Winter Maintenance for a Salt Pool
Caring for a salt water swimming pool during the winter season is not much different than caring for a traditional chlorine pool during the winter season. The main difference in the maintenance routine for these two types of pools is how chlorine is added to the pool water.
With a traditional swimming pool chlorine is added using liquid chlorine or slow dissolving tablets. With a salt pool, salt is created and added to the pool water using a salt water chlorinator
. All other pool maintenance tasks remain the same. Debris still needs to be removed from the pool and it still needs to be brushed periodically. The pool water needs proper filtration and the pool filter needs to be cleaned as needed. Other parameters of the pool water chemistry still need to be maintained in the proper range to keep the water balanced. So aside from the source of chlorine in the pool water, pool maintenance for both types of pools is very similar.
So what changes in the winter season?
Salt chlorine generator
s stop producing chlorine when the pool water gets too cold (around 50 degrees). This will be described in the owner's manual. The owner's manual might also say that there is no need to add chlorine to the pool water when it's this cold. The concept is that bacteria and algae stop growing at these temperatures.
With a traditional chlorine pool, you'll never hear this advice. And if you talk to pool service professionals who work with a wide range of different swimming pools traditional and salt, they will give advice to continue maintaining chlorine residual throughout the winter or risk waking up one day to a cloudy or green pool.
So if you own a salt pool, when the weather turns cold continue to monitor the salt chlorine generator readings and chlorine levels in the pool all winter. When the generator stops producing chlorine, continue testing the water and keep a close eye on the chlorine level. When the test for residual chlorine drops to one or below, make sure to add some form of chlorine, liquid or tablets in a floater, to bring the level back up.
In summary, when the salt chlorine generator stops producing chlorine because the pool water temperature is too low, start treating the pool like a traditional chlorine pool. With this small change in winter maintenance routine for a salt pool that only involves a small investment of time and money, the pool water will stay crystal clear all winter long making a spring opening much easier. It will be worth it!
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