Do you have a salt water pool? They are so easy to maintain, which is why so many people are opting for this choice. However, because not everyone knows how to correctly maintain a saltwater pool, we very often get asked, “How do I know if there is enough salt in my pool?”

The answer is pretty simple – it will start going green.

The Science Behind the Salt

Salt water pools rely on a stable concentration of salt in order for the chlorinator to turn the chloride ions into chlorine. Low chlorine levels allow for the growth of algae and the dreaded greenish tinge. (Along with a few other factors, but those will be covered in another post.)

There are several reasons for the salt levels in a pool to drop with rainwater overflow and increased use of the pool (which consumes chlorine) being the main culprits. 

Your pool maintenance schedule should include testing the salt water concentrations as regularly as you would test your pH or chlorine levels. However, because salt is added far less frequently than other pool chemicals,  some pool owners tend to forget about it.

What is “Enough Salt” in Your Pool?

Ideally, your salt concentration should be around 4000 ppm to keep your chlorinator happy and keep the algae at bay. When these levels drop below 2500 ppm then your chlorinator won’t be able to work at capacity and may stop producing chlorine altogether. This is the “green zone” where those pesky algae plants can flourish.

Saltwater pools are usually very forgiving, and some keep their salt concentration higher than 4000 ppm. Higher salt concentrations don’t have a significant impact on the water – except for making it that much saltier.

However, levels of over 6000 ppm can start to corrode any metals in your pool like ladders or rails, so just take care.

A good test kit and regular maintenance will help to keep your salt levels right, and keep your pool sparkling throughout the busy summer months.