How to Switch from Tablets to a Salt Chlorinator


Don't get me wrong - we LOVE chlorine tablets, they are one of our largest selling items!

But secretly; (don't tell my boss) I have a salt chlorine generator on my own pool. Switching from tablets to salt was easy!

Why Switch to Salt?

  • No need to buy, transport, store and handle chlorine.
  • Management of chlorine level is easier.
  • Water feels softer and silkier.

How to Switch to Salt?

Step 1 to install a salt chlorinator

Select a Salt Chlorinator. For aboveground pools, we have the Saltron and the ChlorEase salt chlorinators. For inground pools, we carry 4 models by Hayward, Pool Pilot and my favorite, the Jandy Ei salt system.

Step 2 to installing a saltwater pool system

Install the Salt Chlorinator. Aboveground pools, just hang it on the pool wall and plug it in. In ground salt systems have a control box that mounts on a wall and a salt cell that is plumbed into the return line. Super simple stuff.

The third step is adding the salt

Add the Salt. Use regular salt or Sodium Chloride, that is 99% pure. Solar Salt, Pool Salt or water conditioning salt can be used. You'll need lots! About 250 lbs per 10,000 gallons, to reach a salt level of 3000 ppm.

Will the Salt Change my Water Balance?

No - adding the salt won't affect your pH, alkalinity and hardness levels, but it won't manage them either. You'll still need to check and balance your water, just as if using chlorine tablets.

Do I Still Need Conditioner or Stabilizer?grumpy-sun, purchased from istock

Yes - the chlorine generated by your salt system will last much longer when you keep a residual of 30-50 ppm of chlorine stabilizer. It also will keep your salt cell from being overworked, and protect chlorine from the sun's strong depletion efforts.

Will I Still Need to Buy Tablets or Shock?

No - Salt Chlorinators will take the place of both, maintaining your daily chlorine residual and boosting chlorine production when you want to shock the pool.

AquaSalt 40 lb bag

You will need to add more pool salt, occasionally, once or twice per year, to replace salt lost during splashout or backwashing. But you can say goodbye to buying chlorine tablets or shock (sorry, boss!).

The only time you may need pool shock would be if your pool pump or filter was not working, or during power outages, or maybe during spring start-up. If water is not circulating through the salt cell, no chlorine is produced.

How do I Test for Salt Level in the Pool?


Most salt systems have a salt sensor to either display a digital readout of your salt level, or alert you if the level becomes too low, or is too high. If your system does not, or if you want a second opinion - use AquaChek Salt Strips to test salt level. Salt Systems recommend a salt level of around 3000 ppm.

Switching to Salt is Easy! Take a look at the new features and benefits of today's salt chlorinators. Self-cleaning, self-diagnosing, easy to install and more economical than ever to buy.

In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.