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Troubleshooting Salt Water Pools

Saltwater Pool Problems

Saltwater pool owners are generally a very happy bunch, but occasionally things go wrong.  When this happens, it usually boils down to a few basic issues either with the salt system or with the maintenance procedures.

"System does not seem to be producing enough chlorine"

1.  Check the salt level in the pool.

Check your salt level with a saltwater test kit (even if the system does not indicate low salt).  The salt level indicators on salt systems can fail, especially if there are problems with the cell.  If the salt level is low, add the proper amount of salt and retest a day or so later.

NOTE:  If the system indicates a low salt level, be sure to test it with a salt test kit before adding salt.  If a salt cell is failing or is scaled it may give a false low salt indicator.

2.  Check the stabilizer level in the pool.

The purpose of stabilizer in the water is to help keep the chlorine from being so quickly dissipated by UV rays.  If there is not enough stabilizer in the water, then the pool will use chlorine at a rapid pace and the salt system will not be able to keep up.  Salt water pools should have 60-80 ppm stabilizer (cyanuric acid).

3.  Check the settings on the control box

Make sure the system settings are correct.  Most systems can be set to run anywhere from 0 to 100% of the time.  If the pool is not using a lot of chlorine (such as in the off season), the system setting should be lower.  If the pool is using more chlorine, the system setting should be higher.

NOTE:  Do not set the control box any higher than necessary.  Salt cells have a limited lifespan and if you constantly run the system at 100% you will end up with premature cell failure.

3.  Check the timer settings on the pool.

The system will only produce chlorine while the pump is running.  If you have the system set at 100% and it is still not producing enough chlorine, then it might be necessary for you to run the pump longer.

"I added salt, but the low salt indicator is still on"

Check the salt level in the pool using a salt test kit (as described above).

If the salt reading is OK according to the salt test kit, then inspect the cell.  If there is scale on the plates of the cell, then soak the cell in an acid solution according to manufacturer's instructions.

"The pH level seems to be going up out of control"

Check the salt level in the pool using a salt test kit (as described above).

If the salt reading is OK according to the salt test kit, then inspect the cell.  If there is scale on the plates of the cell, then soak the cell in an acid solution according to manufacturer's instructions.

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