How Much Salt Do You Put In A Swimming Pool

Importance of Proper Salt Levels in a Swimming Pool

Benefits of using salt in a swimming pool

Salt is not only a tasty addition to our food, but it also has numerous benefits when used in swimming pools. Here are some key advantages:

  • Gentle on the skin: Unlike traditional chlorine-based pools, saltwater pools provide a more gentle and soothing experience for swimmers. The lower concentration of chemicals helps reduce irritation and dryness on the skin.
  • Less maintenance: Salt chlorinators convert salt into chlorine through electrolysis, which means you don’t have to manually add chlorine to your pool as frequently. This saves time and effort on regular maintenance.
  • Reduced odor: One common complaint about traditional chlorinated pools is the strong smell that comes from chemical disinfectants. With saltwater pools, there is less odor because fewer chemicals are required for sanitization.
  • Cost-effective: While the initial installation cost may be higher than traditional systems, maintaining a saltwater pool can save money over time. You won’t need to buy large quantities of chlorine or other expensive chemicals.

Negative effects of improper salt levels

While there are many benefits to having proper salt levels in your pool, neglecting this aspect can lead to several negative consequences:

  1. Inefficient sanitation: Insufficient amounts of salt will result in lower levels of chlorine production by the generator system. This can lead to inadequate sanitation and an increased risk of harmful bacteria growth.
  2. Corrosion damage: When there’s too much or too little salt present in the water, it can cause corrosion damage to metal equipment such as ladders or railings within your pool area.
  3. Damage risk for swimmers: Improperly balanced salinity levels may irritate swimmers’ eyes and skin due to an imbalance between natural body fluids and water chemistry.

To ensure optimal performance and avoid these issues altogether, it’s crucial to determine and maintain the ideal salt level for your swimming pool.

Determining the Ideal Salt Level for Your Pool

Factors to consider when determining salt levels

Several factors come into play when calculating the ideal salt level for your swimming pool:

  1. Pool size and volume: The larger the pool, the more salt will be required to achieve an adequate salinity level.
  2. Type of salt chlorinator system: Different systems have varying requirements regarding optimal salt concentration.
  3. Manufacturer’s recommendations: Each manufacturer provides guidelines on recommended salinity levels specific to their equipment.

Considering these factors will help you determine a suitable range for your pool’s salinity level.

Measuring Salt Levels in a Swimming Pool

Accurately measuring the amount of salt present in your swimming pool is essential for maintaining proper balance. There are two commonly used methods:

  1. Salt test strips: These handy tools allow you to dip them into water samples taken from your pool and receive instant results indicating current salinity levels.
  2. Electronic salt meters: For those seeking a more precise reading, electronic meters provide accurate measurements by analyzing conductivity or resistance changes caused by dissolved salts in water.

Both methods can give you reliable information about whether adjustments need to be made to bring your pool back within its target range.

Calculating the Amount of Salt to Add

Once you’ve determined that additional sodium chloride (salt) is needed, there are several steps involved in calculating how much should be added:

Understanding salt concentration units (ppm)

Salt concentration is measured in parts per million (ppm). This unit indicates how many parts of a substance exist per one million parts of solution (in this case, water).

Using a salt calculator or formula

To calculate precisely how much salt should be added based on current readings and desired ppm range, use either a dedicated online calculator specifically designed for this purpose or a formula provided by your salt chlorinator manufacturer.

Adjusting salt levels based on test results

After adding the calculated amount of salt, wait for it to dissolve completely and then retest the water. If necessary, make further adjustments until you achieve the ideal salinity level recommended for your pool.

Adding Salt to a Swimming Pool

Now that you know how much salt is needed, let’s go through the step-by-step process of adding it to your swimming pool:

  1. Preparing the pool: Before starting, ensure that all other chemicals are properly balanced. This includes pH levels and alkalinity.
  2. Distributing salt evenly: Slowly pour bags of pool-grade salt into different areas of your pool while walking around its perimeter. This will help disperse the salt more evenly.
  3. Circulating the water: Turn on your filtration system and allow it to run continuously for 24-48 hours after adding the required amount of salt. This will help distribute and dissolve the newly added salts throughout your entire swimming pool.

Remember to retest regularly during this process until you reach and maintain stable salinity levels.

Testing and Maintaining Salt Levels

Regular testing frequency

To ensure optimal performance, regularly test your pool’s water using either test strips or electronic meters every 2-4 weeks or as recommended by manufacturers.

Adjusting salt levels as needed

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Based on these regular tests, adjust any deviations from target ranges promptly using appropriate amounts of additional salts if necessary or dilution methods if excessive salinity is detected.

Monitoring salt cell performance

Regularly inspecting and cleaning electrolytic cells within a chlorine generator system can prevent unnecessary chemical expenses caused by dirty cells reducing their efficiency over time.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While maintaining proper saline balance isn’t overly complicated, there are some common mistakes that should be avoided:

  1. Over-salting the pool: Adding excessive salt can cause water to taste unpleasant and may damage the pool equipment due to increased corrosiveness.
  2. Under-salting the pool: Insufficient amounts of salt result in reduced chlorine production, leading to inadequate sanitization and a higher risk of bacterial growth.
  3. Neglecting regular testing and maintenance: Failing to monitor your pool’s salinity levels regularly can lead to imbalances that compromise both water quality and swimmer safety.

Avoiding these pitfalls will help ensure you enjoy all the benefits of a well-maintained saltwater swimming pool.


Q: How often should I test my pool’s salt levels?
A: It is recommended to test your pool’s salt levels every 2-4 weeks or as specified by manufacturers for optimal performance.

Q: Can I use table salt instead of specialized “pool-grade” salts?
A: While it may be tempting, using table salt is not advisable because it contains anti-caking agents that can interfere with proper chlorine generation. Stick with high-quality salts specifically designed for pools.

Q: What if my current salinity level is too high or too low?
A: If your current salinity level deviates from the ideal range, make adjustments gradually either by adding small amounts of additional salts or through dilution methods such as draining some water from your pool and replacing it with fresh water until desired readings are achieved.

Q: Will maintaining a proper saline balance eliminate the need for other chemicals in my swimming pool?
A: No, while having an adequate amount of sodium chloride (salt) helps produce chlorine naturally within a chlorinator system, other essential chemicals like pH adjusters, algaecides, or clarifiers may still be necessary for overall water balance and clarity.


Maintaining proper salt levels in your swimming pool plays a vital role in ensuring clean and enjoyable conditions for swimmers. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can avoid potential issues caused by improper salinity levels and enjoy all the benefits that a saltwater pool has to offer.

Remember, regular testing and maintenance are key to keeping your pool’s salt levels within the recommended range. So go ahead, dive into the discussion about maintaining ideal salt levels in your swimming pool and ensure a refreshing experience for all!



  1. Gallons: A unit of measurement used to determine the volume or capacity of a swimming pool.

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    Salt Chlorine Generator: A device that converts salt into chlorine through an electrolysis process, which helps sanitize the water in a saltwater pool.
  3. Salt Water Pool: A type of pool that uses salt and a salt chlorine generator to produce chlorine for sanitation purposes instead of traditional chlorination methods.

  4. Bags of Salt: Units used to measure the amount of salt added to a swimming pool, usually specified on packaging.

  5. Average Depth: The average depth measurement taken from various points in a swimming pool to determine its overall depth.

  6. Depth: The distance between the surface and bottom point of a swimming pool, typically measured in feet or meters.

  7. Pool Water: The water contained within a swimming pool, either freshwater or saline (saltwater).

  8. Chlorine Levels: Refers to the concentration or amount of chlorine present in the pool water, which is essential for disinfection and maintaining proper sanitization levels.

  9. Ideal Level: The desired range or target value for specific parameters such as chlorine levels, pH balance, and salinity in order to maintain optimal conditions for swimmers and equipment longevity.

10.Current Salt Levels/Level of Salt/Salt Content/Salinity Levels/Salt ppm/Current Salt Concentration/Current Salt Level Reading/Current Salt Measurements:
These terms refer to measurements indicating how much dissolved salt is present in the pool water at any given time.

11.Pool Sizes/Gallon Pool/Volume Of Water:
Various terms used interchangeably referringtothe total capacity/volumeof watercontained withina swimmingpool

12.PoolSalt Calculator/MetricPoolSaltCalculator:

13.Pounds of Salt: A unit of measurement used to determine the amount of salt needed for a pool, often specified on packaging.


15.Pool Chemicals: Various chemical products used in swimming pools for water treatment, including but not limited to chlorine, pH adjusters, algaecides,and clarifiers.

16.Brush: A tool with bristles used for cleaning and scrubbing the surfaces of a swimming pool, such as walls and floors.

17.Temperature: The degree or intensity of heat present in the pool water. It can affect various factors like comfort levels and effectiveness of sanitization methods.

18.Acid: Refers to chemicals that are used to balance pH levels in a swimming pool by either raising or lowering it. Common types include muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid)and sodium bisulfate.

19.Rectangular Pool/Circular Pool/Ground Pool/10,000-GallonPool/Larger Size:
Terms describing different shapes or sizes commonly found in residential or commercial swimming pools.

20.Water Levels/Water Volume:
Refers to the amount or volumeof watercontained withina swimmingpoolat any given time,determinedinpartbytheinputandoutputsofwaterthroughfiltersandevaporationrates

21.Water Test Strips/Digital Testers/Digital Salinity Meter/Digital Water Quality Meter/Color Chart:
Toolsordevicesusedtodeterminevariousparameters,suchaspHlevels,chlorinecontent,salinity,andoverallwaterqualityinanaccurateandreliablemanner.These toolscan provide readings through visual indicators(colorcharts),digital displays,and teststrips.

22.Optimal Level/Acceptable Range/Accurate Reading/Recommended Salt Levels/Acceptable Salt Concentration:
Terms used to define the desired or acceptable range of values for specific pool parameters, such as salt levels,salinity,pH,andchlorinecontent.

23.Sufficient Salt/FreshSalt/DilutedPoolSaltLevels:
These terms refer to having the appropriate amount of salt in the pool water based on calculations and recommended guidelines. Sufficient/fresh salt indicates that it has been recently added, while diluted pool salt refers to a lower concentration than required.

24.Salt Cell Generator/Salt Water Generator/Saltwater ChlorineGenerator/CommonSaltCellBrands/CombinationOfSalt/Corrosivenessofsalt:
Refers to devices used in saltwater pools that generate chlorine through an electrolysis process by converting dissolved salts into chlorine gas.The term “common salt cell brands” pertainstothevariousmanufacturersofthesedevises.

25.Pool Salt Chart/Metric Pool Salt Calculator:
A chartor calculatorthatprovidesrecommendationsandguidelinestoachieveproperpoolwatersalinitylevelsbasedonfactorssuchaspoolsizeanddesiredsalinityrange.

26.Adoption of Salt/Benefits of Salt/Cons of Salt Water:
These termsrefer to various pros and cons associated with using saltpoolsystemsincludingbenefitssuchaseasiermaintenance,costsavings,andpotentialdrawbackssuchascorrosionrisktoequipment

27.Combination Of Chemicals/Buildup Of Chemicals:
Refers to mixing different chemicals within a swimming pool or the accumulation/deposition ofscaledue tonormaluseofchemicaltreatments.This can impact water quality and overall effectivenessofsanitizationmethods

28.Chemical Engineer: An individual who specializesinthechemistryoffluidsincludingthetreatmentoffluidsusedinswimmingpoolsbyapplyingknowledgeofengineeringprinciples

29.Chlorine Chemical Bath/Disinfection with Salt:
Refers to a process involving the use of chlorine-based chemicals or saltwater disinfection methods for cleaning and sanitizing swimming pools.

30.Cost of Swimming Pool/Days of Swimming:
Terms referringtotheexpensesassociatedwithowningandmaintainingaswimmingpool,aswellasthefrequencyor durationof pool usage by swimmers.

31.Disinfectant Chemical Products/Common Saltwater Chlorine Generators/Disinfection Methods:
These terms refer to various products, systems,andmethodsusedforcleaning,purifying,andmaintainingsanitaryconditionsinswimmingpools.

32.Dangerous Bacteria/Limited Time/SwimTimeConverter:
Refers to harmful bacteria that can thrive in unsanitary swimming pool water, leadingtoillnessesandinfections.Limitedtimeandswimtimeconverteraretermsthatrefertothemaximumallowedexposuretimetopoolwatersuchasthosedefinedbyregulatoryagencies

33.Long-handled Pool Brush/PoolBrush: A brush with an extended handle used for reaching and cleaning hard-to-reach areas of a swimming pool such as walls or floors.

34.Calcium Chloride/Cyanuric Acid:
Typesofchemicalscommonlyusedinsaltchlorinesystems.Typicallycalciumchlorideisaddedtomaintain proper calcium hardness levels while cyanuric acid is added to stabilize chlorine and protect it from degradation caused by sunlight exposure.

35.Constant Depth/Larger Size/AdequateChlorineProduction/Water Volume/Damage Risk

36.Corrosion Of Metal Equipment/Metal Plates/Conductive Metals:
Refers to the gradual wearing away or degradation of metal-based equipment in contact with pool water that has a high salt content. Metal plates and conductive metals can be found in salt chlorine generators.

37.Chance for Bacteria/Dangerous Bacteria:
A possibility or likelihood for bacteria to proliferateinapool,includingdangerousstrains,suchasE.coli.

38.Disinfection of Swimming Pools/Disinfectant Of Swimming Pools:
The processofkillingorremovingharmfulorganismsandpathogensfromthe watersofaswimmingpool,maintainingproperhygieneandhealthstandards

39.Salt Water Pool Maintenance/Routine Maintenance:
Regular upkeep tasks performed on saltwater pools, including but not limited to monitoring and adjusting chemical levels, cleaning filters,pumpmaintenance,andbrushingthepool’ssurfaces.

40.Dirty Salt Cells/Chlorine Production Drops:

41.Control Unit/Control Box/Chlorine Generator Control Panel:
These terms refer to the device responsible for regulating the operation of a salt chlorinator system. It allows users to adjust settings such as chlorine production rate, timers,andmonitorperformanceindicators

42.Common Question/Frequent Question:
Refers topopularqueriesorconcernsrelatedtosaltpoolsystems,servicemaintenanceetc.for whichanswersareoften sought after by owners/operators

43.Water Softener Salt/Salt Used In Food Quality/Water SoftenerSalt/Salinity Source
Terms referringtothespecifictypeofsaltusedinswimmingpools(suchasrockorsea)sometimesreferredtodirectlyassoftenersalt.

44.Saltwater Pool Systems/Salt PPM/Salt Water Pool Treatment/Select Cutting-edge CircuPool Salt Systems:
Termsthatrefer totypesofpoolsystemsusingasaltpoolsetup,suchasthoseofferedbyCutting-edgeCircuPoolsystemandtherelatedtechnology usedinthesetup

45.Current Source/Artificial Heat Source/Cold Water Temperatures:
Termsrelatedto the origin of energy or temperature used to power or maintain optimal conditions in a saltwater pool, such as natural heat from the sun or artificial heating systems. Cold water temperatures can affect overall pool performance and comfort levels.

46.Cyanuric Acid Levels/Difference in Color/Color Chart:
Cyanuric acid is a chemical compound commonly used to stabilize chlorine levels in outdoor pools. Differenceincolorrefers todistinguishingvariouscolorsrepresentingdifferentparametersorsubstancesusedinteststrips,colortablets,orchartstoreadmeasurements

47.Volume Of Water/Water Volume:
The total amount of water contained within a swimming pool at any given time, measured typically in gallons.

48.Damage To Pool Equipment/DamageToSwimmers/Routine Maintenance:
Refers topotentialdetrimentaleffectstotheswimmingpool’sstructure,equipment,filters,pumps,andswimmersexperiencingproblemscausedbysalt-relatedissues

49.E-Mail2 Hours – Testing Methods/Electrolysis Process/Test Strip/E-MailingTestResults/

50.Chlorination Method/Accurate Salt Reading/Actual Salt Level/Balance of Chemicals/Frequent Question/Routine Maintenance.

51.Disinfectant Chemical Products/Disinfection Methods
Refers to various products, systems, and methods used for cleaning, purifying, and maintaining sanitary conditions in swimming pools.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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