Myth or Fact? “Salt Pools do not require routine maintenance”

This blog is part of our Salt Pool Myth or Fact? series.  Many people looking at getting a salt pool, or inheriting one with a new property, do not fully understand the system.  This series of blog posts will hopefully help clear up some of the questions that arise.

Salt Pool “Myth or Fact #2”

Pools equipped with a chlorine generator (Salt pools) do not require routine maintenance like traditional chlorine pools.

Outdoor salt water swimming pool with view of the Aegean is liscensed by KB Collection Hotels & Resorts

Myth. Pools equipped with a chlorine generator must be balanced just as any other pool.  The electrolytic chlorine generator or ECG (Yikes! big word) produces chlorine but does not provide any other means of balancing the water.  In fact, the by-products produced during electrolytic chlorine generation can cause the pH to rise.  High pH in pool water can contribute to cloudy water, scaling and decreased chlorine efficiency.  This pH drift will need to be offset in order to keep the pH in the proper range.   Mineral Springs® Renewal® includes a pH decreaser.  When applied weekly per label directions, Renewal will help offset the pH drift and keep the water balanced.  Alternatively, SaltScapes pH Decreaser or Muriatic Acid may be used as needed to lower pH.

In addition, the chlorine produced by the ECG is unstabilized. Especially in outdoor pools, stabilizer (cyanuric acid) is required to prevent chlorine degradation by sunlight.  Mineral Springs Beginnings® contains cyanuric acid (stabilizer) to protect the chlorine being produced by the ECG from sunlight degradation. lf the saltwater pool was not started using Mineral Springs Beginnings then SaltScapes SunShield Stabilizer or BioGuard Instant Stabilizer can be used to raise the stabilizer level in the water.   Most ECG manufacturers recommend a level of 60-80ppm stabilizer.  Check with the manufacturer of your chlorine generator to see where they advise keeping your CYA levels.

Also, the chlorine generator will not improve the water balance, clarity and softness.  In addition to stabilizer, Mineral Springs Beginnings and Renewal contain a water softener (to improve the feel of the water beyond that of regular salt pools) and a scale inhibitor (to protect the chlorine generator cell plates).  Renewal also contains a filter aid which will help keep the water sparkling clear.  For salt pools not using Beginnings and Renewal, SaltScapes Scale Defender added monthly will help protect the chlorine generator cell from scale.Just like traditional chlorine pools, saltwater pools can develop an algae bloom if not maintained properly.  SaltScapes Algae Remover is an effective algae treatment for saltwater pools.  If you do have an algae bloom, you will likely also need additional chlorine as the generator will not be creating enough to clear the pool.  Didn’t think you would ever need to add chlorine?   Check out the next myth: If I have a Salt Pool, I never need to add chlorine.

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