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How To Test For Salt In Pool

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Are There Ways To Detect Urine In A Swimming Pool

How To Test The Salt Level Of A Pool

There are many myths surrounding how a pool owner can detect urine in their swimming pool. One popular myth is that there is a secret chemical pool owners put in their water that will change colour if somebody urinates in the swimming pool. Some pool experts believe this myth was told to children to get them to stop urinating in the swimming pool by allowing them to believe that their fellow swimmers would notice instantly. This chemical does not exist. If it did the chances of it disturbing your pools chemical balance is quite high.

What Water Tests Are Needed

In order for us to have a sparkling clean and well-balanced pool, we have to ensure that the levels of pool chemicals stay within the ideal range of:

  • pH: 7.2 7.6
  • Bromine: 3-5 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid: 30 50 ppm

Testing your pool water and maintaining perfect chemical harmony is not rocket science but it definitely involves regularity and consistency on your part.

How To Use Test Strips

In addition to being super quick and easy to use, test strips can also sometimes be more accurate than liquid test kits because human error can make it difficult to match up the colors using the chemical drops.

Test strips are also usually less expensive than liquid kits, but youll go through them more quickly, so it just about balances out.

To use them:

  • Collect a water sample.
  • Dip a strip into the water, quickly in and out. No need to let it stay submerged or soak.
  • Hold it still in the air for about 15 seconds. No shaking!
  • Compare the strip to the guide on the packaging, and match up the colors on both.
  • Adjust your chemicals accordingly.
  • The type of strips youll use most often are general ones that check for the primary components of ideal pool water: pH, alkalinity, and chlorine. But youll also find specialty strips that test for things like copper, iron and salt.

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    How To Test Your Pool Water For Salt

    To keep your chlorinator running well, and your chlorine at optimal levels, you want to shoot for a salt level of approximately 3,200 ppm. Once again, specialty test strips are the fast and easy method to determine pool water salt levels.

    Using them is a simple matter of collecting a water sample in a test tube, dunking a dry test strip into the tube, removing it, and waiting about 20 seconds for the results.

    Testing Ph Total Alkalinity And Calcium Hardness

    Taylor K

    As in any other pool, the Big Three water balance factors should be checked regularly in pools with salt chlorine generators. When pH is too high, chlorine’s sanitizing ability is lessened and scale tends to form on pool surfaces and equipment. When pH is too low the water tends to be corrosive, pitting the concrete and dissolving the metal it touches. A pH outside of the acceptable range is also potentially irritating to bathers.

    Manufacturers say their salt chlorine generators produce chlorine that is closer to pH neutrali.e., 7 on the pH scale of 0 to 14than most other forms , so this chlorine has less overall effect on pool pH. However, a byproduct of the salt to chlorine reaction is sodium hydroxide . The production of sodium hydroxide will push the pH higher, requiring more frequent addition of acid in salt pools. The consequences of improper pH are the same, regardless of the method of sanitation. We recommend testing pH daily in pools with salt chlorine generators. Easy color-matching tests are available for this purpose, and a pH meter or colorimeter may be used.

    Chlorine Product
    sodium hypochlorite 1113

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    Signs Of A Potential Problem

    Understanding when a salt cell might need replacement isnt always easy. Many problems that can occur within the system produce similar symptoms to one another. New saltwater pool owners often mistakenly blame a faulty cell when the real issue lies elsewhere.

    That said, here are solid indications the salt cell likely needs cleaning, repair or replacement:

    • The power center displays a Check Salt message. However, a water sample shows normal salt levels.
    • The Cell Warning light displays consistently, shutting off for only a short while after cleaning.
    • Voltage is higher than normal.
    • Amperage is irregular
    • The SCG isnt producing chlorine

    Timing plays an important role. Generally, a salt cell lasts for about 10,000 hours, which is usually around five years for most home pool owners. If your cell is close to or exceeds the 10,000-hour mark, and you notice any of the above signs, it could very well need replacement. Except if the main issue is a lack of chlorine, which alone isnt enough to indicate a salt cell problem.

    How To Test Pool Water Accurately

    It doesnt seem like it should be a complicated endeavor, and its really not. You even have a few testing options:

    • Use test strips quick and easy
    • Take a water sample to your local pool store the most thorough and accurate

    How hard can it be, right? Theres just one key to making sure youre testing pool water accurately: the water sample.

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    How To Test Salt Water Pools

    Swimming pool chlorine generators are used to create chlorine in your swimming pools so that you need not have to add salt manually. The machines automatically control chlorine at the level they are set. As machines test salt water pools, there is no need for you to buy or store chlorine-based chemicals.

    Most of the chlorine generators work when the salt content is between 1500 to 6000 ppm . The salt taste threshold for humans is about 3500.

    Collect A Water Sample

    Checking your pools salt level

    Whether you have a pool cover or not, you should never collect water from the water surface.

    I went towards the deeper end of the pool and immersed my hand around 12 to 18 inches below the water line. It is the ideal depth to collect the water sample. It allowed me to obtain uncontaminated water from the pool.

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    Use The Secret Chemical Anyways

    Although this chemical doesnt exist, it doesnt mean that parents and pool owners shouldnt use the myth to their advantage. One pool professional suggests to just fake it. For parents facing this problem they can fool their children into thinking this magical chemical exists.

    Here is how:

  • Reuse an empty pool chemical bottle that is not clear. Red bottles tend to work particularly well.

  • Just fill that empty pool chemical bottle with regular tap water.

  • Before your kids go swimming, use this bottle. Add a few drops to your water.

  • Channel your inner Academy Award winner and give them a speech about the bottle youre holding, explaining it contains chemicals that will turn their urine a different colour, so everyone will know that they just urinated in the swimming pool.

  • False Alarm How To Check

    If you suspect an issue with your salt cell, run through the following checklist:

    Is it time to clean the cell? Many systems send an Inspect Cell alert every 500 hours, which is the recommended cleaning schedule.

    Is the salt cell system turned on? You can have the unit powered up but not generating chlorine. Make sure its set to Auto or whatever is specific to your brand.

    Are all the connections tight? Double-check the connections at the cell and the control box. Some cells have internal connections youll need to check, too.

    Whats the salt level? Many SCGs will shut off automatically if the salt level becomes excessively high or low. The recommended range is between 2,500 and 3,500, although auto-shutoff levels can vary. If you dont know how to check for high or low salt levels, read my guide on how to test the salt level in your pool.

    Whats the temperature? If the pool water is below 50 degrees, less chlorine is required, and some systems will shut off automatically.

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    How To Check Salt Level

    mas985 said:I just don’t see the benefit of regular salt level testing and I certainly don’t see the need for an expensive salt tester.

    Pool Clown said:If your pool starts out with enough salt, then one day your unit shows a significant drop in salt, it means that there is something going on and that you may want to get another test, independent of your system. To see if you have low salt, or some kind of failure within the Cl generator.

    Strannik said:Interesting, I didn’t know that. Out of curiosity, why would you prefer your chlorine generation to float along with the salt level/temperature?

    Salt Water Test Kit Safety

    Aqua Chek Pool Salt Test Strips

    It’s always important to keep safety in mind not only for yourself but for anyone else around you when working with the chemistry of your pool. If you are using a drop tester or reagents that requires the mixing and adding of chemicals always wear gloves and protective eyewear. It’s also a good idea to keep children and pets away from the area you are working.

    There is a wide range of salt water test kits available on the market today. The simple test strips are often sufficient for residential pool owners to keep an eye on salt and chemistry levels between servicing from a professional. If you carry out your own balancing and maintenance we recommend a quality drop test kit.


    Please use all appropriate and proper safety precautions when attempting projects on this website. All projects are attempted at the reader’s own risk.

    Salt Water Pool and Spa participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, as an Amazon Associate we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

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    How Do I Know If I Have Enough Salt In My Swimming Pool

    How Do I Know If I Have Enough Salt in My Swimming Pool?

    Whether you own an AutoPilot salt chlorine generator or another system, making sure that you have enough salt in your swimming pool water is an integral part of getting the most out of your unit. Maintaining the correct amount of salt helps produce a sufficient amount of chlorine, which will prevent bacteria and algae growth. On the other hand, too much salt can lead to an increased need for additional chemicals to balance your water chemistry, increasing the cost of maintaining your pool.

    When it comes to measuring salt levels in your swimming pool, you have a number of methods from which to choose. Some methods are more accurate than others, though they are also more expensive. Some popular salt measurement methods include the following:

  • Manually test your water using a liquid reagent kit: Liquid reagent kits typically produce more accurate measurements than do test strips, though they are slightly more expensive. You can purchase liquid reagent kits for about $15. Simply fill the kits vials with samples of swimming pool water and add drops of reagent to them, as specified by the kits instructions. After you add the reagent, the samples will change color. Compare the colors of the samples to the colors on the kits color chart to determine your salt-water concentration.
  • This entry was posted in on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

    Other Simple Though Overlooked Symptoms Are:

    Check Power If your salt chlorinator is plugged into an earth leakage outlet, make sure that the test button is not popped, or tripped. Most salt chlorinators will have lights and displays which would indicate power.

    Water Flow Insufficient water flow from dirty skimmer box baskets, clogged filter cartridge or clogged pump strainer can reduce water flow to such a low point, that very little chlorine is produced.

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    What Is A Saltwater Swimming Pool

    A saltwater swimming pool uses a chlorine generator for sanitization. Swimming pool chlorine generators create chlorine in the pool water directly, removing the need for users to manually add chlorine-based chemicals to the swimming pool. Free available chlorine is continuously produced at a level which is automatically controlled. This has the benefit of removing the need for storage and transport of chlorine-based chemicals. However, as with any equipment, the chlorine generator must be maintained regularly to prevent fouling.

    Most chlorine generators require a salt content of 1,5004,500 parts per million as sodium chloride in the swimming pool.

    There are two types of saltwater systems: in-line and off-line.

    How To Read A Pool Test Strip Color Chart

    Testing Salt Levels in Your Pool

    Pool test strips are an easy way to get instant and accurate pool water test results. Select a test strip product that is compatible with your water typechlorine or bromine pool, salt pool or spa.

    Simply dip one test strip into pool or spa water at elbows depth and remove immediately. Shake once to remove excess water. Hold strip level and visually compare the strip to the color chart included on the bottle. Select the corresponding test result colors within 15 seconds of wetting.

    For expert pool water analysis results and personalized product and dosage recommendations, . With the app, you can enter visual results manually or scan-to-test with Clorox® Pool& Spa Multi-Use Smart Strips.

    For best results, never wipe or dry test strip after dipping. Read results in natural daylight. Keep wet fingers out of the bottle and store test strips in a cool, dry place. Test strips are not reusable.

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    How To Read Your Test Results

    Each test strip brand may be slightly different. The following explains how to read pool test strip results for Clorox® Pool& Spa Multi-Use Smart Strips and 6-Way Test Strips. For all other strips, refer to the product label instructions.

    Total Hardness: Total Hardness measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in your water. Having water either too hard or too soft, combined with other balance factors, can damage pool equipment and surfaces. Maintain Total Hardness between 175275 ppm.

    Total Chlorine: Total Chlorine is the amount of chlorine in your water, including free available and combined chlorine. Maintain Total Chlorine between 14 ppm.

    Free Chlorine: Free Chlorine measures the amount of chlorine available to sanitize your pool water, which is necessary to kill bacteria and control algae. Maintain Free Chlorine between 14 ppm.

    pH: pH measures how acidic or basic your pool water is. The measurement is critical to the health of your pool water. Having an imbalanced pH can damage pool equipment, cause swimmer discomfort, and hinder the performance of your sanitizer. Maintain pH between 7.2 to 7.6.

    Total Alkalinity: Total Alkalinity and pH are closely related. A low total alkalinity may cause fluctuations in your waters pH and exacerbate low pH. Having highly alkaline water can cause pH to drift upwards. Maintain Total Alkalinity between 80150 ppm.

    Prepare The Taylor Salinity Test Kit

    The Taylor Test Kit comes is a cute blue box. It purchased it from an online store, and the delivery rather quick. As soon as I got the kit, I got down to business. I know that the ideal salt balance in the pool water should be anything between 3000 ppm to 3500 ppm.

    The box contains a small jar, where the testing will take place, a small bottle of Chromate Indicator, and a little container of Silver Nitrate reagent. Make sure you are out of the house when doing this test. If the chemicals get in touch with your clothes, the stains will never come off.

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    Utilizing The Salt Generators Digital Display

    Owning a salt-chlorine generator is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to test salt levels in your pool. You can look at the control panel and look for the salt levels. Most salt chlorine generators feature this digital display that measures the salt levels in your pool. Most of them use a sensor to measure the current salt levels, while others use a sensorless conversion algorithm, but the reading is based on the cell amps, volts, and water temperature. We could dive deeper into how this works, but it would be too technical, so the following method is

    Using Salt Testing Strips For Manual Testing

    My Salt Pool  Saltwater Test Strips

    Sometimes it is not good to rely only on the equipment. Machines can be wrong at times. So you could use manual methods to check the salt levels in your pool. The strips are placed in your pool for 20 seconds, and change in color is compared to the chart given with strips. If the strip is Aquacheck strip, then the testing strip is placed for 10 minutes in a container filled with pool water, and the color change is noted.

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    Replacing A Salt Cell

    Cleaning the cell isnt difficult, but replacing one is even easier. As with cleaning, start by shutting off the power to the control box.

    If necessary, you can use a wrench to loosen the old salt cell. But only tighten the new one by hand. Using tools on the plastic parts can cause damage.

    Make sure the O-rings are in place. They ensure the cell connects properly to the line. Although it seems simple, forgetting or improperly placing the O-rings is a common cause of connection problems.

    After installing the new cell, youll need to reconnect it to the control box. Ensure it fits tightly. Refer to your users manual for specific setup details. Dont forget to schedule a cleaning reminder.

    Digital Pool Water Testing Kits

    This is like a super-powered liquid test kit. You still add liquid chemicals to water samples, but instead of having to eyeball color scales, the digital reader does the hard work for you.

    Digital test kits also check for just about everything, including free chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid. Its a pool water testing powerhouse in the palm of your hand.

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