Salt Systems for Above Ground Pools

Thinking of a Pool Salt System?

Millions of Americans have installed salt chlorine generators on their pools, ending the purchase, storage and handling of chlorine products. Chlorine generators, also known as pool salt systems, are the simplest way to sanitize your inground and above ground pool. They also work great on spas!

Pool salt systems are compact electrolytic cells that are either plumbed in-line, or hang on an aboveground pool wall. When you plug the salt generator into an outlet, the metallic plates become charged, converting the salt in your water to instant chlorine. It generates chlorine - and it's like having your own personal chlorine factory!

When salt systems first became popular they were initially available only for the inground pool market. Today, they are made for a variety of applications, from a very small body of water to very large pools. Manufacturers recognized the need for a less expensive pool salt system for smaller aboveground pools. We have three different brands of aboveground pool salt systems at In The Swim. And the prices have never been lower, salt chlorine generators just keep getting cheaper, every year!


With a pool salt system, say goodbye to chlorine smell, dry skin, burning eyes, bleaching or any other side effects that you usually get from using or handling chlorine. The salt chlorinator gives the water a softer feel and is a constant way to chemically treat the water. All you do is add Pool Salt to the water; once - with annual boosts to replace salt lost to backwash and splash out.

The amount of salt needed for a 3000 ppm salt level is 100 lbs of pool salt per 5000 gallons of pool water. Just pour it in the water! You won't taste or see the salt, but you will feel the silky soft quality it gives to the pool water. You can buy pool salt at any Home center or water treatment store.


With regular chlorine, peaks and valleys occur in your chlorine level, and it's during the valleys that water issues can develop. When the tablets are fresh, the chlorine is too high, and as they erode away, the chlorine level will drop to low or non-existent if you forget to add more.

Because the salt system keeps a constant and consistent level of chlorine, people with salt water chlorinators tend to have fewer, if any pool water issues during the swimming season - and some salt systems even have a super-chlorinate function.

One of the other benefits of a chlorine generator is never having to buy chlorine anymore and also never having to store chlorine. I am a bit nervous about storing chlorine around my home. Children could be overcome by fumes if they open the bucket, or if it becomes contaminated, it can catch fire, or create deadly fumes.

For inground pools, salt systems range from 20,000 gallons to 50,000 gallons, and multiple units can be used for even larger bodies of water. Aboveground pools of less than 20,000 gallons can use any one of our aboveground pool salt systems. There is also a Salt System for Intex pools, shown right.

Most aboveground salt systems are a two piece set-up, with a cell and a control panel. The cell can be an inline unit, or it can hang on the wall, or connect to the wall return fitting. The control panel is a stand alone box with a cord that plugs into a standard 110V outlet. Inline units can also be powered by connecting the power cord into the pump timeclock or power switch.

It is true that down the road you will need to replace the salt cell; it is a wearable part of the system. Over the life of the salt cell however, most will realize a considerable cost savings, even figuring in the cost of the replacement cell and the pool salt.

When all is said and done a salt water generator is by far one of the best items that you can add to your inground or aboveground pool or spa. I just built an inground pool this week in my backyard, and YES, I installed a salt chlorine generator on my own pool. Trust me on this one - a year after you've switched to a salt water generator, you will say it's the best thing you've ever done for your pool.

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.