You've installed a new Salt Chlorine Generator to your pool and you've reached the point where you have to add salt. This guide tells you what salt to use, how much to add, and how to add it.
Tips & Warnings
Step by Step
First check your Salt Chlorine Generator's Owner's Manuel to determine what level of salt your Salt Chlorine Generator operates at. They generally operate at target levels between 3000 to 4000 ppm. For this example we will assume that your Salt Chlorine Generator operates at 3500 ppm. So you will want to add enough salt to your pool to bring salt concentration level to 3500 ppm.
Your next step is to determine the current level of salt in your pool. If you have just installed a new pool, your salt level will be 0 ppm, but if you have an older pool and are converting from a standard chlorinator, your pool will have a low level of salt concentration, typically around 500 ppm.
Measure your pool's current level using a Salt Water Test strip. Assuming you have an older pool, your reading will be around 2.0. The table on the back of the test strip container equates a reading of 2.0 to 500 ppm. If you have a pool store nearby, take a water sample into them to verify your salt level.
To determine how many of pounds of salt you need to bring your salt level to 3500 ppm, calculate the number of gallons in your pool and add salt according to the Salt Table. For our example, if your pool has 10,000 gals of water and your current salt level is 500, you need to add 250 lbs of salt. If you don't know the number of gallons in your pool, see the first steps of How To Size a Pool Pump. for instructions.
Salt is typically packaged in 40 pound bags so in our example, if you have to add 250 pounds of salt you will need to add about 6 bags. Use a salt that is at least 99.8% pure NaCl. The preferred salt is an evaporated, granulated, food quality, NON-iodized salt. Avoid using salt with anti-caking agents like sodium ferrocyanide, also known as yellow YPS (prussiate of soda. These cause some discoloration of fittings and pool surface finishes. DO NOT use calcium chloride.
Before adding salt to your pool, be sure to TURN OFF the salt chlorine generator at the Control Unit. The generator should not be turned on until the salt is completely dissolved. Leave the PUMP ON to circulate the water and help dissolve the salt.
When you add salt, DO NOT pour it directly into the skimmer. For best results empty the required salt into the shallow end of the pool and let it dissolve and circulate through the main drain. The salt may take about 24 hours to dissolve completely. Finer grades of salt will dissolve faster.
After the salt has dissolved, turn on the salt chlorinator. Check to see that the salt level is around 3500 ppm. Your pool should be maintained at around this level. A low salt level below 3000 ppm reduces the efficiency of the salt generator which results in low chlorine production. A high salt level above 4500 ppm can rapidly reduce the longevity of the cell.
A word of advice. If you think you need 6 bags according to your calculations, add 5 first. Let it dissolve and retest your salt level before adding your last bag. It's a lot easier to add another bag if required than to have to reduce the salt level if you've overshot your target salt level. If you do end up with too much salt in your pool, see How To Reduce the Salt Level In Your Pool for instructions.
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Tips & Warnings
Pool salt water systems operate at around 3500 ppm or about 1 tenth the salt concentration of ocean salt water. A person doesn't taste salt in water until it reaches 5000 ppm - well above the operating range of salt water generators.
Inyo Pool Products is not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment
while using our guides. Using our guides is doing so at your own risk.
These guides are suggested use of your pool or spa equipment and may vary
depending on which product you are using.