Saltwater pools are a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but they require some special care in order to keep them healthy and safe for swimming.
Salt water is an excellent medium for keeping your pool clean and free of algae.
They are also better for those who suffer from asthma, and for those who find chlorine a little too harsh.
However, salt water can be very dangerous if not properly managed.
If you have a saltwater pool, it is important that you understand the types of saltwater you should use and why.
What Is Pool Salt?
When you think of salt, you probably picture something like table salt or sea salt. But there is another type of salt that is used in swimming pools.
This type of salt is called “pool salt” because it is designed specifically for swimming pools.
The best salts for pools are those that are as close to sodium chloride in its purest form.
While finding 100% pure salt is tricky and expensive, you can find salts that are 99% pure.
Types Of Pool Salt
When it comes to saltwater pools, there are three main types of salt. Mined salt, mechanically evaporated salt and solar salt.
While you can use other salts for your pools, these three are the most common ones used, and they are the best fit for salt water pools (see also ‘ How To Convert Your Pool To Salt Water ‘).
This is the cheapest option for salt, and is therefore one of the most popular options for saltwater pools.
In fact, mined salt is often mixed with chemicals such as calcium chloride to make sure that it has a higher concentration of dissolved solids.
This salt has been mined from underground deposits. The minerals in this salt come directly from the earth, so they are naturally occurring.
Because of this, mined salt is often considered the most natural salt available. It is usually less expensive than other salts.
This is the most commonly used salt for saltwater pools. The mined salt has been purified before being sold.
It usually contains small amounts of impurities such as calcium, magnesium and iron. These impurities do not affect the quality of the salt.
Mechanically Evaporated Salt
This salt is made by heating up saltwater until all of the liquid evaporates away. When this happens, only the crystals are left behind.
The evaporation systems that are used to create this kind of salt use certain temperatures in order to kill off unwanted bacteria that could be lingering in the water before it gets evaporated.
Therefore, a lot of the purification is done already.
This salt will then go through more processing and as a lot of it has already been done with the high temperature, it is relatively easy to get rid of any other lingering bacteria, leaving relatively pure crystals.
However, there is a downside to this kind of salt. It does tend to have more minerals than mined salt does, such as copper, iron, and calcium.
These components aren’t good for your pool, so if you choose to use this type of salt, you may need to incorporate certain apparatus to monitor the calcium levels in the pool.
Another option is using solar salt. Similar to the option we saw above, evaporation is used to create this salt.
However, it is more cost-effective as what evaporates the water is sunlight and wind.
Nature does the hard work when it comes to solar salt, so it is one of the cheapest salts available for saltwater pools.
Despite its cost-effective manner, this salt is probably last in line when it comes to saltwater pools.
This is because the process used will increase the amount of bacteria in the salt.
Although these bacteria will die when the ratio of water to salt gets past a certain amount, compared to the previous salt options, solar salt will have more impurities compared to both of them.
But even though it’s the least desirable, it still works well enough to make a saltwater pool.
How To Choose A Good Pool Salt?
Choosing the right salt for your pool isn’t always an easy task.
There are several factors that should be considered when choosing which salt to buy.
One thing that you’ll want to consider when buying a salt is how much money you’re willing to spend on it.
If you don’t want to spend too much money, you might want to look into purchasing solar salt.
Solar salt is cheaper than the other two options, but it also doesn’t have the same level of purity.
Another factor that you’ll want to take into consideration is the quality of the salt you purchase.
For example, whatever salt you are deciding on, you’ll want to ensure that they contain no additives.
In addition, you’ll want to check out the purity of the salt.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the purity of the salt itself. The higher the percentage of magnesium sulfate, the better.
Magnesium sulfate is a mineral that helps keep chlorine from reacting with the salt. Chlorine reacts with salt, causing it to turn green.
So, by adding magnesium sulfate to the salt, you can prevent this reaction from occurring.
Do You Need Chlorine In A Saltwater Pool?
Chlorine is important to help maintain the pH balance in a saltwater pool. Without it, the pH would rise too quickly and damage the pool.
While you wouldn’t add chlorine tablets (see also ‘Applying Chlorine Tablets In Your Pool: A Short Guide‘) to a saltwater pool, chlorine is added to these pools using a salt chlorine generator.
This is a generator that transforms the salt into chlorine using electricity.
This, in turn, cleans the pool, which is chlorine’s main use in pools.
Benefits Of A Saltwater Pool
Saltwater pools offer many benefits over regular swimming pools. They provide a number of advantages, including:
Cleaner Swimming Pools
When you swim in a saltwater pool, there will be less buildup in the pool compared to a regular swimming pool.
This means that you won’t need as much cleaning time.
More Healthful Swimmers
Because saltwater pools are cleaner, swimmers tend to stay healthier.
Regular swimming pools often get dirty because of all the germs floating around in the water.
But since saltwater pools are cleaner and easier to clean, people tend to enjoy swimming in them more frequently.
Since saltwater pools require less maintenance, they tend to last longer.
Regular swimming pools require constant upkeep, such as scrubbing down the walls and floors.
But since saltwater pool owners only need to clean their pool every few months, they tend to last a lot longer.
However, with saltwater pools there is a risk of buildup and erosion, so they should be checked for this regularly.
Pools that have saltwater don’t have as intense of a smell as chlorinated pools do.
If someone finds the smell of chlorine unpleasant, then they’d benefit from a saltwater pool.
Chlorine can be quite a harsh chemical, and can occasionally turn hair green.
It can also irritate those with sensitive skin, and can bleach your bathing suits.
You won’t experience these effects with saltwater, as it is less harsh in all aspects.
When it comes to indoor pools, those with saltwater are better for individuals who suffer from asthma.
This is because chlorine has a strong odor, which may irritate asthma sufferers.
If the pool is outdoors, the smell will disperse, but it will be contained and noticeable in indoor pools.
To conclude, saltwater pools are an excellent choice for anyone looking to build a new pool or upgrade their existing one.
They’re not only great for health reasons, they’re also easy to maintain and look good.
If you’re a lover of the beach, then you’ll be able to replicate that salt-water beach hair from your own home!
When filling up your saltwater pool, deciding on the right kind of salt for you is important.
The three salt types we have looked at in this article are the most common, so it is best to do your research before placing your money down on one option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need To Drain A Saltwater Pool Each Year?
You must drain your saltwater pool once the salinity reaches a ppm level of 6,000.
Your saltwater pool should have a stable salinity level of 2,500-4000.
Which Kind Of Pool Is Cheaper To Maintain?
While chlorine pools are usually cheaper in general, they are harder to maintain.
These pools don’t usually contain a generator making chlorine, you are to add the chlorine yourself, which can be a hassle.
When it comes to saltwater pools, they have a chlorine generator that does the work for you.
Can Saltwater Pools Be Heated?
These pools can be heated in the exact same way as chlorinated pools. The heating units are set up in the same way for both pools.