How To Measure Salt Levels In A Swimming Pool
First, you need a sample of the pool water since you cant directly test it. You can collect the sample with a sterilized container such as a jug or other appropriate container. The sample should be collected early in the morning before the sun comes up and affects the chlorine levels in the sun water. Ideally, collect the sample some distance from the surface and from either end of the pool.
After collecting the sample, use either a salt chlorine generator or salt testing kit to get an accurate measure of the salt in the pool water. Keep in mind that each kit has its own procedures and precautions which are to be adhered to to obtain an accurate reading.
How Much Salt To Add To A Pool
It’s pretty obvious that to create a saltwater pool; you need to have salt. And lots of it. Keep in mind that standard pools need to have a value of 2400-3200ppm to reach the minimum salt level. To achieve this, you’ll have to add 200lbs of pool-grade salt to 10,000 gallons of water.
However, if you’re worried about salt loss due to backwash or splash out, it’s better to use annual boosters to replace the salt and maintain quality. But the most critical aspect is adding the appropriate amount of salt in the correct manner, for which a chlorine generator is vital.
A chlorine generator is pretty easy to install. This is because saltwater pools have an inground salt system, thanks to a control box that derives power from an electric outlet. Next, an inline salt cell connects to the return line, and all you need to do is input the amount of chlorine needed. As a result, it will become convenient to manage output.
Moreover, the pool has indicators for water flow, temperature and salt level for all-round coverage. Once you switch on the chlorine generator, the control box reads the temperature in the pool. If it’s more than 60-degree Fahrenheit and the pool has sufficient water flow, a low voltage is supplied to the salt cell, helping to produce chlorine.
You should know that the level of chlorine is controlled automatically for the best results. But wed advise you to manually check the chlorine concentration from time to time for making the necessary adjustments.
Calculate How Much Salt You Need
The exact amount of salt you will need varies based on the purity of the salt. That is, you dont need as much 99% pure mined salt as you would, say, 92% pure salt from another source. Most pool salt products explain how much they will increase the ppm in various standard pool sizes, so use these as a guide.
The larger the pool, the more salt youll need. Most stores sell them in 40-pound bags. You can use our pool volume calculator to determine how many gallons of water are in your pool. Use our pool salt calculator to help you determine the right salt levels for your pool volume.
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Pool Startup: Pay Attention To Small Details
My sudden love and expertise in pool related matters have encouraged my friends to invest in properties, which come with pools. Barry came over to my place a few months back and said that he was buying a new home.
When he mentioned that the house has a massive pool, I knew I was going to tackle another pool startup project. He moved in with his family about a month back, and now that he is all set, it is time to take on the big project. So, last Saturday, I reached his home early in the morning and inspected his pool.
The pool was massive! He asked his brother to come over, and three of us started work on the pool. I tackled the basics, and they were following everything I was saying like obedient students. I like to pay attention to details when I am prepping a pool.
I removed the pool cover and was surprised to see that the pool was perfectly clean. Barry told me that he had hired some professionals to clean the pool.
They had done a good job. So, it was time to refill the pool with fresh water. Once the pool was full, I started work on adjusting the salt level in the pool.
How Much Does A Salt Chlorinator Cost
Saltwater chlorinators typically cost between $800 and $1,200, which is the biggest expense of converting your pool. Aside from that, replacing the salt cell periodically is recommended. This can cost anywhere from $600 to $900, depending on the model.;
The other costs associated with a saltwater chlorinator are the price of salt and supplemental chlorine. Bags of salt usually run $10 to $20 apiece. How much you spend each year on salt and chlorine depends mostly on the size of your pool and where you live. Having said that, most salt water pool owners dont end up spending more than a few hundred dollars a year on salt and chlorine expenses.
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How To Adjust The Salt Level Amount In The Pool
After obtaining the reading, the next step is to correct the salt amount in the water. If its within the 2700 to 3400 ppm range, you dont need to do anything to the pool. However, if its below that, youll need to add salt to it to increase its value to within then ideal range. If its higher than that, youll need to replace the pool water.
A Few Facts About Saltwater Pools
The salt added to your pool will never dissipate on its own. Only during backwash, splashing, or draining your pool will salt need to be added.
Salt will not leave your pool from evaporation or running your salt system.
Always keep an eye on the overall salt level of the water but keep in mind that once you reach your ideal levels, it will be hard to lose them. Thats the beauty of having a saltwater pool.
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How To Calculate The Amount Of Salt Needed
You first need to obtain the volume of your swimming pool before calculating the amount of salt you need to add to it. Most pools will be either rectangular, circular or square and with one shallow end and a deep end as well. If the pool is a single depth, youd simply calculate the volume with the formulae for each shape. The formulae are as follows:
- Circular pool: V= 3.142 x r2 x h
- Rectangular pool: V= L xW x H
- Square pool: V= L3
For pools with shallow and deep ends, you need a specific pool volume calculator such as this one. This formula entails entering the shape, length, width, radius, shallow and deep end heights and then clicking CALCULATE to get the desired volume. The following table also shows the approximate volumes for different types of swimming pools:
|Length c width x average depth x 893||Length c width x average depth x 6.7|
For the amount of salt needed, you need a pool salinity calculator which uses the pool volume in gallons, the current salt amount in ppm, and the desired salt in ppm. The desired salt can be the ideal amount at 3200 ppm. If the salt is too low, itll show you the amount of salt needed to be added. On the other hand, if the water is too concentrated with salt, itll show you the amount of water needed to be replaced.
Besides the formulae used above, you can use the following table to add salt to your pool:
The top row shows the volumes of swimming pools while the leftmost column shows the current sat level in the swimming pool.
Getting The Right Pool Salt For Your Chlorine Generator
Salt is salt, isnt it? Not exactly. Even if youre using pure mined salt, the crystals you get arent necessarily the right choice for your chlorine generator. Generators may use anything from a fine-grind suitable for use at your table to rough, coarse crystals piled on top of each other.
If you dont use the right grind for your salt water chlorinator, it wont work the way its supposed to. Getting the right size of salt crystals for your chlorinator is more important than the exact type of pool salt you use, so check your users manual and, if necessary, contact companies for more information before you go shopping.
- Designed for use with salt water chlorinators
- Available in a 40lb size
- Brand: MORTON SALT
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Pentair Pool Salinity Calculator
Pentair Pool Salinity Calculator is a simpler website. Its link is here. There are two sliders only. You just need to drag those sliders to set the available or current salt level of pool and pool volume. As soon as you enter these two inputs using the sliders, salt demand is provided. Salt demand or recommended salt amount is generated in lbs and kilograms.
This is all we can do on this website for pool salt calculation. It doesnt provide any other options. This is a straightforward option to quickly calculate recommended pool salt level.
Calculate What Chemicals To Add
Like I mentioned above, you either add baking soda or muriatic acid to raise or lower your pools total alkalinity level. Enter your total pool volume and total alkalinity reading below to find out what and how much to add. Ive already pre-filled the desired total alkalinity level to 100 ppm, but if youre shooting for a lower or higher number inside the ideal range , feel free to adjust it. If your total alkalinity levels are too high, use the instructions that come with the muriatic acid you purchase to figure out how much to add, since concentration differs by brand.
All done! Need more help adding the right chemicals? Read our pool chemistry guides below to coach yourself up and let us know if you have any questions.
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Maintaining Proper Pool Chemistry
Maintaining pool chemistry is the trickiest part of maintaining a saltwater pool, but its not as difficult as it sounds at first. Just keep in mind the following:
Depending on your pools surface, you may need to use different cleaning tools or chemicals. When in doubt, contact the manufacturers and ask for their suggestions. Many companies provide this information on their websites to help you clean and maintain your saltwater pool.
Making Salt Water Pool Maintenance Simple
Even though keeping the water clean in a salt water swimming pool is easier than a traditional pool, maintenance is still critical! Youll need to test your water regularly to make sure its balanced and adjust the chemistry as needed.;
We recommend testing your pool water about once a week to check the chlorine and pH levels. Every month or so, test the salt level. Some salt systems have displays that indicate the salinity, but a test strip will give you the most accurate reading.
Additionally, keep your filter, pump, and other pool equipment clean, just like you would with a chlorinated pool. Lastly, the chlorinator cell should be cleaned several times a year to prevent salt buildup and corrosion. A zinc anode can also help to minimize corrosion in a salt water pool.
You dont have to be a chemist to own a salt water pool! Pool Calculator will do the math for you. Just track your water test results, and well tell you exactly how much of each pool chemical additive you need. Keeping your water clear, balanced, and healthy has never been easier. Download our friendly mobile app for desktop, Android, or iOS mobile device to get started now.
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Why Salt Level Matters
Salt is first added to the water, and a salt chlorine generator , uses electrolysis to split the salt molecules, turning them into chlorine.
Too little and your salt generator wont be able to make enough chlorine, which means your pool wont be clean enough to swim in. Too much and you end up with salty tasting water, not to mention it can potentially corrode metallic surfaces.
The ideal level for salt in a saltwater pool is 3200 ppm, but between 2700 and 3400 ppm is also acceptable.
Pro tip: Only use sodium chloride that has a purity of 99% or higher. Any other salt will not only make the chlorine less effective, but you run the risk of discoloring your pool finish, surfaces, and fittings of your pool.
What Is A Salt Chlorine Generator And How Does It Work
What many people dont realize about salt water pools is that they arent completely chlorine-free. Granted, a salt pool contains much less chlorine than a regular pool but you cant go totally sans chlorine. Thats where a saltwater chlorinator comes in.;
A saltwater chlorine generator is a machine that uses electrolysis to convert salt water into chlorinated water. This keeps your salt water pool at the right chlorine level, so it stays sanitary.
So how does a salt chlorine generator work? Basically, it takes NaCl and turns it into HClO . When your generator is running, the salt dissolved in your pool water passes through the chlorine generator cell and over metal-coated charged plates. This initiates electrolysis for chlorine generation.
The control board of your generator is just what it sounds like. It controls how much electricity runs through the system, and thus how much chlorine is produced. Its also where you turn the entire unit on and off.
This chlorine production process is necessary for keeping salt water pools clean, free of chloramines and bacteria, and healthy for swimming. Additionally, a salt chlorine generator will ensure that your pools salinity isnt too high.
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Determine Pool Size & Quantity Of Salt Needed The Next Step Is Figuring Out How Many Gallons Of Water Are In Your Pool If Youre Not Sure You Can Use The Following Formulas To Calculate An Estimate Depending On The Shape Of Your Pool
For this example, our goal salinity is 3500 ppm and the pool has zero existing salinity. In that case, Youll need to add 30 lb of salt for every 1000 gallons of water.;
Therefore, if you have a 20,000 gallon pool and want to determine how much salt youll need to buy, you would use the formula 30/1,000 x 20,000, which equals 600. Meaning, the pool would require approximately 600 lb of salt.;
So, youve installed your saltwater system or youre in the process of buying all your materials for your installation, and now its time to buy the most important aspect- the salt itself!
You can find pool salt and water softener salt at any big-box, home improvement or pool store , but if youre looking to save even more money, plain regular water softener salt is less expensive.;
Its virtually the exact same thing, and ranges from around $5-$7 for a 40 lb bag- which is the typical size youll find at most stores! Using our previous example, we would need to buy about 15 bags of salt for the 20,000 gallon pool.
A few extra tips:
Always use non-iodized salt that is at least 99.8% pure sodium chloride
Avoid any salt with anti-caking agents
Do not get anything that has any special formula additives , as they can cause staining in your pool.
Adding the Salt
So instead, add most of what you calculated for; salt instead, just in case there was a margin of error in your pool size measurements. Let the salt dissolve and then retest your salt level before adding the last of your salt.
Test & Balance Before You Convert
Before beginning the conversion process, youll need to test and balance your pool water. We recommend using standard test strips, which will provide you with an accurate read on your current water chemistry. This will let you gauge your pools pH, total alkalinity, free chlorine levels, cyanuric acid stability, calcium hardness, and salt.
The simplest and most seamless way to track and test your pools water chemistry is with Pool Calculator a handy app for desktop, Android, and iOS. Just enter the results of your test and well show you exactly how to balance your water before converting to a salt water pool. Adding chemicals and stabilizers to balance your water is a crucial first step before you proceed with the salt water conversion process.;
In most instances, a pool wont need to be drained in order to convert to salt water. However, if youre currently using a water sanitizer that contains polyhexamethylene biguanide, you may need to drain your pool and fill it with fresh water because it will impact your chlorine balance.
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How Do I Use The Salinity Calculator