Swimming Pool Salt

Click here to receive our Free Salt Water Pool Newsletter!

It's the swimming pool salt that turns a regular chlorine pool into a luxurious and silky soft salt water pool.  The water softening effects and gentle feel is created by adding the right amount and the right kind of salt for your pool.  There are a few important things you need to know when adding salt to your pool to avoid costly damage especially if it's a brand new pool. 

swimming pool salt

Just like the ocean, your salt water pool will leave you feeling clean and refreshed instead of feeling like you were in a chemical bath.  An added benefit is that the salt levels are so low that you won't taste the salt like you do when swimming in the ocean. The level of salt in your pool is about the same concentration level of your tears which means you won't taste it or smell it but you will feel the amazing difference on your skin. 

Swimming pool salt is available almost anywhere but it's important to get the purest salt you can find.  A pure and food quality salt will increase the life of your chlorine generator and keep your pool running smoothly all season long.  We have a few helpful recommendations as well as some things you should avoid.  It's worth taking a minute to learn about the salt that will turn your pool into something that everyone will enjoy. 

If you have a brand new salt water pool or converting your pool to salt water you will need to add enough salt to get the salinity level up to the recommended levels for your specific model of chlorine generator.  The desired salinity can range anywhere from 2700-4500 ppm, anything above or below this range can reduce the lifespan or damage the salt cell and prevent adequate chlorine from being produced. 

We'll first take a look at the properties that are desirable as well as what you should avoid when purchasing swimming pool salt.  After you have a good idea of what kind of salt you need you will want to get a rough idea of how much you should purchase.  The pool salt calculator below will help you figure this out so you get the right concentration in  your pool.


Swimming Pool Salt Specifications

When choosing salt for your pool it's important to find it with the following properties.  If you add salt that has organic matter, additives or coagulants you can run into problems with staining or decrease the life of your pool salt cell because it has to work harder to convert chlorine. 

  • At least 99.8% pure
  • Evaporated and granulated
  • Non-iodized and food quality

You should avoid the following additives and impurities:

  • Anti-clumping agents including sodium ferrocyanic
  • Calcium chloride or rock salt

There are a lot of options out there that will work fine but when it comes to pool salt we recommend purchasing from a trusted pool company or salt specifically designed for pools.  This way you can be sure that it doesn't have any additives and won't cause any headaches down the road.  It can cost a bit more up front but after you have added it to your pool you should only have to add small amounts every year. 


Adding Salt to Your Pool

You will only need to add swimming pool salt once either when you first start up your pool or convert your existing chlorine pool.  The salt will not evaporate over the season and the only time you will see a slight drop in salinity is when you add fresh water to your pool, experience heavy rains or significant splash out. 

It's extremely important to wait at least one month after a new pool construction when plaster is used. The plaster needs to cure completely before introducing salt as it could corrode the surface. 

Adding the correct amount of swimming pool salt is important and it's a good idea to add a little bit less than you calculate.  This will allow you to test the salinity and add more salt if required.  If you add too much the only remedy will be to remove some water from your pool and replace with fresh water that will be time consuming and a nuisance. 

It's also important to note that colder temperatures will affect the conductivity of the salt water and result in a lower reading than in warmer water.  It's a good idea to test a water sample that has been warmed to room temperature if the water is colder or warmer than usual. 

When using the Salt Demand Table Calculator below be sure to test your water first to determine if there is any salt already in your pool.  This is surprisingly common especially with pools that are located close to the ocean. 


Salt Demand Table Calculator

salt demand table calculator


The first step is to check the salt level in the water before adding any salt.  This applies to pools that are being converted or brand new pools because the fresh water could contain salt or salt may have accumulated through other means such as rainfall.  After you have tested the current salinity you can calculate how much you need to add to reach the desired range for your specific chlorine generator. 

The salt should be added to your pool water in a manner that allows for fast and easy absorption.  Since genuine pool salt is designed to be quick-dissolving this shouldn't be an issue.  Start by slowly pouring the salt around the outer perimeter of the deep end of your pool and working back and forth while walking at a slow pace. 

When initially adding salt ensure the pump and chlorine generator are turned off and of course make sure your chemistry is balanced.  After all of the salt is added to the pool we recommend using a brush and pole to encourage mixing and absorption for at least 20-30 minutes.  After you feel that most of the salt is dissolved you can turn your pump and filter system on but at this time don't turn your chlorine generator on.  

After 24 hours you should then test the salinity and if you still need to add swimming pool salt you can repeat the process again making sure to not turn on the chlorine generator until you are completely satisfied your salinity is within the manufacturers recommended range.  If your salt water system has a salinity display you should still double check the salinity with a test kit or strips to ensure you are getting your pool off on the right track. 

We hope this page on swimming pool salt is informative and helps you get your salt water pool up and running smoothly.  If you have any questions be sure to contact us and one of our specialists will try to respond within 2 working days. 


SWPS Home Page > Salt Water Pool Systems