If you are converting your existing pool over to a saltwater pool or having a saltwater generator installed at your new pool, adding the salt to charge the system is a pretty easy process. But there are steps you will need to take in making sure that you add the right amount of salt so the Saltwater generator will operate correctly.
It may seem like a lot of salt toad to your pool and you may think that you are turning your pool into an ocean. But that is not really the case. Most systems require 3000 ppm of salt and that may entail dumping in 10 or more 40 lbs. bags but that is nowhere near the ocean at 30,000 ppm. So rest assured that even though it looks like a lot of salt, in 20,000 gallons of water it really is no that much at all.
The first thing you need to do is get an accurate size of how much water is in your pool. This will allow you to reach the salt level needed for your system without having you add to much or too little salt. Measure the perimeter of the pool and then use one of the common methods to get pool depth. I usually stick my pool pole in the center of the deep end to get the depth. You can use many online apps to then calculate your pool volume in gallons. It won’t be spot on but a close estimation.
You will want to turn the salt system off. You will want to leave it off until the salt level reaches the desired level. Refer to the manual of your system to learn how to turn it off, or simply unplug it or turn off the breaker to the salt system.
You will want to get the pool’s current salinity or salt level reading. If it is a new build there will be no salt in the water but in some cases, there may already be salt in the water so you want to make sure you are starting from zero so that you don’t add too much salt to the pool. Some ways salt can get in the pool is from using a lot of liquid chlorine or someone may have added salt just because, even if they didn’t have a saltwater generator before. I have had people add salt to their pool to try and soften the water, no kidding. So it is important to get an initial salt level reading.
You want to set your pool to run for 24 hours to circulate the large amount f salt that you will be adding. Depending on your system you will either set your Intermatic timer to run for 24 hours by removing the “off” tripper (I remove both to prevent error) or set your Automated system to “Service Mode,” which is the 24/7 run/stop mode.
Balance your pool water. Make sure the chemistry is in a good range but it does not have to perfectly balanced. Your pool should be blue and free from algae and within the range of being balanced.
Now you will add the salt to your pool. You can refer to the back of the bag for your salt level or you can use an online calculator like the https://www.poolcalculator.com/
If your pool was just plastered I suggest waiting 30-60 days for the plaster to cure before adding salt to the pool. I also suggest adding less salt than is called for. If you think your pool is 15,000 and the app calls for 9 bags of salt, add just 8 bags and then add another if needed. Maybe your pool is only 13,000 gallons and by adding 9 bags you have added too much salt. Always err on the side of caution and add less salt than more.
After 24 hours you will want to test the pool’s salt level again. If the salt level is at the correct level you are done and don’t need to add more salt. If it is coming in below 3000 ppm or the level recommended by your system add more salt.
Now you can turn on your saltwater generator if the desired salt level has been achieved. Now your saltwater generator will start to make chlorine for your pool.
If you follow these easy steps you will have your pool converted over to a saltwater pool in no time at all. It is a pretty easy process.
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