If you’re not sold on the traditional chlorine pool, you may be looking into a salt water pool, which are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. Indeed, at the beginning of 2016, there were almost 1.5 million saltwater pools globally and three-quarters of new inground pools being installed were saltwater pools. But since they aren’t the “norm,” you may have questions about salt water pool service and be wondering what you should know about salt water pools. Whether you’re installing a pool to get a little more exercise, for relaxation purposes, or for an entertainment space, you want to know all the facts about what kind of swimming pool maintenance and repair might be down the line before choosing a swimming pool to install.
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In 2002, there was a 15% increase in new saltwater pools being installed and in just five years, it spiked to 75%. A saltwater pool does contain chlorine, but the salt processes through a generator, creating chlorine. However, once the chlorine is present, the generator separates chlorine from the salt molecule and turns it back to salt to go through the process again. This means the level of chlorine isn’t as harsh as in chemically chlorinated pools and is much gentler on skin and eyes.
The salt concentration in a saltwater pool is significantly less than in the ocean — just between 3,000-5,000 ppm of salt in a pool compared to 35,000 ppm in the ocean. So for those worried about the drying effects of salt after coming home from the beach, rest assured the salt concentration isn’t as high.
What Salt Water Pool Services Will I Need?
Just like with a chlorinated pool, one of the salt water pool services you’ll need to do weekly is to test your pH levels and free chlorine every week, using a test strip or drop test kit. The pH should be between 7.2-7.6 and free chlorine should only be between one to three ppm.
Every month, you’ll want to test the salt, alkalinity, calcium, and stabilizer levels. Every three months or so, check the cell to make sure deposits or debris haven’t built up and blocked the cell, preventing maximum efficiency.
Similarly, you’ll need to keep the filter, pump, and skimmer clean and during the cold months, you’ll want to remove the salt chlorinator from the pool entirely and keep in inside.
Over the course of the season, you’ll also probably have to add more salt, as well. At the end of the season, you should do a thorough closing and cleaning of your pool, to keep it pristine over the winter months and to create less hassle when you open it back up for the warmer months. Pool closing kits are available, should you need them.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Installing a Salt Water Pool?
As mentioned above, because the chlorine is produced through a reaction with the salt, there are fewer damaging chemicals in saltwater pools, even though there is still chlorine in the pool. You can also save on the $25 to $40 monthly costs of purchasing chemicals to maintain your chlorine pool (estimates according to industry experts). You can also say goodbye to that lingering chlorine smell!
If you’re worried about your kids’ exposure to chlorine, you can worry less about the effect of chlorine on their eyes and skin, since the chlorine levels are much lower. For those who have had longstanding health issues in regards to the traditional highly chlorinated pools, a saltwater pool eliminates that issue. The water also feels “softer” and the pool tends to require less maintenance, so you won’t have to worry as much about salt water pool services — ideal if you’ve got a busy summer schedule with kids!
Enjoy a pool that has fewer chemicals, is gentler on your body, and requires less hands-on work than a traditional chlorine pool when you install a saltwater pool or make the change over to a saltwater pool!