Last Updated on July 18, 2020
The most popular above ground pool manufacturer in the world, Intex, offers both freshwater and saltwater options for pool enthusiasts. And today, we’re going to focus on the saltwater Intex pool system that is gaining popularity in most US households.
Similar to the usual freshwater Intex pools, Intex pools that are converted to use saltwater need regular maintenance to ensure that you have a safe and clean water to use in your pool.
But before we talk about how to keep saltwater Intex pool clean, let’s discuss how they differ from your traditional Intex pool system.
How Does A Saltwater Intex Pool Works?
Saltwater pools were designed to be an alternative option to the standard chlorinated swimming pool. But you’re mistaken if you thought it’ll be similar to ocean water.
Compared to ocean water that’s about 50,000 parts per million (ppm) of salt while a saltwater pool only has 3,000 ppm of salt. So when it comes to the water in your saltwater Intex pool, it’s not going to be that irritating to your eyes.
So how do saltwater pools work?
Saltwater Intex pools use a saltwater filtration and sanitation system that converts salt into chlorine.
This process is referred to as electrolysis, where the salt and water split into hypochlorous acid and hydrogen and transforms into chlorine. This chlorine is of higher quality compared to the traditional chlorine in a freshwater setup. And this is one of the reasons why salt water pool systems are gaining popularity in the past few years.
Benefits Of Having A Saltwater Pool System
- Pool water is softer and gentler to the pool users and the Intex pool’s filtration system.
- It does not produce chloramines, unlike freshwater pools.
- No need to use dangerous pool chemicals.
- Less pool cleaning and maintenance needed.
How To Clean Saltwater Intex Pool
The day to day maintenance of both pool systems, salt water and chlorine pools, are almost similar. The biggest difference is that you don’t have to use chlorine every day to keep your pool water clean and clear.
Since salt is a corrosive mineral, it can damage stainless steel surfaces used on your pool like your pool lights, ladders, and your O-rings.
For O-rings, you can use a pool lube to prevent them from breaking down. For pool lights and ladders, you can rinse them with fresh water at least twice a week to slow down the damage (losing their luster) caused by using salt water in your pool.
If you’re using your Intex pool regularly, then you should do the following tasks on a regular basis:
- Remove any noticeable debris in your saltwater pool
- Clear your pump basket
- Clean your pool skimmer
We recommend scheduling your weekly maintenance on the same day that you clean your pool last week. Let’s say you did your weekly tasks on Saturday, then on next Saturday you do it again, this way you won’t forget.
So what should you do every week to keep your saltwater Intex pool clean?
Test your pool’s pH and free chlorine levels with a reliable test kit. You may also use test strips if that’s what you prefer.
Your Intex pool’s pH level should be anywhere between 7.2 and 7.6, and the free chlorine level should be between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm.
For your monthly cleaning of your Intex saltwater pool, you need to test your pool water thoroughly and balance your pool water chemicals.
You may also have to vacuum your pool floor and brush your pool walls.
Since there several different factors that can cause an unbalanced pool water, we will talk about them one by one.
This is unique to only saltwater pool systems, and it should be between 2700 to 4500 ppm.
You can check your manufacturer’s instructions to see what’s the right amount of pool salt for your model.
Some equipment comes with its own display control panel that shows the water’s salinity level. But if you don’t have that, you have to use a salt meter or testing kit to determine your pool’s salinity.
When your salt levels are low, you can just add salt, but when they’re too high, you have to dilute the water similar to what you do if you have a high cyanuric acid level.
If you need a more accurate guide on how much salt you need to your specific Intex pool, check out this page from The Pool Factory. It tells you how much salt you need to add for each various above ground pool shapes and sizes.
Cyanuric acid stabilizes your pool water. It prevents the chlorine in your pool from being consumed by ultraviolet rays.
Saltwater Intex pools need 70 to 80 ppm of cyanuric acid for better pool water quality.
If you have low cyanuric acid levels, you can add more of the product.
If it’s too high, you must drain 20% to 40% of your current pool water level and add fresh water.
Alkalinity levels should be between 80 and 120 ppm. This is important to have a stable pH level.
Too much alkalinity will cause cloudy pool water, while too little of it may damage your pool liner and some of your pool equipment.
To lower alkalinity, you may use muriatic acid or a sodium bisulfate product. To raise alkalinity, you can use sodium bicarbonate.
Calcium hardness must be balanced because high levels can lead to scaling and low levels will cause corrosion. The optimum calcium hardness level is between 200 and 400 ppm.
When it comes to increasing calcium hardness, you may have to consult a pool professional since it will require their expertise on the matter.
But when you have to decrease your saltwater pool’s calcium hardness, you may use a flocculant.
A flocculant works like a water clarifier that it binds together loose calcium deposits and this makes it easy for you to remove using your pool vacuum or your pool’s filtration system.
You may also opt to drain your pool water and refill it to decrease your pool’s calcium hardness level.
Final Thoughts About Saltwater Intex Pool
Saltwater pools are perfect for those who want a gentler swimming experience and those who don’t want to spend too much time maintaining their pools.
It’s also a better alternative to those families who are looking to steer clear of using pool chemicals like chlorine.
Hopefully, this guide helped you learn how to properly clean your saltwater Intex pool to ensure that you have a safe swimming environment and that your saltwater pool system lasts longer.