If you own a salt water pool, you probably know how big of a problem algae growth can be. Once these organisms contaminate the pool, they can grow and spread quickly. Both chlorinated and salt water pools need proper water chemistry levels in order to prevent algae growth.
In a saltwater pool, chlorine is released at a slower rate than in a chlorinated pool, which means that the chances of algae taking root are much higher. To make sure that your pool stays balanced, test your pool water at least several times a week.
You'd think salt would kill algae. Sort of like slugs. But no, algae is impervious to salt, so you've gotta do a little more work to remove it from a salt water pool.
The algaecide isn't a requirement for saltwater pools, but there's no reason not to use it. However, the best way to control algae is to keep the pool water balanced because algae love it when pH or total alkalinity gets too high.
The takeaway is that it's a problem that multiplies rapidly in your pool, especially when you don't have enough free chlorine in the water. Your pool may turn from a bit cloudy to an obvious green color in one day.
So, not only is shocking a saltwater pool okay, but it's actually important to your pool's health. Shocking is the process in which you overload your pool with chlorine (3-5 times the normal amount) to improve your pool's cleanliness and kill off organic matter.
Pros of Saltwater Pools
There's less chlorine and less of the heavy chemical scent and content. They're gentler on the skin, with less irritation to the eyes, hair and swimsuits. The water has a softer, silkier feel to it compared to chlorine water. They have lower maintenance costs than chlorine pools.
Lower pH by adding muriatic acid or sodium disulfide to the water, and raise it by adding baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or soda ash (sodium carbonate). Check the total alkalinity of the pool water before raising pH. If it's near the acceptable range of 80 to 120 ppm, use soda ash.
Use a vacuum or backwash the pool to remove the dead algae. Apply a mustard algaecide following the label directions. Allow the water to circulate for 24 hours. Use a pool vacuum or backwash the pool again to remove the remaining dead algae.
Pool algae can be caused by poor filtration, out-of-balance water, low or inconsistent chlorine levels, or poor water circulation. Green, dark green, yellowish green and blue-green algae are the most common. Green algae are slimy.
Shock your pool once a week with Salinity Surge Shock or Salinity Oxidizing Shock. Pool shock works as an added defense against bacteria and contaminants. With Oxidizing shock, you can use your pool after just 15 minutes!
To maintain a salt water pool you'll need to keep your filter, pump, and skimmer clean and in good operating condition. With salt water pools, you must inspect the salt chlorinator cell and replace it when needed. Test regularly for proper water chemistry to maintain clean, clear pool water.
Grab a brush and some baking soda. Bicarbonate, the active ingredient in baking soda, is an effective spot treatment to help kill the algae and loosen it from the wall. Make sure you really get every last particle free; black algae has particularly long and stubborn roots which makes it a persistent strand.
Certain species of mosquitoes breed in saltwater pools. Two of the most common species are Aedes taeniorhynchus (also known as Saltwater mosquito) and the dangerous Asian Tiger mosquito that spreads diseases like encephalitis.
Low-Cost Annual Maintenance
The average annual cost to maintain a swimming pool is anywhere from $100 to $400. Saltwater pools will fall anywhere from $70 to $100 annually, as you don't need to balance the chemicals nearly as often.
If your pool is truly low in salt, then you can add salt at any time, but you need to use external sources of chlorine such as chlorinating liquid to shock your pool to kill the algae; you can't kill the algae in a bloom fast enough with an SWG alone..
The slimy feel on your pool walls is an early indication of algae growth. To stop algae growth in its tracks, clean the pool filter first. Before adding any chemicals to the pool, make sure you have a clean filter. Cartridge, sand or diatomaceous earth filters all have their own backwashing methods for cleaning.
Generally, it's recommended to wait about 10 minutes between adding each pool chemical. Some pool chemicals like pool salt and cyanuric acid take longer to dissolve in the pool water. The aim is to avoid strong concentrations of chemicals mixing together.
The presence of too much algaecide can lead to a foamy pool water. Small bubbles will begin to be produced as the water is pushed through the return jet and back into the pool. Do not confuse these bubbles and foam with another common problem, which is air in your pool lines.