# How To Calculate The Right Amount Of Salt For Your Pool

Saltwater pools are becoming a popular choice thanks to their soft water, which is much gentler on the body than chlorine (plus it doesn't smell like chemicals!). They are also more affordable to maintain since sodium chloride is a cheaper addition. If you've just made the switch to a saltwater pool or are considering installing one, then you're likely wondering: "How much salt do I need to use?" Well, it's easier than you might think — you just need to understand a few simple principles.

First, you need to know your basin's volume, which is usually measured in gallons. After all, the required amount of the crystalline substance is determined by how much water is in your pool. Secondly, you'll need to have an understanding of salt levels. Most saltwater pools work best when the sodium chloride concentration is between 2,700 and 3,400 parts per million (ppm), with 3,000 ppm being the ideal target. Knowing this, you can determine the amount of the compound you need by calculating the difference between your target and current levels, then multiplying this number by your pool's volume and adjusting for the amount required per gallon.

## Testing and measuring your pool's salt level

Before calculating how much salt to add, test your pool water to determine its current levels using a test strip or digital tester. This will tell you how much adjustment is needed. For instance, if your current salt level is 1,000 ppm and you're aiming for 3,000 ppm, you'll need to raise it by 2,000 ppm. If you're not sure of your pool's volume, check its manual or use a simple calculation based on its shape and size. If your pool is rectangular, multiply the length by the width and then by the average depth to find the total volume. For example, a pool that is 30 feet long, 15 feet wide, and has an average depth of 5 feet has a volume of 2,250 cubic feet. Then, multiply the volume by 7.48 — one cubic foot of water is 7.48 U.S. gallons, and multiplying by this number tells you the pool holds roughly 16,830 gallons of liquid. You can also use an online calculator tool like Good Calculators, which comes in handy for oval or irregular swimming pool designs.

Now for the final step. It takes approximately 8.35 pounds of salt to increase its concentration by 1,000 ppm for every 1,000 gallons of pool water. Let's say your pool holds 16,830 gallons, as per the example above, and you need to increase the salt concentration by 2,000 ppm to reach the ideal level. Multiply the pool size by 16.7 pounds of salt (to account for the 2,000 ppm increase) and divide by 1,000 (since it's per 1000 gallons), and you get about 281 pounds of salt. Simple as that! Just keep in mind that it's always better to add salt gradually and test again after it dissolves rather than adding too much at once. Overshooting can lead to overly salty water, which may require draining and refilling to correct.