Hot Tubs, Swim Spas, Service, and Maintenance

How a Salt Pool (Chlorine Generator) Works


Tips To Best Utilize Your Salt Generator

How It Works:

Once your salt pool system is installed, continue to test the water like normal and keep an eye on your chlorine level. The key element here is to keep a watch on your chlorine level. The best way to do that is to test the chlorine level daily with a test strip. This saves time and money in the long run. Just a super quick test each day goes a very long way. In the Southern Utah heat it is best to keep chlorine at a 3 – 4 ppm. Testing frequently will help you to maintain that level.

As conditions change (the summer heats up, the kids go back to school, etc…), you may need more or less sanitation. If the chlorine levels you test for are getting too high or too low, adjust your chlorine generator to match. A quick daily test with a test strip will help you to know when to make those changes. If the chlorine level drops to a 1 ppm that is a good indicator that your generator is not set high enough to produce the chlorine needed for the conditions. At that time, you need to turn your generator up for more production. If the chlorine gets too high (above 4 ppm) then turn the generator down. Keeping a daily watch helps so that you can make the adjustments needed. This might sound like more work but for the few minutes that it takes it’ll save you time and money in the long run. Come about September, maybe sooner, when the pool is not being used as much and/or the water starts to cool off the chlorine level will rise. Daily strip testing will help to monitor this. If chlorine gets too high for even a short amount of time it can damage equipment and be very costly. If chlorine is above 4ppm get neutralizer in ASAP and adjust the generator down. Check a few hours after adding neutralizer to make sure the chlorine level is in a safe range, if not add more neutralizer. Continue to check chlorine often to ensure that the chlorine is in the proper range. Make adjustments as necessary to keep chlorine in proper range.

Adding Granular Chlorine or Liquid Chlorine
If the chlorine level drops to a zero, then the best and quickest way to meet the chlorine demand is to throw some Clearview Shimmer & Shock or liquid chlorine in your swimming pool. Add Shimmer & Shock at a rate of one bag per 10,000 gallons or liquid chlorine at a rate of one gallon per 10,000 gallons. Test water a few hours later and then again, the next morning and evening. If the chlorine drops below 3 ppm million then add more chlorine. Also keep in mind that if the chlorine level gets low it’s usually an indicator that the generator wasn’t turned high enough for the conditions be it extra hot weather or extra bather load. There again, taking that few minutes each day will help you before it gets to zero ppm. Sometimes a zero reading can actually be in the negative if any bacteria has started to form. If that’s the case, then it will take more chlorine to get the bacteria killed off and then have the chlorine demand met.

Using The Salt Generator To Shock
Another way to shock or get more chlorine in the water is to turn your pool system on manual and run your salt generator at 100% for 24 or more hours. This works quite well in the spring and fall months, but during the heat of the summer, it possibly will not generate at a rate fast enough to feed such a large, warm body of water. Some customers think that they generator isn’t working if they don’t have a chlorine reading. It usually IS working but can only produce so much chlorine at a time. If the conditions are, that more chlorine is needed to meet a large demand, then granular chlorine such as Shimmer & Shock or liquid chlorine is the best way. This ensures that the chlorine level rises quickly before the swimming pool gets cloudy or green. In either of those situations, you will need a lot more than 1 bag per 10,000 gallons. The amount depends on how cloudy or green the water is. Another tip is to run your salt generator on the super chlorinate feature after an unusually heavy bather load, rain or other conditions that would use up the chlorine. This will kick your generator into 100% production for the next 24 hours that the system runs. If you’re running your pump for 10 hours a day, then it will run the generator at 100% for approximately the nest 2 1/2 days. Or you can do the same as suggested earlier and turn your equipment to service mode and run it for 24 hours continuously. The other option is to keep a few bags a Clearview Shimmer & Shock or gallons of liquid chlorine on hand and add it to the pool.

Adding Salt
What about adding salt? Low chlorine levels don’t necessarily mean that you need more salt. Chances are that you have enough salt and need to have the generator producing more chlorine. The ideal salt level is 3,000 – 3,200 ppm. If salt drops too far below this the generator will not produce chlorine. Although 2800 ppm is the low end of normal, the salt should still be raised to at least 3000 ppm. If a little splash out occurs and causes the salt to drop below 2800 ppm the generator will no longer produce chlorine. On the other side of too low is too high. Too high of salt levels can be corrosive. Always test salt level before adding more salt. Manually test rather than using the reading on the generator before adding more salt. We recommend adding about 3/4 of what the amount should be and then having the level rechecked. It is better to add it in increments rather than get the salt level too high. The only way to reduce salt level is to drain some of the water off the pool. Adding salt is not something that typically needs to be done very often. Usually, a couple of times a season unless there is a lot of splash out or if you have a sand filter that is backwashed often. If your pool is requiring salt often, get the pool checked for a leak.

Other Important Information
Check salt generator monthly and clean when there is scale build-up. Refer to your manual on cleaning. Keep pool water balanced to reduce the possibility of scaling flakes. The perfect storm is high calcium. high alkalinity, high pH and phosphates. Ideally keeping phosphates at bay and pH at 7.2 will help this. There are no guarantees but keeping water balanced is the best thing overall. All chemicals including salt, should be balanced to keep pool finishes and equipment in the best possible state. Unbalanced chemicals may cause fading, staining and corrosion. Tropical offers free weekly water analysis with our state-of-the-art WaterLink Spin Lab testing machine.

Check your owner's manual for more information that may not be listed here.