Saltwater pools are becoming more popular among pool owners who want to enjoy the benefits of chlorine without the hassle of adding it manually. Saltwater pools use a device called a salt chlorine generator, which converts salt into chlorine through a process called electrolysis. The chlorine then sanitizes the pool water and prevents algae growth.
But how much salt does a pool use per month? And how do you maintain the proper salinity level in your pool? In this article, we will answer these questions and provide some tips on how to keep your saltwater pool clean and clear.
How Much Salt Do You Need to Add to Your Pool?
The amount of salt you need to add to your pool depends on several factors, such as:
- The size and volume of your pool
- The salinity level recommended by your salt chlorine generator manufacturer
- The salinity level of your source water
- The frequency and amount of water loss due to evaporation, splash-out, backwashing, or leaks
Generally, most salt chlorine generators require a salinity level between 2,700 and 3,400 parts per million (PPM), with 3,200 PPM being the ideal range. To achieve this level, you will need to add about 25 pounds of salt per 1,000 gallons of water.
For example, if you have a 20,000-gallon pool and you are adding salt for the first time, you will need about 500 pounds of salt. Pool salt is sold in 40-pound bags, so you would need about 13 bags of salt.
However, once you have established the initial salinity level, you will not need to add salt very often. That’s because the salt in your pool does not get used up or evaporate. It only gets diluted by freshwater or removed by backwashing or draining.
Therefore, you will only need to add salt when:
- You open your pool for the season
- You add fresh water to your pool due to evaporation or splash-out
- You experience heavy rainfall that dilutes your pool water
- You backwash or drain your pool for maintenance or repairs
To determine how much salt you need to add in these situations, you will need to test your pool water regularly using a salt test kit or a digital salt meter. You can also use an online salt calculator to estimate the amount of salt needed based on your current and desired salinity levels.
How Do You Maintain Your Saltwater Pool?
Besides adding salt when necessary, there are other steps you need to take to maintain your saltwater pool. These include:
- Maintaining proper water circulation. This ensures that the salt and chlorine are evenly distributed throughout the pool and prevents corrosion or scaling in certain areas.
- Preventing erosion and calcium buildup in your salt cell. The salt cell is the core component of your salt chlorine generator that produces chlorine from salt. It needs to be inspected and cleaned every three months or as recommended by the manufacturer. You can use a mild acid solution or a cell cleaning kit to remove any debris or calcium deposits from the cell plates.
- Keeping your water balanced, especially pH and chlorine levels. Saltwater pools tend to have higher pH levels than regular chlorine pools due to the production of sodium hydroxide during electrolysis. This can cause scaling, cloudy water, and reduced chlorine effectiveness. You will need to lower your pH level by adding muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate as needed. You will also need to monitor your chlorine level and adjust it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can use a test kit or a digital meter to measure your pH and chlorine levels.
- Shocking your pool every week. Shocking is the process of adding a large dose of chlorine to your pool to kill any bacteria, algae, or organic contaminants that may have built up over time. Even though your salt chlorine generator produces chlorine continuously, it may not be enough to handle high bather loads, hot weather, or heavy rainfall. You will need to shock your pool with either liquid chlorine or non-chlorine shock once a week or as needed.
- Skimming, brushing, and vacuuming every week. These are basic pool cleaning tasks that help remove any dirt, debris, or algae from your pool surface and walls. You will need a skimmer net, a pool brush, and a pool vacuum to perform these tasks once a week or more often if necessary.
By following these steps, you can keep your saltwater pool sparkling clean and enjoy its many benefits.
Saltwater pools use a device called a salt-chlorine generator that converts salt into chlorine through electrolysis. The amount of salt you need to add to your pool depends on several factors, such as the size and volume of your pool, the salinity level recommended by the manufacturer, the salinity level of your source water, and the frequency and amount of water loss. You will need to test your pool water regularly and use an online salt calculator to determine how much salt you need to add.
Besides adding salt, you also need to maintain proper water circulation, prevent erosion and calcium buildup in your salt cell, keep your water balanced, shock your pool, and skim, brush, and vacuum your pool. By doing these steps, you can ensure that your saltwater pool is clean, clear, and safe for swimming.