Directions for Using Table Salt in a Swimming Pool


Chlorine generators eliminate the need for pool owners to buy chlorine, as they produce chlorine from regular table salt. The generators convert the salt into hypochlorous acid, which is then pumped into the pool. Once salt is initially introduced, new salt only needs to be added about once a year. Purchase appropriate salt for use in the pool. Regular table salt can be used as long as it does not contain impurities or iodine.

Things You'll Need

  • Table salt
  • Chlorine generator
  • Salt test strips
  • Large brush or pool net
  • Determine the current salt level of your pool. A newly filled pool will usually have a salt level of zero, but testing the water with salt test strips can verify this. A safe, chlorinated pool requires a salt level ranging from 2,500 to 4,000 parts per million. At this level, a human cannot taste the salt, and the salt will not corrode any metal equipment contained in the pool. If the pool's water has a salt content of zero, then adding salt at the ratio of 50 pounds of salt for every 2,000 gallons of water will bring the salinity level to the ideal point of 4,000 parts per million.

  • Purchase appropriate salt for use in the pool. The salt should not contain any impurities or iodine. Regular table salt, water softener pellets and water conditioner salt will all work.

  • Turn on the pool pump and open the bottom pool drain.

  • Add the appropriate amount of salt right over the bottom drain and leave the pump on for the next 24 hours to help dissolve the salt.

  • Brush any remaining salt from the bottom of the pool toward the pool drain, using a large brush or a pool net.

  • Add salt periodically only when needed to maintain the level of 4,000 parts per million.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you should add too much salt, drain some water from the pool and refill with fresh water to dilute the salt. Repeat the process until the proper level is reached. Too much salt will make the water taste salty and can corrode metal equipment in the pool.
  • Using a chlorine generator does not eliminate the need to add other chemicals to balance the water. Periodically test the stabilizer, free chlorine, salt, total alkalinity and calcium hardness levels of your pool to maintain proper chemical levels.

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  • Photo Credit Swimming pool and pool house image by Jim Mills from
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