Salt Water Pool Maintenance: How to Keep It in Tip-Top Condition

Are you interested in learning everything about salt water pool maintenance? Whether you are a novice, an expert, or somewhere in between, this easy-to-read guide will teach you how to maintain your salt water pool like a pro.

The saltwater pool is the perfect addition to any backyard, but maintaining the pool requires a little extra effort. What does it take to keep your pool in tip-top shape? This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about the basics of saltwater pool maintenance.

Salt Water Pool Maintenance

Salt Water Pool Tools for Maintenance

This saltwater pool maintenance schedule will help you keep your pool in the best condition. You’ll need to check the pool water often, and it’s a good idea to perform these maintenance tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Routine Every Day

  • Clean and empty the pool’s pump basket.
  • Clean out the skimmer.
  • Using the skimmer, remove any debris you see.

Routine Each Week

Using the test strips, measure your free chlorine and pH levels and balance if needed. Here are the ideal ranges of a healthy saltwater pool:

Free chlorine1.0-3.0 ppm
pH7.2 – 7.6

“Remember, it’s your saltwater system that produces higher pH levels. So it would be best to not run your system for more than 10 hours a day.”

Matt Giovanisci, founder of Swim University®

In your chlorine generator, you can see the cell or control box. From there, you can change the chlorine level of your pool. If the range is far from the optimal amount, it’s time for you to shock the pool. It would be best to consider testing the levels daily and until the balance has been corrected.

Routine Each Month

Checking the pH and alkalinity of Pool
  • Check the calcium hardness – The range of your calcium hardness should be 200-400 ppm. You need to ensure that this figure is stable since too low can cause corrosion and too high causes scaling. You can use a pool flocculant if the levels are too high. 
  • Measure the CYA – The range of cyanuric acid (CYA) should be between 70-80 ppm. On a sunny day, your pool can lose about 90% of chlorine to UV rays without CYA. If the salt water’s pool CYA levels are too high, add fresh water to the pool. If the levels are too low, add more CYA products.
  • Test the alkalinity – The range of alkalinity should be between 80 – 120 ppm. If the levels are too low, add sodium bicarbonate. If the levels are too high, you can add muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. 
  • Gauge the salt – The salinity range in your saltwater pool should be between 2700 – 4500 ppm. 3400 ppm is the optimal level, but it still depends on the manufacturer. If the salinity levels are too low, add more fresh water to your saltwater pool. If the salinity levels are too low, add more salt.

Routine Each Quarter

Each quarter, make time to turn off your salt generator, open it, and check the salt cell for any residue. Clean it with running water through your garden hose and brush the surface to remove any accumulation of debris. If you notice heavy buildup, you can use mild hydrochloric acid for cleaning. After you’re done, rinse and reinstall.

Saltwater Pool Cleaning Tips

Cleaning is the number one priority to saltwater pool maintenance. Here are some tips that can help you make this activity easier.

  • Look for a buildup of any salt crystals and remove them. Under your manufacturer’s manual, you can find steps on how to fix this problem.
  • To make sure you’re not damaging your saltwater pool, it would be best if your cleaning materials are specifically intended for use in a saltwater pool.

6 Common Saltwater Pool Care Concerns

Man Holding Net and Cleaning the Pool
  • What’s the common difference between a saltwater pool and a traditional chlorinated pool?

In a conventional chlorinated pool, you need to add chlorine directly to the pool water. On the other hand, saltwater pools are a more convenient sanitization system. Saltwater pools take advantage of salt’s natural ability to kill microbes fresh water and bacteria in the water. 

  • How much maintenance is required when it comes to a saltwater pool?

This solely depends on how frequently you use your pool, but generally speaking, if you regularly use your pool or swim frequently, then a weekly cleaning schedule will probably do the trick. If you only swim once every few weeks, then a monthly maintenance schedule will work just fine.

Also, saltwater is way easier to maintain. You don’t have to purchase and add chlorine to your pool. Simply pour some salt into your pool, and the salt chlorinator will do all the work making your pool safe for swimming. 

While all pools require pool chemicals to maintain, saltwater pools require fewer chemicals, making them more stable than traditionally chlorinated pools.

  • Is saltwater pool cheaper to maintain?

Yes, pool owners with saltwater pools have less operating costs than the ones with a chlorinated pool. The reduction in operating expenses is because saltwater systems can produce their chlorine. Also, saltwater systems require fewer pool chemicals than chlorinated pools. 

  • Is salt pool water too salty to swim in?

Nope. Saltwater pools’ salinity is about 1/12 of the saltiness of the sea. A drop of water from a saltwater pool has less than salt present in a human tear. Additionally, saltwater feels soft and good on your skin.

  • How much salt does a saltwater pool require?

The ideal salt required for salt systems to work correctly is around 3200 ppm of salt. This is approximately equivalent to a teaspoon of salt per one gallon of water. But, Hayward Salt Systems are built to efficiently work with salt levels between 2700 ppm to 3400 ppm. When salt levels are not in this optimal range, various salt systems have a mechanism to alert you when you need to adjust your salt levels.

  • What does it means if a saltwater pool is too cloudy?
Net Hanging over Cloudy Pool Water

Depending on your pool type, a cloudy saltwater pool indicates a sign of chlorine deficiency and poor circulation and filtration. You can know the root of the cause by checking your pool’s chemistry then adjusting it to the proper levels if need be.

Also, your pool may lack salt, or there may be an issue with the salt chlorinator. Maintain your pool filter clean and always run your system to ensure the water is turned over every day.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, saltwater pools are a little more expensive to maintain than traditionally chlorinated pools. Additionally, they require fewer pool chemicals and have less of an effect on the environment. 

However, saltwater pools must be monitored for certain chemical levels so that the water remains safe to swim in. To keep your salt pool in good condition, we hope this article has helped with your daily, weekly, and monthly pool maintenance routine.

Below are more pool articles that you will definitely find useful. Check them out! To view more pool articles, click here.

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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