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Thread: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

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    Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Hey everyone,

    I'm a newbie here. Well, we drained our pool, had it chlorine washed and the tile bead blasted. We filled the pool back up with hose water and I have been using liquid chlorine bleach as suggested here on the site. We actually have a SWG system, however we are in the midst of repairs, so chlorine it is in the mean time. My FC is currently at 3, PH is good at 7.5. TA is 70. I had the local pool supply store (Leslie's Pool Supply.... Not a fan) test it for the CYA and it is at 40, the CH is only at 60 & my Phosphates are a bit outta control at 2,500. I know y'all say not to worry about high phosphate readings but that bad boy is gonna have to come down or it will become a problem with my salt cell when we switch over. I have already ordered some "Salt Water Magic" through Amazon that my SWG company suggests, and I'm hoping that will bring the phosphates down.

    What I am perplexed by is my salt level. Last week, Leslie's Pool Supply tested it, and said it was at 2,490 ppm. I thought, "Wow, that's high for never putting salt in the pool". We had the salt tested again today (by Leslie's Pool Supply), because we are looking at getting the SWG running again, and in one week it climbed to 2,900. What could be causing this??? All I have been putting in the pool is Chlorine Bleach (likely only a 4.5-6%) and Muriatic Acid. I did put in a liquid stabilizer about 3-4 weeks ago, but that is it. I need help in figuring this out. This is weird to me.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Stop letting Leslie's test your water. Salt doesn't go up (except very slowly) unless you added it.........or the testing is in error.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    My first suggestion is to stop going to the pool store. Their only response it to sell you something.

    Not much credence is given to pool store testing around here. While you would think that a "professional" would be the best, unfortunately in most cases it is quite the opposite. Between employees who blindly trust the word of chemical sales representatives and high school kids working in the pool store for the summer you end up with poor results from their testing. But, what can you do?? We base our pool care system on accurate testing and only adding what the pool needs, when it needs it. To do that you need your own accurate test kit. Order a TF100
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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Thanks guys for your input. Here's the dealio. We are putting the house up for sale in about a month and I don't anticipate buying another home with a pool (it may happen, just not looking for it). I don't want to drop $100 on a test kit that I will no longer need in a month or two. It doesn't make sense. I am hearing what you are saying however, and there is another pool store in the town next door that I do trust. I will have them test it and see what they say. Aside from that, I am hearing you say that the salt climbing like that isn't possible. Should there be a salt reading at all however? What would be normal for a freshly filled pool that was done about 6 weeks ago?

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    What does your SWG say for salt level?
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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    What does your SWG say for salt level?
    As I mentioned in my post, my SWG is under repair, so not in use. We tested the salt because I wanted to calibrate it and get it back online. My current SWG would Not be a good indicator for any true salinity test.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Ok, you should get a k-1766.
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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesW View Post
    Ok, you should get a k-1766.
    We are putting our home up for sale in about 4 weeks (and we anticipate a quick sale). The fact that we are not looking for a new house with a pool, it wouldn't make financial sense to purchase a different kit at this point in time. If I was staying... for sure, but not right now.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    If you don't want to buy a test kit then you will be at the mercy of the pool stores testing and sales propaganda. Your best bet would be to wait until your SWG is back online and use it to get a general salt reading.

    In the meantime, I would be more worried about your FC and CH level in the short term.
    Once your SWG is back up, you'll want to increase your CYA as well.

    If you're listing your home in 4 weeks, the absolute soonest you will be done taking care of the pools is 8 weeks away. A lot can go wrong in that amount of time.

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Ok, the levels that are being discussed don't make sense if you haven't added salt.

    The k-1766 isn't that expensive. I think that it's worth getting but it's your choice.

    How much acid and liquid chlorine have been added since refill?

    What SWG do you have and how old is it?

    Did you get the salt tested at another store?
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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Quote Originally Posted by gr8erimage View Post
    If you don't want to buy a test kit then you will be at the mercy of the pool stores testing and sales propaganda. Your best bet would be to wait until your SWG is back online and use it to get a general salt reading.

    In the meantime, I would be more worried about your FC and CH level in the short term.
    Once your SWG is back up, you'll want to increase your CYA as well.

    If you're listing your home in 4 weeks, the absolute soonest you will be done taking care of the pools is 8 weeks away. A lot can go wrong in that amount of time.
    My FC is perfect, and I realize the CH is a bit low. Everything else is on point. Once we start the SWG, I will up the CYA (which I have here and ready to go). Pool is looking good and not giving me any trouble. The salt though is just weird. I will take it to the other more trust worthy pool store in the city next door and see what they say. You are right, I am at their mercy here, but these guys have always been waaay more respectable than Leslie’s Pool Supply. I will not be relying on my what my SWG system says at startup because we just replaced the Flow Switch and that requires calibrating. I would never trust an uncalibrated system. It was strongly off before the repair, so yeah.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    "The k-1766 isn't that expensive. I think that it's worth getting but it's your choice."
    How much is the k-1766, where do I get it, and what's in it?

    "
    How much acid and liquid chlorine have been added since refill?"
    The refill was 3-1/2 weeks ago (less time has passed than I previously thought), and I couldn't even tell you. "A lot" would be my answer. At first, I had not added any Stabilizer, so I was going through about a Gallon of Bleach a day. It was a fresh start-up as well, so things are a bit wonky in the beginning. Lately, I have had to add about 45-50 fl oz of Muriatic Acid a week.

    "
    What SWG do you have and how old is it?"
    It's a Hayward Aqua Rite system, and we had it put in with the pool, so about 12-13 years ago(?). The Salt cell has been replaced a few times, and may need it again. We just replaced the Flo Switch first to see if that works first.... It's cheaper.

    "
    Did you get the salt tested at another store?"
    I have not done that yet. I will be going out there tomorrow morning.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    BTW - I realized I didn't mention this, which is important. I AM testing the water at home, it's just that it is only a 5-way chemical tester. I can test FC/Bromine/PH/TA/Acid demand and that's about it.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Quote Originally Posted by hismusicnme View Post
    How much is the k-1766, where do I get it, and what's in it?
    TFTestkits.net

    The salt result is weird. Definitely need a reliable test.
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  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Thanks James for the test kit link. I really appreciate that. I'm going to order the parts needed for the CyA test, chemical Salt Level test, as well as for Calcium Hardness. Since I do NOT trust Leslie's Pool Supply, the other pool store I do like is across town and there is going to be some adjusting and tweaking necessary, I'm just going to pay the $59 (that's after shipping costs) and get'r done. It's worth it when I do not have the time to be driving back and forth from the pool store right now. And this way, I know for certain what is happening in my pool.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    UPDATE: I received my Taylor Salt Test, and I was only able to put one single drop of the Chromate Indicator in there before it turned Salmon colored. Wow. I have only 200 ppm of salt in my pool. I tested it twice to make sure and got the same reading. I'm not sure where Leslie's Pool Supply was coming from (on two different occasions), but their non-sensical numbers of 2450 then 2900 ppm... when I had added no salt what-so-ever to our fresh pool fill, is waaaaay off.

    Thanks for talking me into buying the test kit guys. I'm finally at peace and can take care of this pool accordingly.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Ok, thanks for the update.

    Note that the chromate indicator is added first and it's the R-0718 Silver Nitrate that is added drop by drop to get a color change.
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    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Oops! Haha. That IS what I did, just said it backwards. My bad.

    Also, for the record, They had my CyA off too, I figured I likely had next to nothing since I only added one gallon of liquid stabilizer to my 24,000 gallon pool with a zero reading originally. I figured it was better to undershoot and then add more after the fact. Leslie's Pool Supply was showing I had 40 ppm, but I tested it twice and it went all the way to the top of the CyA test tube before obscuring the view of the black dot (I followed the video instructions to the tee). What is that, like 10 ppm? That's my guess anyway. It stops the number marks at 20 so I'm not really sure, but it's too low, that's for sure. I have some stabilizer granules here so I'll add some and check it again.
    24,000 gallon In-Ground
    Pebble Tec
    SWG/Hayward Aqua Rite - DE filter
    HGX 5 way pool test kit (FC/Bromine/PH/Acid demand/TA) + TF CyA test + Taylor Salt test + TF Calcium Hardness test

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Salt level climbing when salt has not been added

    Ok, it's good that you're getting good test results so that you can get good water quality results.

    A pool that looks good definitely is a positive when selling a house.
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