I have a 12000 gallon in-ground saltwater pool with all Hayward equipment (Prologic, T15 salt cell, cartridge filter). In November I took out the salt cell and replaced it with that empty pipe they sell. The pool was reading 2700 in November, and store readings were just about the same at the time.
Over the winter I just used the triclor tabs in a floating dispenser to keep the pool sanitized. I turned the pool chlorinization to 0%, but I stupidly didn't actually set the chlorinator to "disabled" because I didn't know how to do that at the time (this is my first pool ever, just got the place in October).
This morning I put the salt cell back in and turned it on and looked at the instant reading and it shows 1700ppm. I took a water sample to a store and the store reading was 1200 ppm. Notable other readings that are outside the acceptable ranges:
* pH was like 7.9 at time of reading
* Calcium hardness level was somewhere around 600 at time of reading (default water here starts at 400, very hard to lower).
The salt cell was stored in a drawer in my garage, dry, for the 4 months it was out of the pool. It was cleaned professionally with acid/whatever they do just a few weeks before I took it out for the winter. The salt cell is about 2 years old I believe. Also, the readings are generally confirmed by the pool store tests so I don't think it's a case of a bad reading by the salt cell.
I'm going to start a bucket test today, but in the meantime I'm worried about a leak and was hoping there is a different possibility for the salt disappearing.
So my question is - is it possible that this much salt can disappear without a leak somewhere in the system? The pool was uncovered all winter and it definitely gets very windy here from time to time, but I don't have a backwash filter and I can't think of how that much salt could disappear otherwise.