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How to Add Salt to Your Above Ground Pool

How to Add Salt to Your Above Ground Pool
By Pools Above Ground
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How to Add Salt to Your Above Ground Pool

If you've made the switch to a salt system (sometimes called a chlorine generator) for your above ground pool and are enjoying the low-maintenance, skin-friendly experience, you might be wondering how and when to add more salt to your system. Of course, proper salt levels are essential to keeping your pool free of algae, bacteria, and stains, but what's the proper maintenance procedure? Follow along as I cover the 5 easy steps to ensure proper levels and performance from your new saltwater system.

1. Check Your Levels

Salt can dissipate over time due to rain, splashing, and other everyday factors. For this reason, you'll want to check your salt levels are regular intervals. To make it easier, some saltwater systems will have a digital screen or sensor that tells you exactly how much to add. However, if your system lacks such a sensor, you will have to perform a chemical test the old-fashioned way - with test strips. Should you see any readings below 3000 PPM, it's time to add more salt. In fact, if your levels are below 2500 PPM, you might be at risk of doing damage to your generator if you don't add salt soon.

2. Purchase Salt

Once you’ve determined that your salt levels are low, you’ll need to estimate how much more salt you’ll need. I recommend overestimating when possible, as it is much worse to be a little low than a little high. In general, you want to aim for 3000 ppm. There are numerous salt brands out there with varying price points, but something from the local pool store will be a little more money but it will be best for your pool. Brands like Morton's and other available at your local home improvement store are typically used for water softeners will work too but not quite as good.

3. Add the Salt

When adding the salt to your pool, you want to make sure the salt system is turned “off.” However, the pool pump should remain running the entire time. In fact, if you have a variable speed pump, I suggest you turn it to the highest setting. This will help speed up the distribution of salt throughout the pool. Once you have the salt system off and the pump on, simply dump the salt into the pool from the edge. I recommend you add it near the deep end so that it has a better chance of circulating through the main drain.

4. Distribute the Salt

You'll notice that not all the salt will dissolve upon hitting the water. Typically, some will land on the bottom, where it will form clumps. You'll want to break this up with your pool brush before moving on to the next step. In fact, I recommend you actually brush the salt clumps toward the main drain if you have one to promote circulation. If you do not have a re-circulation drain in the floor of your pool just move the salt around until it's dissolved. 

5. Let the Pool Circulate

It will take about 24 hours for the salt to dissolve. After that, you can return the pump to the normal setting and turn on the saltwater system. Let the generator run for a few hours, then test the water or check the digital display. Again you're aiming for about 3000 PPM, but a little higher is ok.


You should repeat this process as needed until you get the proper levels. Remember, allowing your system to operate at low salinity can not only allow algae and bacteria to grow, but can also reduce the life of your generator. However, if you take steps to keep your saltwater pool healthy, it will keep you and your family happy for many summers to come.

If you are considering a saltwater system for an above ground pool, we offer one the really works well and has been trouble free. This is the model we've been using with all of our above ground pools and it's worked flawlessly. The best part is that it's actually covered under warranty unlike other really big name brands that say they are but  don't cover them when you need it. Ask us how we know.

If you have additional questions or are interested in above ground pools ora  salt system for your's give us a call at 866 534 9725 or visit our website at

February 17, 2021