How to Add Salt to Your Pool

WRITTEN BY: 

  3.58 out of 5 stars on 66 ratings
(Click on a star to add your rating)

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 which salt to use, how much to add and how to add it.

Video

Step by Step

Top

Step 1

First check your Salt Chlorine Generator Owner's Manual 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 the salt concentration level to 3500 ppm.

Step 2

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. 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. .

Step 3

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 converts the reading of 2.0 to a salt level of 500 ppm. If you have a pool store nearby, we would also recommend taking a water sample to them to verify your measured salt level. This service is generally free and more accurate.

Step 4

To determine how many pounds of salt you will 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 gallons 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.

Step 5

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 six bags. Use a salt that is at least 99.8% pure sodium chloride  (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 Prussiate of Soda (YPS). These cause some discoloration of fittings and pool surface finishes. DO NOT use calcium chloride.

Step 6

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 has completely dissolved. Leave the PUMP ON to circulate the water and help dissolve the salt.

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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 life of the cell.

Step 9

A word of advice: if you think you need six bags according to your calculations, only add five bags at 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 our guide, How To Reduce the Salt Level In Your Pool, for instructions.

Comments

Top
(1 to 40 of 188)

 Posted: 6/9/2019 

I have a 14,000 gallon rectangular pool with 0 salt how many 40lb bags do I need? Thanks
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/13/2019  Latest

As we cover in the article you need to know what ppm you are attempting to reach in order to know the required amount of salt. But once you figure out the desired ppm, you can take a look at this: Swimming Pool Salt Calculator
 Reply

 Posted: 5/23/2019 

Please help me calculate this, my gallon size isn’t on this chart and I am struggling with the math! I have a 1700 gallon pool. The salt level is at 0. How many lbs of salt do I add to a 1700 gallon pool?
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/23/2019 

Hello Elizabeth - Do you know what the ideal salt range is for your salt system? If not, let us know the make and model of the salt system.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/23/2019 

Between 2500-3500!
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/24/2019 

To get a salt level of 3000 ppm, you'll need to add 43 pounds of salt.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/24/2019 

THANK YOU!
 Reply

 Posted: 5/10/2019 

If bags of salt are solidified, do they need to be broken up before adding to the pool, or will they dissolve and be absorbed and distributed through the system
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/13/2019 

The salt is going to dissolve quicker in smaller pieces.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/13/2019 

Answers my question. Thanks. Have a 26,000 gallon in ground salt water pool with liner. Hard to find salt that is not Solidified.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/9/2019 

I have an above ground salt water pool that is green and the salt level is at minimum range. Do I get the salt level up before shocking or after shocking?
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/9/2019 

It depends on your filter; if you have a sand or DE filter which requires backwashing to clean the media, then you should wait. But if you have a cartridge filter that only requires a hosing off for cleaning, then you can add the salt now.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/2/2019 

I brought my pool water into the pool store. They said to add 8 bags of salt. I did this an hour and a half ago. My salt is now reading 6600. Should I be worried?
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/3/2019 

We would recommend waiting a day or two to see if the reading stabilizes. If it's still that high after a couple of days, take a sample in and test it again.
 Reply

 Posted: 5/2/2019 

Hi You say don't add salt to the skimmer ? My pool 44000 litres has no shallow end. I have added salt with the generator turned off for a couple of hours with the pump running until full dissolved... My pool man said the PPM reading should be about 4000......Is that too high? thanks jon
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/2/2019 

Most salt chlorine generator operates best between 3200 ppm - 3500 ppm; but, check your generator's owner's manual for the salinity level requirements. As for what your current salinity level is, the only way to know is to test your water.
 Reply

 Posted: 4/10/2019 

On step 4, can you please explain what calculations you need to do to know you need the 6 bags. I have a 47,000 pool! If you could help please
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/11/2019 

The step provides a link to the Salt Table that tells you exactly how many pounds needed to reach a specified salinity level in a pool size.
 Reply

 Posted: 10/14/2018 

I want to convert a 45000 - 48000 - freeform inground pool to salt water using Hayward products, but does this unit only handle pools up to 40000 gallons? Would it work for mine? Or do I need to consider other options?
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/16/2018 

Hello John - if a salt system is rated for 40,000 gallons, that means the largest pool it can reliably chlorinate is 40,000 gallons. Any pool above that rating would need a larger unit like the Pureline Cyrstal Pure PL7703 or the Heavy Duty PL7704.
 Reply

Anonymous  Posted: 8/12/2018 

very helpful
 Reply

 Posted: 8/8/2018 

Hello Terry - You'll need to add more shock until it kills all of the algae and the pool turns a milky color. Check out our blog titled "How to Clean a Green Pool".
 Reply

 Posted: 8/8/2018 

I vacuum pool out, put 2 bags of shock 24,000 each, my pool is 40,000 gallons. I put five 40 gallons bags of salt in it but its still green.  what do I need to do?
 Reply

 Posted: 5/8/2018 

My pool is around 14000 gallons and it required about 400lbs of salt to get it going. 15x30 oval
 Reply

 Posted: 4/3/2018 

Hello Muenche - I haven't seen anyone put salt in a floater but I wouldn't think a floater would hold much salt. Usually you need more than a couple pounds. Salt by itself won't create chlorine. You need a salt chlorine generator. Salt chlorine generators can be used in conjunction with traditional chlorine systems.
 Reply

 Posted: 4/3/2018 

Is there danger to just put salt for pools into a floater that moves around the surface water of a 24x 54 round pool, while also utilizing my current chlorination system ?
 Reply

 Posted: 10/16/2017 

Anonymous (1000 gallon pool) - See the link to the "Salt Table" in Step 4. Assuming your pool's salt level is starting at 0 ppm and your salt generator operates at 3500 ppm, you would need 1/10 of the salt shown in the column for 10,000 gallons at 2500 ppm which is 28 lbs.
 Reply

Anonymous  Posted: 10/15/2017 

How much do I need for a 1000 gallon pool
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/7/2017 

Shant - 14,000 liters = 3698 gallons of water
You would need 108 lbs (or 49 Kg) of salt to bring the salt level in a 3695 gallon pool up to 3500 ppm.

 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/7/2017 

Rose - I have several friends with salt water pool and dogs. Their dogs are in the pool every day and love it. No problems. And there is no brand or type of filter that I know of that is recommended especially for dogs. I would think the cartridge filter would be the easiest to clean effectively.
 Reply

 Posted: 8/6/2017 

How much add pool sait in14oooliter
 Reply

 Posted: 8/6/2017 

Hello- my question has two parts....

1.I am thinking of converting to a salt pool.Does anyone have experience with dogs in salt pools- I am a dog trainer and my four German Shepherds and a few client dogs spend the entire summer in the pool. They are in every day as soon as it opens.

2. Next... My sand filter needs to be repaired or replaced- probably due to massive amounts of dog hair accumulation. I there a brand or type that is recommended for this use ? or any other tips ? thanks!

 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/21/2017 

Steve - Your 45K gallon pool needs a total 1314 lbs of salt to function at a 3500 ppm salt level. I don't know how deep your returns are, but if you are draining a third of your water out to get 6" below your returns, you are taking about a third of your salt out which has to be replaced when you get your pool filled.
 Reply

 Posted: 7/20/2017 

Every spring, I have to add about 13 (40 pound) bags of salt (500 lbs.) to my 45k gallon inground pool. How is this possible? I drain the pool about 6 inches below the return spouts. And the pool becomes filled with the rain and snow during the winter.
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/12/2017 

Kwethe - Thank you very much for your feedback. I didn't know about solar salt, but it is definitely something to be aware of.
 Reply

 Posted: 7/12/2017 

Ok guys, i found my problem. Checked my bags again and it's Morton's pool salt, but above that it says solar salt. After reading a few things I now know that solar salt dissolves slower and sure enough, checked today before adding more salt and the swg has kicked on and has enough salt! I'm sure this means in a few days I will have a high salt reading but at least now I know. Maybe same with anonymous poster before me?
 Reply

 Posted: 7/12/2017 

Like a previous poster, we have an aboveground 15 x 48 round pool, approx 5,000 gallons. Newly filled it had 0 salt, added 5 40lb bags (1 diamond essence, 5 Morton's professional grade pool salt), ran filter and waited 24hrs, swg started but read low salt and cut off. Added 1 more bag Morton's, waited and same result. Added 2 more bags of Morton's, waited and took sample to pool store. They said needed another 1.5 bags. How is this possible after 7 bags? Is it bc we used Morton's like pool store claims?
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/9/2017 

Toni - Occasionally, you will have to add salt to your pool. Whenever you vacuum water to waste and have to add fresh water, or if you get a good rain, the salt level in your pool is being diluted. To bring the salt level up to where it was, you have to add salt.
 Reply

 Posted: 7/7/2017 

Do you ever need to add more salt to the pool or is salt just a one time thing? I had a bout of Algia that took a long time to clear up using regular algaecide and Mustard algaecide that had me vacuuming to waste.
 Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/14/2017 

Anonymous (salt level) - If you have added 12 bags of salt in your pool and only have a salt level of 500 ppm, either your salt reading is not accurate or you have a pool much larger than 8403 gallons. I would recalculate your pool size.
 Reply