Is this the correct salt?

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
#6
Water softener salt without additives is good. It is actually the exact same salt that is used for pool salt, the only difference being that pool salt is ground more finely and usually costs more. :wink: Key - Look for salt that is 99.4% pure or better and doesn't have any rust inhibitor or other additives. Some ideal choices include Diamond Crystal® Solar Salt Extra Coarse Crystals in blue bags, Morton® White Crystal® Water Softener Salt in blue bags, or Diamond Crystal® Sun Gems® Crystals Water Softener Salt in yellow bags. Solar salt, usually sold for use with water softeners, is also fine for pool use.
 

Dodger

Silver Supporter
Sep 17, 2017
477
Silicon Valley, CA
#7
Dirk, that Morton's is the one I just recently added 2 bags of. I sure hope it was okay. The crystals are pretty large and take a little more sweeping to get them to dissolve. I wouldn't want that kind if I was adding 10 bags after a fresh fill.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,360
Tucson, AZ
#8
The reason why TFP recommends water softener salt is because water softeners use ion exchange resins that are very sensitive to iron contamination. Dissolved iron will absolutely ruin a water softener. So, salt pellets that are manufactured for water softeners are processed to remove as much iron as possible. This is happens to be very good for pools as well. Salt that is typically sold for "Swimming pools" should also be low in iron. However, last year, Clorox offered "pool salt" in its product line up and TFP had several posts of brown stains after using Clorox salt. Turns out that their quality control wasn't so good and they likely used salt that had potassium ferrocyanide in it which is a very common anti-caking additive used in salt manufacturing when you grind salt down into fine grains (such as for table salt).

So, find whatever brand of basic water softener salt you can and use that. It doesn't matter in the least if the pellets are big or small as it will all eventually dissolve with enough brushing. Do wait at least 36-48 hours after adding the salt to allow for mixing and homogenization or else you'll find your SWG screaming at you randomly about "low salt" or "high salt" depending on how well mixed the water is.
 

Modawg2k

Well-known member
May 4, 2013
338
Phoenix, AZ
#9
Last time I did a pool refill, the pellets were huge and easily dissolved. I'm pretty sure the one I referenced is ok. I can't see ingredients online so I'll have to look at the store. There's another one which is one to clearly stay away from



- - - Updated - - -

I just asked a similar question. I don't have the Diamond at my Lowe's either. I asked about this product elsewhere, but so far no one has said they've used it:

Shop Morton 40-lb Salt Solar Crystals at Lowes.com

I do have that same SureSoft product. Come on Modawg2k, I will if you will! (You first, though!!) ;)
I think that one is just a more expensive brand name version of the one I posted. I'll probably do it so I'll keep you update :)
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,375
Central California
#10
Yep, the other Lowe's SureSoft has some sort of resin cleaner in it, or something. SureSoft is about a buck cheaper than Morton. I'll see if one or the other has a better "purity" percentage, else go with the cheaper...

Thanks for everyone's advice!!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,375
Central California
#12
OK, just bought eight bags of the Sure Soft 100% natural. They're goin' in right after lunch.

None of the "non-additive" softener salt products at Lowe's site purity percentages. :(

I couldn't even find percent numbers on Sure Soft's website. All they say is "No additives." The scary part, though, was this product, and all their other products with additives, only list "Sodium Chloride" as the ingredient. So even the products with additives don't specify what additives. Guess I'll have to trust their "No Additives" claim.

Ironically, Lowe's Sure Soft Pool Salt, $2 more, has some sort of stain-fighting additive (also not listed in the ingredients). No thanks. Fill it with regular, please...

Unless somebody has any tips, I'm going to run the pump up to 2000 RPMs or so, cut open the bag, pour it out directly into the pool, walking along the coping of just the shallow end, then brush it around until it disappears. I figure dumping any into the deep end will just be that much harder to brush.

I'm stopping 1.5 bags short of what pool math is telling me (I accounted for the existing 300ppm). My IC40 wants 3200-3400. I was going to see how close to the bottom of that range I can get, allowing some room for the inevitable creep. I'll work my way up to that number after this first batch mixes in in a few days. I am planning to dump all 6.5 bags in at once, then brush. Unless there's any danger in salt laying on the new pebble like that for 20 minutes or so.

I kinda want to see if less PPM will make the IC40 happy, just so I have that much farther to go before I have to exchange water, but I don't know if that would hurt the SWG's performance, or just keep it from firing. Any thoughts on that?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,360
Tucson, AZ
#13
The Intellichlor SWGs will generate chlorine all the way down to 2800ppm before shutting off due to LOW SALT. If you get to 3200ppm, the unit will be fine. The chlorine production is mostly insensitive to salt concentration over the entire operating range sontgeres no change in efficiency.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,375
Central California
#14
OK, great. Thanks, Matt. I was studying that review page of all the various SWG brands. Pentair didn't fare so well. And they seemed to have the worst operating range, of only 200PPM. I didn't follow up yet to see how close the review is to Pentair's actually spec's...
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,360
Tucson, AZ
#15
Pentair SWGs will produce chlorine with a salinity anywhere between 2800ppm to 4500ppm. That’s a 1700ppm range...not sure why anyone would need more than that :scratch:
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,156
San Clemente, CA
#16
OK, great. Thanks, Matt. I was studying that review page of all the various SWG brands. Pentair didn't fare so well. And they seemed to have the worst operating range, of only 200PPM. I didn't follow up yet to see how close the review is to Pentair's actually spec's...
The 3200-3400 ppm salt range is Pentair's recommended starting point. The cells produce chlorine from 2800 ppm to well over 5,000 ppm.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,375
Central California
#17
OK, whew, thanks guys. I knew I shouldn't trust a third-party review for spec's, thanks for saving me the trouble of looking it up. I'm going to see if I can get the cell to reliably fire at 2800, then add a bit at a time as needed...

Any guesses on how long a 12K pool takes to go from 2800 to 5000 from adding chlorine and MA, etc?

I think the x-pool-guy once told me my pool was around 3200 (when it was being run as a fresh-water pool). That probably took five years from initial startup. I'm pretty sure the previous owners never changed the water...
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
In The Industry
Aug 4, 2014
4,156
San Clemente, CA
#18
OK, whew, thanks guys. I knew I shouldn't trust a third-party review for spec's, thanks for saving me the trouble of looking it up. I'm going to see if I can get the cell to reliably fire at 2800, then add a bit at a time as needed...

Any guesses on how long a 12K pool takes to go from 2800 to 5000 from adding chlorine and MA, etc?

I think the x-pool-guy once told me my pool was around 3200 (when it was being run as a fresh-water pool). That probably took five years from initial startup. I'm pretty sure the previous owners never changed the water...
I would think your calcium level would rise to become an issue long before your salt level. Start at 3000 ppm
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,360
Tucson, AZ
#19
I over salted my pool long ago and started at nearly 3800ppm. To this day, 4-1/2 years later, my salt level is only 4000ppm. Whatever rain I’ve gotten over the time period plus splashout, water loss from filter cleanings, etc, was enough to balance the input salinity of the muni supply (~100-150ppm chloride ion content).

As Brian said, salt is a non-issue.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
4,375
Central California
#20
I would think your calcium level would rise to become an issue long before your salt level. Start at 3000 ppm
I over salted my pool long ago and started at nearly 3800ppm. To this day, 4-1/2 years later, my salt level is only 4000ppm. Whatever rain I’ve gotten over the time period plus splashout, water loss from filter cleanings, etc, was enough to balance the input salinity of the muni supply (~100-150ppm chloride ion content).

As Brian said, salt is a non-issue.
Oh, I like the sound of that. And remember (if you've been following along at all), my fill water is CH-zero, so I should be good for quite a while! ;)