Back in the old days, everybody preferred chlorinated pools, recently, saltwater pools have all but made them obsolete. Saltwater pools are the latest in innovative technologies for swimming pools though the technology required to make a pool of the saltwater variety has been available for quite some time now. By the name alone, a lot of people may presume that saltwater pools actually use salt or real seawater, but that isn’t exactly the case. Saltwater pools are actually pretty much the same as chlorinated pools save for one thing: instead of putting chlorine into the pool via external means such as the use of liquid chlorine or chlorine sticks, saltwater pools use a ‘chlorinating system’ which converts conventional salt into chlorine instead. This is done via the process of electrolysis which breaks down the salt particles to the point that it produces sodium hypochlorite and hypocholrous acid – in other words, chlorine.
Just like any technological breakthrough, the saltwater pool chlorinating system has its benefits and hindrances; as a note, it is not easily used as it requires installation prior to usage. While the system offers constant chlorination at just the touch of a control, it also curtails the need for finicky saltwater pool maintenance procedures. While a saltwater pool is almost exactly like a regular pool in terms of maintenance and upkeep, saltwater pool maintenance requires a few more ‘adjustments’ when it comes to upkeep than regular pools.
The first thing that should be put to mind is that a regular chlorinated pool only accumulates build-up if left to its own devices. To remedy the bane of having algae in your pool, thorough and sustained cleaning is necessary. In the case of saltwater pool maintenance however, the chlorinated water from the salt converter effectively reduces the production of algae and other microbes with a downside – sodium causes calcium buildup in the chlorinating systems as well the surface of the pool itself. While this can be remedied by regularly cleaning the pool, regular saltwater pool maintenance is only costly and rigorous if done in such a way. Chemical agents such as hydrogen chloride applied as an acid rinse is a better choice to remove calcified buildup. Mixing one part of sodium hydrochloride to fifteen parts of water is one of the easiest ways to remove calcified build-up so long as you are careful enough to not exceed the set concentration, as you may risk harming the protective coating of some chlorinators incurring further expenses for repair.
Aside from the general upkeep of the pool, keeping the chlorinating system in good condition is of utmost importance. Keeping the chlorinating system in good condition will help you avoid incurring unwanted expenses, as repairs or replacements can be very costly. As stated above, rinsing the pool with a light acidic solution every now and then removes build-up that may damage the chlorinating system. Further saltwater pool maintenance tactics involve constantly checking up on the chlorinating system to ensure that enough salt remains to be produced into chlorine, because if the machine keeps on running without any salt in the pool itself, the cells which make the machine work properly will become ruined in no time.
The fact that pools are sanitized by chlorine may be popular knowledge, but most people don’t know that UV light actually breaks down chlorine and depletes its concentration, more so in open pools. To prevent this, stabilizers like cyanuric acid are added as part of regular saltwater pool maintenance protocol. For cases which call for super-chlorination, salt-solutions are added manually and dissolved with care, taking care to avoid ruining the pool skimmers. General upkeep and simple cleaning is all that’s needed to round up the whole of saltwater pool maintenance.