A great many people are choosing to install a saline swimming pool rather than a traditional chlorine model. While saline pools are gentler on hair and skin, it’s important to understand that the saline levels are not comparable to ocean water – salinity levels are approximately 1/10th that of the ocean.
The second thing to know about saline pools is that they’re more complex systems and if you’re not familiar with them, your best decision will be to hire a professional pool service for regular monitoring, maintenance and repair. Your initial set up will be more costly, but a saline pool is less expensive to maintain over time.
Maintaining a saline pool isn’t like a traditional chlorine pool and trying to apply the same principles will result in damage. Saline pools still require chlorine, but it’s not simply dumped in the pool. Chemicals must first pass through a salt chlorine generator that converts chemicals into hypochlorous acid and hydrogen gas. The hydrogen gas dissipates into the air and the hypochlorous acid is what sanitizes the water.
Salt is a corrosive material. In the recommended concentrations, it’s not harmful to any part of the pool system. If you add too much, the saline will begin to corrode pipes, fittings, pool liners and railings. Rectifying and repairing the damage will be extremely costly.
It’s critical that proper circulation be maintained to prevent salt from building up in specific areas. Depending upon the shape of your pool, it may require additional circulation devices to be installed. If you see salt crystals growing anywhere in the pool, call a professional.
Regular cleaning is required for any type of pool, but not all tools that are used for cleaning a chlorine pool are effective for a saline environment. Always make sure that your filter, skimmer and pump are kept clean.
You’ll need to maintain proper pH levels, manage stabilizers, sustain appropriate salt levels, and shock the pool when appropriate. Regular testing is critical to know what chemicals to add and when. Anytime you’re in doubt, engage the services of a pool expert.
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