Annual booster additions of pool salt are usually required, but only to replace salt lost from backwashing, splashout or lowering the water for winter. If you fully drain the pool for maintenance, you will need to replace all of the pool salt.
While the average salt cells used in a residential salt water pool will last around 10,000 hours of operation, or around three to five years, there are things you can do to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
Over-salting will not damage your pool system, but will create salty-tasting water. Highly excessive Salinity levels (over 6,000 ppm) will cause corrosion damage to metallic equipment, such as ladders and handrails. The most common reason for losing salt is through leaks, rain, and bather splash.
A low salt level will reduce the efficiency of your salt chlorinator and result in low chlorine production. A high salt level can cause your chlorinator to shutdown and may begin to give your water a salty taste.
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.
As shocking has a tendency to push metals out of solution and salt (even when labeled as pure) can contain trace amounts of metals, it is recommended that you add salt at a different time from shocking.
Just like a chlorine-based pool, saltwater pools turn cloudy when chemicals are not balanced. You need to ensure that all chemicals are balanced all the time to avoid cloudy water and growth of algae. The major causes of cloudiness are chlorine, pH, Salinity, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardness.
The only way to lower the salt concentration of your swimming pool's water is to dilute it. Unfortunately, this means you will need to partially drain your pool and refill it with fresh water. This is true because salt doesn't wear out, break down or evaporate; only your water will evaporate.
But essentially you do just pour salt into the pool, a lot of salt. How much salt to add to the 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.
To add salt, turn on your filter pump and add the salt directly to your pool water. Use a brush to help the salt dissolve and to prevent the salt from piling up on the bottom of your pool. Run your pump for 24 hours to help distribute the salt evenly throughout your pool.
On average, most pools will need the saltwater generator to be on 8-12 hours per day. This will produce adequate levels of chlorine to properly sanitize the pool's water.
Is a salt water pool easier to maintain? Yes, a salt water pool is easier to maintain! There's no need to purchase, store and add chlorine to your pool. Simply add salt and your pool's salt chlorinator will do all the work of making chlorine.
Expect to pay less than $100 per year for the salt and chemicals to maintain your salt water swimming pool. Compare this to $300 to $800 yearly for the chemicals to maintain a traditional chlorine pool. Homeowners should budget an additional $200 to $700 every 3 to 5 years to replace the salt cell.
Over-salting will not harm your chlorine generator, but it will lead to salty tasting water. If levels exceed 6500 ppm the chlorinator is programmed to protect itself by alerting the user that there are high salinity levels in the pool. To reduce the salt level, drain some water and refill the pool with fresh water.
Generally it's better to have the level on the high side than low, so 3800 should be fine.
Sometimes a saltwater pool's chlorinator isn't creating enough chlorine, and the water can become cloudy or develop algae. When this happens, a bit of chlorine can save the day, said Hunker. You can add extra chlorine to the pool through calcium hypochlorite, sodium hypochlorite, or chlorine tablets.
Wait until the shock process is complete, then put in the salt. It'll dissolve right away and be ready for the SWG by the time you get ready to use it.
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.
After 24 hours you should then test the salinity and if you still need to add swimming pool salt you can repeat the process again making sure to not turn on the chlorine generator until you are completely satisfied your salinity is within the manufacturers recommended range.
Stabilizer is a chemical added to offset the harshness of chlorine. Because saltwater pools don't have the chemical chlorine, a stabilizer isn't required.