Salt Water Swimming Pools

A pool system worth its salt

Saltwater swimming pools are the newest wave in commercial and backyard pools. Those of us who love to swim seek the most innovative, easy, yet economical methods to maintain our swimming pools. When the salt water pool system came out, many of us knew it was the way to go for a healthy, low-cost swim.

How a Salt Water Pool Works

A salt water swimming pool has a chlorine generator that processes pool salt into chlorine. This chlorine keeps the pool algae-free. In essence, the pool contains chlorine at a level that keeps the pool sparkling clean without that stinky chlorine odor. Read on for advantages/disadvantages, maintenance and costs of saltwater pools.

Advantages of Salt Water Pools

  • There's no more dryness of the skin and hair from chlorine in the water. In fact, the salt water pool systems yield water treatment similar to salt water softeners. Thus, the feel of the water on skin is softer.
  • A saltwater pool is less irritating to the eyes than a chlorinated pool.
  • There's no strong chemical smell.
  • Your hair won't turn those funny colors that a chlorine pool causes.

Disadvantages of Saltwater Pools

  • Costs of saltwater swimming pools and installation are high initially.
  • As pool salt comes in 40 pound bags, it can be cumbersome to purchase, transport and manage.

Maintenance of Salt Water Swimming Pools

Pool maintenance is practically the same weekly routine as when you have a chlorine pool.

  • Brush down the sides of the pool.
  • Empty the filter baskets.
  • Keep the filters clean.
  • Also weekly, check the chemical levels in the pool.
  • Balance chemical levels, by adding salt and muriatic acid as your weekly testing indicates.
  • A bag of non-iodized pool salt should be added to keep the chlorine at optimum levels.
  • Some muriatic acid may be needed to balance the alkalinity in salt water swimming pools.
  • Check and clean out the electrolytic cell (the processor of the chlorine) every 3 to 6 months.

Costs of Saltwater Pools

Upon the initial conversion to a salt water pool system, the cost is high. However, ongoing costs for chemicals and maintenance are reduced after that time.

  • Bags of un-iodized pool salt must be purchased to add into the pool.
  • Muriatic acid should be kept on hand to reduce alkalinity.
  • Baking soda may be necessary to increase alkalinity.
  • Salt water pools to do not require as many chemicals as a chlorinated pool, so maintenance costs are reduced.

If you are thinking about remodeling your swimming pool, update it to a saltwater pool system. It just might be the best decision you ever made.

By Rita Chaney

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