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Thread: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

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    Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    So I installed my salt cell today right after cleaning it with water and MA solution as recommended by Pentair 4 to 1. Before firing-up I added one 40 lb bag of salt because the last time I checked (about two months ago) my salt level it was between 3000 - 3200. Prior to adding the salt I did go to Pentair's website and their calculator said said I needed to ad 62 lbs of salt to bring me to 3400. I used 3100 as it's between my 3000 and 3200 tests.

    I install the salt cell, throw in the salt, turn on cell and I see my high salt level light is flashing. I check the level on my web portal and it says 4900! I get out a salt strip and test it and it comes in between 4020 and 4390. How on earth can this be? I haven't added anything to my pool other than bleach and acid . . . wait, I've added about 15 trichlor pucks too, does trichlor puck increase salt level? We've had a fair amount of rain over the past two months, could that raise my salt level?

    In a million years I never would have guessed I didn't need to add anymore salt. Water was new last June, I added salt to bring it to 3400, by end of season I was around 3200 so when the calculator told me I needed about 60 lbs I thought that sounds right. I know I should have tested prior to putting the salt in but I didn't think my salt level would rise over the winter.

    Any thoughts here, could the 15 trichlor pucks raised my salt level this much?

    Pentair manual is saying to drain a foot of water and test it, but it also is reading it at 4900 which I don't think there's any way it's at 4900, if memory serves me correctly it read higher than it was last year too. Am I running a risk of damaging my plaster and equipment? Ugh, not a great way to start out the season.
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Re: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    The pool calculator says that 15 pucks would have raised your salt only 28, so I don't think that's the culprit.

    Did someone maybe try to help you out by adding salt and just forgot to tell you?
    19,000 gallons, Well Water
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    Intellichlor 40 SWG, 2006 Taylor Test Kit with Speed Stirrer
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    Re: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    I'm the only person who adds anything to my pool. So strange.
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    I never add salt until the cell gives a low salt warning and then I am cautious about it. Add a bag, wait a couple of days, repeat. A few years ago I ended up with salt over 5000 ppm. The IC40 gives high salt warning at 4500 ppm but continues to produce chlorine. I just left mine alone and it worked fine and I didn't have to add salt for a long time.
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    Re: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    @pooldv - that's what I should have done, but the last time I tested I was on the low side and I knew no salt had been added. Still doesn't make sense. Especially with a season of splashing, people in and out of the pool, cannonballs etc.

    Any issues with equipment at that high of a salt level?


    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    Salt can take a very long time to mix and homogenize, days sometimes. Also, the IntelliChlor SWGs only measure salinity once every 12 hours. So what you're seeing is not an instant reading but a reading from when it first started up. Chlorine, pucks and acid all add chloride to your pool. It's not uncommon for a manual bleach user to see their salinity levels rise 1000ppm per year.

    Next time, don't add salt until you can accurately test your water. Those strips you use can be off by as much as 500ppm. The K-1766 drop test is far more accurate. Also, never add salt until you get a stable reading from your cell. Cold cells can show an apparent salinity that is lower than the real value. IC's have spotty temperature compensation, Hayward cells are better in that regard.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    There doesn't seem to be. My salt was way high in 2013 and it is still humming along fine, this is season 5.

    Agreed, the Intellichlors seem to be very persnicketty about temp and salt level. At least mine is, but once it is going each spring it works like a champ. SWGs are like mama, if the SWG is happy then everyone is happy. Salt tests are just a sanity check to keep you in the ball park. But, the bottom line is that no matter what the salt test says if the SWG says more salt then you have to add more salt. Brushing and waiting a couple of days after adding salt has definitely paid off for me over the years.
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    Re: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    Turned on pump and SWG this morning and now IC40 is telling me level is 4100 and in the "Optimum Salt Level" range. Very strange. Guess I won't worry about it, still not sure how it got so high but as long as it won't hurt my equipment I won't worry about it.

    Thanks for all the input!
    SUMMER 2015 BUILD IG gunite 38 x 31, 28,000 gal, 110' perimeter, Intelliflo VS, Whisperflow 3hp, Intellibrite LED x2, Clean & Clear 520, Screen Logic, Intelichlor 40, Quartzscape Blue, K-2006C, Speedstir, Aquanaut 400 (4 wheel The Pool Cleaner)

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Salt Level - What the heck is going on 3100 to 4390 with one 40 lb bag of salt?!?

    Right! Green lights? All good!
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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