How to Start a Saltwater Pool

••• swimming image by kmhgrl from

Explore America's Campgrounds

Swimming pools are a great way to relax and have fun, but sometimes they are a lot of trouble to maintain because of all of the chemicals to keep balanced. An alternative to a chemical-based pool is a saltwater pool. At one time, saltwater pools were almost unheard-of and only a few people had them, but recently, more people are converting their pools to saltwater. Also, new pools are being built so they can be used as either a regular freshwater pool or a saltwater pool because saltwater is not as drying to the skin and is not as harmful or painful to the eyes as chlorine. It's possible to perform the conversion process on your own.

Items you will need

  • Chlorine generator

  • PVC pipe

  • Special salt

  • Salt test strips

  • Chlorine test strips

Install a saltwater swimming pool chlorine generator onto the existing water lines of the pool. Cut the water line and install PVC pipes that will transport the water from the pool to the generator so that chlorine will be extracted from the salt used in the water, reducing the need to add chlorine. Connect the wires to the generator that also regulate the pool's filter pump so they will work together.

Calculate the water volume of your swimming pool. Add approximately 25 lbs. of purified salt to every 1,000 gallons of pool water, pouring it directly into the pool water. Test the salt content by dipping a test strip into the water and using the instructions to determine the level of salt. Add more salt if the level is too low, starting with small amounts, perhaps 5 lbs. at a time until the level is correct.

Switch on the pool's pump to circulate the water through the filter and also turn on the chlorine generator, which uses electrolysis to separate the molecules of sodium and chloride. Test the chlorine level after 24 hours with a chlorine test kit available from pool supply stores to make sure the generator is working correctly.

Test the chlorine and pH levels every week and test the salt levels every month to make sure the generator is performing the electrolysis of the water correctly; too little chlorine means adjustments must be made so the correct amount of chlorine is created.


  • Do not keep adding salt as the water in your pool evaporates because salt will remain even when the water level drops. Think of salt flats and salt mines; the water evaporates and leaves the salt behind. Just add more water to the pool.


  • Many newer chlorine generators have warning lights that tell you when levels are not right.