How Much Salt Does A Pool Use Per Month?

The amount of salt used in a pool can vary widely depending on the size of the pool, the specific salt chlorinator system being used, the pool usage, and the water chemistry.

Salt is not typically consumed in a saltwater pool; it is used to generate chlorine through the process of electrolysis. The chlorine produced sanitizes the pool and then reverts back to salt, creating a continuous cycle.

In general, the salt levels in a saltwater pool should remain relatively stable over time, with only small additions needed to compensate for water loss due to splash-out, backwashing, or dilution from rain.

Estimating The Monthly Salt Consumption

To estimate the monthly salt consumption, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

Pool Size:

The larger the pool, the more salt it will require to maintain the appropriate salinity levels.


Pools that experience heavy usage or are located in regions with high temperatures might require more chlorine production, leading to a slightly higher salt consumption.

Environmental Factors:

Heavy rain, dilution, and other factors can affect the concentration of salt in the pool, thereby impacting the overall salt consumption.

Chlorinator Efficiency:

The efficiency of the salt chlorinator system itself plays a significant role. Different systems have varying chlorine production rates and energy consumption levels, which can influence salt usage.

For accurate information specific to your pool, it’s advisable to consult the manufacturer’s specifications for your particular salt chlorinator system and to monitor the pool’s salt levels regularly.

How Much Salt to Add to Your Pool?

How Much Salt to Add to Your Pool

In order to maintain a properly chlorinated salt water pool and a functioning chlorine generator, you should know how much salt to add.

You won’t be able to sanitize your pool if your salt levels are too low, or your generator will stop running altogether if the salt levels are too low. Salinity can, however, damage the equipment and surfaces of your pool if it gets too high.

For a swimming pool, a salt level of 3,200 PPM is ideal. In a 10,000-gallon pool without salt (0 PPM), you’ll need to add 267 pounds of salt. It’s the equivalent of six to seven 40-pound bags of pool salt.

Using this quick table, you can figure out how much salt you need to add to your pool based on the volume and current salt levels in your pool.

A table the shows how much salt you need to add to your pool based on the volume and current salt levels in your pool.

What’s the Correct Level of Salt for Your Pool?

Salt levels should range from 2,700 to 3,400 parts per million (ppm), with 3,200 being the optimal value. As soon as you add salt to the water (at the beginning of the season or when you fill your pool), you shouldn’t need to add any more.

The reason for this is that the salt water generator continually generates chlorine through electrolysis. Your pool is then sanitized by chlorine. If you add fresh water or it rains, the salt will get diluted, but it won’t evaporate.

You’ll need about six or seven 40-pound bags of pool salt (for a 10,000-gallon pool) if you’re converting to a salt water system for the first time.

If you have low salt levels (around 1,000 PPM), you’ll need about four or five 40-pound bags of pool-grade salt.

The price of pool salt is relatively low, which is a good thing. You should be able to add it at the beginning of the season and it will stay in your water for the entire season.

Salt can always be added if needed. Start slowly and allow the salt to dissolve and circulate. Test your salt levels again after that.

What About Using A Saltwater Chlorine Generator?

We have decided to transition our swimming pool to saltwater due to the skyrocketing cost of chlorine. 

To keep your pool from turning green, these pools use saltwater chlorine generators (SWCGs).

You can eliminate the need for dichlor or trichlor products as you’ll be creating your own chlorine with a SWCG!

Basically, the SWCG maintains steady levels of free chlorine in the pool, whereas the salt gives swimmers silkier water. In order to convert your swimming pool to saltwater, you’ll need to add salt at first.

Because the SWCG converts salt to chlorine, many wonder “How much salt does a pool consume per month? ” 

It is common for pools to not actually use up any salt, but that does not mean salt only needs to be added once.

How a Saltwater Chlorinator Works

There is some chlorine in saltwater pools, contrary to popular belief. Chlorine is generated by SWCGs (salt cells) instead.

High school chemistry students may recall that salt consists primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl). SWCGs use low voltage electricity to separate chlorine (Cl) from sodium (Na) in the pool’s circulation system.

Before returning to the pool, the chlorine gas dissolves into the water. In order to use a SWCG effectively, the salinity of the pool must be adjusted to the optimal level. 2800 to 4000 ppm of salt is recommended by most salt chlorinators.

For estimating the amount of salt to add, there are calculators available. It may be necessary to add 500 pounds of salt to a 20,000 gallon pool that does not have an initial salt level.

How Much Chlorine Does a Salt Chlorinator Produce

It depends on how long a salt chlorinator is configured to run to produce a specific amount of chlorine every day. A SWCG unit that can accommodate the pool volume should be selected appropriately. 

When running at 100%, Pentair’s IC40 saltwater chlorinator produces up to 1.4 lbs of chlorine every 24 hours for pools up to 40,000 gallons.

We run ours at 40% for 10 hours per day, which means we produce about 14 lbs. per day.

It is common for salt cell manufacturers to provide an estimation of the chlorine production to be expected when using the unit.

When setting up the FC, it is recommended that you monitor it frequently so that the output settings are appropriate.

How to Test Your Current Pool Salt Levels

How to Test Your Current Pool Salt Levels

Your swimming pool’s salinity levels must be determined before you decide how much salt to add. You should be able to see your current salt level on your salt water generator. To get a salinity reading, check the digital display first.

The salt reading you receive from a salt water generator can, however, sometimes be inaccurate.

Depending on the condition of your unit, you might need to recalibrate it or increase your water temperature. Interestingly, lower water temperatures lead to lower salt readings.

Additionally, if the water contains other minerals, you may receive inaccurate readings if its total dissolved solids (TDS) is high. You may also need to clean your salt sensor.

You should test your water at least once a month for salt content using one of these methods.

Liquid Reagent Kit

There are liquid test kits that include salt water readings. In order to use the vials, you simply need to fill them with pool water from your pool.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when adding the reagent. The color of the samples changes once they are mixed.

Salt Test Strips

Salt water test strips are generally dipped in pool water and left to react for several minutes. Despite its inaccuracy, this is a cheap alternative to a digital tester.

Digital Salinity Tester

Salt levels can be accurately measured with a digital salinity tester. You can place your digital tester directly in the water of your pool.

The majority of digital testers are also capable of measuring total dissolved solids (TDS) and total hardness in addition to salinity.

How Often To Add Salt To Pool

How Often To Add Salt To Pool

There are some instances when salt should be added to the pool, even though it should not be done routinely. 

Add Salt to Pool After Rain

In the event of heavy rain, the salt concentration may be diluted in the pool, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the SWCG.

Three inches of rain in a 600 square foot pool equals around 1,100 gallons of freshwater.

It is estimated that 1,100 gallons of rain water can reduce the salinity of a pool that initially contained 20,000 gallons by over 5%. Thus, a salinity of 3500ppm before rainfall could be diluted down to 3300ppm.

The amount of salt in the sea could be significantly swayed by a single heavy downpour, but a series of them could rebalance the salt concentration.

There’s a possibility of natural correction of the salt level through evaporation if a dry stretch of weather occurs after rain falls.

Add Salt After Drain and Refill

A pool’s water and salt are drained simultaneously when it is drained. Partial draining (for example, during winterization) and fully draining (for maintenance) are included in this practice. 

To calculate how much salt is needed for a drained pool after fresh water has been added, a test kit or meter should be used to measure salinity levels.

There are SWCG units that also indicate when the salt level is OK, but it’s best to double-check that with another indicator.

How Much Salt to Add to Pool After Rain

You must measure the salt concentration after rain in order to determine how much salt to add to the pool. Once you have measured the salt concentration, you can compare it with the target concentration.

A simple calculation can be used to determine how much salt needs to be added once you know how much salt needs to be added:

Pounds of Salt to Add per 10,000 Gallons = 8.375 x Salt Level Increase (ppm) ÷ 100

When your target salt level is 3500ppm, but it has dropped to 3300ppm due to a rainstorm, you’ll need to add enough salt to increase it by 200ppm.

As a result of the equation above, 32 pounds of salt are required for a 20,000-gallon pool.

How To Measure Salt Content In Pool

It is essential to monitor the salt level regularly in the pool to ensure the saltwater chlorinator is performing at its best.

A salt concentration sensor is usually built into saltwater pool systems to indicate whether the salt level is adequate.

Some systems display an indicator light to indicate whether the concentration is OK, while others use a numerical readout.

Consider purchasing a salinity meter or salt level test kit if your SWCG does not have a numerical readout. You can use these values to help adjust the salt level based on more specific values.

Does Salt Evaporate From The Pool?

There is also a misconception that evaporation removes salt. Actually, it’s the opposite.

The salt is left behind during evaporation because only pure water leaves the pool. When water evaporates from the pool, you are left with a higher concentration of salt because the volume is reduced.

Maintaining the salt concentration in the pool will be easier with water added to compensate for evaporation.

What Else Do I Need To Add To My Pool Besides Salt?

Aside from salt, you should test pH levels, alkalinity levels, and cyanuric acid levels on a regular basis.

If your salt water system doesn’t measure chlorine production correctly, you should manually test the levels of chlorine and salt. It is for this reason that regular water testing is necessary.

Can You Put Too Much Salt In A Pool?

Salting your pool a bit more won’t typically cause any problems. You could cause corrosion of pool equipment if the excessive salt levels reach 5,000 ppm or more.

How Many Bags Of Salt Do I Need For My 15,000-Gallon Pool?

You’ll need about 300 pounds of salt for 15,000 gallons of water if you’re starting with no salt. A little less than eight 40-pound bags of pool salt will suffice.

How Many Bags Of Salt Do I Need For My Pool?

Your pool size and salt level will determine your answer. Imagine that you have a 10,000 gallon above ground pool and you need to raise your salt level from 0 to 3,200 PPM since you’re starting with fresh water.

The amount of pool salt you will need is 200 pounds, or about five 40-pound bags. Due to splash out and backwashing, you will only need to add a bit more salt every year to replace the salt you lose.

How Do You Calculate Pool Volume?

By multiplying the length, width, and average depth of a rectangular pool, one can calculate its volume. If your pool is a different shape or has varying depths, you can use a Pool Volume Calculator to calculate its volume (in gallons).

Final Takeaway

The use of saltwater pools is often an excellent alternative to chlorinated pools. In order to convert salt into chlorine, you must first set the initial salt level in the pool. The SWCG will then do the rest of the work for you.

Furthermore, as chlorine breaks down in the water, the salt will regenerate itself while the SWCG is using salt to generate chlorine. As a result, under normal use, no salt is used up in the pool.

You should add salt to the pool after draining the water or after heavy rainfall. Both cases require you to calculate the amount of salt needed to re-establish your target level by measuring the salt concentration (ppm) in the pool.

It is important to maintain the salt level in your pool at an appropriate level to ensure adequate chlorine levels, as well as prevent the pool from tasting too salty.

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