Salt water pools have long been popular for their more ‘natural’ approach to sanitization and for how amazing they feel to swim in. This is know as the ‘isotonic advantage’. Installing a salt cell generator and adding salt to your water is is not the only part to owning a salt water pool as they have a unique set of care and maintenance needs needs. Current salt water pool owners, as well as fresh water pool owners interested in switching to salt need to be aware of the salt water pool maintenance in order to properly care for their salt water pool or to make an informed decision before switching to salt.
Saltwater Pool Maintenance vs. Freshwater Pool Maintenance
In a fresh water pool, a basic maintenance program consists of 3 simple steps: sanitizing, oxidizing, and preventing algae. Many salt water pool owners are led to believe that by virtue of having a salt water pool they do not need to follow these steps. However, this is not the case. A salt cell generator replaces only the sanitization step of proper pool maintenance. Salt water pools do still need to oxidize off wastes and prevent algae. We offer several different salt water pool maintenance maintenance lines in store that have products designed specifically with salt water pools in mind.
Water balance: Salt pools are unique
Another important consideration for salt water pool owners is balancing their water. The salt cell uses an electric current to generate chlorine from the salt dissolved in the pool water. The water coming out of the cell once this process is complete has a very high pH (around 8.6). This causes the overall pH in salt water pools to consistently rise. Therefore, salt water pool owners need to add pH decreasers fairly regularly to ensure their water stays properly balanced.
Scale formation even in low calcium situations
Since pH is constantly rising in salt water pools scale formation is another big concern in salt water pools. Some scale formation within the cell is inevitable, since the pH of the water within the cell is always around 8.6 – ideal conditions for scale formation. However as the pH of the pool water rises scale formation can also be an issue on other pool fixtures. Salt pool owners, especially those with high calcium contents (like most well water for example) need to be aware of this special requirement of salt pools and take precautions such as adding scale inhibitors to the water and having water tests performed regularly to keep pH in check. The phosphates present in Manitoba source water allow phosphate scale to happen very quickly and this should be addressed as part of a partnership with your local pool care professional. Furthermore, salt cells should be chemically cleaned at least once a season to eliminate scale build-up within the cell. This helps optimize the performance of the cell and will extend its life.
Salt pools are a wonderful way to maintain a healthy and happy swimming environment for you and your family so long as you understand what they are designed for and what the challenges can be.
For more information, download our free brochure – Leave the work to the experts: Aqua-Tech’s weekly maintenance options.