Salt Water Pool Maintenance
A salt water pool inherently means less maintenance to the homeowner, but you'll still need to test the chemistry of the water to keep it running efficiently. Fortunately, the steps are straight-forward and the technology available makes them easy to conduct. Maintaining a saltwater pool is a matter of getting into a habit of doing the following steps.
Check Your Salinity
In addition to keeping your pool free of debris with a skimmer, you'll also want to check the concentration of the salt once a week. The measurements of saltwater pools are parts per million (ppm), and you want the readings between 2,500 and 4,500. The ideal range is what keeps your chlorine generator working correctly, meaning it won't expend extra energy to run at its optimal level. Many generators already come with built-in monitors, but you can also use test kits that include droppers or strips. There are also digital meters available, with accompanying smartphone apps to make it easy to get alerts.
Monitor Your pH Balance and Free Available Chlorine
When learning how to maintain a saltwater pool, you'll find out more about how your pH balance should work. Weekly testing should yield between 7.2 and 7.8. These levels are what keep your pool water free from germs and bacteria. You can lower it by slowly adding muriatic or hydrochloric acid. If it's low, raise the pH levels by slowly adding soda ash or an alkali calcium carbonate. Allow the water to circulate at least four times before you retest the pH. When it comes to your free available chlorine, you're looking for around 2 ppm, and this can be tested biweekly or monthly. This allows your generator to convert the right amount of water, and can be tested with a regular maintenance kit. Lowering the amount will involve decreasing your chlorine output (e.g., running your pump on a lower setting) while increasing may mean running your pump more often.
Alkalinity levels should be between 80 and 150 ppm. Slowly adding sodium bisulphate will lower it, while sodium bicarbonate will raise it. You'll need to wait at least 2 days before testing again. Your stabilizer levels should be between 50 and 80 ppm, and you can lower them by adding fresh water, and raise them by adding cyanuric acid. Your calcium hardness should be between 200 and 350 ppm, where you can lower it by adding fresh water and raise it by adding calcium chloride. Your dissolved solids should be between 3,000 and 6,000 ppm, and you can lower these levels by cleaning your filters or (in extreme cases) adding fresh water. You want to ensure that elements like copper and iron are not found in the water as well.