Converting your pool to saltwater ultimately means less maintenance and irritation to the eyes. Plus, it works best with pure table salt which is both inexpensive and plentiful. It will take some effort to make the change to saltwater but the benefits are amazing. Find out more about how to convert your pool to saltwater.
Step 1: Pick Out a Salt System for Your Swimming Pool
Essentially, you're installing an electrode or salt cell to your plumbing system, and then adding the salt to your pool. The reaction between the electrode and salt creates chlorine. Most experts will recommend a salt system that is made for higher volumes than that of your pool. This is because one that is designed for the maximum volume of your pool (e.g. a 10,000 gallon salt cell for a 10,000 gallon pool) will work at maximum capacity essentially the entire time you run it. Running at this level can actually damage the water and ultimately cost you more money over the life of the chlorinator.
The cells cost as little as $200 and as much as $700 and there’s a variety of options available from low tech to more extravagant digital systems. It's not necessary to get the fancy salt systems with digital features and self-cleaning options, but they are handy.
From a maintenance perspective, salt systems will have to be replaced every few years though, so buying the more efficient ones to start can actually save you money over time.
Step 2: Add the Salt and Check Your Chemistry
You want your pool to be around 3,000 parts per million worth of salt, which can be accomplished by adding in up to 1,000 pounds of salt, depending on the size of your pool. You will want to maintain your pH balance between 7.2 and 7.8. Salt pools are subject to contaminants more so than chlorine pools. Fortunately, there are all kinds of products that can help you ban these sources, and still keep your pool safe. Phosphates get into your pool through skin oils, sunscreen, rain water, plants and chemicals. Use a phosphate kit to test your levels and maintain the health of your new saltwater pool.
Step 3: Maintaining your Saltwater Pool
Just like a regular pool, a saltwater pool needs attention and proper maintenance to keep it healthy and safe. Monthly maintenance kits and a variety of commercial products are available to help you ensure your water stays soft and your pH balance stays within the appropriate range. For example, you may want to make or buy a diluted acid solution to remove the calcium build-up on your salt cell to help prolong its life. You should be performing maintenance every month or so, depending on how much you use your pool.
If you need to help with converting your pool to saltwater in Chicago, Sunset Pools and Spas can make it easier for you to complete the project and then keep up on the maintenance.