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Thread: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

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    newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    I have been testing my salt pool water weekly with no problems, after shocking (boost) it last week the nano- machine said to add salt, which I did, the next day, the light on my salt machine was blinking warning add salt, I did, tested the water and the stabilizer was low and the free chlorine was low (according to the test strip) went to the pool dealer and they gave me stabilizer, told me to pour half the bottle of crystals into the basket and test the water in 3 days, if still low, add more. I did this, stabilizer was still low after 3 days and testing, so I added a little more, but the salt cell machine was only asking for 20 lbs of salt so I guessed something is working correctly, tested the water this morning, 3 days after adding stabilizer the second time, and it was still low on stabilizer. The machine is asking for 7 pounds of salt now.

    The water is clear, no algae, but I am concerned about adding too much stabilizer? The test strip reads that the stabilizer is between 50-100 and the pool dealer told me to bring it up to 100 (on the test strip) is this why the free chlorine is low as well?

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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    We can't actually answer any questions based on guess strips (test strips).

    In order for us to help you with your pool, you're going to need to get an approved testing kit - either a K-2006C or a TF-100 (both available here: TFTestkits.net ) so that we can get a number that is better than "50-100". That range requires entirely different levels of chlorine to keep your pool sanitized, safe, and algae free.

    While you're waiting for your kit, I'd recommend reading the articles under Pool School at the top of this site. This will start to get you thinking about how the chemicals in your pool interact with each other and why it's so important to have a good testing method. You're also likely going to want to use bleach until you can get the salt issue with your SWG figured out. Someone should be along to help with that.

    Welcome to the site! The people here are awesome, we just need exact, good testing numbers so we can give you the guidance you need to have that pool dialed in and sparkling.

    Also, please add the details about your pool to your signature. Information similar to what I have in mine will help us to help you.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    Welcome to TFP!

    More here on what to add to your signature and how to do it, Pool School - Read This BEFORE You Post
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    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    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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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    Ok I am going to order the test kit, that's good information, and I will definitely go to Pool School because I am clueless with how these chemicals work in my pool. Thank you!

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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    Can anyone recommend a thread in here about salt water pools? Things like calibrating salt, and why you need to do that? What it means? I have been searching the threads but haven't found much, tried googling salt water pools and still found little if any information on the basics of a salt water pool...Thanks in advance

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    Here is a page, Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs

    We could probably help more if you put your pool info in your sig.
    TFP Moderator
    If TFP helped you or saved you money - Become a TFP Supporter! <--Click here
    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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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    I don't have that information with me, I have to do it later when I am home and I can sort through the box of papers that came with the pool. I will definitely do it!

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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    Firstly - think of a salt water pool just like any other chlorine pool. Hypochlorous acid is the "active" form of chlorine - it oxidizes organic waste and keeps drinking/pool water safe.

    In a chlorine pool hypochlorous acid is added to the pool via bleach or tablets. When hypochlorous acid oxidizes it converts to chloride ion. There is also sodium in bleach - the net result is that your "chlorine becomes salt" - just regular table salt.

    In your salt cell electricity is passed between 2 plates - this process causes chloride ion to form into chlorine Gas. This chlorine gas then dissolves in the water to form hypochlorous acid.

    This process is basically the same way bleach is made.


    There is a minimum amount of salt needed in the water for the system to efficiently create hypochlorous acid - but this is a fairly wide range. Typically cell manufacturers specify somewhere between 3000 and 4200ppm salt in the water.

    Salt systems measure the conductivity of the water to determine if there is enough salt. If you are having trouble with your system giving you a salt error it can be worth it to buy a set of salt test strips. If a salt test shows your salt in the proper range and your swg unit is producing ample chlorine - you don't really need to worry about the salt level beyound that.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    wow thanks! That was very helpful, I did buy salt test strips, measured the salt level with it, and called the pool dealership, they had me re-calibrate the salt on the cell to 2900ppm (this is when I first had the stabilizer issue). Now I don't really know what re-calibrate means exactly, I am guessing it means to have the cell running at what the water is testing at? But why? NO idea. When I run the diagnostic menu it is asking for 7 lbs. of salt, but the dealer said not to add it until the stabilizer is where it should be. That's where I am right now, waiting....I should have my TFT Test kit in the next couple days, it shipped this morning.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just added some of the info to my signature on my pool I know...let's see if I did this correctly.
    AG, SWG, OPERA series, 15 x 26, pool pilot digital nano plus/220V, cartridge filter, May 2016 install.

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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    Signature looks great - you'll love the TF-100, it's a great value. Are you on city or well water?
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
    Pentair WhisperFlo 1hp Pump, MagnaTek Midcentury EPlus motor, Pentair CleanNClear 200SF Cartridge filter, Purex Triton MiniMax 250 Gas Heater, Pentair SunLite, AutoFill.
    Kreepy Krauly Cruiser, TF-100 with SpeedStir. :D

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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    Your salt system measures the conductivity of the water to determine how much salt is in the pool There are any number of reasons the system might be poorly calibrated to your pool. Basically if your test strips say you have enough salt and the system says you are low - it's best to recalibrate the system.

    CYA will have no affect on the salt readings - but I do agree with your rep. Take a deep breath, wait for the test kit - nothing bad is going to happen. As long as your system is producing some chlorine you are good.

    Once you get your test kit post a full set of results.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    city water.
    AG, SWG, OPERA series, 15 x 26, pool pilot digital nano plus/220V, cartridge filter, May 2016 install.

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    Re: newbie salt pool owner-stabilizer problem

    That makes sense about recalibrating the system. Thank you! I'm not too worried, the pool is crystal clear, no green stuff anywhere-so something must be working right. Once the test kit arrives I will post a full set of results and wait for instructions. This forum is incredible. I have learned so much!
    AG, SWG, OPERA series, 15 x 26, pool pilot digital nano plus/220V, cartridge filter, May 2016 install.

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