In order to have a salt pool, you must have a piece of pool equipment called a salt chlorine generator (also called an electronic chlorine generator).

I have a regular chlorine pool - can I switch to a saltwater pool?

Yes, you can! The transition is easy and you only need two new components - a salt cell and a control unit. These two elements make up an electronic chlorine generator. The salt cell will attach to the pipes between your filter and water outlet. The control unit will allow you to control and monitor the cell.

Once your pool is equipped with a chlorine generator, it will produce its own chlorine from a small amount of pool salt that dissolves in the water. This will provide all of the pool’s sanitizing needs. A salt-chlorine generator uses the simple process of electrolysis to separate the chlorine and sodium molecules and then reintroduce them to the pool.

Salt Pool Facts:

  • Salt pools are still sanitized using chlorine. A salt-chlorine generator turns salt into chlorine to sanitize the water. Chlorine produced from a generator is less harsh on skin and eyes and has no odor. It also has a silky-smooth feeling.
  • The ocean's water has a salt content of approximately 35,000 ppm. A salt pool has a concentration at 3,000 – 6,000 ppm. That is approximately 1/10th the level of salt in the ocean. If you properly maintain your pool and keep the salt levels between 3,000 - 6,000ppm, the water will not be salty to the taste.
  • It is still important that you regularly balance the water in your salt pool. Just like a regular chlorine pool, it should maintain proper pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Stabilizer levels in order to prevent scale formations and to maximize sanitizing effectiveness. Test water on a weekly basis and use standard chemical procedures to adjust the levels.
  • All pools, including saltwater pools, need to be shocked regularly. During pool season, when it is used the most, shock it on a weekly basis.
  • Saltwater pools are costlier initially to maintain than regular chlorine pools. You must factor in the cost of the salt-chlorine generator, pool salt purchases, and replacements of the salt cell (every five years, on average). However, saltwater pool maintenance is far easier and the water is softer, meaning it does not irritate swimmers' eyes or skin.

How to increase salt content in your pool:

Desired Increase
In PPM

1,000 Gallons

5,000 Gallons

10,000 Gallons

15,000 Gallons

20,000 Gallons

25,000 Gallons

50,000 Gallons

 100

0.8 lbs.  4.2 lbs. 8 lbs. 15 lbs. 17 lbs. 21 lbs. 42 lbs.

 250

2 lbs.  10 lbs. 21 lbs. 31 lbs. 42 lbs. 52 lbs. 104 lbs.

 500

4 lbs.  21 lbs. 42 lbs. 62 lbs. 83 lbs. 104 lbs. 208 lbs.

 1,000

8 lbs.  42 lbs. 83 lbs. 125 lbs. 167 lbs. 208 lbs. 417 lbs.

 3,000

25 lbs.  125 lbs. 250 lbs. 375 lbs. 500 lbs. 750 lbs. 1500 lbs.

6,000

50 lbs. 250 lbs. 500 lbs. 750 lbs. 1000 lbs. 1250 lbs. 2500 lbs.

Please check with your salt chlorine generator's specific manufacturer's recommendations and adjust the salt level accordingly.

Salinity Salt Pool Products, available at your local Pinch A Penny store, are specially formulated for salt pools.

  View the entire Pool Care Guide