Salt water pools are gentler on the skin than chlorine pools and just as easy to care for, as long as you know how and when to add the salt. After checking the salinity of the pool water with a measuring strip and using a reference chart to determine how much salt to use, spray it in little by little to ensure it is evenly distributed. Once you've added the salt, run a pool brush across the bottom surface to prevent build-up and help dissolve it faster.
Part 1 of 3: Determine How Much Salt to Use
Step 1. Read the instructions for the chlorine generator to identify your target salt level
Each system will require a different amount of salt to function properly. To determine the exact amount of salt to add, review the manuals that came with your salt chlorine generator. This information is vital, so it should be the first thing you find.
In some systems, important information (such as salt concentration and application frequency) may be directly on the generator for easy review
Most of these generators work best at a concentration of 2,500 to 4,500 parts per million (ppm). Yours probably requires one in this range.
Step 2. Buy some bags of special pool salt
You can buy it at your local pool and spa supply store. You can use any type of non-ionized food grade salt. However, the ideal is that you get a product with a purity of 99% or more.
- Pool salt is typically sold in 18 to 36 kg (40 to 80 lb) bags. You will most likely need at least 2-3 bags for a single treatment. However, it is a good idea to get more, since you will be treating the pool on a regular basis.
- Compared to low-purity salts, high-purity salts dissolve faster and are more easily processed by salt chlorine generators.
Step 3. Test the salinity of the pool with a salt measuring strip
Take the small vial included with the measuring kit and fill it with the pool water, then insert the measuring strip and let it sit for the time indicated in the instructions. When the strip changes color, remove it from the water sample and compare it to the color chart on the kit container to identify salinity. The depth of the color will tell you how much salt is in it.
- As with the generator, the concentrations displayed on the test strips are expressed in parts per million.
- Get in the habit of checking the salinity of your pool at least 2-3 times a week to ensure the generator is operating at the desired salt level.
Keep in mind that measuring strips usually have a margin of error of 200 to 300 ppm. To get a more accurate reading, buy a digital water quality meter at your pool supply store.
Step 4. Review a salt level chart to identify exactly how much to add
The generator or packaged salt might include general guidelines for treatment. Otherwise, you can look up a useful reference table on the internet by doing a quick search for "pool salt table." One of these tables will tell you how much salt to use for a pool of a certain size, shape, and volume.
- Most of these tables provide measurements in both pounds and ppm, which can help you add the correct amount more easily.
- For a 12 ft (4 m) circular pool with a capacity of 3000 gallons (11,000 L) of water, you need to add 87 lbs (40 kg) of salt or about two whole bags to achieve the recommended concentration.
- Never add salt to the pool indiscriminately. This could cause walls, floors, and other surfaces to deteriorate over time.
Part 2 of 3: Adding the Salt
Step 1. Turn off the salt chlorine generator before adding salt
Go to the pool control unit, find the generator switch and turn it to the off position. Adding the salt when the generator is running can cause it to overwork, which can damage it and require costly repairs.
Some generators may have to keep running during treatment to process the salt. Review the included manuals to determine if you should turn it off or leave it on
leave the pump on. The gentle circulation of the water will help the salt dissolve more quickly.
Step 2. Walk around the pool adding the salt little by little
Cut off the corner of the bag of salt and start adding it as you slowly walk around the pool. This will help distribute it more evenly in the water. Spray the salt 1 to 2 feet (30 to 60 cm) from the edge of the pool to prevent it from building up on the walls or going into the skimmers.
- To ensure that it dissolves properly and prevents the surface from deteriorating, it is best to let the salt mix slowly rather than adding it all at once.
- Some experts recommend adding more salt to the deep end near the main drain. The reason is that the more water there is, the faster the salt will break down as it sinks.
Step 3. Use a brush to disperse the settled salt to the bottom
If you find any spots where salt has built up, run a long-handled pool brush to spread it out. Focus on low spots, like the area near the main drain. The brush movement will also make the salt dissolve more quickly.
If you have an above-ground pool that does not have a main drain, it may also be helpful to use a vacuum cleaner at the wall inlet of the skimmer and flip the head to take in the water from the bottom of the pool and hold it. moving
Step 4. Keep the pool filter on until the salt dissolves completely
For most standard size home pools, this will take 18 to 24 hours, depending on the water temperature and the force of circulation. Be prepared to wait up to 48 hours for the salt to completely break down in a very large pool.
Don't swim until the salt has completely dissolved. This is not dangerous, but the water may taste bad or feel unpleasant
Part 3 of 3: Balancing Salt Levels
Step 1. Recheck the salt levels to determine if they are within the target range
The morning after the day you add the salt, take another sample and insert a new salt measuring strip. After a few minutes, notice the difference in color. The tone on the strip must match that of the ideal salinity for your pool, as indicated on the product packaging.
- If the salinity is still a little low, just add more salt to bring it up to the recommended level. Once it reaches it, wait up to 48 hours for it to completely dissolve.
- Remember that in most pools, the salt concentration should be between 2,500 and 4,500 ppm to ensure proper cleaning.
Step 2. Dilute the pool with fresh water to correct excessive salinization
Don't worry if you accidentally add too much salt. You can easily correct the error by replacing some of the water. Have the pool drain from the main control unit and replace the missing water with fresh water from a nearby hose. A good rule of thumb is to drain and replace about 1/8 of the pool water each time until it reaches the recommended concentration.
- To determine how much 1/8 of the total volume of the pool is, calculate the average depth in inches or centimeters, and divide this figure by 8. For example, for a pool with a depth of 3 m (10 feet), 1/8 It would be 15 inches (40 cm) of water.
- When you're done, re-measure the water to make sure it's at the optimum level, and wait another 18 to 48 hours before turning on the generator.
Step 3. Turn the generator back on when you finish making modifications
Once you reach the optimal salt concentration for the pool, go back to the control unit and turn on the switch to restore power. Then it will convert the fresh salt into chlorine to clean the water. Now you can swim!
You can enter the pool as soon as you turn the generator back on
- If you are concerned about damaging the generator, it is better to add too little salt rather than too much.
- Backwashing, partial draining, and excessive splashing or rainwater can cause salt levels in the pool to drop faster.
- If your pool water has a strong salty taste, you've probably used too much salt. Salt cannot be detected by people's tongues until it reaches 5000 ppm, which is more than recommended by most saltwater pool systems.