How Do You Use A Salt Pool System?

So if you just purchased your first salt system, or maybe even just bought a new house with one already installed. If you’re looking for info on how to operate it, this video is going to be for you.

So here you have a typical salt system. Here is your cell, and here is your control module. The cell is where the chlorine production takes place, its composed of titanium plates that get powered by the control module. As far as the module goes, it will allow you to control the output using a keypad or dial. Easy right? Every pool is unique, so you simply set it to meet your pool’s needs. Turn it up and you increase your chlorine output, turn it down and it decreases how much chlorine you make.

1.) Setting up Your Salt System

So practically speaking, when you begin using the salt system for the first time, here’s a good general procedure to follow. Take note of what your current chlorine level is in the pool, let the salt system run for a couple days, and then measure the resulting chlorine level in the water. You’re aiming for a level about 1-3 ppm of free chlorine. If that resulting chlorine level is low, bump up your system’s output setting, and vice versa if you find your chlorine level is a little too high. Repeat this process a few times, and usually within a week or so you’ll have it fine-tuned to meet your pool’s needs. So there’s not necessarily one right answer to what’s the right setting for your salt system.

That’s pretty much all there is when it comes to its normal operation. Once you get your system set initially, you should typically only need infrequent adjustments to your salt system during the year. As a tip, some good times to see if you need to make an adjustment are seasonally when temperatures start climbing (or falling), when pool use changes, or after you get rainstorms.

2.) Operations

When it comes to checking a salt system’s operation, most generators will give you some indicator lights. Pay attention to when these get illuminated because it can tell you when need to check your system – if you pool’s salt level is too low, if too much salt may have been added to the water, or if the cell needs to be cleaned. We’ll get into these checks in a minute.

Now in order for a salt system to operate, it basically needs just two things. So your system is always checking that it has 1) power to send through the cell, and 2) the right amount of salt is in the pool. Your job as a salt system owner is to make sure these simple needs are being met. That’s because when its in operation, the salt generator converts those salt molecules to a pure form of chlorine. That’s what is keeping your pool clean. The only thing it needs to produce that chlorine is electricity passing through the cell. So if you’re ever wondering if your salt system is working, here’s what you do to check how its operating. Go thru some simple steps 1) do you have power? 2) do you have the right amount of salt? 3) is the system giving me any warning lights?

3.) Troubleshooting / Issues

If your salt system has power, and there are no warnings on its controller, then you may simply need to increase its operation. Things may have changed since the last time you’ve adjusted it, like the weather and how the pool is being used, and you may just need to adjust it in order to generate more chlorine.

Do you have the right amount of salt in the pool? We recommend double checking this using test strips or a digital reader. Most systems need roughly 3000-3500 ppm salinity in the water. At initial start up, that works out to about 30lbs of salt for every 1000 gallons. While the salt doesn’t get used up as the system works, you will have to add salt from time to time depending on how much rainfall you get. When this happens, check your product manual for a chart to see how much additional salt you may need to add. Typically if your salt level is not right, you’ll also get a warning light.

Is the system displaying a warning? A salt system’s warning lights will tell you that something needs to be checked before it can resume normal operation. So as mentioned, you’ll see that if your salinity level is low or high. If your salt level is good, and you’re still seeing a warning, that typically means it’s time for the salt system to be cleaned. Your salt system’s manual will give you instructions on how to clean it, but its typically a quick 10-20 minute job.

Those two issues are typically the cause the vast majority of times when a warning light comes on. Prevent your salt from dropping too low, and keep up with cleaning your cell, and this will ensure good chlorine production of your salt chlorinator. If you find yourself with low chlorine in the pool, you confirm your salt system is working and have adjusted its chlorine production up, this is usually an indicator that there is a larger water balance issue, or in the case of an having an older salt system that came with the home, that it might not have been sized right originally. We’re glad to help check that your salt system’s model is sized right for your pool size. To check water balance issues, your system’s troubleshooting guide is a great please to start, and common offenders are high phosphates, high nitrates, high ph, or low or high stabilizer. All of which can be checked at your local pool store or with some at-home chemical tests.

Ready For What Comes Next?

Many pool supply stores often deliver accurate readings for free. However, it’s not as convenient to obtain a water sample and bring it to the experts several times per week. Digital testers performs the readings like your local pool store with much quicker, more concise, and easier to read results. See more now ►

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Date 5/17/2023

Question - 1. is there a way to tell if salt chlorinator needs servicing or is busted ? 2. what is the difference in pool salt and regular salt for chlorinator ? Thanks. Josephine

DSP Staff

Date 5/18/2023

1) A salt system typically turns a warning light on when there is an issue. If it indicates something like "low salt" or "clean cell", be sure your pool salinity is over the manufacturer recommended minimum level and that you've thoroughly cleaned the cell with acid according to its instructions. If you've done all troubleshooting and still get an error like this, that typically means the cell is at the end of its lifespan. 2) "pool salt" in many cases is just 99% sodium chloride that has gone through more sieves to remove additional sediment or particles and it may have been crushed up into finer pieces. Can't go wrong with it, but often can also use other salt that is 99% sodium chloride with no other additives.

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