Saltwater Pool Maintenance 101 For Dummies
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There are a lot of benefits to be had from a saltwater pool. These benefits include a lower cost of operating, no chlorinates to deal with, and softer water. However, there are a lot of people who are under the impression that a saltwater pool is maintenance free. A saltwater pool will require less maintenance, but the truth still stands that in order to keep and maintain a stable pool your saltwater pool will require some maintaining.
The pool water should be tested on a weekly basis to make sure the chlorine and pH are balanced. There are two different options for testing the water, by using a dropper test kit or testing strips. Take note that the chlorine level needs to be between 1–3 ppm. There is a place on the output control where the chlorine can be adjusted, or it might be on the control box cell. Your pool’s pH needs to be maintained to stay at 7.2-7.6. If it should need to be lowered you can use muriatic acid, and another way is to raise it with soda ash or some sodium bicarbonate. If you are wanting the specifics for your pool’s levels, check out your owner’s manual.
Your pool’s water should be tested every month for its contents of sale, stabilizer, alkalinity, and calcium. There are test strips to use for testing for these or another option is using a drop test kit. You would need to review the owner’s manual to get the specific and ideal levels and for making adjustments when needed. Most of the salt chlorinator these days gives a display of the salt reading. Still, its good practice for you to conduct salt testing to make sure your salt chlorinator does not require recalibrating.
For maintaining the best performance, cells are suggested to be inspected visually at least once every three months. Many of the salt chlorinates have an inspect cell light which can be located on the control box, which lets you now by flashing. After removing, the inside of the cell can be inspected to see if it has a buildup of scale or some other types of debris that got pass the bypass filter. If it does not show any visible deposits, go ahead and reinstall. Should there be deposits showing, using a high-pressurized hose, try flushing off the scale. Should this not work, try using a wood or plastic tool (not metal) to scrape deposits from the plates. I by chance, neither of these methods does not work, a mild acid wash may be necessary. You will need to see the owner’s manual for the instruction for this. Many of the manufacturers are suggesting a 4:1 ratio of muriatic acid and water (1-quart of acid to 1-gallon of water). Remember, it is important that the acid is added to water, never add water to acid.
This solution needs to be poured into the container so that it reaches the cell’s top, but under the cable. There may be some that needs to be taken out from the cell. Allow several minutes for the cell to soak in the solution, then rinse it off with using an outside hose. After it has been cleaned, reinstall.
Always keep your pool’s skimmer, pump, and filter clean. If the skimmer, pump, or the filter collects debris, the water flow will be reduced drastically. With the reduced water flow, the chlorine is no longer generated by a salt chlorinator.
It is recommended by many manufacturers that salt cells and flow switches be taken out and put in a storage away from the elements when winterizing the sale chlorinator. You can purchase dummy cells to replace the real salt throughout the winter months. However, the control box can remain installed as it is able to withstand the freezing temperatures. In the warmer climate, and wintering is not an issue, the pump can be running continuously should there be an unexpected freeze.