salt level question


Well-known member
Jun 5, 2014
Lake Elsinore, CA
basic question is this: if the cell is happy, does it matter what level my pool is at?

I have a pentair IC40. optimal salt level is 3400. currently after adding salt back into my pool after my drain and acid wash fiasco, I'm at 3200 based on the dropper test...but the green "good salt" light is on when the cell is on, and it seems to be generating chlorine just fine.

do I really need to go get a 40 lb bag of salt to only use 10 lb of it to get myself to 3400, or am I fine where I'm at as long as the cell isn't complaining?

Matt F 3

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2020
Plainfield Il
Acording to my guide from the PB, I need to keep the salt between 3200-4000ppm. And a 40# bag only increases the salt by 370ppm. So if you add a 40# bag it wil only increase the ppm to around 3570ppm. Right in the middle of the range. Go ahead and add a bay, IMO.



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

About 3200 is where I run my "actual" salt level, on purpose.... I can start to taste the salt if it gets up to 3400 or so..

Keep in mind the cell works just fine between 2800 and 4500 ppm.. Anything between 2800 and 2600 will give you a low salt light, but still work at a reduced level.. 2600 and below will give you the low salt light and shut the cell off.


Jim R.
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Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
The quandary lies in that you can’t argue with the cell. You can produce a more accurate result with the K-1766 and you will still lose the discussion. You will chase your tail all season if you try to make the happy cell happier.

So to answer your question, no. If the cell is happy, so are you. Verify the light is green with your weekly equipment check and walk away whistling. (y)

With a good amount of late spring rains, I always ended up low mid season. A 40lb bag would shut the cell up and I was good for the rest of the season. You probably won’t even need that like Marty said above. Balance the salt to start the season and then let the cell tell you when it’s time. Verify of course when that happens, because you don’t want to keep adding salt that you can’t undo if the sensor went bad.
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Silver Supporter
Jul 29, 2018
"Old" Katy, TX
Pool Size
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
My IC-40 manual, as well as the panel on the cell itself, says ideal salt concentration is 3600ppm. The manual goes on to say that 3600-4500 is the acceptable range. From the manual page 16:

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