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How To Test The Salt Level In My Pool

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A Few Facts About Saltwater Pools

Testing Salt Levels in Your Pool

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.

How To Test Pool Water With Salt Chlorinator

Traditional home swimming pools use liquid chlorine or solid chlorine tabs to keep the water clear and clean. Many homeowners have installed salt chlorination devices on their filtration systems, which strips the sodium from common table salt and cleans the pool water with the remaining chlorine molecules. These systems are often cheaper to own and make your pool easier to maintain. They also reduce the risk of poisoning or chemical burns, as you no longer dispense the chlorine by hand. As with any pool, you must keep an eye on the levels of alkali and chlorine in the water to maintain a proper pH balance and prevent the buildup of algae or fungi in the pool. Testing the water in your salt chlorinated pool requires a different type of kit than regular pools, but the testing process is similar.


Hold a test strip underwater for 10 seconds. The test strips have specially treated pads on them that react with the natural chemicals in salt chlorinated water. Hold the strip so it is below the water line, but not in the stream of the jet-returned water from the filter.


Let the strip set for 5 to 10 minutes, or as directed by the test kit manufacturer. The strip must have access to the open air and not touch any other particles in order to give the proper reading. Test kits typically come with a test tube or small glass jar. If yours did not, use a small, clean juice glass.



Prepare The Water Sample

Once I placed all contents of the test kit on the table, it was time to start the test. I poured the water sample that I had collected from the pool into the jar. The test can be performed with just 10 ml of water.

Once I poured the water into the testing jar, I poured only one drop of Chromate Indicator in it. Then I shook the water in a circular motion so that the two liquids mix well. It has a pale yellow color.

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How To Avoid Common Salt Pool Maintenance Issues

There are few topics with as many misconceptions as saltwater pools. Perhaps it all went wrong from the start, when the term was coined about 40 years ago. The name certainly gives you the least relevant information the pool is not salty like the ocean, and the salt in the pool isnt even the star of the show. So let’s dive in.

A salt pool just means that the pool has an electronic chlorine generator installed, also called a salt chlorine generator , or an SWG . Put simply, an SCG utilizes a low level of salinity in pool water to continuously generate chlorine when the pool equipment runs every day. Despite the unfortunate confusion, it has still managed to become the standard in pool sanitation1. Still, theres a lot of work that can be done to help those that care for pools understand that the differences involved when it comes to using and maintaining salt pools and their equipment.

Why Measure Saltwater Pool Salinity

How to Check Your Pool

Most saltwater pools will have a manufacturer specified salt concentration limit, usually set somewhere in the vicinity of 1500ppm 4500 ppm. Regardless of whether or not the salt chlorinator in your pool has a built-in salt reading measurement, it is good practice to take a separate salinity test of your pool weekly.


If the salt levels are too low, the pool conditions could become unsanitary as there will not be enough chlorine produced.

If the salt levels are too high, this could damage the cell of the salt chlorinator or even damage other pool hardware. Damage of this magnitude will easily set you back more than the price of a salinity meter.

Instrument Choice Scientist Tip: Check with your pool manufacturer that the recommended salt levels wont damage pool hardware and what is the lowest safe concentration they recommend!

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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 Troubleshoot Problems With Your Salt Cell

The most common concern we get for salt system owners is that the the salt cell is not producing chlorine. However, very often this concern is only triggered because the pool turned green or the water test shows zero free chlorine. More often, if the salt system is fairly new we find that there’s nothing actually wrong with the system. The pump just isn’t being ran long enough or the chlorine output is too low, or the pool is not being shocked as needed. Oh yeah, salt pools still need to be shocked. However, if your salt system has a light on or flashing we have additional resources for you. While the examples to follow specifically showcase Hayward Salt Systems, the resources are applicable to other brands.

Below we will cover what to do if,

  • “Check Salt” & “Inspect Cell” light is flashing or ON
  • Just the “Inspect Cell” light is ON
  • “High Salt” light is ON
  • “No Flow” light is flashing

We’ll also cover some How-To’s you’ll need for the above processes, such as

  • How to Reset Average Salt Levels
  • Salt Reading from Independent Testing
  • Verify salt level is 2700 – 3400ppm
  • How to Calculate How Much Water Will Need to be Removed from a Pool withToo Much Salt
  • A Salt Ratio Chart

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Why You Should Know How To Winterize Your Salt Water Swimming Pool

Saltwater pools typically use the same filtration systems as regular pools, and they should also have a similar chemical balance. The main difference between saltwater and a regular pool is that a saltwater pool typically has an electrolytic chlorine generator .

This is an electrolysis cell situated on the pressure side of the filtration system. The ECG creates hypochlorous acid so that you dont need to add chlorine to the water.

Once outside temperatures begin to drop during the winter, the ECG starts functioning differently which can affect the pH level of the water. Because of this, its essential to balance the chemicals in the pool before shutting the generator off and putting the cover over the pool.

ECGs typically feature sensors to measure the conductivity of the water, which alerts the person maintaining the pool when more salt needs to be added to the water.

When the outside temperature decreases, the conductivity of the water also decreases. This means the sensors may cause an alert and more salt than whats necessary might be added to the water.

The excessive addition of salt raises the pH level of the water and causes it to become corrosive. This may not be realized until the pool is uncovered in the springtime.

With this information in mind, follow the steps below in order to avoid this issue. Well take you through everything you need to do in order to decommission your saltwater pool before winter.

Whats The Right Ppm Level For Your Pool

How To Test The Salt Level Of A Pool

The answer for that will actually depend on your salt water chlorinator. For example, the Water TechniX Atomic Salt Water Chlorinator can function properly with salt levels at the 2,500 to 3,500 PPM levels. So its best to consult with your chlorinators manual to determine what the right salt levels are and to see if theres a need to lower them.

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Use A Handheld Electronic Meter

You can also choose to test the salt level in your pool using a handheld electronic meter. In that case, youll turn the electronic meter on and then dip the pen-style meter into your pool water while your electronic meter analyzes it. Some handheld meter systems work by requiring the user to fill a small plastic cup with pool water fitted into the testing meter.

Electronic testing meters are a newer method of testing your pool water that is generally accurate as long as they are correctly calibrated before measuring your pool. The primary advantage with a digital pool meter is that they perform many other tests that many liquid reagent kits cannot, such as the total dissolved solids test.

Most electronic testing meters have a small margin of error, so if you choose to use one, youll need to remember that the numbers you see are directionally accurate, even if they are slightly off. Handheld electronic meters are most effective when you use them alongside pH and liquid reagent tests.

How Often Should I Test Pool Water

It is recommended to test your pool water at least weekly and add chemicals if you see an increase/decrease in ideal chemical levels. More precisely however, pH and chlorine levels should be tested more often, perhaps daily until you come to a good understanding of how they fluctuate. Other readings, for calcium, alkalinity and cyanuric acid, tend to move more slowly and can be tested weekly or even monthly in some cases.

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Quick Guide: How To Clean A Chlorine Generator Cell

  • Turn off all power.
  • Remove the cell plugs.
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the cell from the casing.
  • Add sufficient muriatic acid to a bucket of water: Avoid too much acid, as it may reduce your cell life .
  • Pour the solution into the cell and leave to soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Dispose of the acid solution and rinse the cell with a garden hose.
  • Reinstall the cell.
  • Note: An expired salt cell might be the problem. The average lifespan of a salt cell is three to five years in most SWCGs, after which you need to replace the old cell with a new one that will produce sufficient chlorine.

    Re: How Long After You Add Salt

    Chart of Proper Salt Levels for Saltwater Pool

    Salt dissolves pretty quickly, but you should wait for at least one complete water turn over cycle, the longer the better.Adding salt to the recomended levels should not make your water cloudy. Can you post a full set of test numbers, including ppm salt? How big is your pool? You can add liquid bleach to keep the water clean until you’re sure the SWC is working as it should. You’ll want either a salt test kit or test strips . You may need to calibrate your SWC after you get an actual reading from your water. I know mine was initially off by about 400 ppm. Now it stays within 50-100 ppm, which is good enough for me.



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    How To Lower Salt Levels In A Pool

    This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 30,505 times.Learn more…

    Saltwater pools need a lot of sodium to operate properly, but excessively salty water can lead to corrosive and harmful side-effects. Though you cant simply remove sodium from your pool water, you can make the water safe to swim in by diluting it to a more appropriate level.

    How To Maintain A Trouble

    Maintaining a trouble-free saltwater swimming pool is not rocket science its all about monitoring chemicals used in the pool regularly and maintenance of chlorine via a regulating chlorine generator.

    From my own experience with a saltwater pool for more than five years now, the major problems you will encounter in a saltwater pool are calcium buildups that come in your pool as white flakes, low chlorine levels that cause cloudiness, low salinity, salt chlorinator maintenance, and corrosion issues.

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    Sensorex Sensors To Maintain Salinity

    When you want to maintain the salinity of your saltwater pool, there are many fantastic EC sensors that you can use to do so. These sensors are available as contacting conductivity sensors and toroidal conductivity sensors. The main sensors that are available through Sensorex include the CS150TC, the CS675HTTC, the CS8300TC, and the SensoPRO Toroidal Conductivity Monitoring System. Each sensor comes with its own set of features that might be useful to you. For instance, the SensoPro can display conductivity, TDS, and salinity readings.

    You should purchase from Sensorex because our products have been on the market since 1972. Since that time, we have refined our sensors to make sure that they provide owners with precise and reliable results, which has helped us a sterling reputation. When you order from our online store, we offer very fast delivery so that you can begin to use the sensor soon after purchase. In the decades that Sensorex has been in business, its built more than 2.5 million sensors, which is why you can be confident when purchasing from us.

    Whats The Right Level Of Salinity For My Saltwater Pool

    Checking your pools salt level

    If you are a new saltwater pool owner or plan to design and construct one in the future, it is important to understand how to test and maintain ideal saltwater pool salinity . Saltwater pools are quickly becoming a favorite choice for new pool owners because they are easier and typically less expensive to maintain than conventional chlorine pools.

    Olympus Pools offers services to convert your pool to a saltwater system. Even if you have been using chlorine tablets for years, you can still benefit from a saltwater system. The most important part of using these systems is understanding saltwater pool salinity.

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    Whats The Right Salinity Level For My Pool

    As mentioned previously, youll want to maintain readings of 3,000 PPM for a saltwater pool. If the numbers are lower than you would like, the water should have a higher salt concentration. If the unit that youre using to measure water salinity is mS/cm, the readings should be right around 4.6. While 3,000 PPM might seem like a high number for the amount of saltwater, the ocean consists of PPM levels that are right around 35,000. Keep in mind that you will need to pair the conductivity sensor that you purchase with a transmitter that can read the data provided by the sensor.

    How Do I Test Pool Water

    There are several types of testing supplies available on the market varying in price and accuracy. Since I work for a company that sells pool supplies, it was fairly easy for me to get customer input via our amazing review program, and I was able to narrow down the bestselling water testing supplies to make it easier for you to make the selection to your liking.

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    What Is Salinity And How Is It Measured

    Salinity refers to the saltiness of a body of water. For instance, the ocean has high salinity. Salt can be introduced to water in one of three ways, which include natural salinity, secondary salinity, and tertiary salinity. Understanding the salinity of water is important when you want to maintain the right chemistry in a body of water. If you are considering adding a pool to your backyard, a popular alternative to the traditional chlorine pool is a saltwater pool, which has high amounts of salinity.

    To maintain the right water chemistry for your pool, its important that you measure the salinity of the water on a regular basis, which can be measured in several different ways. The main unit thats used to measure the salinity of water is EC/w, which stands for the electrical conductivity of water. Identifying the electrical conductivity of water can tell you how much salt is currently in the water.

    While it can be difficult to understand, saltwater is considered to be a very good conductor of electricity, which means that your EC/w readings should be high when youre trying to maintain the right chemistry for your outdoor pool. When these readings dip too low, it may be time to treat the water.

    The following article takes a closer look at salinity and how to properly measure it.

    Add Winterizing And Anti

    European Salt Level In Pool â

    A scale and stain sequestrant specifically for saltwater pools should then be added to the water. Minerals tend to settle on the pool floor and walls during the off-season.

    Pool closure kits will normally include these winterizing chemicals designed especially for saltwater pools to prevent the growth of algae. You can buy closing kits especially for saltwater pools, but all winter closing kits are safe to use in saltwater pools.

    These kits should include some or all of the following: pool shock, algaecide, stain and scale preventer, a winter float with an oxidizer, and an oil-absorbing sponge.

    Turn the swimming pool pump on to circulate these chemicals through the water for at least 8 hours. Winter algaecide is normally added last before covering the pool.

    Doing this at the end will keep the algaecide more concentrated, so it should be added after the water level has been lowered and all equipment is disconnected. After adding the algaecide, you can disperse it by agitating the water using a pool brush.

    You should check your water chemistry one final time before adding in the winterizing agents. If the chlorine levels in the pool are high, this can break down algaecide and cause damage to the winter cover.

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