Saltwater pools have been readily available since the early ‘90s and continue to remain a popular choice today. However, there are still some things about these pools that saltwater pool owners may overlook or not fully understand, one of which is their pools’ ability to sanitize and kill bacteria. Below we take a closer look at how well saltwater pools are able to keep bacteria and other potentially risky things in check.
Some people opt for a saltwater pool because of a lingering misconception that saltwater kills bacteria more effectively than chlorine and they want to avoid some of the unpleasant issues associated with exposure to chlorinated pool water. The reality is saltwater alone doesn’t kill bacteria, although it does sanitize. What saltwater pools do is minimize bacteria and similar issues with a process known as electrolysis, which results in the production of bacteria-killing chlorine, meaning saltwater pools aren’t really any healthier than chlorinated ones.
There’s also an assumption among some saltwater pool owners that fewer chemicals will be needed to keep the water safe and properly balanced. Salt is a natural compound, but it doesn’t have the power to fully balance pool water without some help from other chemicals. For instance, it’s often necessary to regularly add alkaline, calcium, and other chemicals to a saltwater pool to keep it safe to use by getting rid of algae, bacteria, and viruses.
Just because a saltwater pool doesn’t kill bacteria without any extra steps or some assistance from other chemicals doesn’t mean it can’t still be a smart investment. In fact, if you develop a regular pool maintenance routine, a saltwater pool can be perfectly safe to use and enjoy. The main caveat here is you’ll need to be a bit more diligent with pool maintenance, especially with salt levels and water chemical balance.
With the water itself, do regular tests to see what you’ll need to add to maintain proper balance. There are kits you can buy to make this process more convenient. It’s also advised that saltwater pool owners get into the habit of cleaning calcium from unit plates, rebalancing the chemicals as necessary, and replenishing salt—between 2700 and 3400 ppm is considered an acceptable salt level—to keep the pool safe for use.
Additionally, you’ll need to regularly inspect the salt chlorinator cell and, when necessary, replace it. With saltwater pool maintenance, it can also be helpful to:
• Routinely check the clarity of the water
• Make sure the pump and filter are functioning correctly
• Use a pool vacuum or mechanical cleaner to remove dirt and debris from the water
• Use a shock solution when a deeper cleaning is necessary to keep the water fresh and safe*
*Shocking a saltwater pool is recommended before you start using your pool again on a regular basis and before larger pool-related events.
If you take care to maintain your saltwater pool properly on a routine basis, you can keep it clean and ensure your family will be able to enjoy it for many years to come. If you haven’t yet built your pool, reach out to San Diego Pools, the pros with decades of experience. We’re one of the premier pool companies in San Diego, and our team of pool design and construction experts is dedicated to building exactly the pool you want and providing you with the highest-quality service in the industry. To get started on building the pool of your dreams, call us today at 888-707-7786.