Salt Water Beginner

Dec 20, 2014
Haughton, LA
Hello. We recently purchased a home with a salt water pool that was built in 2006. We have been working very hard to learn to maintain the pool adequately. The pool is approximately 25,000 gallons. It also has a spa with a waterfall and a jumping ledge with 3 fans. We have noticed a lot of white scaling on the waterfall and the ledge and have been told that it is due to a chronically high pH. We have a 4 cartridge filter pod and a Jandy Lite 2 Heater System, as well as some type of electronic auto chlorinating generator. After we read posts on this forum, we purchased the TF-100 kit and have performed the tests on two occasions now.
CL & Br were > 5 & >10.
pH was > 8.2
FC = 8, CC= 0, TC= 8 ppm
CH = 270 ppm
TA = 110
CYA= 20

On 12/15/14 we had the water tested and the Cl Br were still over 5 & over 10, and the pH was 7.8. We purchased Muriatic Acid and were told to use approximately 1/2 gallon followed 2 hrs later by 2 scoops of the high concentrated shock. We tested the Cl & Br again on 12/18/14 & it was still the same as on 12/15. We added another 1/4 of the gallon of acid.
Cl & Br: > 5 & > 10
pH: 7.5
FC: 12, CC: 0, TC: 12 ppm
CH: 325 ppm
TA: 110
CYA: 22
Salt: 2940.

We added the rest of the gallon of acid this morning after the test. By looking at how these numbers are trending, could someone please advise us as to what our next actions should be? Of note, we believe the Previous owners had pH problems as they left some pH reducer in the garage when they moved.

Thanks in advance for the help and advice!


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Apr 1, 2007
Sebring, Florida
Welcome to the forum. :wave:

I would start by reading "The ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry" up in Pool School. It'll help give you an idea of what each parameter means and why you test for it.

You are reporting Cl & Br......that is a daily test for chlorine (you have no bromine) and unnecessary when you perform the test for free chlorine as you have done.

You should have put no more acid in the pool after you tested 7.5.....that pH was perfect.

One of principles we try to adhere to is we don't suggest mix and match of advice. You'd be better off EITHER going with your pool store's advice OR with ours. Trying to do both wastes your time, often gives you confusing results, makes it VERY difficult to help, and usually doesn't help your pool.

How does your water look?


Gold Supporter
In The Industry
Oct 26, 2014
Sacramento, CA
Salt pools will always run a high pH level so instead of adding chlorine each week you need to be testing and adjusting your pH level accordingly sounds like you got some calcium scale on your rocks and tile down here in sacramento it is very common most our customers get build up every 3-4 years what you can do is try some scale outs and or stain control chemicals i personally use bio-dex version and i have great results it doesn't stop the problem but it slows it down you more then likely need to get your rocks/tiles cleaned soda blasted...then sealed and start fresh from there by trying to maintain a lower pH level and adding the scale / stain control chemicals


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
The SWG (electronic auto chlorinating generator thing) is probably set to way to high a level. They usually have a percentage setting (0 to 100). You should be able to turn yours down dramatically from whatever it is set to now.

With a SWG you should lower your TA to around 60 to 70, and raise CYA to around 70.

"high concentrated shock" might be any of several different products. Some of the possibilities you really want to avoid using, while even the others are simply not needed.

Unless you have high TA fill water, it is possible to adjust your levels to drastically reduce, or even eliminate the PH drift. I haven't added acid to my SWG pool in several years.

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
Longview, Texas
Congratulations on getting the TF100 test kit. It will serve you well in maintaining your pool.
As duraleigh suggested, read the ABC's of pool school. Its a bit of a read and you wont become an expert overnight, so dont fret about that you're expected too.

Also, TFP has a cool little thing called Pool Math. You will need that in order to determine how much of what to put in the pool to get your paramaters within the recommended ranges. Click on the POOL MATH tab at the top of the page to get to it.

In the meantime, for reference, here is a link to recommended levels.

feel free to ask more questions. Lots of folks here who can help with pretty much anything you need help with.