.
Maintain salt levels inside the pool at a level between 2,500 and 6,000 PPM (parts per million). The ideal salt level is right at 3,500 PPM, because humans cannot taste salt levels below this point, but salt levels less than 2,000 PPM are not high enough to prevent algae growth.
Shock the pool twice a month, or after every heavy rainfall, with chlorine shock chemicals. Even though the chlorinator converts salt to chlorine, it's usually not enough to hold back all growth of algae and other contaminants.
Brush the walls and floor of the pool weekly to remove contaminants and dirt. Vacuum dirt particles with a pool vacuum. Use a net to gather large debris--such as leaves, sticks and bugs--from the pool.
Clean out the chlorinator cell once a month. Open the top of the chlorinator, remove the cell, and rinse with a hose to remove any calcium or salt deposits that are stuck on the outside of the chlorinator cell. This ensures that the machine works properly and provides enough chlorine inside the pool.
Check the salt level inside the chlorinator every six months. Excessive rainfall plus wear and tear on the machine will cause the salt level to deteriorate over time. Turn off the chlorinator. Fill the chlorinator to the fill line and replace the lid. Turn the chlorinator on when you're finished.
- Photo Credit Swimming pool and pool house image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com