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Pool owners looking for an “ocean in the backyard” may try salt systems to maintain their pools. Salt systems use a salt chlorine generator to produce chlorine, making it easy for pool owners to add chlorine without handling the chlorine itself.

But that doesn’t mean pool owners can turn on the generator and walk away. Pools running on salt systems require a particular maintenance schedule to keep water clean and clear.

“For someone to think they don’t have do anything [maintenance-wise with a salt system] is a complete falsehood,” says Lee Ann Fridy, of Pools & Spas Plus in Palatka, Fla. “If they don’t maintain a proper cleaning schedule, their system won’t last for a long period of time.”

Pool owners with salt systems should keep an eye to regular maintenance to keep the pool water balanced and clean, and to extend the life of their system.