A saltwater swimming pool is an alternative to having a chlorinated pool. Saltwater makes its own chlorine so it is less expensive to maintain. It is basically self cleaning and self monitoring so it is convenient for busy families who want the convenience of a pool but don’t want to spend too much time with its maintenance. Saltwater is also milder on the skin compared to chlorine. With a saltwater pool, there won’t be an overpowering chlorine smell in the area and less stinging in the eyes, common in chlorinated pools. If you happen to taste the water, it will be slightly salty so it may even give you the impression of swimming at the beach, without the sand!
If you have a saltwater swimming pool, here’s how to clean and maintain it.
- When you have your pool made, make sure the pool contractor installs a chlorine generator. Get a self cleaning system. The system may cost quite a bit upfront, but it will save you hundreds of dollars over the life of your pool. A self cleaning chlorine generator does the work for you! You don’t need to run the chlorine generator continuously for it to be effective. A few hours at a time is enough, especially during cooler months when the pool won’t be used as much. Some pool owners only turn it on when the pool will be used, and more often during the hot summer months.
- Check the salt levels of your pool. The chlorine generator should have an indicator panel. Check the manual on how to read the indicator, or have the pool installer teach you how. Just because you have a self cleaning pool, it doesn’t mean you won’t do anything at all! Pool maintenance does require a little work. Use ph strips available at pool supply stores to check for the alkalinity or ph levels of your water. The ph levels affect your salt consumption.
- Use a net to take out visible floating dirt from the surface of the pool. The long handle will help you reach the center of the pool without having to lean over. Common dirt found floating on the surface of your pool are leaves and dead insects.
- Use the pool vacuum to clean the bottom of the pool. A pool vacuum cleaner attaches to a built in compartment in the pool that creates a suction to get the dirt on the pool floor. Some fine debris may settle at the bottom of the pool. Make sure you run the pool vacuum cleaner on the entire length of the pool. You will see a difference from the areas that you have cleaned from the areas you haven’t.
- Drain the pool once a year. When it is empty, give the tiles a good scrubbing. Use muriatic acid to clean out the grout and disinfect the pool. Some salt or calcium sediment may be left on the surface walls due to the saline in the water. Just give brush it off and rinse properly. Fill up your pool with clean water and don’t leave it empty for a long time or the surface may crack.
Having a pool is great fun. Care for it properly and you can enjoy swimming in it for years to come!