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The Complete Guide to Pool Salt: Everything You Should Know in 2022

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

Saltwater pools are a great way to enjoy swimming in an environment that won’t damage your skin.

Saltwater pools work by using a process called electrolysis to convert the salt in the water into chlorine. This chlorine is then used to kill bacteria and other contaminants that can cause problems in your pool. Also, the salt content in the water helps to keep the pH level balanced, which is important for maintaining a healthy pool.

The saltwater process is a great alternative to using traditional chlorine products, which can be harsh on your skin and eyes. In addition, saltwater pools are much easier to maintain than traditional pools because you don’t have to constantly add chemicals to the water.

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?

Saltwater pool owners typically use between 0,5 and 2 pounds of salt per gallon of water. This means that for a standard-sized pool, you will need between 40 and 80 bags of salt. It is important to note, however, that the amount of salt you will need can vary based on some factors, including the weather and the size of your pool.

Below is a salt usage chart to help you estimate how much salt your pool will need.

Raising ppm by10,000 litres20,000 litres40,000 litres60,000 litres
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?

Salt is an important component in maintaining a pool, as it helps to keep the pH levels balanced. However, if you put too much salt in your pool, it can have the opposite effect and make your pool water more acidic. It can corrode metal fixtures and cause skin irritations

If you notice that your pool water is starting to become cloudy or has an unpleasant smell, it may be a sign that you have put too much salt in your pool.

Saltwater Pool VS Chlorinated Pool

The Complete Guide to Pool Salt

Cleansing

The saltwater pool is equipped with a chlorinator. As the water passes through, the chlorine generator produces chlorine gas. This gas then breaks down into salt and dissolves into the water. The chlorine that’s produced is constantly working to sanitize your pool and keep it clean.

The chlorinated pool also has a mechanism for producing chlorine gas. However, instead of using salt water, it uses chlorinated tablets or sticks that you must regularly add to the water. The chlorine gas then breaks down into chloride and dissolves into the water.

To maintain the right levels of chlorine, you should use a test kit for pools at least once a week.

Costs

Saltwater pools cost more to install than chlorinated ones. The main reason for this is that you need to purchase a chlorinated saltwater system that can cost you around $1,500 – $2,000, as well as installation fees. However, in the long run, saltwater pools are less expensive to maintain because you don’t have to constantly buy and add chlorine to the water. 

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 generally easier and less expensive than maintaining a chlorinated pool. The main reason for this is that you don’t have to constantly buy and add chlorine to the water.

With a chlorinated pool, you must regularly monitor the levels of chlorine and make sure they’re at the right levels. You also need to add chlorine tablets or sticks regularly.

Smell

Saltwater pools don’t have that distinct chlorine smell like chlorinated pools. Also, since salt is natural, so your skin and eyes won’t get irritated as much.

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.

Salt Water Pool Maintenance: 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.

There are main things you need to do to keep your saltwater pool in pristine condition. You should complete tasks on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Daily tasks

Daily tasks for a saltwater pool are pretty straightforward and include skimming the surface of the water for debris, such as leaves, bugs, and dirt. You should also brush the walls and floor of the pool to help prevent algae growth.

Weekly tasks

It should include backwashing the filter, checking and cleaning the skimmer baskets, and testing the water quality with special test strips.

Remember
The chlorine level should be between 1 and 3 ppm. The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. These are the ideal values, but your pool water may still be safe to swim in if the chlorine level is a little higher or lower than recommended levels.

Monthly tasks

Monthly tasks for maintaining your saltwater pool include:

  • Check the alkalinity levels and adjust accordingly

Alkalinity is important in keeping your pool’s pH levels balanced. Normal alkalinity levels should be between 80 and 120 ppm.

  • Check the calcium hardness levels

Calcium hardness levels that are too high or too low can cause problems with your pool’s water quality. The ideal range is 180 to 220 ppm.

  • Salinity test

You should test the salinity levels in your pool monthly to make sure they are between 3000 and 4000 ppm. But if you have an automated system, you may not need to do this as often.

  • Stabilizer test

One of the add-ons you’ll need for your saltwater pool is a stabilizer. This helps to prevent chlorine from evaporating too quickly. You should test the stabilizer levels monthly and add more as needed to keep the levels between 30 and 50 ppm.

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 trial demonstrated that children with asthma who swim in chlorinated pools have a significant worsening in their symptoms. However, more research is needed to be sure.

Summary

Saltwater pools are healthier. They have no irritating odour, 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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