Salt Water Pool Maintenance: 6 Most Common Factors That Effect Stabilizer Levels

salt water swimming pool
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-100

Saltwater pool maintenance may seem easier than that of a chlorine pool; however, this is not always the case. While saltwater pools are an excellent alternative to chlorine pools, they are in no way cheaper or easier to maintain so here’s what you need to know about saltwater pool care.

How Does it Work?

A saltwater pool contains the chemical sodium hypochlorite chlorine. This means that the pool has a saltwater chlorinator fixed in it that uses electrolysis to release the chlorine gas. To enable this process, two to five hundred pounds of salt needs to be added to the pool to make it saturated. There is a chlorinator cell through which this water passes and releases the chlorine gas. The chlorine gas then combines with the pool, forming liquid sodium hypochlorite chlorine, which is what makes the pool a saltwater one. The chlorine stabilizer has a complex mechanism, and there are many factors that can affect it. Given below are 6 factors that can affect the stabilizer levels.

Prematurely Switching Off the Pump

The desired stabilizing effect may not be reached easily because the pool pump has to run for an extended period of time to create the required amount of chlorine. If you turn off the pump prematurely, there will be low levels of chlorine in the water.

Excessive Sunlight

woman floating in a pool

Natural conditions like excessive sunlight is another factor that increases chlorine demand and lowers the stabilizing levels. Sunlight causes chlorine to vaporize, causing a lack of chlorine in the pool. This is especially common in the case of outdoor pools that are always exposed to sunlight and warm temperatures.

Increased Load

A heavy bathing load is another factor that may cause a drop in the stabilizing levels. Chlorine is used up heavily when the bathing load in the pool is excessive. It is thus recommended that chlorine be added manually after the pool has been used. This can help rebuild the chlorine levels.

Inadequate Amount of Salt

person adding salt to a pool

The pool requires large amounts of salt for it to get saturated. Unless the pool is saturated with sufficient salt, enough chlorine will not be synthesized and the stabilizer levels will remain low. The pool may even begin to appear cloudy.

Low Cyanuric Acid Levels

If the cyanuric acid levels in the stabilizer are low, the chlorine will not remain in the pool for long. If the pool is being used simultaneously, the chlorine may be used up in a matter of minutes. Most manufacturers recommend 80 ppm of cyanuric acid for saltwater pools. However, keep in mind that too much of cyanuric acid can damage the interior of the pool, so the acid needs to be just right.

High Phosphate Levels

The presence of phosphates in the pool is an invitation to algae formation. This also results in the rapid usage of chlorine bleach in the water. When phosphate levels are high, the saltwater chlorinator cannot produce enough chlorine to fight off the algae. If a water analysis shows excessive phosphates in the pool, increase the chlorine production to three times so as to create a chlorine reserve.