Salt water swim­ming pools with chlo­rine gen­er­a­tors are become increas­ingly pop­u­lar. And for good rea­son… Swim­ming in a mild saline solu­tion is much like tak­ing a bath or shower in soft water. Unlike chlo­ri­nated pools that can leave your skin feel­ing dry and show­ing a white residue, swim­mers in prop­erly main­tained salt-water pools report their skin feel­ing softer, smoother and feel­ing more refreshed. You also have the finan­cial and health ben­e­fits of not need­ing to buy chlo­rine or expe­ri­ence any of the side effects of it.

Here’s the truth about salt vs. chlorine. Salt-water swim­ming pools do, how­ever, require spe­cific main­te­nance and upkeep. Some ser­vice tech­ni­cians may treat pools with chlo­rine gen­er­a­tors just like any other pool—causing some major prob­lems for the pool owner.

Here are some very impor­tant things to keep in mind for the proper main­te­nance of your salt-water swim­ming pool.

  1.  Water level must be prop­erly main­tained or the gen­er­a­tor won’t pro­duce any chlo­rine. You must make sure that water is flow­ing con­tin­u­ously through the generator.
  2. A byprod­uct of the chlo­rine gen­er­a­tor is sodium hydrox­ide, which tends to push up the pH level of your pool. It is impor­tant to con­stantly mon­i­tor the pH and alka­lin­ity of your pool. Keep a log and make sure you have a qual­ity pH meter available.
  3. Watch salt lev­els and water tem­per­a­ture. If the temp drops below 55 degrees, the chlo­rine gen­er­a­tor will not work. Salt lev­els should be kept between 2,500 and 4,000 parts per million.
  4. When you add salt, be sure to spread it around so that you don’t dam­age the plas­ter on your pool. Salt is corrosive—if not mixed prop­erly the pool can dete­ri­o­rate in the area where salt sat too long.
  5. Be espe­cially cau­tious if your pool is newly plas­tered. Wait one month before adding salt.
  6. Let­ting your pool’s alka­lin­ity get too low can also cause dam­age to the plas­ter. Again, a care­fully main­tained log will help you see the fluc­tu­a­tions of your pool’s lev­els so that every­thing stays prop­erly balanced.
  7. Salt can also dam­age the con­crete around your pool. Be sure to wash off the con­crete decks and use a sealant.
  8. It’s crit­i­cal to prop­erly main­tain the chlo­rine gen­er­a­tor itself. Clean it peri­od­i­cally with a mild muri­atic acid solu­tion and replace the cells every three to four years.

Prop­erly main­tained, salt water swim­ming pools can be a healthy and cost-saving alter­na­tive to chlo­ri­nated pools. You just need to be pre­pared to care for them.

Wondering if a salt-water pool is for you? As always, just give us a call!



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