Choosing the Correctly Sized Swimming Pool Salt System

Posted by Matt Fichera on Jan 13 2022

Choosing the Correctly Sized Swimming Pool Salt System

Electing to go with a salt chlorine generator is a very popular means of pool sanitization, especially through the pandemic and industry shortages. A salt system utilizes ordinary salt to make the chlorine your pool needs. In a time when chlorine tabs are in short supply, the idea of not having to lug buckets from the store to your pool is very appealing to most. In addition to handling all of your sanitization needs, added benefits of using salt include: the pool water feeling softer on the skin, the water not staining bathing suits, and that familiar chlorine odor being eliminated. Salt chlorine generators help provide clean and sparkling water for everyone to enjoy.

Understanding Your Pool Environment

saltwater system is a chlorine generator for your pool. It makes life so easy you can forget it’s there and working for you. A very important step in choosing the right saltwater system is to make sure you select a size that will work with the dimensions of your pool. The first thing to get a good understanding of is the proper amount of sanitization your pool needs is very unique to its use and environment. Chlorine use can vary greatly during the course of a regular swimming season. The peak of the summer, when the sun is shining brightly and pool temperatures rise, causes a higher demand for chlorine. This amount could actually be almost twice the amount of the pool running regularly at another time. Another factor influencing chlorine use is bather load (the number of people using the pool). The addition of people into a pool brings in additional organic matter which can offset chemical balance.

How Do I Select the Correct Salt System for My Pool’s Needs?

Now that you have a bit of an understanding of your pool, it will be to your advantage to  select a chlorine generator with plenty of extra power so that it can efficiently work through even those peak periods of high demand. Selecting a salt system that is undersized may cause you issues trying to maintain a good chlorine level. Making sure that this situation never happens involves looking at the maximum capacity of any given system. “Maximum capacity” is defined as how many gallons the system can sanitize running constantly, at peak operation, and during ideal conditions. This term can sometimes cause confusion as “maximum limits” are not “guaranteed size ranges”. Now knowing that your pool can have varying levels of chlorine demand, most pool owners will feel comfortable choosing a salt system with a maximum capacity that is 1.5 to 2 times your actual pool size. An example of this would be selecting at least a 30,000-gallon max capacity system if your pool is 20,000 gallons (1.5x more). A system of this size will all but guarantee sufficient levels of chlorine at all times, the system will also not work as hard and last longer as a result. Choosing the correct system will allow you to enjoy your beautiful pool, stress-free.

Capability is Your Friend

Having a salt system that is properly sized can help you deal with any potential problems or issues before they become too big. A great example of this would be the following: Let’s say that it’s a mid-summer weekend and you have a pool party going on at your home. The sun is shining, people are splashing, and your pool is getting quite a lot of use. After this event, you will want to super chlorinate your pool to get it back to crystal clear and sparkling. A large rainstorm would be another example of needing to increase system capacity. Doing this is absolutely no problem if your salt system has plenty of extra capacity and doesn’t already work at full power on a normal basis just to keep up. If your salt system is correctly sized then you can temporarily boost the system’s power and sanitize a pool that may be on the verge of getting cloudy and falling out of optimal conditions.

In Conclusion

At E-Z Test Pools we suggest oversizing some parts of your pool equipment like your filter, heater, and salt chlorine generator. The idea behind this is the equipment does its job at a more efficient rate. The filter allows you to go longer between cleanings, the heater allows you to heat your pool quicker while not relying on the pool pump to move the water, and an oversized salt system allows the cell to work at a fraction of its full capacity rather than at full pace to keep up the chlorine levels. This throttling of the cell allows it to last longer. We welcome you to take a look at all of our salt systems, salt cells, system components, and more. Have questions? We’d be happy to help! Contact us here today.

Our Recommendations


Pentair - The IntelliChlor system Communicates with IntelliTouch®, EasyTouch® and SunTouch® Automation Systems. Push-button operation and easy-to-view displays enable fast checking of salt levels, cell cleanliness, sanitizer output and water flow.

Hayward - AquaRite for inground pools. Systems are based on gallons and are available in 15K, 25K, and 40K sizes. Built-in control for salt chlorination, heater and variable-speed pump. AquaTrol for above ground pools which includes control box, salt cell, flow sensor, and union connections. 24-hour timer and 7 diagnostic indicators.

Pool Tux/Solaxx -Designed for use with either inground or above ground pools containing up to 28,000 gallons of water. The system connects to the outside of your pool’s return fitting and everything that you need for setup is included in the box that it comes in, no special tools needed. It’s easily operated with push button icons and LED indicator lights, providing an instant snapshot of the system’s overall status.

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