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Thread: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

  1. Back To Top    #1

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    High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    Hello all,

    First I want to say that I love this site and I would like to thank those that put in the hard work to make it possible. (Not kissing up, I promise :P ) I wish I would have looked for it over the winter and schooled myself on pool maintenance a bit sooner.

    We bought our house in October and it has an old 24ft round AGP. We put in a new liner and a new sand filter. I got sold on salt water after swimming in a salt water pool last year. I bought a Chlorease CL02 SWG that I spent way to much money for at Leslie's (and would not have bought had I researched it ahead of time.) I bought 400lbs of salt because I thought my pool was 13,500 gal. I now know it's actually about 11,800 gal. Before adding salt I brought a water sample to Leslie's and the guy sold me 4lbs of Stabilizer, 25 Lbs of Hardness, 1 lb of Soda Ash, and 1lb of Shock. He tried to sell me Sodium Bicarbonate but when I asked him it that was just Baking Soda that I could get at Costco's, he relented and said yes. I followed his instructions which are as follows:

    May 11th & 12th
    Mix the 4lbs Stabilizer with water and add it to the skimmer. Wait 4 hours.
    Pour 14lbs Baking Soda around edge of pool. Wait 4 hours
    Add 1lb Soda Ash into pool. Wait 24 hours
    Add 25 lbs Hardness 6-7lbs at a time 1 hour between then wait 4 hours.
    Add 1lb of Shock.

    May 18th
    Added 400lbs Salt.
    Ran the pump for 24 hours and then turned on the SWG.

    At first the SWG read "Low" and it currently reads "4" and it seems to be operating correctly. (Normal is between 4-6 according to the manual)

    Over the last 24 hours I have spent about 20 hours scouring this site and learning many of the mistakes that I have made.

    I went to Leslie's this morning to buy the FAS-DPD test kit. The clerk told me he had one in stock that was missing a couple of things but he could put it together for me. Well, he put some of the wrong items (surprise) in the kit. For my FC test I have R-0001 R-0002 & R-0003. No powder. I think this is the FC test for the DPD test kit but I am not sure. I also don't know how to use this method because the instructions on the kit are for the FAS-DPD using the powder. ARRGG--Obviously I will be back there in the morning.

    Here are my results on what I have been able to test.

    TA 120
    CYA 35
    p/h 7.6
    Salt 5110ppm (6.6 on the Aquachek Saline Test Strips.) This is very high, I know. I don't know why. According to the Pool Calculator I would have had to put in 505lbs to get that kind of number. With the 400lbs that I put in I should be a little over 4000ppm, but not over 5000?? The SWG is reading normal right now, but it started "Low" so I'm wondering if it will start to creep up.

    The cheap Aquachek test strip that I have shows 0 FC.


    I wish now that I had chosen to go with the BBB method and not purchased the SWG. But since its installed and the money is spent, we are trying to make it work. If it doesn't, or is too much of a hassle, is their any problems with just taking it out and switching to bleach with all of that salt in the pool already?

    A long first post and a lot to comment on, I'm sure. Thanks in advance!!

    Mike
    AGP-11,800 gal-Vinyl-Hayward S180T90 High Rate Pro Sand Filtration System-Chlorease SWG CL02

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    Hi and Welcome.

    Honestly, I think as time passes you won't regret your SWG. I wish I had one

    Here's the thing, your numbers are a little off, so read about Water Blance for SWG's in Pool School, Recommended Levels, etc. You've probably read some of the articles there, yes? Your CYA level is too low for an SWG, but before you adjust it....

    I'm still learning about SWGs all the time, so I'm not sure if that salt level will be a problem for your particular unit. With a sand filter, backswashing requires fresh water replacement so overtime the salt level will come down, but the SWG Gurus may recommened a partial drain now, to lower the Salt level quicker. This will mean your other numbers need balancing....(like CYA).

    If your FC is really zero you are at risk for algae.

    First and foremost, if you haven't done so, order a good kit only, either from Leslies, Taylor or TFTestkits. I highly recommend the latter because I have one and I know it's the best bang for the buck. This test kit issue happens often, people want their kit "today" and go out and buy what they think will work and 90% of the time it's not the right kit. So return it and scold them.

    If you order your kit online from TFTestkits they ship very quickly, you could maybe even have it by Monday.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    There is always some salt in the water before you add any. If you don't measure the salt level, and instead added the full amount of salt you think you need, you will end up with too high a salt level. Salt at 5100 is very high, but not dangerous. The salt level will come down over time. As long as the SWG is happy you can leave the salt level alone. By the end of the season it will be more reasonable.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    fofa's Avatar
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    Re: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    My salt was at 3600 and I needed to raise it to 5000 (about my midpoint for my SWG). The salt calculator said I needed to add 360 pounds, which I did. It raised it to 5600 (about 100 higher than my high point).
    So either my gallon estimate is just off, or there is some fudge factor, not sure, but as with anything, a before is important for the after. And it all is just a relative point. mathimatically it is a sure thing, but it seems like our numbers are rather fuzzy. I have learned to take things as a reference, and adjust, run some, and remeasure.
    30,000 Gallons, Hayward C5030 cartridge filter, IG, Plaster, SWG

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    Re: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    Thanks for the advice and the replies. Two questions? If my FC isn't rising, will it be a problem to add bleach to the pool as a "shock"? The SWG manual advises to shock it (If the FC is low), but I wanted to check and make sure liquid bleach would be okay.

    As the SWG chlorinates the salt, does that bring the salt level down?

    I am awaiting my FAS DPD which I should have by Monday. I backwashed my sand filter today and am adding some fresh water to possibly bring the salt levels down a little bit. I'll be adding stabilizer tomorrow.

    Okay maybe I have three questions. I followed the backwash instructions for my sand filter. Turned it off. Moved the valve to Backwash, let it go for about 90 seconds. Turned it off. Moved it to rinse, let it go for about 60 seconds. Turned it off. Then I opened the pump to clean to the pump strainer and a volcano of water started pouring out. Panicking, I put the lid back on and closed it. Is that normal when the filter is off?

    One other thing (this is becoming a pattern, isn't it) There is a bit of water in my pressure gauge. Is that going to pose a problem?

    Thanks again for the patience you all have with the newbies,

    Mike
    AGP-11,800 gal-Vinyl-Hayward S180T90 High Rate Pro Sand Filtration System-Chlorease SWG CL02

  6. Back To Top    #6
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    Using bleach to shock is fine. Add bleach by pouring slowly in front of a return jet.

    The SWG does not consume salt. It turns salt into disinfecting chlorine, which then gets turned back into salt when it is used up. Still, the salt level will go down over time as water gets splashed out and backwashed out.

    I would not normally call it "a volcano of water", but water will come out. Since the pump is below the pool water level you need to turn off the water from the pool or block the skimmer & return.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Rockadile's Avatar
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    Re: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    I am in the same boat as you. I am trying to figure out my new SWG and it seems to read high, as well, when compared to the test strips. It is looking like it is about 1000ppm high and I am not quite sure what to do about it. Originally, I added 700lbs of salt while the chart was instructing me to add 800lbs. After 48 hours, I was at 5400ppm (test strips told me it was about 4100 ppm) instead of the targeted 3200 (700lbs should have put me even below this). I am not quite sure where this mysterious extra salt would have come from since the pool was just filled the end of last year and no salt was added prior to me adding salt. Unfortunately for me, the SWG shuts down due to high salt levels. I drained some water a few days back and now the SWg is telling me I am at 4400ppm, but the test strips are telling me I am at 3400ppm. Obviously the SWG trumps the test strips in that it won't work when salt levels are this "high." I am a bit concerned there is a problem with the SWG and I will be calling the pool company tomorrow to see if they can come out and check it. Man, what a pain this is! This SWG better be worth it.
    Equipment, etc.
    30,000g IG Quartz
    Goldline Aqua Logic SWG
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter
    AquaComfort Heat Pump
    Hayward Phantom Turbo Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 & K-1766
    Procrastination is the key to flexibility.

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    trust the strips. The SWG is only measuring conductivity of the water. Chloride ions, sodium ions, etc in the water, as well as water temp can affect the "numbers" the SWG reads. again, trust the strips. The SWG should have a field calibration setting. If the SWG stops because of perceived low or high salt, just recalibrate it. if it says low salt, but you know the salt is ok, and its still making chlorine, dont worry.

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Rockadile's Avatar
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    Re: High Salt Tests, First Readings, and Newbie!

    The problem was that it wasn't making chlorine as it was shutting down due to high salt levels. The problem has been solved. It turns out that the system was configured incorrectly. It was setup as if it was the smaller salt cell when in fact it was the model for larger pools. After, it was switched, the ppm displayed correctly according to my test.
    Equipment, etc.
    30,000g IG Quartz
    Goldline Aqua Logic SWG
    Hayward SwimClear Cartridge Filter
    AquaComfort Heat Pump
    Hayward Phantom Turbo Cleaner
    Taylor K-2006 & K-1766
    Procrastination is the key to flexibility.

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