Have had to add 120 lb salt to pool in one year

tplee

Member
May 1, 2021
11
Summerville, SC (lowcountry)
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
First: my pool is now ~14 months old and has yet to see a minute of anything other than crystal clear water....all thanks to this site...so, thank you all!!!

Onto the question: I am about to have to add my third 40 lb bag of pool salt to my 1 year-old, 14,000 pebble-plaster pool in an effort to keep my low salt warning from going off...is that considered excessive?
I don't lose much water to anything other than evaporation...and, of course, I am aware that salt does not evaporate with the water. In the summer, I do have to pretty much keep the auto-fill turned on all the time. We have gotten about 2-3 inches of rain in the last week. Is this possibly an indication of a leak somewhere? I do keep my pool near the top so as to give me plenty of room to avoid starving the pump via the skimmer intake...and I am told that when pools like mine leak, that it is often around the skimmer.

As for the low salt indication... my system reports 2,600 ppm while my Taylor liquid test indicates 3,000 ppm. This as been the case every time I've had to add salt....and when I do I only add enough to get the low salt indication to turn off. My thinking is that I'd rather stay on the lower side of the salt concentration window, for, well, just because, I guess.
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
26,497
Bedford, TX
Lee,

You should never add salt to your pool unless you know what the actual salt level of the pool water is. You need to be able to compare the actual salt level with what the cell reports. I use the Taylor K-1766 to find my actual salt level.

Water temp also figures into what salinity reading that your cell reports. The colder the water the less accurate the reported salt level is.

What SWCG do you have???

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

Newdude

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
16,527
NY
Hey tplee !!!

You average 51 inches a year of rain by you and that alone would need many bags (15 ?) of salt to replenish. That water is going somewhere or it would need to be treated. An overflow as said above will let some of it leave untouched but there will always be some degree of mixing. So evaporation is likely staying fairly consistant with whatever rain mixes.

I needed 8-12 bags every spring just to catch up from the winter, then one mid season. I was happy to buy big bags for little money, instead of the little bags for big money. :ROFLMAO:
 

jedigrover

Gold Supporter
Sep 13, 2010
328
Plano, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
What @Jimrahbe said.
Never add salt based on the SWG's reading. Add salt based on an independent test (either a drop test or a calibrated meter, or in a pinch, the test strips).

The Hayward cells salt reading is not provided by an independent probe. It is looking at voltage and amperage on the cell and temperature of the water to calculate the salt ppm. As the cell ages, this calculation is thrown off (toward the low side). A general rule of thumb is:
**for a clean cell**
- get the "instant salt" reading from the SWG
- take a true salt reading by another method (like the Taylor drop test)

If the "instant salt" reading is 75% or lower of the true salt reading, then the cell is on its way out. So if you have 3000ppm by the Taylor test, but your cell is only reading 2250 or less, then it's probably time to replace the cell.
 

mbeezie

Active member
May 14, 2021
29
NY
Pool Size
36000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Turbo Cell (T-CELL-5)
I wish i had to only add that much salt. My pool usually takes 10-12 of the 40lb bags to open each year :p
 
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otter86753

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 26, 2013
695
Charleston, SC
Pool Size
5900
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-3)
My pool is less than half your size and because of all the rain we usually (although not yet this year) receive, you will have to add salt occasionally. I'm DT Charleston and usually have to add 1-3 bags a season; one or two at the beginning and another mid season and in really rainy years, one more. As others have said, get the Taylor K-1776 to accurately know your salt level. It gives me complete peace of mind to know what my salt level is, particularly right before we go away.

If you feel you might have a leak, here is a link to a test that will eliminate that variable.
 

tplee

Member
May 1, 2021
11
Summerville, SC (lowcountry)
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Lee,

You should never add salt to your pool unless you know what the actual salt level of the pool water is. You need to be able to compare the actual salt level with what the cell reports. I use the Taylor K-1766 to find my actual salt level.

Water temp also figures into what salinity reading that your cell reports. The colder the water the less accurate the reported salt level is.

What SWCG do you have???

Thanks,

Jim R.
Sorry for the delay, guys. I updated my sig with all my particulars.

I have the K-1766 (along with the K-2006) and did test my water. My reading came in around 2800 ppm with the K-1766 test kit, which should have been good but the system was giving me the low salt light
 

tplee

Member
May 1, 2021
11
Summerville, SC (lowcountry)
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
My pool is less than half your size and because of all the rain we usually (although not yet this year) receive, you will have to add salt occasionally. I'm DT Charleston and usually have to add 1-3 bags a season; one or two at the beginning and another mid season and in really rainy years, one more. As others have said, get the Taylor K-1776 to accurately know your salt level. It gives me complete peace of mind to know what my salt level is, particularly right before we go away.

If you feel you might have a leak, here is a link to a test that will eliminate that variable.
Thanks for the info. I guess I will break down and test for a leak. If I do have one, I suspect it is only near the top (I like to keep my pool relatively full).

I do have the Taylor K-1766 along with the 2006, by the way.
 

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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
36,551
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I have the K-1766 (along with the K-2006) and did test my water. My reading came in around 2800 ppm with the K-1766 test kit, which should have been good but the system was giving me the low salt light


This is the basic information we need to know in diagnosing a problem:

  • Report all readings when you..
    • Move the switch from auto to off and check all of the readings.
    • Move the switch back to auto and recheck the readings.
    • Move the switch to off for a minute and then back to auto and recheck the readings.
  • What are the first seven characters of the cell and box serial numbers?
 
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tplee

Member
May 1, 2021
11
Summerville, SC (lowcountry)
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
What @Jimrahbe said.
Never add salt based on the SWG's reading. Add salt based on an independent test (either a drop test or a calibrated meter, or in a pinch, the test strips).

The Hayward cells salt reading is not provided by an independent probe. It is looking at voltage and amperage on the cell and temperature of the water to calculate the salt ppm. As the cell ages, this calculation is thrown off (toward the low side). A general rule of thumb is:
**for a clean cell**
- get the "instant salt" reading from the SWG
- take a true salt reading by another method (like the Taylor drop test)

If the "instant salt" reading is 75% or lower of the true salt reading, then the cell is on its way out. So if you have 3000ppm by the Taylor test, but your cell is only reading 2250 or less, then it's probably time to replace the cell.
I haven't cleaned my cell since my pool was put in April-before-last (shame on me). I will go out and clean the cells today. I just pull up the manual and it says to clean every 3 months. I have been so diligent about testing and cleaning everything else on my pool, but I forgot about the SWCG.
 

tplee

Member
May 1, 2021
11
Summerville, SC (lowcountry)
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Hey tplee !!!

You average 51 inches a year of rain by you and that alone would need many bags (15 ?) of salt to replenish. That water is going somewhere or it would need to be treated. An overflow as said above will let some of it leave untouched but there will always be some degree of mixing. So evaporation is likely staying fairly consistant with whatever rain mixes.

I needed 8-12 bags every spring just to catch up from the winter, then one mid season. I was happy to buy big bags for little money, instead of the little bags for big money. :ROFLMAO:
I did have some significant rainfall in late fall that brought the water up to the point of overflow. Otherwise, I don't loose much water to evaporation--and salt does not evaporate, of course. I suppose I could be splashing and carrying a good bit out with the kids and my wife and I using it a bunch.
 

tplee

Member
May 1, 2021
11
Summerville, SC (lowcountry)
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
This is the basic information we need to know in diagnosing a problem:

  • Report all readings when you..
    • Move the switch from auto to off and check all of the readings.
    • Move the switch back to auto and recheck the readings.
    • Move the switch to off for a minute and then back to auto and recheck the readings.
  • What are the first seven characters of the cell and box serial numbers?
I am going to clean the cells and baseline it against my K-1766 kit and post up what I find.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
36,551
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I haven't cleaned my cell since my pool was put in April-before-last (shame on me). I will go out and clean the cells today. I just pull up the manual and it says to clean every 3 months. I have been so diligent about testing and cleaning everything else on my pool, but I forgot about the SWCG.

You should only clean a SWG cell if it has visible scale on the plates.

First try and use strong blasts of water to remove the scale.

You can scrape the plates with a stick, like a Popsicle stick, to remove the scale.

If the scale is stubborn then use cleaning vinegar (6% acetic acid … available in Home Depot). It’s milder than Muriatic Acid and won’t damage the ruthenium surface. Highly concentrated mineral acids are not good for the transition metal catalysts.

Cleaning a SWG cell with Muriatic Acid 10:1 diluted solution will remove some of the rare earth coating from the plates and reduce the life of the cell with every cleaning.

I have not needed to clean my SWG in years.
 
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tplee

Member
May 1, 2021
11
Summerville, SC (lowcountry)
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
You should only clean a SWG cell if it has visible scale on the plates.

First try and use strong blasts of water to remove the scale.

You can scrape the plates with a stick, like a Popsicle stick, to remove the scale.

If the scale is stubborn then use cleaning vinegar (6% acetic acid … available in Home Depot). It’s milder than Muriatic Acid and won’t damage the ruthenium surface. Highly concentrated mineral acids are not good for the transition metal catalysts.

Cleaning a SWG cell with Muriatic Acid 10:1 diluted solution will remove some of the rare earth coating from the plates and reduce the life of the cell with every cleaning.

I have not needed to clean my SWG in years.
Thanks for the advice...going to take a look at my cell now.
 

jedigrover

Gold Supporter
Sep 13, 2010
328
Plano, TX
Pool Size
21000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
I haven't cleaned my cell since my pool was put in April-before-last (shame on me). I will go out and clean the cells today. I just pull up the manual and it says to clean every 3 months. I have been so diligent about testing and cleaning everything else on my pool, but I forgot about the SWCG.
Don't clean it unless you see scale.
 
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tplee

Member
May 1, 2021
11
Summerville, SC (lowcountry)
Pool Size
14500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
Don't clean it unless you see scale.
Sheesh...the installers either absolutely smoked down the b-nut or they got some glue on it. I flat cannot get it off. I tried a pipe wrench, but stopped before I tear something up. It's going to need backing wrenches at a minimum and might even need to just cut the b-nuts off. Either way, I'll be calling to pool installer out to square this away under warranty.

I've been quite judicious--perhaps even to a fault--with checking my pH and SLI ratio...so perhaps I should not have much scale at this point?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
20,618
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
I would like to add that a T-3 cell is absolutely way too small (undersized) for your pool volume. At a minimum your pool would have a T-9 cell or, since the incremental cost is not all that much, a T-15 cell. TFP recommends always getting a cell that is rated for 2X your pool volume and your installer will tell you that your cell is perfectly sized to your pool volume ... you can listen to whoever you want but installers and the industry are wrong on this point. A small cell means it needs to run at nearly 100% output all the time. That is very bad for cell life and can lead to premature cell failure. But, like I said, the Industry has it's opinion on the subject...
 
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