Chemicals, Pool & Spa Maintenance

How a Salt Pool (Chlorine Generator) Works

Here are some tips that will help you 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.

Adding Granular 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 in your swimming pool. Add Shimmer & Shock at a rate of one bag 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 Shimmer & Shock. 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 granular chock to get the bacteria killed off and then 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 is the best way. This insures 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 on hand and add it to the pool.

Adding Salt
What about adding salt? Low chlorine levels doesn’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. Always test salt level before adding more salt. We recommend adding about 3/4 of what the amount should be and then having the level rechecked. It’s 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.