How To Install Salt Water Pool System Guide

dog and homeowner in a salt water pool under water

You have probably heard of a salt water pool.  The softer water is easy on the skin and most importantly, easy on the eyes when you’re underwater.  You may be wondering how you can put one of these systems on your own pool.  In this article we won’t be discussing the pros and cons of a salt system.  In this article we will be discussing how to install salt water pool system in your backyard.

2 Types Of Salt Water Pools

First, you need to understand what causes the soft water feel of the water.  There’s no real secret sauce here, it’s just salt.  There are a few different kinds of salt you can use in your pool, ranging from a fine grain table salt type of variety to the air dried rough rock salt used on your driveway. 

When you look at these two types of salt side by side you can see the difference. There is discoloration of the rock salt versus the table salt and see there is a big difference in quality.  There are additional refined sodium chloride salts which are designed specifically for pools as well as those for water softeners.  Make sure you choose a salt that’s clean. It’s important that the salt is designed for pools if you want the easiest experience.

How To Build An Inexpensive Salt Water Pool

The cheapest salt water pool you can build is a pool you simply add salt to.  You can turn any pool into a salt pool if you wish.  You need to achieve the 2400-2500 parts per million (ppm) of salt in your pool. Therefore, you first need to know how many gallons of water are in your pool.  You will want to add 200 pounds of pure salt for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.  Make sure you brush the pool until all the salt you’ve added is dissolved and no longer settled to the pool floor.  Now you have a salt water pool!

With the cheapest salt pool option above, you will still need to add chlorine and balance the pool water like any other pool would be maintained.  Though you now have a salt water pool, you may still be wondering how to install salt water pool system?

How To Install Salt Water Pool System

Well this is where things get a bit more complicated.  First, take your total pool gallons, then you’ll want to find a salt chlorine generator system that works with your gallon range.  For inground pools you may want to consider the Pentair Intellichlor system.  For an above ground pool, you might consider the Intex Krystal Clear system.  With either of these systems, you will need to cut (in the case of the Intellichlor), or disconnect (in the case of the Intex Krystal Clear), your plumbing and connect these systems in.  You will also need to make an electrical connection with both systems, as well as some rudimentary programming of the system to get it to operate at its best.  

You can probably do the Intex system yourself. However, we’d always recommend hiring a professional to install the Pentair Intellichlor. Aside from the Intellichlor, consult professionals with any other in-ground pool salt chlorine generation system too. Unless you are familiar with pool plumbing, there are some pitfalls which are easy to fall into when cutting into a pool system, especially if you have a spa.  With an inground system you will want to install a sacrificial anode to minimize oxidation, and a corrosion resistant check valve to protect your pump bearing and heater from damage.

how to install salt water pool system guide shown next to inground pool in backyard

3 Things To Remember When Installing A Salt Water Pool System

Keep in mind with any pool with a salt chlorine generator you will need to keep an eye on the PH. This leads many inground pool owners to install automatic acid feed systems like the Pentair IntelliPH. This system will automatically feed acid as the ph inevitably rises out of control as the salt system generates chlorine.  

Whenever you are installing a new product, it’s a good idea to read and understand the directions for how to install. Furthermore, you should understand what tools you’ll need.  When considering how to install salt water pool system, it’s no exception.  You can download the installation instructions from the manufacturer of just about any product, so before you buy, do your research.  If you aren’t sure how to do it, don’t hesitate to reach out to the manufacturer’s tech support, or find a pool service contractor to take care of the installation for you.  

How To Install Salt Water Pool System Summary

Now you understand there are multiple kinds of salt. Whether you want a quick solution or a permanent one, there are many ways to make a salt water pool. Using this guide, you know where to start for how to install salt water pool system technology. We have designed many salt water pools over the past 20 years. Our team knows this can be difficult so we welcome any questions you might have. Ultimately, if you’re not a pool professional, it’s good to hire one. You may not realize how difficult these transitions are until it’s too late.