Swimming pool owners have several options available when it comes to maintaining a clean and sanitary pool. One of those options is the use of salt water rather than standard fresh water. Saltwater pools have about the same salinity as teardrops, meaning they're comfortable to swim in. They can become contaminated by algae, though, just like any body of water. When that occurs, use an algaecide--with certain provisions.
Algaecides are formulated to kill off algae, which are microscopically small plants that come in a variety of colors. Green, yellow and black are the three most common algae found in pools. There are also three major types of algaecide used in pools. The first group includes metallic (copper or silver) algaecides. The second group comprises quaternary algaecides, while the last group is composed of polyquat algaecides, which are expensive but effective against green, black and yellow algae.
Because of the nature of salt water, metallic algaecides are not recommended. Copper and silver react with salt water and will leave stains on a pool's walls. Metals can also damage a saltwater pool's salt cell chlorinator, which is responsible for disinfecting the pool. Fortunately, both quaternary and polyquat algaecides are safe for use in saltwater pools.
Saltwater pool-friendly quaternary, or "quat," algaecides have the advantage of being low cost in comparison to polyquat algaecides. They're also widely available in a variety of formulations and sizes. Their disadvantage is that they'll reduce available chlorine in a saltwater pool, meaning more will have to be added. Plus, quats are only effective for about 24 hours.
Polyquat algaecides, powerful algae killers, are also saltwater pool-friendly, effective at clarifying pool water and don't reduce chlorine levels. No additional chlorine will need to be added after treating a saltwater pool, which can save money. Their downside, other than expense, is that they're effective for only one to two weeks after being added to salt water.
The best means of controlling algae in a saltwater pool is to prevent its appearance in the first place. Maintain proper salt levels along with stabilizer chemicals. Cyanuric acid (CA) is the most common of such chemicals, and it needs to be 60 to 80 parts per million (ppm) in a saltwater pool. If using an algaecide, however, follow all instructions carefully and monitor levels, using a saltwater pool test kit.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
How to Find the Best Swimming Pool Algaecide and Clarifier
Swimming pool algaecides and clarifiers prevent chlorine-resistant algae from growing, are particularly useful during low-chlorination periods and can save you money because...
How to Use Algaecide in Swimming Pools
To treat algae in your swimming pool, you need to raise its chlorine content. Sometimes, however, your best option is to use...
How to Use Algaecide
Algae growth is a common problem in swimming pools, and pool owners generally have to deal with algae at least a few...
How to Remove Black Algae From a Salt Water Pool
Black algae can ruin the pristine look of a pool. Black algae can form in either regular or salt water pools, and...
What Happens When You Add Too Much Algaecide in the Pool?
Algaecide, when used properly, can be an important tool in fighting the onset of green, black or mustard algae in your swimming...
My Pool Water Is Cloudy After Adding Chlorine & Algaecide
Learning proper pool chemistry is not difficult, but occasionally chemicals get out of balance, causing algae growth, suspension of metals in the...
Chemicals in Algaecide for Pools
For a swimming pool owner, there are few water conditions more dreaded than an algae outbreak in her pool. Algae are microscopic...
Problems with Copper Algaecide
Algae are tiny water plants that grow wherever there is still water, including your swimming pool. Bright green pool water is a...