Discover the Benefits of Pool Salt, How Does It Work, and How It Maintains Calcium Levels in Your Pool

Pool salt is the solution of choice for pool owners who want to maintain calcium levels in pools. Pool salt works by removing the excess calcium…

Pool salt prevents water from being cloudy or “hard”, and they maintain calcium levels in pools. Pool owners use pool salt from either powdered or granular form, with granular being more commonly used.

Pool salt is one of the most essential items to always have in store if you’re a saltwater pool owner, including pool owners who use salt chlorine generators to keep the pool clean. Here are some things you should know about pool salt.

Saltwater Outdoor Swimming Pool

What Is Pool Salt?

Salt for swimming pools is quite similar to what we use for food, except pool salts have a finer grind and bigger crystals that work well with chlorine and bromine. Most pool supply stores sell pool salt in bulk rather than requiring you to purchase tiny canisters suited for use in the kitchen.

Salt is a common source of chlorine because it is both inexpensive and readily available. Unlike other sources of chlorine or pool chemicals, there are also no health concerns associated with pool salt.

However, pool salt is not the same as table salt you use for food. There are varieties of salt you can use for cooking, but these usually have additives or minerals, which are sometimes bad for pool use.

The best pool salts are as pure as possible to sodium chloride. It is quite costly to find 100 percent pure salt since trace minerals and contaminants will always exist, yet 99 percent pure salt is easy and inexpensive.

What Are the Best Pool Salt for Chlorine Generator?

There are three forms of pool salt that pool owners make use of. While you can use other types of salts in your pool, we’ve listed these because they work best, and they have a lower risk for the health of your pool. 

Mined Salt

Minde Salt from Nature

Mined salt is nature’s salt. In fact, you can mine it yourself at a natural dry lake bed or the shore of a beach.

It has no add-ons that can harm your pool equipment and other chemicals you use in the pool.

Processed mined salt has been tested for purity and grade before being put on the market to ensure it doesn’t contain any impurities, anti-caking agents, fillers, or anything else that could cause damage to your pool system or other chemicals used in the pool.

Mechanically Evaporated Salt

Heap of Salt from Salt Evaporation Pond

Mechanically evaporated salt is produced when heat is generated intentionally and evaporates the salty water, leaving the salts crystals behind. Mechanical evaporation systems use temperature to destroy bacteria, brine shrimp, and any other organisms present in the water.

Generating heat just to boil water and produce salt is not financially viable, which is why some firms do it as a secondary use for heat generated while generating electricity. If they are paying to create the heat in the first place, reusing it significantly reduces the cost of producing this salt.

Mechanically evaporated salt often includes more minerals, including calcium, copper, and iron, than mined salt. These are often detrimental to pools, and you may need to use a metal sequestrant and monitor your pool’s calcium hardness to keep things in check. This additional work is why mined salts are more preferred by most pool owners than mechanically evaporated salt.

Solar Salt

Sun Shining in Salt Flat

Solar salt is the same as manually evaporated salt, except it evaporates the water using wind and sun. This is extremely cost-effective, as nature performs all the work. In addition, the evaporation zones are easily reused, making solar salt one of the available most financially viable solutions.

However, this procedure increases brine shrimp and bacteria in the salt for a brief period. They die when the salt-to-water ratio becomes too high, but this also means that solar salt contains a disproportionate amount of contaminants in comparison to other forms of pool salt. This is why solar salt is the least desirable of the three pool salts.

How to Add Pool Salt to Chlorine Generator?

It’s easy to add pool salt! Follow these simple procedures to make sure that your pool’s salt levels are at their right range.

Step 1: Check How Much Salt the Chlorine Generator Needs

The standard requirement for most salt chlorine generators to operate is between 3000 and 4000 parts per million.  When adding salt, it’s recommended to aim for the middle range of your generator so that it will continue to function correctly even if the concentration fluctuates.

Check the handbook for further information about the actual range of your generator. 

Step 2: Determine the Levels of Salt in the Pool

Salt test strips are the most accurate method of determining how much salt is in your pool. Pools that are brand new often contain 0 ppm, making the math way simpler for you. Traditionally chlorinated pools typically have a chlorine concentration of approximately 500 parts per million (ppm).

If you’re still quite unsure of your pool’s chemistry, we recommend bringing a sample of your pool water to a nearby pool store for testing. Most shops provide free and accurate testing.

Step 3: Measure How Much Salt Is Needed in a Pool

The amount of salt you need may vary depending on the purity of the salt you choose. Though you don’t need to find a source for 99% pure salt, a 92% can also dose your pool in larger quantities. Use the guides that come with the pool salt product to determine the amount of salt necessary for different pool sizes. 

The bigger your pool size, the more salt it requires. The majority of retailers sell them in 40-pound sacks. Using our pool volume calculator, you can figure out how many gallons of water are in your pool. Use a pool salt calculator to help you determine the appropriate salt levels for your pool capacity. 

Step 4: Power off the Pool’s Chlorine Generator

Make sure the chlorine generator is turned off before adding the salt. Then, wait until the salt has completely dissolved before turning the machine back on. Then, leave your pump running again to keep water circulating.

Step 5: Add the Salt

Last but not least, add your salt. Placing it in the shallow end of your pool will yield the greatest results (or the closest equivalent). It is not necessary to add the salt straight into the skimmer. When adding salt for the first time, it generally takes approximately 24 hours for the salt to dissolve completely. After that, check the salt levels one more time to ensure they’re correct, and add additional salt if necessary.

If you’re not extra sure how much salt to put in, start low. It is way simpler to increase the levels of salt in a swimming pool than lowering their levels by draining the water. 

“This life is like a swimming pool. You dive into the water, but you can’t see how deep it is”

Dennis Rodman

Pool salt is one of the most essential items to always have in store if you’re a saltwater pool owner, including pool owners who use salt chlorine generators to keep the pool clean. It’s important to always ensure that you have enough pool salt in stock so that you can maintain your pool salt levels at all times.

Make sure that you’re able to find the right type of salt for your pool, to prevent your pool water from becoming cloudy.

You can find articles about pools on our website. Here are some tips to help you maintain and clean your pool. Have fun in a clean, safe pool with your family!

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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