Advice On How To Run A Salt Water Pool

by John

I am looking after a salt water pool for a friend while away, they left it and told me it was going green. It had gone pea green by the time I arrived so I decided to drain and karcher the whole of the pool which was then totally clean and refill with fresh water.

I then backwashed and cleaned filters and added salt bags directly to the pool as the pool was filling each day.

Now the pool is crystal clear however I have been running it 24/7 the past few days and have had the automatic hoover going too, I have checked the salt cell system and it is still showing 2 red lights which means sanitation needs checking. I have no idea how to run a salt water pool, only what I have been reading on your site which is great.

Do you have any advice on what I need to do to reach the correct levels? The swimming pool is inground and has approx 100,000 litres of water and I have added 6 x 25 kilo bags to the pool water and am adding 4 more today again directly into and around the pool water surface area.

Thanks for the question John

First thing you need to do is to check the salt level of the pool. Not knowing the kind of salt generator you have, 2 red dots could mean a multitude of things. I had to get my cell phone to do a conversion because we Americans don't have a clue as to the metric system.

I think 100,000 litres would be about 26,000 gallons and 25 kilos is about 50 pounds. For my sake, I'll be talking pounds and gallons and then try to convert that over to your metric system. For an average 20,000 gallon pool you will need 7-10 50lb. bags to bring your saline level to the correct reading of 3000-4000.

You've already put in 6 bags, so I'd first check the salinity, then make another adjustment if needed. Allow for one full turnover of the water, about 8 - 10 hours, then retest.

I'm not sure how you're testing the water, but if the only way is to push a button on the salt cell, then do it that way. If you go under the salinity level for what the salt cell calls for, your system won't produce chlorine.

On the other hand, too much salt and you run the risk of burning up the cell. Try to contact your friend and ask them what the salinity range is for the cell. This is the important part. If you can't contact your friend, call the salt generator manufacturer as to the salinity level.

There's a little more to having a salt pool than putting salt in. The salinity has to be kept in the proper range for the salt cell to produce chlorine. If you just filled the pool, I'd suggest taking all of the readings; chlorine, stabilizer, pH, alkalinity, hardness. You can get this done at a local pool store.

I honestly don't think it's fair to hand a green pool over to a friends and have them try to clear it up. Just my opinion. A couple of pages that you've probably looked at are these:

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Chlorine Generator

The salinity for most salt cells are 3000 - 4000ppm. I'd start there and work your way up.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post (Advice On How To Run A Salt Water Pool) on the Q&A page in the "Salt Water Pool" category.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Check back to this post for answers.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Jan 18, 2015
To Convert To Salt Should You Empty The Pool?
by: Anonymous

I just converted to salt water, and the pool place told me I did not have to empty my pool. I previously had chlorine. I am wondering if that was ok. Some people tell they emptied their pool first.

My pool looks beautiful but I don't feel the water is that soft on your skin or hair. I take my water to be tested and the only thing I had to add was calcium for hardness twice. It looks great.

Thanks for the question

The answer is no, you don't need to empty your pool and start over. The main areas to know are the salt level that your salt water generator (SWG) needs to run at and to test the salinity 1 - 2 times per week.

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Chlorine Generator

Here are some other posts to look over:

Saltwater Pool Upkeep

Is Converting To Saltwater Pool Cheaper And Better?

Salt Water Above Ground Pool Start Up Treatment

Really study those pages, especially the main salt pool and chlorine generator pages. There's also much info. on the pool Q&A page in the salt water pool category:

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Be sure you're using a Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 pool test kit:

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

The links above will give you more than enough information to get your salt pool up and running and keep it perfect all season long. And I'm always ready to answer questions. Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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