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.
When the chloramine level is 0.3 ppm or higher (just a bit darker on the Total Chlorine test), it's time to shock the pool – to remove the buildup of combined chlorine.
While each pool shock product differs, it's recommended that you shock your pool water every week or so if you want to keep the water clean and healthy. If you have a saltwater pool, not all pool shocks will be effective at cleaning your water.
Add 1lb of Saltwater Oxidizing Shock for every 5,000 gallons of pool water.
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.
Yes, a salt water pool has a reduced cost of operation as compared to a traditional chlorinated pool. This cost savings is primarily because chlorine is generated from salt and there is no need to buy chlorine. Additionally, salt water pools require fewer chemicals to keep the water clean and clear.
A saltwater pool is not a chlorine-free pool. Salt chlorine generators offer an alternative method of sanitizing a pool by using salt to produce its own chlorine automatically. A saltwater pool works much the same way as any other swimming pool, but instead of adding chlorine tablets, you'll add a fine-grain salt.
An overly salted pool will generally not be a major problem (aside from salty-tasting water), but at levels over 6000 ppm there may be corrosion damage to some of the metallic equipment.
While green algae are endemic in salt water pools, they are the easiest to kill. Green algae tend to grow during summers when the temperatures can get high. They float freely in the pool, making the water green. You might even see them growing on the bottom of the pool, on the walls, or in the crevices.
The saltwater chlorinator needs a sufficient flow of water for effective operation. A dirty skimmer basket, clogged or dirty filter, and a clogged pump strainer, can cause insufficient water flow for the chlorinator to produce less chlorine.
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.
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.
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.
Overall, you need to run your saltwater generator and pool pump for at least 8 hours daily. Not running either of these long enough means not enough chlorine to sanitize the water. What is this? Remember, the pool pump needs to be running simultaneously with the chlorine generator for the salt cell to produce chlorine.
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.
It's recommended to wait at least 20 minutes to swim after adding salt to your pool. If you're adding calcium chloride to your pool water, it's recommended to wait two to four hours before swimming again.
For salt water pools, the electrolytic chlorine generator (ECG) should be put back in place if it was removed during closing, but it shouldn't be turned on until after salinity levels have been checked (normally the last step). Allow the pump to run for at least 24 hours to thoroughly circulate the water.
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.
To get rid of cloudiness, you will have to do a liquid chlorine shock to raise the level of free chlorine (since the chlorine produced by the generator is not enough; a chlorine generator just assists you in maintaining the level of free chlorine).
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.