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The Complete Guide to Pool Salt: Everything You Should Know in 2021

Saltwater pools have become very popular. However, what do you need to know about salt in order not to harm your health? Read in our article!
The Complete Guide to Pool Salt

What’s the best thing about a salt pool, you ask? Those who have it will probably tell you that they no longer need to buy chlorine. However, are these all the joys that you can get from a saltwater pool, how to care for such a pool, and what is the main thing you need to know about salt? Read in our article.

How Saltwater Pools Work

First, let’s define how a saltwater pool works. The saltwater system uses two titanium plates that are charged and let the salt through. This breaks down the salt and creates hypochlorous acid in a process called electrolysis. This new product is what disinfects the pool and fights various bacteria (as well as algae) that pollute the pool.

This process is much easier to maintain and requires less effort than a chlorinated pool. The salt cell automatically creates chlorine. This way, you just need to check the levels regularly to make sure everything is working in perfect condition.

Please note that swimming in such a pool has nothing to do with swimming in the ocean: it contains 10 times less salt than the ocean

Let’s take a closer look at the points that relate to salt.

The Complete Guide to Pool Salt

The Complete Guide to Pool Salt

How many bags of salt do I need for my pool?

For every 1000 ppm increase in salinity, add 0.5 bags of salt per 10,000 liters of water. If your pool has 20,000 liters, you need to add one full bag of salt. Below you will find a table to help you with your calculations.

Raising ppm by10,000 liters20,000 liters40,000 liters60,000 liters
1000 ppmHalf a bag1 salt bag1,9 salt bags2,9 salt bags
2000 ppm1 salt bag2 salt bags3,8 salt bags5,8 salt bags
3000 ppm1,5 salt bags3 salt bags5,8 salt bags8,6 salt bags
4000 ppm2 salt bags4 salt bags7,7 salt bags11,5 salt bags
5000 ppm2,4 salt bags5 salt bags9,6 salt bags14,4 salt bags
6000 ppm3 salt bags6 salt bags11,5 salt bags17,3 salt bags

How often do you need to add salt to the pool?

There is no one set schedule for all saltwater pool owners. Since salt does not dissolve in water, salt can only be added when freshwater is added or, for example, after rain, which lowers the salinity level. Also, you add fresh water after an intensive backwash cycle.

“Working” tip for adding salt to your pool: add fresh water first and then measure the salinity level to determine how much salt should be added to the pool. After adding fresh water, test the water with a home saltwater test kit. Then you mark the salt level, refer to the salt table to determine how much salt is needed to raise the pool water level.

What kind of salt do I need for my pool?

You must use only sodium chloride (NaCl) that is 99% pure. This is commonly available at most pool stores. Do not use rock salt, salt with yellow soda more than 1%, salt with more than 1% anti-caking additives, iodized salt. If you use the wrong salt, or the right one but at the wrong dosage, it can directly affect your safety. Saltwater can erase the base of a ladder to enter a pool or a diving board. Therefore, it is very important to take the type of salt and dosage seriously.

What happens if I put too much salt in my pool?

Too much salt in the pool’s water can lead to corrosive and harmful effects. The only way to reduce the salt concentration in your pool water is to dilute it. Since the salt does not dissolve or evaporate, this means that you will need to partially drain the pool and refill it with fresh water.

Saltwater Pool VS Chlorinated Pool

The Complete Guide to Pool Salt

Cleansing

The saltwater pool is cleaned by a filtration system called a chlorine generator. The system uses electricity to convert salt into chlorine, which cleans the pool. To the chlorinated pool, you should regularly add chlorine tablets or granules for the same purpose. In both types of pools, it is important to still check the pH and alkalinity of the pool so that it stays disinfected and chemicals remain balanced. To check the chemicals level and keep your pool a safe place, you will need to use a test kit for pools.

Costs

The cost of a saltwater pool is initially higher than that of a chlorine pool since a chlorinated saltwater system can cost you around $ 1,500 – $ 2,000, as well as installation fees. Over time, however, such a pool saves you money, since in the future you will not need to regularly buy chlorine tablets. By comparison, a saltwater pool will cost you $ 100 per year, and a regular chlorinated pool will cost between $ 300 and $ 800 per year, taking into account the purchase of all the necessary chemicals.

Service

Maintaining a saltwater pool is easier than a regular chlorine pool for the same reason: there’s no need to purchase, store and add chlorine to the pool. Additionally, saltwater pools require fewer chemicals to keep the water clean and clear, however, it is still necessary to check the pH and alkalinity levels weekly.

Smell

A saltwater pool does not have the same chlorine smell like a traditional chlorine pool. So if you don’t like the smell of chlorine, you can choose a pool with saltwater.

Impact

A saltwater pool is not as aggressive as a chlorine pool. Your hair will not turn green and the swimsuit will not fade. In a chlorinated pool, copper and chlorine combine in water to form a film that adheres to the proteins in your hair, causing it to turn green.

How to Maintain a Saltwater Pool: 3 Main Things

The Complete Guide to Pool Salt

Although the main advantages of a saltwater pool are the absence of a strong chlorine smell, softer water, and lower maintenance costs, this does not mean that such a pool does not need to be maintained at all.

To fully enjoy your saltwater pool and keep it in perfect condition, you need to know some rules and adhere to them. You have to complete daily, weekly and monthly tasks.

Daily tasks

You should get used to cleaning your pool and filters regularly to save you time and money. When cleaning, make sure you remember to clean the skimmer and empty the pump basket. If you see any visible debris, be sure to remove it. The more attentively and diligently you complete these daily tasks, the more you will make it easier to complete your weekly and monthly tasks.

Weekly tasks

Every week you should check the pH of your saltwater pool as well as the level of free chlorine. To do this, you need to buy special test strips.

Remember
Normal free chlorine is 1 to 3 ppm and the pH should be 7.2 to 7.6. As for the pH level, you can safely use baking soda to raise it, and sodium carbonate or hydrochloric acid to lower it.

Monthly tasks

There are 4 important things you need to check every month: alkalinity, salinity, stabilizer, and calcium.

The correct alkalinity levels are between 80 and 120 ppm. Again, you can use baking soda to increase it, or hydrochloric acid to lower it.

The salinity should be between 2700 and 4500 ppm. Please read the user manual to verify this, as there may be slight differences depending on the model of your pool. You can use a salt meter for this if your generator does not have one.

Cyanuric acid is the preferred stabilizer for saltwater pools and should be between 70 and 80 ppm. Last but not least is the calcium hardness. Aim for 200 to 400 ppm calcium to prevent scale and corrosion.

Saltwater Pools and Health

Swimming in a saltwater pool has a greater impact on people who suffer from asthma or allergies (they breathe easier and their skin allergies are reduced), while swimming pools with chlorinated water (especially indoor) have a pronounced chlorine smell due to the mixture of chlorine and ammonia. A clinical study found that young children who regularly swim in an indoor chlorinated pool are at greater risk for pneumonia and asthma. However, more research is needed to be sure.

Summary

Saltwater pools are healthier. They have no irritating odor, softer water, and their installation fully compensates financially over time since you no longer need to buy chlorine. Follow all pool care recommendations and enjoy the warm season to the fullest!

FAQ

💦 How many bags of salt do I need for my pool?

For every 1000 ppm increase in salinity, add 0.5 bags of salt per 10,000 liters of water. If your pool has 20,000 liters, you need to add one full bag of salt.

🤽‍♀️ How often do you need to add salt to the pool?

There is no one set schedule for all saltwater pool owners. Since salt does not dissolve in water, salt can only be added when freshwater is added or, for example, after rain, which lowers the salinity level. Also, you add fresh water after an intensive backwash cycle.

🌊 What kind of salt do I need for my pool?

You must use only sodium chloride (NaCl) that is 99% pure. Do not use rock salt, salt with yellow soda more than 1%, salt with more than 1% anti-caking additives, iodized salt.

💧 What happens if I put too much salt in my pool?

Too much salt in the pool’s water can lead to corrosive and harmful effects. The only way to reduce the salt concentration in your pool water is to dilute it.

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