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What To Do if You Run Out of Pool Salt

With many areas in Australia currently experiencing a pool salt shortage, we felt it was important to address what you should do if you cannot get your hands on your regular pool salt.

In this article, we will discuss:

  • What to do if you can’t find your pool salt
  • What happens if you don’t use enough salt in your pool

What to use instead of pool salt

If you are struggling to find your regular, good quality pool salt at your local pool store then we would recommend switching to magnesium salt until you can. While this is the main component in mineral pool systems, it will still work wonderfully in your saltwater pool. Working effectively to keep your water sanitised and your chlorinator in top condition.

We also recommend covering your pool with a pool cover to conserve water and your pool chemicals at this time.

What is magnesium pool salt?

Magnesium pool salt contains magnesium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium chloride. This is considered a higher grade pool salt and leaves the water feeling softer

In fact, if you own a concrete pool we even recommend using Magnesium pool salt a few times a year to help reduce or slow down calcium leaching out of the concrete.

Magnesium pool salt is also recommended for your chlorinator as it helps to reduce the calcium build up on the chlorinator cell - prolonging its life.

What happens if you don’t add salt into your pool when you need it?

A saltwater pool system generates chlorine through an electrolysis process. A salt chlorinator is made up of a series of cells that send a small current of electricity through the dissolved saltwater.

This process makes use of the chloride ions in the salt and generates chlorine

If you don’t have any salt - or enough salt in your pool a few things will happen:

  • Your chlorinator will not be able to produce sufficient levels of chlorine
  • Santisation levels will drop and you may experience an outbreak of algae
  • Chlorinator cells will become overworked and may break.

As salt levels drop, your chlorinator will try to work harder to compensate. However at the end of the day, if there is no salt-chlorine cannot be produced and as such your pool water will be susceptible to bacteria and algae outbreaks. Another consequence of low salt/ no salt in your pool is the burden placed on your chlorinator. When a chlorinator is forced to operate without salt it becomes over-workes and the cell plates soon bow out of shape. The plates may even bow to the point where they touch the plate beside it and blow up the power supply.

Test your pool water

Before adding more salt to your pool, always test the water first. A simple salt-water test strip will give you a reliable indication of your pool salt levels.

If you have been operating the pool with low free-chlorine levels then you may also be experiencing other flor-on effects. We also recommend testing for the following:

  • Pool pH levels
  • Free Chlorine levels
  • Total Alkalinity

Pool Test Kits Buy pool salt

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