Whether you’re weighing the pros and cons of choosing a salt water pool over chlorine or already have a salt water pool, it’s important to know how to maintain it.
Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to maintain a salt water pool and typically more cost efficient than the alternative. That doesn’t mean it’s a completely hands off experience, though. Salt water pools still require weekly and monthly maintenance in order to be safe and healthy for swimming.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that, as with chlorine pools, shocking your pool ahead of the pool season and after heavy usage is also a necessary part of pool maintenance.
WEEKLY SALT WATER POOL MAINTENANCE
It’s strongly recommended that you vacuum and spot clean your pool and empty out your pool pump basket on a weekly basis and take inventory of water chemistry as well. Understanding water chemistry can be quite challenging and time consuming, but the pool industry has made technological advancements in recent years, making way for devices that can give you exact measurements and dosing instructions via a smartphone app.
A healthy salt water pool requires for cyanuric acid, free chlorine, stabilizer, and pH levels to be kept within a healthy range on a weekly basis.
- Cyanuric Acid should be between 30 - 80 ppm to prevent sun rays from absorbing the pool’s chlorine.
- Speaking of chlorine, aim to keep your pool’s free chlorine levels between 1 - 3 ppm.
- Each week, try to make sure that your stabilizer level is within the 70 - 80 ppm range as well as a keeping pH between 7.2 - 7.8. Maintaining these numbers will be your best line of defense against germs and bacteria.
MONTHLY SALT WATER POOL MAINTENANCE
There are certain aspects of your pool that only require monthly maintenance, such as calcium hardness, total alkalinity, salinity and total dissolved solids.
- Calcium hardness is best set between 200 - 400 ppm. Anything below 200 has the potential to erode your pool and surrounding accessories, while anything above 400 may clog your filters.
- A total alkalinity of between 80 - 120 ppm is optimal for keeping your pool’s pH stable. Keeping your pool’s total alkalinity level stabled is quite the process as we’ve previously blogged.
- The final two components we listed above are salinity and total dissolved solids, which should be maintained between 2700 - 4500 ppm and 3000 - 6000 ppm, respectively.
In addition to regularly monitoring your salt water pool’s chemical levels, it’s important to regularly clean its surfaces and accessories as well, and keep a watchful eye out for debris. Not only is regular cleaning great for your pool’s longevity, but it also saves you money in the long-run.
Because salt typically sets at the base of pools, make sure to pay extra attention to that area to avoid staining. Also important to keep an eye out for is your pool’s deck, given that salt and wood and various stones aren’t exactly compatible. Perhaps consider using a sealant to give your deck the best protection it can get against erosion.