How to test the Salt Water levels in your Pool

How to test the Salt Water levels in your Pool

 A saltwater pool requires less maintenance than a normal swimming pool because it generates its own chlorine. However, the salt levels in a saltwater pool should always be optimal for the chlorine generators to work properly. 

Continue reading to learn how you can test the salt water levels in your pool. 

What are the optimal salt levels for a pool? 

The optimal levels of salt in a saltwater pool should range between 2,500 and 3,500 ppm (parts per million). 

High levels up to 6,000 ppm do not cause any problems except for salty-tasting water. However, if the salt levels go beyond that, it may cause problems like corrosion of pool equipment, and your saltwater generator may also not work properly. 

On the other hand, if the salt levels of a pool fall below the optimal levels, the generators will not be able to produce enough chlorine. Low chlorine levels result in improper sanitization and also a lot of other problems which follow. 

Pro Tip: Add some cyanuric acid (stabilizer) in your saltwater pool to allow the chlorine to stay longer. 

pool after salt water test

What ways of testing salt levels are there? 

Although the light on the salt generator of your pool starts to blink when the salt levels dip below normal, it is not always accurate. Testing water in a saltwater pool can be done using four different methods:

  • Pool test strips: These color changing strips are a quick method to evaluate the approx salt levels of your pool. However, these are not very accurate so you may end up adding more or less salt. 
  • Pool test kits: These kits include liquid chemicals called reagents. Mixing them with a sample of water from the pool gives you an accurate reading of the salt levels.

  • Digital salt monitors: These are portable digital devices which can be dipped into the water to analyze the salt levels. Digital salt monitors are the quickest and most convenient method to measure water chemistry.

  • Giving a sample to a pool store: You can collect a sample of your pool water and take it to a local pool store for testing. This is a viable solution when you also have other problems with the pool and need expert advice.

How do you test the salt levels in your pool? 

Let’s take a quick step-by-step overview of how the best salt level testing methods work:

Using Pool Test Kits

  1. Collect a sample of your pool water into an empty vial of the kit. Ensure the pump is running and take the sample from an arm’s length below the water surface.

  2. Mix the appropriate chemical reagent with the water (refer to detailed instructions on the package).

  3. Check the color to evaluate the salt level in your pool water.

  4. You can also use other appropriate testing kits to evaluate other factors (pH, chlorine, alkalinity, etc.) as well.

Using Digital Salt Monitors

  1. Switch on the water tester and make sure the display is clear (if it’s not, the batteries may need replacement).

  2. Take a sample of water into a small container, so you do not risk the tester device falling into the water. Otherwise, you can directly dip the electrode of the tester into the pool water.

  3. Wait for a few seconds for the reading to stabilize.

  4. Record the reading and wipe off the electrode so it stays clean.
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