measuring salt level

VAwaterboy

Active member
May 10, 2014
27
Falls Church, VA
I installed a salt water chlorine generator last week. I measured the salt content of my pool water before adding any salt, using newly purchased salt test strips (with an expiration date on the container of 9/2016). The manual for my generator said to add 450 pounds of salt. I added 440 pounds, then measured the salt level and it was way below the recommended 3000 ppm. So I added another 80 pounds of salt about two days ago, and now the test strip says the salt level is even lower -- 1450 ppm.

Here's the kicker: the water tastes quite salty. After one quick dip in the pool, I taste salt on my lips for hours. I could have over-estimated the size of my kidney-shaped pool, but if I added too much salt, I would expect the salt level on the test strips to be higher. Is it possible that the test strips are inaccurate? Is there another way to measure salt level?
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
It is very possible the test strips are inaccurate ... in fact there is no other explanation for your results ... unless you did not follow the directions exactly.

I prefer the Taylor K-1766 drop salt test.

- - - Updated - - -

According to PoolMath (which you should be using for all your chemical additions). The 520 pounds of salt have added ~3500 ppm of salt in your pool. I sure hope you salt level was near 0 before or you may have to replace water.
 

VAwaterboy

Active member
May 10, 2014
27
Falls Church, VA
My initial salt level was 500 ppm -- again, according to the seemingly unreliable test strips. I will get the Taylor kit and give up on the strips. I anticipate pumping water out and adding plain water to dilute the salt level. If I had to live with the current saltiness, I think I would rather go back to buying heavy pails of chlorine pucks to put in a chlorine feeder!
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,238
Tucson, AZ
Well at this point, if it has been 24 hours since you added salt ... fire up the SWG and see what level it thinks the salt is at. After all , that is all that matters.

Well, the trichlor pucks come with their own problems ... much worse that tasting a little salty.
 

VAwaterboy

Active member
May 10, 2014
27
Falls Church, VA
I've been using pucks ever since I got my first pool in 1993, so they are familiar to me; I thought the salt water generator would be simpler and cheaper. If I can get everything working correctly, I still hope that will be the case.

My Circupool SJ-30 generator doesn't display the salt level -- although they told me before I bought it that it does. So there doesn't seem to be any easy or direct way to see what salt level the generator thinks there is.
 

aussieta

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
my swg just has a low salt light, which i have never seen come on
using the taylor k-1766 i measure salt level maybe 3 times per year
and usually need 50lbs per year
i keep my level about 500ppm under minimum swg level
should be 3750 i use 3200
as i am not too fond of the salty taste
never had any problems
edit
apparently most people taste salt at levels higher than 3500