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How to Add Salt to Your Swimming Pool

Published by Matt Fichera on 11/04/2021

How to Add Salt to Your Swimming Pool

Before you start the process of adding salt to your swimming pool, you’ll want to check the owner’s manual that came with your  salt chlorine generator. Most of the time these systems will operate between 2,700 and 3,200 parts per million. For our demonstration, we will assume the ideal operating level for our pool is 3,200 parts per million. We will be aiming to bring the salt concentration level up to this number.

The next step would be to determine the current level of salt in your pool. If the pool is a brand-new installation, then your levels will be at zero. If you are changing over from a standard chlorinator, or adding salt for any other reasons, your levels could be as low as 500 parts per million. You can either use a  Salt Water testing strip, or take a water sample to your local pool store to verify the current salt levels.

You will have to determine how many pounds of salt that you will need to bring your salt level up to the ideal level of 3,200 parts per million. First, you’ll need to know the number of gallons of water in your pool, ours is 12,000. Then, use a salt table like the one displayed here. Click the image below for our pool salt table.

(Click Image to Enlarge)

An example would be: If your pool is at 1,000 parts per million you would need to add approximately 220 pounds of salt to achieve the desired 3,200 parts per million.

These are approximately the numbers being used in the pool as the bags are 40 pounds each and we added 5 bags for 200 total pounds. The number of bags is right in between two data points on the chart and it will be better to add more later if necessary than to reduce the salt levels. If you do not know the gallons of water in your pool you can either look up the brand and model on the internet or use a pool volume calculator. You should definitely use a salt that is at least 99.8% pure sodium chloride. Do not use calcium chloride or salts with anti-caking agents.

Leave the pump on and running to circulate the water as this will help in the salt dissolving process. Be sure to use a salt that is at least 99.8% pure sodium chloride. Do not use calcium chloride or salts with anti-caking agents.

For best results, add the salt around the perimeter of the pool, let it dissolve, and circulate through the main drain. Use a pool brush to disperse the accumulated salt on the pool bottom, helping to put it into solution. It could take up to 24 hours to completely dissolve.

Once the salt has dissolved, wait a day or so, and check the salt levels again. Your pool should be maintained within the range of 2,700 to 3,200 parts per million. A low salt level reduces efficiency, while a higher-than-normal level can rapidly reduce salt cell lifespan.

For the latest in  salt chlorine generators, parts, and advice E-Z Test Pool Supplies can help with all of your pool needs.