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One of the best things about owning a salt water pool is the maintenance—or lack, thereof. Salt water pools have been increasing in popularity in recent years because in general, they are less expensive to own and require quite a bit less work than traditional swimming pools do. However, salt water pools can also be a lot more work than chlorinated pools if you do not know what you are doing. Follow these tips to make salt water pool maintenance a breeze:

  • The salt level needs to be just right. In order to stay clean, your pool has to have a consistent level of salt in the water. The salt is needed in order to produce chlorine in the water naturally so that it will stay clean. Each salt water system is just a little bit different than the next, so you should read the manual and talk to the pool retailer that you purchase the system from. The amount of salt that is optimal for your pool will vary according to size of the pool and size of the system.
  • Keep the pH between 7.4 and 7.8. If you have ever owned a traditional chlorinated pool, then you recognize that this is much higher than the pH that was optimal for it. This is because salt water pools do naturally require a much higher pH. Remember to check the levels twice a week and put in some more muriatic acid as is needed in order to keep the pH level in the right range.
  • Don’t think that you don’t need to run the filter. Chlorine is naturally created in salt water pools when the filter is running, so it is critical that you keep up with filtration. During the summer, you will probably need to run the filter eight hours a day, with four hours in the morning and four in the evening. During the winter about six hours of filtration is optimal. Be sure to check with your local pool store to make sure the exact amount of time you need to run the filter as these times can vary from system to system and according to size of the pool.
  • Keep the salt cell clean. Your salt chlorinator’s manual will explain how to clean the salt cell. This is one of the most important parts of maintaining a salt water pool because if it’s not clean, then your pool will not create the amount of chlorine necessary to keep it clean. Check the cell regularly for calcium buildup and clean it out.
  • Make sure the cyanuric acid level stays between 20 and 60 ppm. Once again, check the manual of the system you purchased to see what the optimal level is. Cyanuric acid is also known as conditioner or stabilizer, and it actually helps keep the chlorine level stable.

If done right, salt water pool maintenance is a lot less work than caring for an ordinary chlorine pool, but you have to know what you’re doing. You may want to consider hiring a pool service to maintain the levels of everything in your pool. The great thing about having someone come to care for your pool is the fact that you don’t have to worry so much about how to keep all those levels in check. When salt water pools are kept up by a professional, very little needs to be done to them because everything stays in balance, just the way it should be. Let the experts at Emerald Pool and Spa help you with all of your salt water pool maintenance needs.

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