Chlorine Demand and Winterizing Above Ground Salt Water System Pool


New member
Sep 11, 2020
This is our second year having a pool so I don't have a lot of knowledge when it comes to pool maintenance. I have a simple salt pool and I was not able to keep chlorine in the pool all summer. We live in Michigan so its about time to winterize the pool. My local pool store ended up running a chlorine demand test last weekend and told me we needed to add 8 gallons of chlorine to our pool in order to break through. So I did that and waited 24 hours and tested from home with my strips. It showed we have 0 chlorine in our pool. I brought in a sample to the pool store and they told me to add 3 more gallons without doing another chlorine demand test and add the winterizing kit and call it good for this year. I want to get a second opinion because I don't want to close my pool and have even more problems come spring when it's time to open. What should I do?


Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Welcome to tfp!
I am sure some more folks will be along soon to help as well but I wanted to touch on a few points.

1) the simple salt system is not a true salt water chlorine generator (which creates it’s own free chlorine) its a mineral system masquerading as one that claims to lower the need for appropriate levels of sanitizer required in the FC/CYA Chart
& it also adds copper to your water which can stain surfaces and turn hair, nails, & even the water green. You’re better off removing it & dosing manually or replacing it with an appropriately sized swcg.

2) your problem is that organics are consuming your chlorine- this requires a SLAM Process
& you need a proper test kit that tests fc well over 10ppm & accurate cya as well as other paremeters to perform this
See Test Kits Compared
The tf 100 from is the best value & ships quickly.
Until it comes you should add 5ppm of liquid chlorine daily to prevent it from getting worse - usePoolMath for calculating additions
Also take a read @ the ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry
To understand the needs of your pool

3) After you complete the slam you can winterize properly & know you will not open to a swamp as it’s generally recommended to close @ or near slam level & the water temp is about 60 degrees or less

If u have questions just ask 😊
When u get a kit do a full battery of tests & post them in this thread 👍🏻
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