Bottom Line. A little bit of extra salt in your pool doesn't generally result in any concerning issues. However, putting in excessive amounts of salt, resulting in salt levels 5000 ppm or more, can lead to corrosion of your metal pool equipment. Not to mention, having too much salt will also make the pool saltier.
Setting Up a Salt Water Pool
How much salt to add to the pool? To reach the initial salt level recommended by the salt system manufacturer (usually 2400-3200 ppm), you will need to add about 200 lbs of pure pool grade salt (NaCl), per 10,000 gallons of water.
Over-salting will not harm your chlorine generator, but it will lead to salty tasting water. If levels exceed 6500 ppm the chlorinator is programmed to protect itself by alerting the user that there are high salinity levels in the pool. To reduce the salt level, drain some water and refill the pool with fresh water.
When you use a digital water tester to test the salt level in your pool, you'll dip a test strip into your pool water, hold it there, and then insert it into a specified place on the digital water tester.
3400 is the recomended high limit, but the readings on the panel are notoriously inaccurate. Generally it's better to have the level on the high side than low, so 3800 should be fine.
Therefore, if you have a 20,000 gallon pool and want to determine how much salt you'll 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.
Just like a chlorine-based pool, saltwater pools turn cloudy when chemicals are not balanced. You need to ensure that all chemicals are balanced all the time to avoid cloudy water and growth of algae. The major causes of cloudiness are chlorine, pH, Salinity, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardness.
So, not only is shocking a saltwater pool okay, but it's actually important to your pool's health. Shocking is the process in which you overload your pool with chlorine (3-5 times the normal amount) to improve your pool's cleanliness and kill off organic matter.
The only way to lower the salt concentration of your swimming pool's water is to dilute it. Unfortunately, this means you will need to partially drain your pool and refill it with fresh water. This is true because salt doesn't wear out, break down or evaporate; only your water will evaporate.
Yes, a salt water pool has a reduced cost of operation as compared to a traditional chlorinated pool. This cost savings is primarily because chlorine is generated from salt and there is no need to buy chlorine. Additionally, salt water pools require fewer chemicals to keep the water clean and clear.
Generally, it's recommended to wait about 10 minutes between adding each pool chemical. Some pool chemicals like pool salt and cyanuric acid take longer to dissolve in the pool water. The aim is to avoid strong concentrations of chemicals mixing together.
If your pool is truly low in salt, then you can add salt at any time, but you need to use external sources of chlorine such as chlorinating liquid to shock your pool to kill the algae; you can't kill the algae in a bloom fast enough with an SWG alone..
It's recommended to wait at least 20 minutes to swim after adding salt to your pool. If you're adding calcium chloride to your pool water, it's recommended to wait two to four hours before swimming again.
The ideal salt level is between 2700-3400 ppm (parts per million) with 3200 ppm being optimal. Before adding salt to your pool, test the water to check your salt level.
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.
Lower pH by adding muriatic acid or sodium disulfide to the water, and raise it by adding baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or soda ash (sodium carbonate). Check the total alkalinity of the pool water before raising pH. If it's near the acceptable range of 80 to 120 ppm, use soda ash.
A salt water pool creates sodium hydroxide as a byproduct because the sodium in the water combines with the oxygen and hydrogen molecules. One of the reasons behind your pool's high pH level could very well be the sodium hydroxide because this system itself has a surprisingly high pH.
Insufficient chlorine in your pool
When you add a bag of salt into the water sodium chloride dissolves and splits into two separate parts – sodium and chloride ions. Chloride won't kill algae, it needs to be turned into chlorine to do this.
Shock your pool once a week with Salinity Surge Shock or Salinity Oxidizing Shock. Pool shock works as an added defense against bacteria and contaminants. With Oxidizing shock, you can use your pool after just 15 minutes!
A saltwater pool is an alternative to a traditional chlorine pool. Although you don't add chlorine tablets to a saltwater pool, it does still contain chlorine. It just has a smaller amount that's generated through the filter system. A saltwater pool contains 10 times less salt than the ocean.