While chlorinated pools were once the most popular kind of pools, it is now slowly being replaced by saltwater pools. Saltwater pools are the latest in innovative technologies for swimming pools though the technology required to make a pool of the saltwater variety has been available for quite some time now. Though a lot of people may assume that a saltwater pool is salty or that you take seawater and put it in a pool, this is sadly not the case.
Saltwater pools are actually pretty much the same as chlorinated pools save for one thing: instead of putting chlorine into the pool via external means such as the use of liquid chlorine or chlorine sticks, saltwater pools use a ‘chlorinating system’ which converts conventional salt into chlorine instead. The chlorination of a saltwater pool is accomplished with the use of a machine, which converts salt into chlorine much the same way as chlorinators pump regular chlorine to pools.
Requiring installation, the chlorinating system or converter has its upsides and downsides. While the system offers constant chlorination at just the touch of a control, it also curtails the need for finicky saltwater pool maintenance procedures. Keeping a saltwater pool is a lot like taking care of a regular pool, with only very little, but nevertheless very important, differences which make up the whole of saltwater pool maintenance.
One should always remember that if left uncared for, a regular pool will typically develop and accumulate build-up. Proper care and cleanliness will effectively reduce the possibility of build-up such as algae. Due to the relatively controlled concentrations of chlorine found in saltwater pool maintenance systems, algae development is almost impossible; yet, the sodium used to sanitize the pool also causes calcification or scaling due to build-up. While this can be remedied by regularly cleaning the pool, regular saltwater pool maintenance is only costly and rigorous if done in such a way.
An easier way to remove build-up is to use hydrogen chloride as an acid rinse. Mixing one part of sodium hydrochloride to fifteen parts of water is one of the easiest ways to remove calcified build-up so long as you are careful enough to not exceed the set concentration, as you may risk harming the protective coating of some chlorinators incurring further expenses for repair.
Aside from maintaining the cleanliness of the pool and removing build-up, proper maintenance of the chlorinating system is top-priority in saltwater pool maintenance, as it is the very heart of the pool itself. The chlorinating system is very expensive which could amount to costly replacements or repairs once damaged. Removing buildup with an acid rinse will help keep your pool looking immaculate. Another saltwater pool maintenance tactic which should not be overlooked is the regular checkup of the chlorinator to ensure that it is still loaded with enough salt to convert into chlorine as too little salt will tax the machine and ruin it.
The fact that pools are sanitized by chlorine may be popular knowledge, but most people don’t know that UV light actually breaks down chlorine and depletes its concentration, more so in open pools. To prevent this, stabilizers like cyanuric acid are added as part of regular saltwater pool maintenance protocol. Sometimes super-chlorination is needed to fully sanitize a pool, and in such cases salt is added manually to aid in faster chlorination. Saltwater pool maintenance, with emphasis on the chlorinating system and the pool body itself is all that’s left along with the regular skimming for fallen leaves, etc.