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A pool in your own garden can be both an oasis of relaxation and a safe environment for carefree romping in the cool water. To create a hygienic and visually appealing environment, an effective means of disinfection is required. Most owners of garden pools often use the chemical chlorine for this purpose, but there are now alternative disinfectants that also achieve a satisfactory result.

A variant that is becoming more and more popular these days is the fight against organic foreign bodies in the water of a pool with the help of a salt system.

It is characterized mainly by its increased compatibility for the human body, so that even sensitive people, or bathing enthusiasts who respond with an allergic reaction to chlorine, can enjoy comprehensive hygiene during the bathing season.

However, it should not be forgotten that the content of the saltwater pool must also be measured at regular intervals.

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Why is the right salt level in the pool important?

In theory, once the salt has been added to the water of the pool for the first time, it is not necessary to add more salt, because the disinfecting effect, unlike the chemical chlorine, does not evaporate or lasts much longer.

However, a reduction in the salt content of your pool can occur due to a variety of factors, including dilution from added rainwater and loss from pool water splashing out of the pool during normal use.

However, if there is no ideal level of salt in the pool water, sufficient disinfection can no longer be guaranteed and the spread of, for example, pathogens such as bacteria can proceed unhindered or at least steadily, which in the worst case has negative consequences for health.

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Measure the salt content in the pool in 5 steps

To help combat organic debris in the water of a swimming pool, it is necessary to regularly check the salt content and adjust it if necessary, so that the optimum concentration is present according to the individual manufacturer’s specifications.

The following steps, explained section by section, will ensure that the most accurate result is obtained after the measurement.

Step 1: Obtain accessories

Before testing the salt content in the pool water of your swimming pool, the necessary materials should be purchased or checked for their correct functioning. It is advisable to use, in addition to a small glass, a test strip designed for measuring the salt concentration.

The latter should have been stored in accordance with the information contained in the operating instructions, and the glass container should be examined for cracks or similar and freed from other substances that may be contained in it.

Step 2: Skim off water

Since the test strip should then be covered by approximately one centimeter of pool water, it is necessary to skim this out of the pool before a measurement takes place, for which a small glass is suitable as an adequate collection container.

Even if it has been cleaned beforehand, it is recommended to move the container back and forth a little in the pool water so that a usable sample can be taken, which ideally does not come directly from the surface of the pool water.

The jar or scoop, which is recommended by the individual manufacturer’s specifications, should in most cases be filled to a height of about one centimeter with the water that has been let into the pool.

Step 3: Insert test strips

In a variety of test strips, you will find a foil used to direct the water along the strip, with a separating seal inserted on one side of the corresponding product. In accordance with the respective operating instructions, to measure the salt content in the pool water, insert the test strip with the lower side into the small glass filled to a height of one centimeter.

In order to obtain an unaltered result, it is also important to ensure that no additional liquid, such as rainwater, enters the container.

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Step 4: Wait

After the test strip has been inserted into the jar filled with water, a certain amount of time must pass in order to determine the concentration of salt in the particular pool. Although, to be on the safe side, one should always consider the individual specifications of the respective manufacturers, in many cases the time to wait is about four minutes, during which the water steadily rises in the foil around the test strip.

Step 5: Read the result

During a measurement, the salt content is determined in milligrams per liter or parts per million (ppm), whereby this should lie between an upper and a lower limit, depending on the individual pool type.

In the case of an Intex pool, for example, the minimum to be achieved is 2500 milligrams per liter, whereas the maximum is 3500 milligrams per liter, so a value of around 3000 milligrams per liter would be ideal.

Many test strips are supplied with a table or other option for reading and interpreting the result.

Conclusion

In order to have a relaxing summer, which is exclusively associated with positive experiences with regard to one’s own pool, it is of essential importance to bring about a sufficient disinfecting effect.

Due to the fact that many people nowadays are interested in alternative means, which can be used for the maintenance of a swimming pool, salt added to the pool water is gaining more and more importance as a disinfectant, as it is gentler for the human body, especially for the skin and the mucous membranes of the eyes, than the chemical chlorine, which has been used for years.

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Although in theory you do not need to add salt after the first addition, the influence of rainwater or the loss of pool water due to everyday use of the pool, for example, causes a reduction in the salt content, which you need to compensate for in order to continue to be protected against organic foreign bodies that pose a risk of health problems.

In order to keep the ideal value of the salt concentration constant, it is necessary to first determine the actual content with the help of test strips and then to be able to continue to guarantee hygienic harmlessness during summer bathing through the renewed addition of salt. Once you have developed a certain routine during the measurement, you will need no more than five to ten minutes on average for the respective work steps and can then enjoy your pool again.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.