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Thread: Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

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    Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

    Hey all ---

    I've been trying to learn as much as possible here before posting, but I still have a question.

    I have a chlorine pool... my general routine is get PH down with Acid, add chlorine with Chlor-Brite from Leslies. Also, we use the 3" pucks in a floater (I know, I know --- I'm learning to get away from all that stuff! )

    But I want to add Salt to my pool, to get that softer water feel... so I went to Lowes and got a salt test kit (strips) and a couple 40lb bags of Solar Salt.

    When I got home and tested the pool (before adding the salt), I was very surprised.... the strips show I have roughly 1,000ppm of salt already! I've been in the house for 1.5 yrs and have never added salt before, and I have a sand filter, so I do a lot of backwashing/refilling.

    The strips took a lot longer to finish their results then indicated in the directions... and I'm not sure how much to trust them. They say they test for salt as 'sodium chloride' which is salt, as far as I know.

    Any reason why I would have that much salt in the pool already? If I really do have 1,000ppm of salt in the pool, would it be bad to add a 40lb bag anyway? I have a 12,000 gallon pool.

    Thanks for the advice!
    25x12, inground (pebble tech)
    1hp pump, Pentair Triton sand filter

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

    Quote Originally Posted by JPBoston
    add chlorine with Chlor-Brite from Leslies. Also, we use the 3" pucks in a floater (I know, I know --- I'm learning to get away from all that stuff! )
    Better check your CYA level. I would stop using that stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by JPBoston
    When I got home and tested the pool (before adding the salt), I was very surprised.... the strips show I have roughly 1,000ppm of salt already! I've been in the house for 1.5 yrs and have never added salt before, and I have a sand filter, so I do a lot of backwashing/refilling.
    Adding chlorine to your pool also slowly adds salt. You may very well be at 1000 ppm.

    Quote Originally Posted by JPBoston
    The strips took a lot longer to finish their results then indicated in the directions... and I'm not sure how much to trust them. They say they test for salt as 'sodium chloride' which is salt, as far as I know.
    It can take awhile, I have not timed mine, but I would guess 5 minutes. I would guess they are okay. Sodium chloride is salt.

    Quote Originally Posted by JPBoston
    Any reason why I would have that much salt in the pool already? If I really do have 1,000ppm of salt in the pool, would it be bad to add a 40lb bag anyway? I have a 12,000 gallon pool.
    Most people who have salt but no swg use a concentration of around 2000 ppm. From poolcalculator.com, to go from 1000 ppm to 2000 ppm, you should add 100 lbs of salt.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

    Chlorine IS salt! Seriously. The active form of chlorine is really just salt + some energy (that's how a Salt water generator turns salt into chlorine - it adds the energy). When chlorine does it's thing it expends the energy and becomes salt.

    At the bottom of the pool calculator there's the effects of adding chems section. If you look there you can get a sense of how much salt is in a Trichlor puck for instance in a pool your size.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Re: Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

    Thanks for the quick advice guys!

    I added the (2) 40lb bags of salt that I already had and mixed it all in... I'll get some more salt soon.

    I know my CYA is probably thru the roof (I've been studying the effects of the chlorine pucks and CYA via this forum), it's been bugging me like crazy to find out. Just can't order a legit CYA test kit right now. I'll take some water to Leslie's and see what they have to report, even though we all know it probably won't be accurate.
    25x12, inground (pebble tech)
    1hp pump, Pentair Triton sand filter

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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

    JPB,

    welcome to TFP

    The CYA kit at TFtestkits.net is only $17

    http://tftestkits.net/Cyanuric-Acid-Test-p48.html

    Better yet, even though the TF100 is a bit more, it WILL save you money in the long run by keeping you out of the pool store
    24'x52" AGP (13,500 Gallons), Intex SWG, (2)Solar Bear 4x20 panels, Hayward S220T Filter, 1/2hp Pentair Superflo

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

    Just as reinforcement I've never added salt to my pool and I have about 1600 ppm. I use the K-1766 salt test from Tftestkits so I trust that number. That, and the fact that it's been testing that for several months now.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    Re: Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

    Quote Originally Posted by lightingguy
    Chlorine IS salt! Seriously. The active form of chlorine is really just salt + some energy (that's how a Salt water generator turns salt into chlorine - it adds the energy). When chlorine does it's thing it expends the energy and becomes salt. .
    Well, technically chlorine is an element, and bleach (sodium hypochlorite) has sodium chloride (table salt) in it as a by product from creating sodium hypochlorite. So, you'll have sodium hypochlorite and sodium chloride in your bleach bottle.
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    Re: Testing for salt in a chlorine pool

    Thanks again guys... my wife was very skeptical of this endeavor -- after days of doubting me and rolling her eyes when I told her I could tell a difference... today she actually brought up that the pool water felt noticeably softer.

    This is significant because my wife is the type of woman who can't tell the difference of Blu-Ray vs DVDs, or 5.1 surround sound from a nice receiver and Polk speakers vs stereo from the TV speakers.

    As Charlie Sheen would say: "WINNING!"
    25x12, inground (pebble tech)
    1hp pump, Pentair Triton sand filter

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