First, I hope that I can actually ask this question in a somewhat coherent manner. I am wondering what gets measured when I go to the pool store and ask what my salt level is at. They are clearly just using something that measures conductivity that presumably all ions contribute to. Or, is it somehow actually measuring sodium chloride itself? I purchased a packaged home test kit for salt from Leslie's that tests for salts via a dip stick. Many times I get different results than what I get from the pool store via the conductivity meter. Do the dip sticks somehow just measure actual sodium chloride, or is it just measuring conductivity or total ion levels?
A follow up question involves my constant use of muriatic pool acid to reduce alkalinity. Presumably the acid reacts with the calcium carbonate (ionized) to create carbon dioxide and ionized Calcium Chloride. So, as this goes on for years on end, I assume that I end up with lots of ionized calcium chloride, in addition to the salt that I originally added for my SWG. Does this ionized calcium chloride just up as NaCl by either or both of the above mentioned tests? If the calcium chloride is part of the NaCl reading on the conductivity test, is that OK in terms of managing the level of "salt" in the pool for the SWG??? I am in San Diego, where we get lots of calcium hardness buildup over time as our city water is very hard.
I realize that I have asked a lot of questions all at once, but it may help me figure out something in terms of pool chemistry.