How Do I Test My Saltwater Pool?

Getting a saltwater pool has become a trend to pool owners since it was popularized in the 1980s and to break the myths, they are certainly not free from chlorine, as saltwater is self-producing chlorine as it passes by through salty water. Within this process, two electrically-charged metal plates will generate chlorine, and this is called a salt cell.

How do I test my saltwater pool? There are many ways where you can test your saltwater pool, which is: Alkalinity, pH level, Calcium, and cyanuric acid tests.

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Read on to learn about the different kinds of tests that you can make to a saltwater pool. Other topics, such as the benefits and how to properly set up and maintain a saltwater pool, will also be discussed.

Testing The Saltwater Pool

There have to be many tests to confirm if the water is excellent for swimming and if it doesn’t create a health dilemma for the swimmers. Here are the things that you must remember to create a healthy pool:

Alkalinity Level

Remember that the water’s alkalinity level is somehow correlated with the cyanuric acid, which doesn’t need to be tested regularly. To test the water’s alkalinity level, you have to purchase a test kit or test strips.

It will require you to take a sample of pool water, and you’ll apply drops of a reagent to the pool water inside the test tube. When the reagent reacts to the pool water, then you have to compare the water in the color scale of the alkalinity test kit.

The recommended alkalinity level is around 80 to 120. If the alkalinity level is too low, you have to increase the alkaline materials by adding cyanuric acid to pool water stability. But if the alkalinity is too low, you can add muriatic acid to make the water more acidic and regularize the alkaline materials.

pH Level

The water pH level depends on either the acidity or alkalinity of the water. Put it this way: if the water exceeds or goes below the pH level, then it will cause undesirable pool water imbalance, and it might affect the swimmer’s skin. Just the same with the total alkalinity test, pH level is tested through test kits.

If the pH level is too acidic, then the more tendency for the metals to corrode in the waters, while being low in pH level can cause scaling on the swimming pool’s surface area.

The ideal pH level for a swimming pool should be between 7.2 and 7.8. If you’ve found the pH level to be lower or higher than these numbers, then you should simply add acids and alkalis into the pool water. For example, if the pH is too low, then by adding soda ash and baking soda would do the trick. If the pH is too high, then add muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate.

Calcium Hardness Test

This type of test will determine how hard or soft is the pool water by measuring the amount of dissolved calcium in the water. Although many pool owners often overlook this test, their importance is similar to the alkalinity and pH level.

Testing the calcium level of your water will keep the calcium hardness to keep the water from scaling or becoming corrosive. Before examining the calcium hardness test, ensure that the pH and alkalinity level is already balanced.

Many concerns are being raised by low calcium because the water can become corrosive. Problems caused by low calcium are eroding and pitting the pool tile, pool decks, and stones. With high calcium hardness, the water can become too saturated as the presence of cloudiness will fill up the whole water.

Cyanuric Acid Test

It is called the chlorine stabilizer, often used in swimming pools and indoor spas. The purpose of testing the cyanuric acid is to protect the chlorine and prevent the water from infection. It can either be solid or liquid, and the one used for monitoring is either dichlor or trichlor. The pool water has to be tested weekly, and the result should be below 200 mg/L.

Pool owners are using photometers to test and measure cyanuric acid. It can cover up to 10 tests, covering all water quality parameters. Many people are suggesting that the level of effectiveness should go between 25 and 50 mg/L.

Benefits Of Saltwater

A saltwater pool is a great place to relax and meditate for a while. If you dip yourself into the pool water, unknowingly, many health benefits are waiting to soothe your skin.

Takes Greatly Of Your Skin

One advantage of getting a saltwater pool is smooth skin, unlike in chlorine-based pools, which can give your skin rashes and itchiness. Studies show that salt water acts as a natural exfoliator and moisturizer to the skin while increasing the possibility of retaining the skin moisture for a long time. Saltwater is also responsible for healing skin diseases, such as acne and psoriasis.

Alternative To The Gym

With the strokes you’re doing while swimming, the energy you exerted can convert into doing a treadmill or elliptical machine. Exercise is essential to one’s health to keep one’s body fit and healthy. However, if you want to exercise in the most relaxing manner, you can hang out in the saltwater swimming pool instead of going to a traditional gym.

The flow of water will make your body resist it, and it will force you to go against it. The advantages of swimming would also include the burning of calories and concentration or prolonging your breathing underwater. It would help you get better in shape.

Anti-stress Properties

When you dip yourself in the pool, you can’t deny that the water can slowly massage your body, until you are fully relaxed. When stress comes, it’s natural for our bodies to remain non-functional. Saltwater can help in promoting the body’s natural relaxation process just by soaking in it. After an hour of soaking, it will leave your body refreshed and relaxed.

Soothe Your Joints

What’s excellent in the saltwater swimming pool is it regularizes the joint’s function, as it relieves every pain and soreness in it. When people have joint injuries and are recovering from it, just a couple of saltwater dips will make it easier to move their joints. The bromide present in the saltwater pool is the one responsible for keeping the joints recover.

No Side Effect

A lot of swimmers were having problems breathing in a chlorine-based swimming pool. On the other hand, saltwater pools, being low in chemicals, can prevent eye irritation and lung infection. It would focus on your breathing capabilities underwater while healing every bit of stress in your body.

How To Maintain Saltwater Pools

The main equipment used in maintaining the saltwater swimming pool is the chlorine generator, which is responsible for sanitizing the water. It would dissolve and eliminate the presence of excess chlorine to prevent fouling. Here are the lists on how you’d be able to maintain the cleanliness of saltwater pools:

Measuring Conductivity And Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Most chlorine generators are programmed to display the water’s salinity level based on the pool water’s conductivity. When you found out that many solids are being dissolved underwater, the higher the tendency for the water to be conductive. Furthermore, you must measure the conductivity while estimating the TDS.

Consistently Checking On The Water’s Salinity

Salinity should be connected to the amount of sodium chloride in water. As a pool owner, you should educate yourself about the oceanographic research tables, so you’ll know how to calculate the water’s salinity and conductivity accurately. One of the most used equipment is the Palintest Pocket Sensors to get a more accurate result.

Understanding TDS Calibration Solutions

When you choose the correct calibration solution, then you will be ensured to get a more accurate result using the Palintest Pocket Sensor. The Palintest device usually has an Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC) that performs on different pool water tests, such as pH level, conductivity, temperature, TDS, and salinity.

The instrument used would also eradicate some complicated issues, because it compensates the different outputs by checking out the differences between temperatures.

How To Fix Saltwater Swimming Pool’s Problems

If you happened to own a saltwater pool, then maintenance should be a must. Fixing the pool is also vital as you have tried to monitor every chemical used in the pool.

Turn On The Salt Chlorinator

The saltwater chlorinator is more concerned about cleaning and maintaining the pool water by self-generating chlorine in the salt cell. If the salt cell is found defective, then it can be replaceable with a new one. You have to closely monitor the salt cell to ensure that no calcium buildup may cause the low production of chlorine.

The average lifespan of a salt cell is around five years, and if the salt cell has reached its expiration date, then you better replace it because it might cause problems. The most important thing that you’ll have to remember is how much chlorine it can sufficiently generate.

Set A Percentage To Run Saltwater Chlorine Generator

All SWCG has its percentage setting where you can adjust the chlorine level they’ll produce and how many times it needs to pump to generate chlorine. Sometimes, you have to look over and force the SWCG to increase the pump for more chlorine production if it is too low. However, if the chlorine level is too high, you will have to readjust at the settings and change it to the recommended level instead.

Handle The Metal Stains In The Pool

Corrosion is caused by high pH and alkalinity levels, and most of the salt chlorinator users are using zinc anode to prevent this from happening. It is also called the sacrificial zinc anode because it is used to protect the metals with direct contact with the saltwater.

Therefore, Zinc anode plays a vital role in keeping the water and pool equipment from plaster discoloration, black stains, and heat damage.

When The Saltwater Is Not Holding Chlorine

Low salinity levels mainly cause low chlorine levels. The normal salinity level should read between 2500 and 3500 ppm, depending on the chlorine generator’s recommendation setting. Another cause is the calcium buildup that intervenes in the production of chlorine in the pool water. Usually, you will also have to look at the chlorine stabilizer or the filter cartridges.

Imbalance Chlorine Production Compared to Pool’s Salinity

Check if the salinity level exceeds or goes below the recommended level. If the salinity level has exceeded, you have to partially drain the pool water and replace it with new water. Then go back to check the salt cell once again and see if it’s defective or dirty.

When you have refilled the pool with fresh water, you have to return to the basic steps of measuring the pH, alkalinity, and other metal levels.

If the salt cell is now reliable to function, then adjust the setting of the chlorine generator to the recommended level. If the reading is still low, manually adjust it to a higher level to boost the chlorine production.


The swimming pool is considered the beauty and class of every home so that maintenance would be an understatement. Anything that has been regularly maintained is not costly, so you’ll have to be more patient on doing this weekly. Not only can swimming pools give the enjoyment that your family and other loved ones deserve, but they can also be the source of glowing skin and a healthier body.

Taking care of your pool is extremely important, and it wouldn’t be difficult if done regularly. Never compromise the pool water, because this brings happiness to everyone.

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