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Thread: Converting to saltwater questions

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    Converting to saltwater questions

    Hi all,

    I am about to convert my pool to saltwater. I am about to install intellichlor IC40 cell with intellitouch.

    Went to my local lesley's stire to test water and the guy there told me that I can not add any salt untill all the chlorine in the water is gone. Currently my chlorine level is 4.

    Is he wrong or this is how it should work?

    Thanks
    12000 gallons inground pool with spa, Pentair VS pump, Easytouch 4, Intellichlor 40, Pentair Clean & Clear CC420 cartridge filter, solar panels, TF-100

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    He is grossly mistaken. If that is what he said. Absolutely not true. Add the SWG, salt, and make sure you keep a good FC level until it's functioning and producing FC.

    Do you know your cya/stabilizer level?
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    Saturn94's Avatar
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Wow! That's a good one! If you can't add salt to a pool with chlorine in it, what happens when you turn the SWCG on and it starts adding chlorine to a pool with salt in it??

    Never go back to that store!
    20k IG vinyl liner/Aqua Rite SWCG, T-15 cell/Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter/Polaris 280 with booster pump/Hayward Superpump 1 hp/city water/pool installed March 2004

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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    I've got a newbie question for you guys.

    What situation calls for adding salt? How much? How often?
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    When the salt cell tells you the level is too low which will be from the following:
    • Splash-out, removes salt
    • Overflow draining out of the pool - removes salt
    • Closing for winter and lowering water level - removes salt
    • NOT evaporation - does not remove salt

    Typically a bag or two during a season, after adding for re-opening in the spring. Calculate using Pool Math on this site.

    Lowe's - Diamond Crystal Solar Naturals water softener salt - Blue bag (not yellow) - best buy - dissolves in under 30 minutes. Official pool salt just dissolves quicker and costs more.

    But being in Jacksonville and not closing the pool, that one doesn't apply. So probably several a year. I get more splash out than most because we have an autocover so one wall of our pool is lower than the rest resulting in more water loss. Whereas you may get a foot of rain from a T.S. causing a large outflow. Each pool has it's own personality.
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick_B View Post
    He is grossly mistaken. If that is what he said. Absolutely not true. Add the SWG, salt, and make sure you keep a good FC level until it's functioning and producing FC.

    Do you know your cya/stabilizer level?

    Hi Patrick_B,

    Thank you for your fast response!

    The complete test results for my pool are:

    FAC - 4
    TAC - 4
    CYA - 99
    TA - 90
    PH - 7.4
    TDS - 500
    PHO - 50

    This guy first attempted to convince me that it is so stupid to convert from chlorine to salt but when I told him that I am going to do it anyway then he said first that I have to drain the pool and fill it with new water OR to wait couple of weeks until all the chlorine is bellow 0.5 and that I CAN NOT add salt if there is still chlorine presented in my pool. This statement confused me a lot since I have 400 lbs of salt in my trunk

    So I assume that it is safe to add salt with this test results or I should do something else first?

    Thanks
    12000 gallons inground pool with spa, Pentair VS pump, Easytouch 4, Intellichlor 40, Pentair Clean & Clear CC420 cartridge filter, solar panels, TF-100

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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    I would highly recommend you get your own kit, including salt test kit before you move forward. Your Cya level is probably going to be a good deal higher than 100. Do you have salt test strips at least? Those are usually ok, occasional batches of them are poor.
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    I do have TV-100 test kit but I think that the reagents are old and bad /they were stored in cabinet outside so in the summer it gets really hot here/.

    If they are good my CYA test shows way over 100 / no scale on the tube over 100/.

    As per salt test trips - are they needed since the intellitouch can show the salt level from the IC40?

    Thanks
    12000 gallons inground pool with spa, Pentair VS pump, Easytouch 4, Intellichlor 40, Pentair Clean & Clear CC420 cartridge filter, solar panels, TF-100

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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    I recommend still using the salt strips to test as the cell can give false readings at times.
    Ron- Kansas. IG fiberglass, Riviera 30 Freeform 13600 gallons,
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    I will get the salt test strips first thing in the morning /still no added salt in to the pool/

    As newb in this game please advise how to proceed in order to finish the conversion /the intellitouch and the IC40 are installed/.

    The guy at lesley's did not perform good tests /just PH/Chlorine test and some conductivity test, no CYA test as per what I saw/.

    I plan to redo the test tomorrow and to buy the salt test strips. So what's next?

    Second question: do the reagents in the TF-100 kit get bad if they are stored in dark but warm/hot place in summer and dark and coldish in the winter. Do I have to store them inside the house?

    Thanks again
    12000 gallons inground pool with spa, Pentair VS pump, Easytouch 4, Intellichlor 40, Pentair Clean & Clear CC420 cartridge filter, solar panels, TF-100

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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Hey Acho. I strongly suggest never talking to that guy again and stay out of that pool store as much as possible. I normally try to be nice, but his advice is mind numbingly stupid. Can't add salt with chlorine in the pool? Just to put the idiocy of that in perspective: all forms of liquid and dry chlorine has salt in it. So every tab they sell -gasp- adds salt to the pool. Oh Noes!

    Have you added your salt yet? It looks like you will want to replace some water to get your CYA down to 70-80, per SWG guidelines. If you haven't added the salt then you will want to wait until any water changes have been completed since you will just end up removing the salt you just added.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    I did not put the salt in yet.

    Tomorrow I will drain some of the water may be half of it/ and refill it with fresh water hoping for the best.

    btw the manual of the IC40 says that CYA level should be between 30 and 50 so may be half of the water won't do the trick
    12000 gallons inground pool with spa, Pentair VS pump, Easytouch 4, Intellichlor 40, Pentair Clean & Clear CC420 cartridge filter, solar panels, TF-100

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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Have you done much reading in the pool school? Our recommendations will typically vary from manufacturers', but that is because they rarely take in to account all of the variables we do, most importantly the FC/CYA ratio.

    Here are our Recommended Levels
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Have you done much reading in the pool school? Our recommendations will typically vary from manufacturers', but that is because they rarely take in to account all of the variables we do, most importantly the FC/CYA ratio.

    Here are our Recommended Levels
    I appretiate very much your input. Just sharing what is in the manual

    I've read alot but sometimes there is conflicting info over the net. I am happy that I found this forum.

    At the moment I am draining half of the water in order to refill with fresh water. With my reagents in my test kit /might be old and bad/ i did CYA test with 50% pool water and 50% tap water and the CYA was about 65-70 so I hope with half drain to get where I am supposed to be.
    12000 gallons inground pool with spa, Pentair VS pump, Easytouch 4, Intellichlor 40, Pentair Clean & Clear CC420 cartridge filter, solar panels, TF-100

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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Here is the Water Balance for a SWCG pool.

    Why are you trying to lower CYA? Needs to go up, not down.
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Here is the Water Balance for a SWCG pool.

    Why are you trying to lower CYA? Needs to go up, not down.
    No, he said a 50/50 tap water test was 65-70. So his CYI should be 130-140.

    According to TFP reccomended levels for SWG pool he needs to drain and refill about 1/2 of the water.
    chiefwej
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Here is the Water Balance for a SWCG pool.

    Why are you trying to lower CYA? Needs to go up, not down.
    Thanks for the link.

    My CYA was well above 100 /may be arround 140/ which i double the recommended in the link.
    12000 gallons inground pool with spa, Pentair VS pump, Easytouch 4, Intellichlor 40, Pentair Clean & Clear CC420 cartridge filter, solar panels, TF-100

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    Yes, missed that, draining half is a good idea.
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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    OK, I got replaced about half of the water with fresh one and CYA came down to 70

    this is the whole test:

    FAC - 3
    TAC - 3
    CH - 300
    CYA - 70
    TA - 120
    PH - 7.6
    COPPER - 0
    IRON - 0
    TDS - 1200
    PHO - 200

    This is before adding salt. According to the Water Balance for a SWCG pool link my TA is high. All the rest looks OK.

    New test will be done in few days after the salt to see where I am.

    My pool is very unregular shape with deep ad shallow end and according to the formula I calculated it ~11-12k.

    According to the table in the IC40 manual I had to add 8 bags of salt to get to the recommended 3400 level of salt. In the link Water Balance for a SWCG pool it says salt level should be 200-400 over the recommended optimum which makes 2600-3800.

    I added 6 bags of salt and waited couple of hours before testing for salt level. with strips for salt it shows around 4000 but the cell reports 4100.

    there are two possibilities - my pool is smaller than calculated by me or there is something wrong with the reading. The manual of the cell says that the sensor is +/- 500 ppm so I can be good or I can be way high.

    I will wait untill next week and redo the test /out of the town for the weekend/ to see what finaly is the salt level bu I hope I will not have to drin again

    Regarding TA - should I do something about it and if yes what exactly?
    12000 gallons inground pool with spa, Pentair VS pump, Easytouch 4, Intellichlor 40, Pentair Clean & Clear CC420 cartridge filter, solar panels, TF-100

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    Re: Converting to saltwater questions

    I'd let the pool circulate at least 24hrs after adding salt before taking a salt reading.
    20k IG vinyl liner/Aqua Rite SWCG, T-15 cell/Hayward Pro Grid 6020 DE filter/Polaris 280 with booster pump/Hayward Superpump 1 hp/city water/pool installed March 2004

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