How to Convert a Chlorine Pool to a Saltwater Pool

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An environmentally friendly way to keep your pool free of algae and bacteria is to switch from chlorine to saline. Saline-based pools also are less costly. No need to run out and purchase gallons of chlorine and no more stinging eyes. You can convert your chlorine-based pool to a saline-based pool in a few quick steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Saltwater system
  • Bags of salt
  • Find a saltwater system for your pool. With a variety of different saltwater pool systems on the market, you should be able to do some general research online or talk with a local pool specialist to figure out which system is best suited for your pool.

    Most saltwater systems cost around $1,300. Saltwater pool systems include a new filtration and pump system that will replace your chlorine pump and filtration system. Do not attempt to convert to saltwater using your-chlorine based system.

  • Install the saltwater system. If you are not familiar with the pump and filtration system of your pool, contact a pool specialist to install the saltwater system. Installation should take about two hours and cost between $150 and $200.

    If you are knowledgeable about your pool system, you should be qualified to convert your pool system on your own. Locate the line that feeds the main pump and close it off so no water runs through. Then cut the piping and replace the chlorine generator with the saltwater generator.

  • Connect the generator to a power source. Run electrical power to the saltwater system by wiring the saltwater generator to the power source used by the chlorine based system. You want the system to turn on and off at the same time as the pool pump.

  • Drain, clean and refill your pool. Draining your pool is not mandatory, but it will eliminate all chemical residue in the pool. Drain the pool entirely and give the walls and bottom a thorough cleaning. Then refill with water. You have a few options to refill your pool. You can use your garden hose, ask your local fire department or contact a company that delivers large quantities of water.

  • Pour in the salt. Check your system to determine the exact amount of salt you will need for your pool. In most cases, you'll need to reach 3,000 parts per million. In a 2,000 gallon pool, that means about 10 to 12 bags of salt. Purchase non-iodized salt from a wholesale retail store, your local pool supplier or order the bags online.

    Add one bag of salt to the pool at a time by sprinkling it over the entire surface area. As you add the salt, continually check the salt level on the control panel. Run the pump for about one week or until the salt level has leveled out. Then switch to running your pool pump about seven hours a day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check your salt level weekly and add additional salt as needed.
  • Never convert to a saline system without first installing a saltwater-based system.

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