How to Maintain a Saltwater Pool

How much Salt is Needed to Keep Your Pool Chlorinated?

A salt chlorine generator uses sodium chloride to generate chlorine in your swimming pool. Rather than manually adding chlorine to your pool, the salt chlorine generator does the work for you, creating the chlorine on-site.

One of the most common questions that pool owners with these systems ask is how much salt to add to the water.

Of course, this will vary depending on the size of the pool itself, particularly after draining the water or right after initial installation or season refills. Optimal salt levels should sit between 2,700 and 3,400 parts per million, with the ideal level being 3,200 ppm. Always use a test kit before adding salt, and should the water drop a bit, estimate the number of gallons to be replaced and follow the instructions for getting within proper range. Reference the chart below to help determine how much salt is needed to achieve 3,200 ppm.

Now, let’s explore how these generators work and what their advantages are.

Exactly What is a Chlorine Generator?

Chlorine generators use sodium chloride (salt) and the process of electrolysis to create sodium hypochlorite and hydrochloric acid. In combination, the components transfer salt into a less harsh version of chlorine that effectively sanitizes and cleanses the pool.

The generator only produces chlorine when the pool’s circulation system is activated. It quickly takes large quantities of salt and cycles it through the generator, which dissolves the granules into chlorine.

So what are the added benefits of opting for this type of pool setup?

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The Perks of Chlorine Generators for Pools

It’s no secret that traditional pool chemicals, including chlorine, can burn the eyes, and it tends to have a powerful smell. However, a pool can be properly maintained and remain bacteria and algae-free with a chlorine generator (creating what is sometimes referred to as a saltwater pool). Saltwater pools are not only less harsh on the eyes and skin, but they are easier to manage versus balancing pH with standard chlorinated options.

The salt is continually recycled, and it will not evaporate or lose its efficacy, so the need to add salt should be minimal. While the investment in a chlorine generator may seem high at first, the low maintenance cost and benefits for swimmers make it a solid investment.

Maintenance Tips for Salt Chlorine Generators

While saltwater pools are low-maintenance, there are tasks that should be tended to. When well cared for, a chlorine generator can last between three and ten years. Here are some tips for getting the most out of yours.

  • At the start of the swimming season, completely clean the pool’s filtration system, including the chlorine generator.
  • Over-cleaning can shorten the device’s lifespan.
  • Adding too much salt can lead to premature corrosion of the generator’s hardware, while too little can result in unsanitary water. Keep levels between 2,700 and 3,400 ppm.
  • Monitor calcium levels regularly.
  • Turn off the pool’s filtration system during heavy storms.
  • Invest in a salt chlorine generator with reverse polarity.

What Other Chemicals are Needed in a Salt Pool?

A common question associated with salt water pools is whether or not there are other chemicals needed to keep the pool clean. Salt generators only output chlorine, so you will need to also keep up with the pool’s pH and alkalinity.

Most chlorine tablets that standard chlorine pools use have a chemical called cyanuric acid, also known as CYA. Salt generators do not produce this chemical, so it may be beneficial to add cyanuric acid to your salt water pool since it keeps the chlorine from evaporating quickly due to sunlight. This increases the efficiency chlorine generated, and lowers the stress of the salt cell since it does not have to have as much chlorine output.

Considering Converting to a Saltwater Pool?

If you want to save money and spare the skin, eyes and noses of users, making the switch to a saltwater pool system may be a smart move. Learn more about salt generators by calling our experienced teams at Pool Warehouse. We have the know-how and supplies to get you ready for summer fun in the sun.

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