Sand or Salt

by Sally Brooks
(Lavernia, TX )

I am about to put up my Intex pool for the summer, I had a regular insert filter that came with the pool last year which I had to spray out everyday.

Thought this year I would install a sand filter system or a salt system which do you think would be good with an high Iron contend in our local water system here.

Thank you

Thanks for the question Sally

When you say insert filter I will assume you mean cartridge filter. I wouldn't be too surprised nor would I complain about cleaning the filter. That means it's doing the job very well.

Next would be going to a salt pool. I will give you a link to my YouTube video about my experience and opinions of saltwater swimming pools:

Many people like salt pools but I believe, through years of personal experience, that there's only 2 benefits to having a salt pool. You don't need to add chlorine on a regular basis and the water feels better. That's about it. Everything else is exactly the same when it comes to chlorine vs. salt pools.

Concerning the iron I would probably go with a chlorine pool regardless of the situation. For metals you need to have a good metal sequestrant. I have many links on the Q&A page that go into detail about that but here are a couple to get you started:

Iron in Swimming Pool Water

Brown Pool Water After Chlorine

I hope this has answered your question to your satisfaction.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post on the Q&A page in the "Salt Water Pools" category.

Check back to this post for updates or answers.

If you feel your situation is more complex and want immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

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Have a great Summer.


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Salt For An Above Ground Pool

by Kim

We have just purchased an above ground pool and have had it set up.

We are going with a sand filter and using the salt method. How much salt to you put in and how do you put the salt in ?

Our pool is 15x30x4.

How many gallons of water is that?

Thanks for the question Kim

For a pool 15 x 30 x 4 you'll have about 9200 gallons. For a normal 20,000 gallon pool, you'd use 7 - 10 50 lb. bags to bring the salinity to 3000 - 4000ppm. For 9200, I'd start with 4 bags, then work up from there.

It's much easier to add salt. If you over shoot the mark, the only way to reduce the salinity of the water is to do a partial drain and refill.

How much salt also depends on the kind of chlorine generator (CG) you're using. Most today have a pretty forgiving range, between 2500 - 4500ppm. Be sure you know what yours is. And I'd encourage you to get a hand held salt meter to test the pool against the reading on the CG. The one I used at the Y is a Myron Analog meter. This can be purchased online through TMI Salt Pure.

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Chlorine Generator

Get a 5 gallons bucket with pool water, add the salt, and stir with a 3ft. PVC pipe. You can get these at any hardware store. With the filter on, broadcast the mixture around the perimeter of the pool.

Do this in several applications. Remember to sweep very well. You don't want any salt to settle to the bottom. Salt is very corrosive and can eat through the liner. Don't just dump the salt in the water. Mix it up in the bucket first.

Once you've added the salt you'll need to wait for one full turnover of the water to test the salinity. This is normally about 8 hours. Test, then make another adjustment if needed. Keep the filter on until the salt range is met.

Make the adjustment in the evening, then test in the morning.

Try to keep the salinity in the middle range for your CG. Too high or low salt and the CG might burn up.

I hope this answers your question. Good luck with your pool.


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