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Thread: Starting a Salt water pool

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    Starting a Salt water pool

    I want to convert my pool to Salt water and purchased Saltron Retro. Before adding salt, I checked the salt level with Taylor Salt test kit and found my salt level to be 3400 without adding any external salt. The pool store recommended that I should first change the water as the TDS is very high. Given the drought condition in west, I am not doing it. I need help before I start the sale generator. Is the salt shown by the test kit good enough to start the chlorinator without adding any salt ? I am afraid of adding salt and going way over required limit.
    16000 Gallon Oval Vinyl Pool

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    elwood58's Avatar
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    Re: Starting a Salt water pool

    If there is truly 3400ppm of salt in your water, the SWG will likely work just fine. Any idea where all of that Salt came from? Did somebody previously add salt to soften the feel of the water?

    The good news is that most SWGs will let you know if they are unhappy with the salt level.
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Starting a Salt water pool

    If 3400 is within it's recommended operating range , you'll be fine. It should have a way to tell you if it's not. Ignore the TDS advice.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Starting a Salt water pool

    There is never any reason to pay any attention to a high TDS level. However, high TDS is sometime an indicator of high CYA or high CH levels, which may require you to change your pool water. So check your other levels before making a final decision.

    Given you are in Arizona, I suspect the high salt level came from using water from a water softener in the pool. Water softener water has a lot of salt in it, and over time that salt can accumulate in the pool.
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    Re: Starting a Salt water pool

    Thanks a lot for the advice. My CYA and other readings are all good except TDS. This is as measured by the pool shop. I am in Northern California. We are new owners of the pool and not sure of history. The pool guy mentioned that this can come from prolonged use of Liquid chlorine. I have used Trichlor and occasional Liquid chlorine in last 6 months. I will try to use the Saltron Retro and report how it goes. Thanks for the reassurance that I am not doing something wrong.

    Is there a recommended kit to test other pool chemistry ? I have the one that measures chlorine, PH and TA.
    16000 Gallon Oval Vinyl Pool

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Starting a Salt water pool

    Don't worry about the TDS. TDS stands for total dissolved solids, the sum of everything dissolved in the water. The problem with TDS is that it is a total of everything, and only some things cause problems. For example, if all you have dissolved in the water is salt, you can have a TDS in the 3,000 range and still have a totally manageable pool. OTOH, if you have 300 ppm of CYA in the water you can have a TDS of under 1,000 and have major problems.

    The only parameters you need to test are FC, CC (daily during swim season), pH (2-3 times a week), TA (weekly), CH and CYA (monthly or whenever there is a significant water replacement), and Salt (since you have a SWG pool).

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