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Thread: salt level

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    salt level

    I am in the process of readjusting my salt level. It has dropped due to refilling for a leak (fixed) and overflow from heavy rains lately. The swcg before all of this stayed around 3000-3200 and worked great. The display showed low salt (-2500) and check cell, which I did and it looked great. So I put in a 40# bag figuring it would at least come up to 2700 and get rid of the warning lights, and it did for about a day and now its back down to 2600 and the lights are back on. I checked it with the salt test strips and it showed about 3800, but those have always read much higher than the display on the swcg. Any ideas on things I should check or test would be great. The pool is 15,000 gallon. Also what level is it best to keep it at? On the low side (2700) or the high side (3400)?
    Michiele
    Newbie pool owner
    25,000 gallon inground, vinyl lined pool, sand filter

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    Re: salt level

    What brand of SWCG is it?
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: salt level

    As bk406 implied, the ideal salt level depends on the brand of the SWG.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that very cold water can often cause the salt reading to be lower than actual. If your water temperature is below 55 degrees, especially if it is colder now than it has been earlier in the winter, I wouldn't worry too much about the low salt reading. Algae growth in very cold water is unlikely anyway.

    On the other hand, if your water is normal swimming temperature, this could be an indication that the salt sensor is malfunctioning.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: salt level

    It is an Aqua-Rite. I figured the water temp could play a role, thats why I wanted to only add a minimum amount to get it to the 2700 level. Does it hurt anything for it to run on "low salt"?
    It seems to be working normally and the water temp is around 59 degrees.
    Michiele
    Newbie pool owner
    25,000 gallon inground, vinyl lined pool, sand filter

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    Re: salt level

    Be aware that many people on this forum (including myself) have found that the salt reading from test strips to be much higher than the reading of the SWCG. In the end the important thing is to keep the SWCG happy (within reason). If the unit is displaying low salt I believe that it will not generate chlorine until that message is cleared. I suggest try adding a bit more salt to get over 2800 ppm reading and leave there until warmer weather comes.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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    Re: salt level

    Ditto on the salt test strips. Last season, I constantly read higher salt on the strips compared to the reading on my Pentair IC40. I thought the strips to be more accurate. But, last July, I had consistently low readings (~2700) when the strips read 3800. I took water samples to 3 different pool stores on the same day, out of the same sample. They all came back within 200 ppm of the Pentair reading on the Easytouch. Only thing I could conclude is the strips were bad. I never bought another lot since I trusted the Easytouch reading. At any rate, even if the strips are right on, it doesnt matter. Whatever the generator thinks the level is, that's how it will fuction, or not.
    Not sure about your model, but the Pentair wil not function below 52 +/- 3 degrees. In reality, they won't function that well below 60.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: salt level

    I would echo the responses above. Ignore the strips, they have never been accurate for me. The Goldline units should continue to generate chlorine even with the low salt warning. At least that is what mine does and I think the Aquarite is no different. However, the unit will shut off on a high salt warning because the high current can damage the unit. As far as I know, there is no issue with running on low salt since the current levels are lower than normal. If there was an issue, the unit would shut itself off. However, chlorine production is related to salt level so I would add just enough salt to keep the warning light off but anywhere between the limits should be fine for operation although Goldline recommends the upper limit as a target.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: salt level

    O.k. I think I will hold off putting any more salt in until the temp gets back to at least 60 degrees. I did check the screen for output amperage and it seems like it was in the 1.5 -2.0 range. So I think it is working even though the "low salt" light is on. I have a question regarding the "check cell" light. It also came on about the same time and I thought maybe it was just around the 300 hour service time. I did check the cell and it was clean. So I reset it by holding the button down for 3 seconds and the light went out. However it came back on the next day when the "low salt" light was back on. Is this normal for it to come on with the "low salt" light?
    Michiele
    Newbie pool owner
    25,000 gallon inground, vinyl lined pool, sand filter

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    Re: salt level

    The "check cell" could be due to cold water? Check the manual.
    14,000 gallon IG, Vinyl. Hayward 3/4 hp superpump, Penatair IC40 SWCG, Pentair automation, Hayward sand filter, Aqua Comfort heat pump, Hayward 400k Lo-Nox LP heater.

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: salt level

    The light comes on for any warning so you may have reset it for the periodic check but it will come back on again for the low salt.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: salt level

    Less than 6 months old. Pool was finished and filled in August 09. It has been working great until the leak and I had to keep adding water. Then we got a lot of rain and it was running out of the overflows. So I know the salt level has had to drop in the past month.
    Michiele
    Newbie pool owner
    25,000 gallon inground, vinyl lined pool, sand filter

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    Re: salt level

    Maybe I missed this, but have you removed the cell and verified that there is no scale build up on the blades?
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
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    polyvue's Avatar
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    Re: salt level

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean
    Maybe I missed this, but have you removed the cell and verified that there is no scale build up on the blades?
    Yup. he checked it... 1st post

    Quote Originally Posted by gregs
    The display showed low salt (-2500) and check cell, which I did and it looked great. So I put in a 40# bag figuring it would at least come up to 2700 and get rid of the warning lights, and it did for about a day and now its back down to 2600 and the lights are back on.
    Very familiar story. I've had the same thing happen many times. Lots of great advice above!

    I think a.)The SWG report of 2500 ppm may have been generous - it takes a while to adjust as you know, so it may have been headed lower; b.) When the reported salt is that low, it takes more than a #40 bag to change things for the cell (not sure why); c.) The salt takes longer to dissolve in cold water so be sure to sweep it around and run the filter pump and vacuum (not to waste) for at least a few hours when you add salt and then daily thereafter; d.) If you expect rain or your pool has been close to overflow, forget about the salt for a while, it's been diluted -- if it overflows, it's gone... if it stays dry, your water level will recede and the salt level will gradually rise due to evaporation; e) if you have a sand or DE filter and have added salt in the last week, don't backwash; f) Even when dispersed with vigor and all pumps ablaze in the middle of summer, it can take several days for the SWG cell controller to report a consistent salt reading. When not fed at regular intervals it becomes a tyrant, demanding more and more salt... but in an instant it will turn on you: "TOO MUCH SALT!!" It is at this juncture that I go find something to kick and then ignore it for 24 hours. Sooner or later it comes around but I have never, not once, received an apology.
    14,555 gal in-ground 16'x29' white plaster Pool w/spa (2007); Goldline Aqua Logic AQL-PS-8 control w/Aqua Cell 15 Salt Water Chlorination (SWCG); Hayward TriStar 1HP (1.85 SF) main / 1.5HP (1.60 SF) spa pumps; Hayward Swimclear cart filter C4025, ColorLogic LED lights; Tankless SP-18-4 electric heater; Polaris 280 cleaner.
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    Re: salt level

    Thanks for all the help! I definately want to stay on the low side for now and monitor it. I dont want to have it go "high salt" when the temps start to increase and the water level drops. Currently the water level is staying at the edge of the overflows, during the summer it averaged about a 1" below that. So with a little evaporation I am sure the salt level will increase. So far it has climbed up to 2800 but the instant read will sometimes say -2700. I have another 1/2 bag of salt that I may add a little later if I cant get it to stay at 2800-2900 range.
    Michiele
    Newbie pool owner
    25,000 gallon inground, vinyl lined pool, sand filter

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: salt level

    When water evaporates, the salt level will go up but it is only temporary since when you add water, the salt level will go back to where it was before.

    Also, my experience has been that the Goldline units are pretty steady with temperature so the salt level should not change much as the water warms up. I think you would be safe to increase the level to the minimum.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump and Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, 1/2 HP 2sp pump, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: salt level

    O.K. I will keep that in mind. I am hoping for some evaporation (1"-2') to get the water level below the overflows so that there is some room for the rains. But lately it just isnt working, and its supposed to rain some more tommorrow. The level has stayed at 2800 for a couple of days now.
    Michiele
    Newbie pool owner
    25,000 gallon inground, vinyl lined pool, sand filter

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