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Thread: Salty water?

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    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Salty water?

    So, I've completed my adventure of converting from the dark side to clean, clear BBB. No SWG, just use plain 'ol "pool chlorine" (the HASA 12.5% stuff in returnable jugs), test every day and swim to my hearts content

    I know that sodium hypochlorite (we know it as "bleach") is actually a by-product and/or desired product of a reaction of chlorine (Cl) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) - I worked in a caustic/chlorine plant once a few careers ago.... The basic raw material of this process is salt and there is a small amount of residual salt in the sodium hypochlorite. I've not looked on the MSDS to see if they list it, but it's got to be fairly low.

    I know I've added probably close to 200 gal of bleach this year, but find it hard to believe I can actually taste the salt. I don't find it offensive, just surprising.

    Anyone else with a similar experience??
    Mark A. Wolf
    vocation = engineer
    avocation = bass trombone

    homebrewing, swimming pool chemistry - all my home science experiments
    ++++++++++++++
    21000 gal gunite IG pool/spa; Hayward Swimclear 3020 cartridge filter, Hayward Northstar pumps (one filter, one waterfall), heater (not sure size), Hayward Navigator

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    allwet's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    Chicago, IL
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    Re: Salty water?

    I noticed the same thing the year before last. I ended up changing out about 60% of my water last year. Water has been beautiful until just before the 4th this year... now I'm cloudy and fighting "something" I tried to fix it the pool store way... now I am back to BBB. Anybody know what level of salt is "safe" or desirable in a BBB pool? When adding a gallon of 6% bleach, are you also adding 94% salt water?

    Midwest 18500 FG IG
    18,500 IG FG with Spa(spillover)
    Gas Heater - Sta-Rite 300 Cartridge Filter - Polaris 280
    BBB - most of the time.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Salty water?

    Yes, bleach adds salt. Actually, all forms of chlorine add salt, but bleach adds more salt than the other kinds of chlorine. Dichlor and trichlor add about half as much salt as bleach. Other forms of chlorine are in between. The amount of salt added is fairly small, most BBB pools run around 1,200 ppm of salt, every once in a while there is a pool where it might go as high as 2,000 or very rarely 3,000. The eventual salt level in your pool depends on the rate of water replacement. Frequent backwashing will result in a lower salt level, a cartridge filter and no winterizing will result in a higher salt level.

    You can see how much salt is added by a given amount of bleach using the "Effects of adding chemicals" section towards the bottom of my Pool Calculator. Calculating the level your pool will eventually stabilize at is difficult. If you really want to know, it is much simpler to just measure the salt level with some AquaChek salt test strips.

    The level at which you can taste salt varies from person to person. A few people can taste salt as low as 1,000 ppm, nearly everyone can taste salt by the time it gets to 3,500.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    allwet's Avatar
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    Re: Salty water?

    I'm new to this forum. Spent some time on another one with good results... HOWEVER you guys are FAST!!! Thanks for the quick reply!!! That calculator is awesome! Thank you for that! I can tell I'm going to like this place.
    18,500 IG FG with Spa(spillover)
    Gas Heater - Sta-Rite 300 Cartridge Filter - Polaris 280
    BBB - most of the time.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Salty water?

    So I have been using Bleach this whole summer and EVERYONE who gets in the pool says the water is salty. Is this a problem? Is the only way to remove by replacing water?
    12,000 Gallon
    Hayward 2HP Pump
    Solar Panel
    TF-100 Kit
    Built 2004, bought Dec 2007
    BBB All the Way

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Salty water?

    Salt isn't really a problem till the level gets above 5,000. I would get some AquaChek salt test strips and measure the salt level. If it is 5,000 or lower I would leave it where it is, unless it really bothers you.

    The only way to lower the salt level is to replace water.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Salty water?

    Also, please keep in mind that SWCG owners have salt levels from 2600 - 4500 ppm - intentionally!!

    Quite a few other folks without the SWCGs add salt to get tp 1000 - 2000 ppm for the 'silky feel' of slightly salty water (I believe the ocean is ~ 35000 ppm) and to have the water more isotonic (closer to the salinity of the human body) The salt in sodium hypo is the only drawback to it and not much of a drawback at all (I have heard that a gallon of 12% has ~ 3 lbs salt in it - sounds like a lot? HA - consider that a 30,000 gal pool takes 800 lbs of salt to raise it to ~3200 ppm). So the bleach adds a small amount of salt to the water, which makes the water feel better to swim in - compare that to the use of tri-chlor which jacks up the cya (requiring a higher FC to properly sanitize the water) and drops the pH, requiring frequent additions of soda ash or (preferably) Borax to keep the metal and pool surface safe. Calcium hypo adds calcium to the water (a salt level of 1500 is fine, a calcium level of 1500 is problematic, to say the least ) and if not predissolved can wreck a liner! Oh yeah, as Jason pointed out, they add salt too

    In closing, I also need to point out that YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO SWIM IN THE POOL, NOT DRINK IT!!!!
    Luv& Luk
    -Ted

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

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