Chemicals keep swimming pools hygienic, but many people are sensitive to the smell of chloramines. If you’re considering an alternative, talk to your pool maintenance professional about converting to a saltwater pool. Saltwater pools do still require maintenance, but most people find them easier to manage. Know that saltwater pools also require chemicals, but they are added and managed differently.
Testing Your Pool
Just like a regular pool, saltwater pools must be tested regularly. You (or your pool maintenance expert) should test the water every week for free chlorine levels and pH. Free chlorine should be one to three ppm. The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Every month, your pool should be tested for salt, calcium hardness, alkalinity, and stabilizer.
Defer to your owner’s manual regarding which additives to use. Usually, pool owners are advised to raise the pH with sodium bicarbonate or soda ash. The pH can be lowered with muriatic acid. When you need to add salt, be sure to choose a high-quality product intended specifically for saltwater pools. Adding consumer-grade salt can introduce a lot of minerals to your pool.
Inspecting the Cell
At least every three months, the pool maintenance worker should open and inspect the cell, also known as the saltwater chlorinator. Some salt chlorinators have automatic indicators that let owners know when to inspect the cell. Once the cell is removed, it needs to be checked for mineral buildup and scale, and miscellaneous debris. Usually, a high-pressure nozzle on a garden hose is sufficient to clean off scale and debris. Otherwise, a wooden or plastic tool (do not use metal) can be used to scrape off the scale. Occasionally, it may require a mild acid wash.
Pool owners in Arizona count on TMC Custom Pools and Renovations for professional and cost-effective pool maintenance services. Call our location in Phoenix at (480) 558-7665 to request a service visit.