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Thread: Salt Testing

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    Sherra's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
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    South Carolina
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    Salt Testing

    We just bought a salt water chlorine generating system this weekend and will be having it installed next week. We put a minimal amount of salt in our pool last year but never tested it (just put in enough to make the water "feel" better but not nearly enough for a salt system - according to the calculators). What's the best way to test for salt levels? Are strips and electronic readers the only way? I thought strips were highly inaccurate - or is that only for chemicals and doesn't apply to salt?) I've got a test kit equivalent to the K-2006, so all my other testing needs are taken care of.
    Sherra
    Kershaw County, South Carolina
    18x36 27,500 gal IG Vinyl Liner, sand filter, 1hp single speed pump running 6 hours twice per day, Hayward Swim Pure salt chlorinator, 2 skimmers, main drain, 3 returns, husband, 2 kids, 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs

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    Guest

    Re: Salt Testing

    Salt strips are not like other strips. Salt test strips are actually titrator strips (silver nitrate) and they are extremely reliable for testing. Be sure to let them sit in about 1" of water until the indicator bar at the top turns dark. It can sometimes take up to 10 minutes. There are drop counting tests for salt that also use a silver nitrate titrant but they are prone to errors because it's easy to overshoot the endpoint and if you get any of the silver nitrate on your skin or nails it will make indelible black stains that have to wear off (or can be removed with cyanide! )
    Stick to the strips.
    Meters range from excellent (MyronL and Oakton) to garbage (LaMotte). They do need to be calibrated on a regular basis against a standard solution which is an added expense and some of them are temperature dependent.
    For the expense involved I would stick to the strips unless you are testing a large number of pools on a daily basis!

    Also borate test strips are fine to use. Borate levels are not THAT critical and the strips do provide precise enough results to get you in the ballpark.

    I have checked salt strips against both drop tests and calibrated meters numerous times and have found them to be right on the money with very little chance of performing the test wrong. They are about as idiot proof a test as I have ever come across. The main caution is to only use the chart on the bottle the particular strip came out of as each batch is individually calibrated.

    I have also checked LaMotte borate test strips against the maintol/titration test for borates and am satisfied that they are precise enough for our purposes. I have found that the AquaChek and Proteam strips are difficult to use and just about impossible to differentiate the colors above 30 ppm! The LaMotte strips do not have this problem if you read them in sunlight.

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    Sherra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Carolina
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    Re: Salt Testing

    Thanks Waterbear. I'm a big BBBer and I've been reading TFP and been over at Ben's forum for several years, but never paid particular attention to the salt forums until recently. Thanks so much! I'm hoping that once I get the water clear (haven't "opened" the pool yet) and get the salt system set up properly that I won't have to lug those jugs of bleach around constantly.
    Sherra
    Kershaw County, South Carolina
    18x36 27,500 gal IG Vinyl Liner, sand filter, 1hp single speed pump running 6 hours twice per day, Hayward Swim Pure salt chlorinator, 2 skimmers, main drain, 3 returns, husband, 2 kids, 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs

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    Guest

    Re: Salt Testing

    This thread might be of interest to you
    water-balance-tips-for-a-swg-t3663.html

    and this thread is a good one to consider if you have not already done so. The benefits with a SWG are great!
    so-you-want-to-add-borates-to-your-pool-why-and-how-t4921.html

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