Where Does Pool Salt Go? Understanding the Dissolving Process

Where Does Pool Salt Go? Uncover the science behind saltwater pool sanitation in this informative guide. Dive in now!

Pool owners often wonder where the salt they add to their pool goes. It’s a common question, especially for those who are new to owning a saltwater pool.

Unlike traditional chlorine-treated pools, saltwater pools utilize salt to produce chlorine through a chemical transformation.

For this article, I delve into the journey of pool salt as it dissolves in water, uncovering the science behind this process and shedding light on the benefits of saltwater sanitation.

Where Does Pool Salt Go?

Swimming pool salt dissolves in the water, and the salt concentration increases creating a mild saline solution. This saline solution is then passed through a salt chlorine generator (also known as a saltwater chlorinator), which uses electrolysis to convert the dissolved salt into chlorine gas.

Chlorine gas is further transformed into hypochlorous acid and other chlorine compounds, which serve as the sanitizing agents for the pool.

This means that the salt you add to your pool will stay in the water until it is removed by some external means…again, usually the chlorinator.

What is Pool Salt?

Pool salt is a specially prepared type of salt that is used in saltwater pools to produce chlorine and sanitize the water. It is made up of two chemical elements: sodium and chlorine. When pool salt is added to the pool, it dissolves and breaks down into sodium ions and chlorine ions. Through a chemical reaction, the water will convert the free chlorine ions into hypochlorous acid, which is a powerful sanitizer.

There are three types of pool salt:

  • Mined Salt: Mined salt is extracted from underground salt deposits.
  • Mechanically Evaporated Salt: mechanically evaporated salt is produced by evaporating seawater.
  • Solar Salt: Solar salt is made by evaporating seawater using the sun’s energy.

To add pool salt to your pool, it is important to calculate the correct amount needed based on the size of your pool. The amount of salt required will vary depending on the type of salt chlorinator system you have. Once you have calculated the amount of salt needed, turn off your chlorine generator before adding the salt to the pool.

Pool salt does not evaporate from the pool water. However, it may be lost through backwashing or splash out. In these cases, it is necessary to add more salt to the pool to maintain the proper levels. It is recommended to check the salt levels in your pool regularly and add salt as needed to ensure proper sanitation and water balance.

How to Test Pool Salt Levels

Maintaining the proper salt level in your pool is crucial for the effectiveness of your saltwater chlorinator. Here are some easy steps to test your pool’s salt level:

  1. Use a salt test strip or electronic salt tester to measure the salt level in your pool. These are the most accurate and effective ways to measure your pool’s salt level.
  2. Follow the instructions on the test strip or electronic tester to obtain a reading. The salt level should be between 2,700-3,400 parts per million (ppm) for most saltwater pools.
  3. If the salt level is too low, add salt to your pool according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the salt level is too high, dilute the pool water with fresh water until the salt level is within the recommended range.
  4. After adjusting the salt level, wait at least 24 hours before retesting to allow the salt to fully dissolve and distribute throughout the pool.

Salt test strips should be replaced periodically to ensure accurate readings. Additionally, it’s a good idea to test your pool’s salt level at least once a week to ensure proper maintenance.

How to Add Pool Salt

Adding salt to your pool is a straightforward process, but it’s important to do it correctly to ensure the best results. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Determine how much salt your pool needs. You can use a salt calculator or consult the instructions for your salt chlorine generator to find the target salt level. Different systems require different amounts of salt to function properly.
  2. Purchase the right type of salt. You should use pool-grade salt, which is also known as sodium chloride. Do not use table salt or any other type of salt, as they may contain additives that can harm your equipment or lower the water quality.
  3. Turn off your pump. You should not add salt while the pump is running. Wait until it’s off before proceeding.
  4. Distribute the salt evenly around the pool. You can add the salt directly to the pool water, but it’s best to distribute it evenly around the perimeter of the pool to avoid localized high concentrations. If you’re adding a large amount of salt, you may want to add it in stages to ensure it dissolves properly.
  5. Turn on your pump and let it run for several hours. This will help the salt dissolve and distribute evenly throughout the water.
  6. Test the water and adjust the salt level if necessary. You can use a salt testing kit to measure the salt concentration in your pool. If it’s too low, you can add more salt, and if it’s too high, you can dilute the water with fresh water.

Remember, salt should be treated like any other pool chemical and should not be added when there are swimmers in the pool. It’s best to add salt when the pool is closed. With these simple steps, you can add pool salt safely and effectively to maintain a healthy salt water pool.

How to Maintain Pool Salt Levels

Maintaining proper pool salt levels is essential to keep your saltwater pool clean and healthy. The optimum level of salt in a saltwater pool is between 2,700 to 3,400 parts per million (ppm). Here are some tips to help you maintain pool salt levels:

  • Test Your Pool Regularly: It is crucial to test your pool salt level regularly using a reliable testing kit. Testing your pool will help you determine the salt level and take the necessary action to maintain it.
  • Use a Pool Salt Calculator: Use a pool salt calculator to determine how much salt to add to your pool. The calculator considers your pool volume and current salt levels to give you the correct amount of salt to add.
  • Add Salt Gradually: When adding salt to your pool, it is essential to add it gradually and distribute it evenly. Adding salt too quickly can cause it to settle at the bottom of the pool, which can damage your pool equipment.
  • Monitor Your Chlorine Levels: Saltwater pools use salt to generate chlorine, which sanitizes the pool. Therefore, it is crucial to monitor your chlorine levels regularly. The ideal free chlorine level in a saltwater pool is between 1-3 ppm.
  • Dilute Your Pool: If your pool salt level is too high, you can dilute it with fresh water. However, this method is only effective for small adjustments. If your salt level is significantly high, you may need to drain some water and replace it with fresh water.
  • Check for Impurities: Pool salt can contain impurities that can affect the quality of your pool water. Therefore, it is essential to use high-quality salt that is free of impurities. Mined salt, mechanically evaporated salt, and solar salt are some of the best options for pool salt.
  • Maintain Your Pool Equipment: Proper pool maintenance is essential to keep your pool running efficiently. Ensure that your pool filter is clean, and your pump is running correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Salt in My Pool without A Saltwater System?

No, you cannot use salt in your pool without a saltwater system. Saltwater systems use a process called electrolysis to convert salt into chlorine, which keeps your pool clean and sanitized. Without a saltwater system, adding salt to your pool will not have any effect on the water quality.

How Long After Adding Salt to Pool Can You Turn on Chlorinator?

After adding salt to your pool, it is recommended to wait at least 24 hours before turning on your chlorinator. This allows the salt to dissolve completely and distribute evenly throughout the pool. Turning on your chlorinator too soon can cause the salt to settle at the bottom of the pool, leading to uneven distribution and potential damage to your equipment.

Turn Off Chlorinator when Adding Salt?

Yes, it is recommended to turn off your chlorinator when adding salt to your pool. Chlorinators can be damaged by high levels of salt, so it is important to add salt to your pool slowly and in small increments. Turning off your chlorinator during the process will prevent it from producing too much chlorine and potentially damaging your equipment.

How to Add Salt to Pool Hayward?

To add salt to your Hayward pool, first, determine the correct amount of salt needed based on the size of your pool. Next, add the salt directly to the pool water, spreading it out evenly over the surface of the pool. Use a pool brush to help dissolve the salt and distribute it evenly throughout the water. Finally, wait at least 24 hours before turning on your chlorinator.

How Often to Add Salt to Pool?

The frequency of adding salt to your pool depends on several factors, including the size of your pool, the amount of use it gets, and the climate in your area. Generally, you should only need to add salt to your pool once or twice a year. However, it is important to regularly test the salt levels in your pool and add salt as needed to maintain the proper balance.

What Happens to The Salt in A Saltwater Pool?

In a saltwater pool, the salt is converted into chlorine through a process called electrolysis. The chlorine then works to sanitize the water and keep it clean. Over time, the chlorine breaks down and reverts back into salt, which can then be reused in the electrolysis process. This means that the salt in your pool should remain relatively stable, with only small amounts needing to be added occasionally to maintain the proper balance.


Hi, I'm Chris. Who knew there could be so many interesting things about salt?!

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