Kinda confused


Active member
Jul 25, 2010
I have had a SWG on my Intex pool for a year and never tested water before adding the salt. All I did all year was test the water during the year with test strips. Now I get on this sight and see people testing with all kinds of testers and testing before adding salt.

So my questions are these-

I'm getting my 24ft AGP installed at the end of this coming up week. I'm getting a Aquatrol SWG and was told I need to buy 10, 40lb bags of salt. With this pool do I just dump the salt in like before and turn the unit on. OR do I need to test water before hand and what not? What kind of tester to I really need?

I thought it was super easy with the intex and now I'm confused on if I'm doing it all wrong. Mind you my intex was crystal clear all season with no hassels.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
Houston, Texas
In order to accurately test the chemical balance of the water you need a high quality test kit, such as a
TF 100 or a Taylor K2006. We recommend the tests kits since test strips give very inconsistent results and pool store testing is only as good as the person conducting the tests. Pool stores also frequently use kits that cannot test high levels of chlorine that are needed to maintain shock level during the shock process.

Since your pool will be new there likely is no salt in the water. Existing pools should check the salt level before adding salt when they are switching to a SWG since there will be some salt already in the pool from previous chlorine use. You can purchase and use salt test strips to check the salt level periodically.

SWGs are good at maintaining FC levels but are slow building up to the recommended FC levels. You may want to supplement with liquid chlorine to give your SWG time to build up to FC levels.

If your water was clean and clear in your old pool then you were not necessarily doing anything wrong, but you were very fortunate! Keeping the water balanced is not difficult when you give the pool only what it needs.

I hope this answers your question. Good luck with the new pool!


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
There is always some salt in the water (at least if your levels are anywhere near balanced). However right after a new fill the salt level is typically quite low (100 to 400). However, that isn't always true, especially if you are filling through a water softener.

Testing your levels helps avoid problems. It is certainly possible to get lucky and have all the important levels be more or less alright without you doing anything, but that isn't all that common. Testing with a top quality test kit is the only way to get reliable results over and over again in different situations.

Other Threads of Interest