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How to Change Pool Water

So, you’ve weighed out the pros and cons. You’ve learned that a saltwater can be a gentler, healthier alternative to a traditional chlorine pool. In fact, you are already imagining the more pleasant swimming experience, and the healthier skin and hair, that the softer water can provide. Now, all you need to do is get the conversion from conventional chlorine to saltwater started. But, what does this process entail? Lucky for you, changing the pool’s water is fairly simple and can be done without needing to pay a professional thousands of dollars. You have two options: you can either drain the pool and start from scratch or, change the current pool water to be compatible with a salt chlorine system.

What You Will Need

Before you get started, you should assemble all the materials and equipment required for the job. The biggest purchase will perhaps be the salt chlorine generator. These often cost several hundred dollars. The salt chlorine generator you select needs to be rated to handle your pool’s water capacity. Some sources recommend that it be rated to handle up to 133% of your pool’s capacity so it doesn’t need to run at 100% all the time, and thereby extend the life of the generator.

You will, of course, need the salt. The salt used in saltwater pools is identical to simple non-iodized table salt, and it’s fairly inexpensive to purchase in bulk. You can find it at most pool or hardware stores.

The Process

  1. Balance the water.
  2. Minimize pool water phosphate levels. Phosphates can cause build up in the salt cell, reducing its effectiveness. You can purchase kits for both testing and reducing your pool’s phosphate level.
  3. Measure your pool’s current salt level, then determine how much salt you will need to raise the salt concentration to the level your chlorine generator is rated for.
  4. Add the amount of salt necessary to achieve the desired concentration.
  5. Install your salt chlorine generator at the end of the pool plumbing, right after the pump. The salt chlorine generator should be the last thing the water passes through before returning to the pool.
  6. Install the generator controller on a wall, away from the water.
  7. Turn on the pump and allow water to circulate for several hours to dissolve salt.

Things to Remember

While saltwater pools can be lower maintenance than traditional chlorine pools, they still require attention and diligent care. You will still need to maintain your pool’s pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Cyanuric Acid (stabilizer) levels. You will also need to constantly check the pool’s salt concentration and adjust it as necessary to maintain appropriate chlorine levels.

As you probably already know, salt is corrosive to metal. Consider installing a sacrificial zinc anode to protect your pool’s metal components. Also, keep in mind that metal objects surrounding the pool will also be vulnerable to corrosion due to the pool’s saltwater.

Professional Support

MKM Pool Spa carries a wide array of equipment and accessories, at the lowest prices in the industry, to help you get your saltwater pool up and running. Contact our friendly and professional staff for expert guidance on how to change your pool to saltwater.