Salt water pools are becoming more popular among pool owners who want to enjoy the benefits of a chlorine-free swimming experience. Salt water pools use a salt chlorine generator to produce chlorine from salt, which sanitizes the water and keeps it clear and clean.
However, opening a salt water pool is not as simple as just adding salt and turning on the generator. There are some steps you need to follow to ensure that your pool is ready for the summer season. Here are some tips on how to open a salt water pool for the season.
Step 1: Remove and Clean the Pool Cover
The first step is to remove the pool cover that you used to protect your pool during the winter months. You may need to use a sump pump to drain any water that has accumulated on the cover.
Then, clear the cover of any debris, such as leaves, twigs, or dirt, and wash it with a mild detergent and water. Rinse it well and let it dry completely before storing it away.
Step 2: Inspect and Reconnect the Pool Equipment
The next step is to inspect and reconnect the pool equipment, such as the pump, filter, heater, and salt chlorine generator. Make sure that there are no cracks, leaks, or damages in the equipment or the pipes.
If you have removed any parts of the equipment for winterization, such as the salt cell, reattach them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Lubricate any o-rings or gaskets that need it. Turn on the water supply and let the water circulate through the system for a few minutes.
Step 3: Remove Plugs and Refill the Pool
If you have used plugs or gizmos to seal the skimmer and return openings of your pool, remove them carefully and replace them with the regular fittings. Check the water level of your pool and add more water if needed. The water level should be at least halfway up the skimmer opening.
Step 4: Clean and Vacuum the Pool
Once the water is circulating, it is time to clean and vacuum your pool. Use a skimmer net to remove any surface debris from the water. Then, use a brush to scrub the walls and floor of your pool to loosen any dirt or algae that may have grown during the winter. Finally, use a pool vacuum to suck up any debris that has settled on the bottom of your pool.
Step 5: Test and Balance the Water Chemistry
The most important step in opening a salt water pool is to test and balance the water chemistry. You will need a saltwater test kit or strips to measure the levels of pH, chlorine, salt, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and cyanuric acid in your pool water. You can also take a sample of your pool water to a local pool store for testing. The ideal ranges for these parameters are:
- pH: 7.2-7.6
- Chlorine: 1-3 ppm
- Salt: 2700-3400 ppm
- Calcium hardness: 200-400 ppm
- Total alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
- Cyanuric acid: 30-50 ppm
If any of these levels are out of range, you will need to adjust them using pool chemicals. For example, you may need to add muriatic acid or pH decrease to lower pH, or soda ash or pH increase to raise pH. You may also need to add algaecide, clarifier, conditioner, phosphate remover, or other chemicals depending on your pool’s condition.
Step 6: Add Salt and Shock the Pool
The final step in opening a salt water pool is to add salt and shock the pool. You will need to add enough salt to reach the optimal level for your salt chlorine generator, which is usually between 2700 and 3400 ppm. You can use a salt calculator or follow the instructions in your generator’s manual to determine how much salt you need. You should only use pool salt, which is 99% pure sodium chloride, and not table salt or other types of salt.
To add salt, pour it directly into your pool in front of a return jet or sprinkle it over the surface of your pool. Use a brush to help dissolve the salt faster. Wait for at least 24 hours before turning on your salt chlorine generator.
To shock your pool, you will need to add a high dose of chlorine to kill any bacteria or algae that may be present in your pool water. You can use either liquid chlorine or granular shock for this purpose. Follow the instructions on the product label for how much shock you need and how to apply it safely.
After shocking your pool, wait until the chlorine level drops below 3 ppm before swimming in your pool.
Meta description: Learn how to open a salt water pool for the summer season with this easy guide. Find out what supplies and steps you need to get your pool ready for swimming.