How To Take Care of a Salt Pool
Taking care of a salt pool or a saline pool is no different than any other pool. Why you ask? Because there is NO DIFFERENCE between a SALT pool and a "Chlorine pool." They both have chlorine. The difference is that a salt pool MAKES chlorine derived from salt and a "Chlorine pool" requires you purchase and inject the chlorine. That's it.
The process: The simple explanation
When the pool is installed anywhere from 200 to 400 pounds of salt (depending on the size of the pool) is added to the pool water to yield a 2800-3200 part salt per million level. Next a conversion cell is installed in the equipment area that will convert this dissolved salt in the water INTO a chlorine molecule. Once the chlorine is made it is returned to the pool to attach itself to a waste molecule, kill that waste molecule, and return to a salt molecule. Once the salt molecule is back it is ready for its return trip back to the pump to be converted into chlorine and repeat. For a deeper explanation see blog post: Salt Water Chlorine Generators: History, Types, Operation, and Considerations
Salt system maintenance:
Other than checking the cell periodically for mineral deposits and build up as well as checking to make sure there is enough salt in the pool there really isn't too much to do. Adding salt for most is an every other year sort of task and even then 20 to 40 pounds is the norm. Beyond that anywhere from 3-8 years you will need to replace the cell. The performance and life of the cell is directly linked to power output (use), water chemistry, and correct salt levels.
Normal pool maintenance:
Yup that's correct. NORMAL pool maintenance. Having a "Salt Pool" does not get you out of anything other than BUYING chlorine. You still have to check the ALK and make sure its in 80 – 110 range. You still have to check the PH and make sure it's 7.2 - 7.6. And yes you still have to check the chlorine level and make sure it's in the 1.0 – 2.5 range.