How Much Salt Do You Need to Add?(Pool Salt Calculation)

It’s crucial to know how much pool salt to add to your pool in order to keep it chlorinated and your chlorine generator running properly. 

If salt levels get too low, your generator won’t produce enough chlorine to keep your pool sanitized – or it might even stop running altogether. But if salinity gets too high, you risk damaging your pool’s equipment and surfaces.

The ideal salt level is between 2,500 and 3,500 ppm. If you’re starting with no salt (0 PPM) and you have a 10,000-gallon pool, you’ll need to add 267 pounds of salt. That’s a lot of salt. You’ll need to add six to seven 40-pound bags of salt.

Depending on the type of chlorinator, the amount of Pro Salt needed to produce chlorine varies. Most chlorinators require 3500ppm to 7000ppm (0.35% to 0.7%), but our Pool Pro and Neptune chlorinators only require 3000ppm (0.3%).

The Neptune NDC Chlorinator range is also compatible with mineral salts.

Pool Salt Calculator






0.1% or 1000ppm0.5 Bag1.0 Bag1.9 Bags2.9 Bags
0.2% or 2000ppm1.0 Bag2.0 Bag3.8 Bags5.8 Bags
0.3% or 3000ppm1.5 Bags3.0 Bag5.8 Bags8.6 Bags
0.4% or 4000ppm2.0 Bags4.0 Bag7.7 Bags11.5 Bags
0.5% or 5000ppm2.5 Bags5.0 Bag9.6 Bags14.4 Bags
0.6% or 6000ppm3.0 Bags6.0 Bag11.5 Bags17.3 Bags

What’s the Exact Level of Salt for Your Pool?

The ideal salt level for your pool is between 2,700 and 3,400 ppm. The optimal level is 3,200 ppm. You likely won’t need to add any additional salt to your water once you add the initial amount of salt.

Your salt water generator is key to keeping your pool clean. It works by using the salt to generate chlorine through electrolysis. The chlorine then sanitizes your pool. However, the salt does get diluted over time from factors like rain or adding fresh water.

When transitioning to a pool salt water system, you’ll need a foundation of around six to seven 40-pound bags of salt. If you’re starting with low salt levels (1,000 PPM), you’ll need a lower amount of around four or five 40-pound bags.

pool salt
Dimensions22 x 15 x 4 inches
Item Weight41 pounds

How Do You Test Your Salt Levels?

Your salt chlorine generator measures the amount of salt. If you don’t have a reading, you can use a salt testing kit to get an accurate measurement. Compare this measurement to the ideal salt range. 

If you’re above the ideal range, replace your current pool water with new water. If you’re below the ideal range, add more salt.

pool salt test kit
Product Dimensions4 x 1 x 6 inches
Item Weight4.8 ounces
ManufacturerRobelle Industries

How Does Salt Work In Pools?

Pool salt cell are devices that draw salt dissolved in water to generate chlorine through a process known as electrolysis.

This, in turn, produces sodium hypochlorite, which is the primary disinfectant in saltwater pools. cells can help take some of the workload off of the filtration system and keep your pool sparkling clean with less effort on your part.

pool salt water

The Salt Cell is what helps to break down the salt so that it can be used properly. If you were to just pour salt into the pool without the Cell, you would end up with salty water.

Additionally, salt alone will not sanitize your pool – it must be used in conjunction with chlorine.

How to Test Your Current Pool Salt Level

To figure out how much salt to add to your swimming pool, you need to know your current salinity levels. Your salt water generator should tell you what your current salt level is. So, start by checking the digital display to get a salinity reading.

However, sometimes a salt water generator can give you an inaccurate salt reading. This may be the case if your unit needs to be recalibrated, or if your water temperature is too low. Interestingly, lower water temperatures produce lower salt readings.

Your TDS levels might be inaccurate because of other minerals in the water. Or your salt sensor may need cleaning.

To find out how much salt is in your water, use a manual testing method at least once a month.

A digital salinity tester is the most accurate way to test your salt levels. To use one, just place it directly into your pool water. Most digital testers also measure total dissolved solids (TDS) and total hardness, in addition to salinity.

digital salinity tester
Brand NameORAPXI
Dimensions9.37 x 3.19 x 2.05
Batteries3 LR44 batteries

How Much Salt to Add to Your Pool(How to Calculate)

The amount of salt you need to add to your pool can be determined by using this formula. This assumes that your salt levels should be around 3,200 PPM.

How Much Salt to Add (In Pounds) = Your Pool Water in Gallons x 8.35 x (0.0032 – Current Salt PPM / 1,000,000)

Is a Salt Pool Free from Chlorine?

Salt pools are still sanitized using chlorine, but in a more natural way. The salt cell generator produces chlorine from salt that is dissolved into the water. 

This provides for the pool’s sanitizing needs and doesn’t require extra stabilizers or chemicals.

Can I Use Any Salt for My Pool?

Salt is an important component to consider for your pool. It helps you minimize damage risk caused by additives to your pool chlorinator, skimmer, and other components.

There are many different types of salt available on the market, so it is important to choose the right one for your pool. Here are some of the best options for your pool:

  • Mined salt is the purest form of sodium chloride, with a purity level of 95 to 99 percent. 
  • Solar salt is another type of salt, made from seawater that’s been evaporated by the sun. 
  • Mechanically evaporated salt is made using an artificial heat source and typically has a higher level of contaminants.

How to Add Salt to Your Pool

Before adding salt, it is important to test your water levels for alkalinity and pH balance. This will ensure that the salt does not disrupt the chlorine levels in the pool. 

Additionally, it is important to buy pure sodium chloride (NaCl) that is at least 99.8% pure. This type of salt should be evaporated, food-grade, granulated, and non-iodized.

It is also important that the salt does not contain anti-caking agents as they can discolor pool surfaces and fittings.

To get started, you’ll want to switch off your salt chlorine generator. Keep your pump and filter running though, as water circulation will help the salt dissolve more quickly. 

Next, add the salt to the shallow end or around the perimeter. Avoid dumping it directly into the pool skimmer. Give it some time to dissolve and circulate; this could take up to a full day if you’re using very fine salt.

Once the salt has dissolved, you can turn on your salt chlorinator. Test the water to make sure the salt level is around 3,200 PPM. If the level is much lower, the generator will be less effective and produce less chlorine.

But if the level is higher than 4,500 PPM, it will reduce the lifespan of your salt cell and can cause erosion and damage to your pool surfaces and equipment.

Keep in mind that you’ll probably only need to add salt once a year, right when the season starts.

You might need to add more salt if you lose some from splashout, backwashing, or rain. If you ever have to completely drain and refill your pool, you’ll need to replace all the salt.

FAQ For Pool Salt

What is the best salt to use in a pool?

Mined Salt:

When using a salt chlorine generator in your pool, be sure to use mined salt that is 95% pure or higher. This will help to avoid staining the pool or damaging the equipment. To extend the lifespan of your salt cell, only clean it when necessary.

What type of salt is used in pools?

Most in-ground and above-ground pools rely on chlorine to keep them clean and free of algae and bacteria. However, pool salt is just regular NaCl (sodium chloride), which makes it a more natural disinfecting agent.

Can I put regular salt in my pool?

It’s important to use the right kind of salt in a saltwate – regular table salt often contains iodine which can be bad for pools. Pool salt needs to be between 95% and 100% pure in order to be effective.

What is better salt or chlorine pool?

One of the best things about saltwater systems is that they use much less chlorine than traditional chlorine pools. This means that the water is gentle on your skin, eyes and hair, and it won’t fade your swimwear or towels.