The 3 main types of filters that can be used with your salt system are sand, cartridge and diatomaceous earth or D.E. When considering each type of filter for your salt water pool they each have their distinct advantages, ideal application and disadvantages.
All saltwater pools need a Filter System to maintain crystal clear water. There are 3 types of filter systems you can choose from; Sand, Cartridge and D.E. Sand filters require specially graded sand to trap particles and debris.
You still need the sand filter. The saltwater setup turns the salt to chloride (sodium chloride) and the ozonator kills germs etc... the sand filter filters out the algae and all the other particles before the water goes through the saltwater system.
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.
A saltwater pool is a chlorine pool.
The difference is instead of adding chlorine to the water, you add salt, and a salt-chlorine generator converts salt to chlorine. Unfortunately, the chlorine created by the generator is unstabilized chlorine that dissipates more quickly.
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.
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!
You definitely need to drain some water from the pool when salinity reaches a 6,000 ppm level. Most salt water pools should be maintained with a salinity level of 2,500-4,000 ppm. The amount you drain depends on how elevated salinity levels are.
You should review the salt cell at least every two months. Most need cleaning a minimum of every six months, and sometimes more often, so checking the cell is essential to make sure it doesn't need replacing. If you do have deposits, continue to the next steps.
Water from ground wells starts out largely as fresh water. Sand filtration is used to separated suspended solids from water. The salts in seawater are dissolved, rather than suspended. It takes energy to extract the solutes (the salts) from the solvent (water).
You need a special pump and filter to run a salt water pool. There is no such thing as a “salt water pump” or “salt water filter”; any pool pump or filter will do just fine.
You need chemicals with a sand filter because they require sanitization, phosphate removal, pH adjustments, and alkalinity alterations. Some of these chemicals include muriatic acid, soda ash, alkalinity increasers and decreasers, and chlorine.
Diatomaceous earth (D.E) filter
DE filters are compact and filter out the smallest particles in comparison to sand and cartridge filters. The filter is backwashed similar to the sand filter, but unlike just backwashing alone, the filter always needs fresh DE powder added.
If you're on a budget, and you want to spend minimal time on maintenance, a sand filter is the best choice for you. It's also optimal for large pools because it won't clog as easily as other filters. Your pool pump sucks water in from the skimmers, then pushes it through a large filtration tank full of sand.
Winterizing is an important step whether you own a salt water pool or a regular chlorine pool and will help make spring start up a whole lot easier as well as reduce the time and chemicals needed to get your pool ready.
While they do cost a bit more on the front end than a chlorine set up, the ongoing maintenance for saltwater pools is typically far less expensive. Generally, you can expect to pay somewhere around $300 to $800 a year on the chemicals you'll need to maintain a chlorine pool.
To reach the initial salt level recommended by the salt system manufacturer (usually 2400-3200 ppm), you will need to add about 200 lbs of pure pool grade salt (NaCl), per 10,000 gallons of water.
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. Many pool experts choose to use granular pool shock in saltwater systems as it works best and is easy to use.
Salt Water Pool Cost
Homeowners pay an average of $25,000 to install a new salt water swimming pool, compared to the cost of installing a traditional pool, which has a price tag of about $23,000 on average. Cost to build a standard, 20,000-gallon pool can be as low as $12,000 or as high as $67,000.
Saltwater pools can definitely be heated just like freshwater pools. The saltwater chlorinator does not affect heating units, so you will not have to worry about this when installing a heater in your swimming pool. The heating units will also be set up and installed in the same way as in chlorine pools.
Chlorine pools are more traditional and are also cheaper than most saltwater pools. However, they can be more difficult to maintain over time. Because there is no generator making chlorine, you will need to add chlorine into the pool on your own.