Saltwater pools are becoming more popular in recent years. They are generally less expensive to maintain and provide a more pleasant swimming experience due to the fewer chloramines produced. You won’t get the typical harsh chemical odor with traditional chlorine pools. Whether you are a new saltwater pool owner or someone interested in installing one, one of the most important things to keep in mind is keeping track of and maintaining the ideal saltwater pool salinity.
Pool experts often talk about the issues that may arise from putting too much chlorine in your pool. But for saltwater pool owners, what happens if you put in too much salt?
What Happens If You Put Too Much Salt In Your Pool?
New saltwater pool owners may inevitably find themselves in a position where the salt content in their pool is too high. Even seasoned saltwater pool owners might find themselves in this position, especially during cold winters when saltwater chlorinators may become unreliable and indicate lower salt levels.
Generally, if you put too much salt in your pool, there won’t be too much of an issue. The most obvious result would be having more salty-tasting water, but if this is not a problem for you, there is no need to worry. However, if you test the water with a salt testing kit and find salt levels at over 5000 to 6000 ppm, you will need to take action.
Your metal equipment is in danger of corrosion at those higher salt levels and may eventually break apart. Furthermore, some saltwater generators may not function properly at those levels.
To avoid these issues, you should be testing your pool water salinity regularly and adjusting the levels accordingly.
How Much Salt Do You Need In Your Pool?
The optimal range of salt needed in a saltwater pool lies between 2700 to 3400 ppm, with the ideal amount being 3200 ppm. In order to get to this level, you need to pour pure pool-grade salt into the water until you get to the optimal range.
Essentially, for every 10,000 gallons of water, you should add about 200 lbs of salt. To calculate how much salt you need in the pool, you should get your current salt level. Use a salt testing kit to determine how much salt you have in your pool. You can even take a sample to your local pool store to get it measured.
Once you’ve determined how much salt you currently have in the pool, you should then get your pool water volume. Most backyard pools will lie somewhere between 10,000 to 20,000 gallons. For your average rectangular pool, calculate the volume with the equation: Length x Width x Average Depth x 7.5 = Volume (in gallons). I do all the calculations for you in my pool volume calculator linked above.
Finally, you need to find how much salt you need to add to the pool. The easiest option to calculate how much salt you’ll need is to consult a pool salt chart or a pool calculator. You can use my pool salt calculator to figure out how much salt you need.
How to Lower the Salt Level In Your Pool
I find that new saltwater pool owners often overestimate the size of their pool and end up putting too much salt into their pool. Although targeting around 3500 ppm, many pool owners may find that the levels are at 4000 ppm or even higher after testing the water. Thankfully, if you find that you have put too much salt in, you can easily fix this.
The only way to reduce the salt content is to dilute the water. If your pool is full, this means you will need to drain your pool so that you can add some fresh water. You will calculate how much water to drain depending on how high the salinity is.
For example, if you have a 10000-gallon pool at 4000 ppm, you will want to reduce your salt level by 500 ppm. One 40 lb bag of salt is 480 ppm, so this means you have just over 8 bags of salt (4000 / 480) when you should have around 7 bags (3500 / 480). Now, to extract that extra bag of salt, drain around 1/8th of your pool water. Then finally, fill up the pool to the top again and test it to ensure you are at the correct salt range.
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A little bit of extra salt in your pool doesn’t generally result in any concerning issues. However, putting in excessive amounts of salt, resulting in salt levels 5000 ppm or more, can lead to corrosion of your metal pool equipment. Not to mention, having too much salt will also make the pool saltier. If you are looking to reduce the salt content in your pool, dilute the water by calculating how much water to drain and how much fresh water to add. This simple hack will bring your salt levels down to an optimal level.
Any more questions? Just shoot me a line; I’m happy to help!