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Thread: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

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    320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    Hey Gang:
    My first post here, in search of answers. I inherited a pool from the previous owner. This is my first pool to setup, so I did my research, and wanted to go salt. I poured eight 40lb bags of Pool salt into my round 24'x4' pool, 15,000-ish gallons with a 150lb sand filter. I left the filter on, and the next morning the Test strips showed under 200ppm.***? It should have been over 3000, right? I assumed there was something wrong with the test strips, or perhaps it was not all dissolved, so I dropped in a pack of chlorine shock, and turned on my brand new Solaxx SALRET20A Saltron Retro generator, set for 20 hours per day runtime, and left town for a business trip. When I checked back again after 72 hours, the lights on the Chlorine Generator showed the salt level as "NORMAL". But the Test Strips still showed under 200ppm, and my total chlorine # was huge, way over 30. The rest of my chemicals ranged from "close" to "not even on the chart". It's been like this for 8 days now. Yesterday I reduced the # of operating hours on the Saltron to 5, in an effort to pull down the chlorine levels. The pool is sparkly clear and inviting, but obviously it's whacked out in some way.

    So HOW can I be reading so little salt? I have recounted the stack of empty 40lb bags, and yes, there are 8 of them. Based on the test strips, I don't know what to add to this pool to balance it. I bought the SWG from Amazon, so I'm not in much of a position to call on the local pool company for help. Suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks, GPGP_TestStrips.jpg

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    Welcome to TFP!

    I would recommend getting one of the recommended test kits and not trusting the strips for anything. Although usually the salt strips are ok. The only thing that really matters is that the SWG is happy.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    Did you run the pump for 24 hours after adding salt to allow the salt to mix into the water?
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    Hi, welcome to TFP! I am assuming the salt strip is on the left? How old are the strips you are using? If your SWG is generating chlorine you have enough salt.

    As for the other tests, test strips are notoriously inaccurate. They are easily affected by temperature, humidity, and age. If you plan on caring for your pool yourself you should invest in a high quality test kit such as a Taylor K2006 or a TF 100 . You will have more consistent test results and the convenience of testing on your own schedule instead of the pool store's. The TF 100 is an excellent value as it contains enough testing supplies to perform more than double the amount of tests as the Taylor K2006. There are also salt strips and drop based salt tests available. The drop based tests will be more accurate.
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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    read up on the BBB method of pool care. first off borax to balance PH. baking soda to raise alkalinity.
    add a bit at a time into the stream out of your water return jet.
    did you start at pool school? did you find the pool calculator?
    most people here do not use test strips as they can be off a lot.
    18X36 Grecian 24400 est., pacfab sand Triton II, 1.5hp AOSmith, clormatic 2

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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    I'm not sure what type of strips those are, but if they are similar to aquacheks, that yellow band on top needs to turn dark brown and that indicates the end of the test. Those strips take about 3-4 minutes to work and should only be inserted in about an inch deep of water.
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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    I'm guessing you submerged the whole strip in the water. Like ping said, only put the bottom inch of the strip in the water.
    14k gal IG vinyl, Jandy Flopro 1 hp up-rated, 2 spd pump, Hayward 325 sq ft cartridge filter, Circupool Si-40 SWCG

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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    I am anew pool owner and tried the strips as a comparison. Not even close. So scratch the strip idea. Get a good kit and learn how to properly use it. There are a lot of good people here with a lot of knowledge and willingness to help.
    12 x 26 Viking FG IG, Bermuda Model, 3 1/2' to 5', 7000 Gallons, Diamond Series Maya, Hayward 1 1/2 HP Maxflo VS, Hayward Stay Clear Plus Cart Filter C17502(S), Hayward Aqua Rite SWG w/T3 cell, Color Changing FIBERSTAR Lighting, Aqua Bot Supreme Robotic cleaner, Brushed Concrete with CCI Liberty Tan color, Taylor K-2006 test kit, Armor Foundation penetrating concrete sealer(lifetime warranty).

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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    The general opinion I hear is Don't Trust the Strips. All the test strips used were brand new, and I ran the tests 3 separate times on different days with similar results. I gave the "Aquacheck" Salt Test 10 min in a glass of sample water, but the reading did not change after the first 30 sec. I own a good TDS meter: would that be a better way to test the salt level of the water, or would other dissolved solids throw off the reading? Meanwhile, I will grab a TF100 test kit and see if that helps. As to BBB, I have heard a lot about the BBB method, but was not aware that it was compatible or recommended with the SWG approach. Obviously I have a lot to learn. Many thanks for the responses. GP

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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    Something is wrong with either your testing method or the strips are no good. The yellow band turns to dark brown when finished and since it is still showing yellow something went wrong with the test and I would invalidate that result. The strips only get dipped an inch deep in the water to do the test or else the strip will be ruined.

    Most everything you need to learn is in Pool School and throughout the forum and I hope you stick around and learn that pool care is actually pretty simple once the basics are understood.
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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    I would wager that your salt ppm is around 3000 given the size of the pool and the amount of salt you added. Sounds like the consensus is Dont trust Test Strips.
    25000 Gallon Pentair Intellichlor SWG Gunnite Pool with Heyward DE Filter/Pump
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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    Yes, 3000 ppm is about what I came to, based on the pool calculator. Would a TDS meter be useful in verifying the Salt level?

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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    A Taylor k-1766 test kit might confirm what your pool math says it should be. Or, at least give you an accurate salt level.
    Pool size: 24000gal inground Vinyl-Taylor k-2006 and k-1766 test kits and-speed stir
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    Re: 320 lbs of salt in 15,000 gallons, and only 200ppm? How can this possibly be?

    you didn't let the yellow strip at the top turn black

    - - - Updated - - -

    on the pic you showed the top yellow strip wasn't black, you need to keep the top part of the strip dry. only put the strip in about 1 inch of water and wait till yellow strip turns black
    13500 gal , above ground 24 round 52 deep, vinyl, 200lbs sand filter,, 1.5 hp one speed, aqua trol-rj

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