How to Make a Salt Water Pool: A DIY Guide

If you are looking for a way to enjoy the benefits of salt water in your own backyard, you might want to consider converting your chlorine pool to a salt water pool. Salt water pools are easier to maintain, more comfortable for swimming, and gentler on your skin and eyes.

Plus, you won’t have to deal with the hassle and expense of buying and storing chlorine products. Converting your pool to a salt water system is not as complicated as you might think. In fact, you can do it yourself in just a few simple steps. Here is a guide on how to make a salt water pool:

how to make a salt water pool

Step 1: Balance the Water

Before you add any salt to your pool, you need to make sure that the water is balanced according to the specifications of your salt chlorinator manual. This means testing and adjusting the pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and stabilizer levels of your pool water. You do not need to drain your pool or change the water before converting to salt water.

Step 2: Add the Salt

The next step is to add the required amount of pool-grade salt to your pool. The amount of salt you need depends on the size of your pool and the desired salinity level. Most salt chlorinators recommend a salinity level between 2,500 and 5,000 parts per million (ppm). You can use a salt calculator or a table in your manual to determine how much salt you need.

To add the salt, pour a few bags directly into your pool at a time. Then use your pool brush to move the water around and help dissolve the salt. It may take up to 24 hours for the salt to fully dissolve in the water.

Step 3: Install the Salt Chlorinator

The salt chlorinator is the device that converts the salt in the water into chlorine. It consists of two main components: the controller and the cell. The controller is the electronic unit that controls the power and settings of the system. The cell is the part that contains metal plates that generate chlorine from the salt water.

To install the salt chlorinator, you need to mount the controller on a wall near your pool equipment pad and wire it for power according to the manual specifications. Then you need to install the cell into the pool plumbing after the filter.

The cell should be the last piece of equipment on the pipe before the water returns to the pool. Finally, you need to connect the cell to the controller with a cable.

Step 4: Turn on the Salt Chlorinator

The last step is to turn on the salt chlorinator and start enjoying your salt water pool. You should run your pool pump for several hours to help circulate the water and distribute the chlorine. You should also test your water regularly and adjust the settings of your chlorinator as needed.

A salt chlorinator works by applying an electric current to the metal plates in the cell, which causes a chemical reaction that produces chlorine gas from the salt water. The chlorine gas then dissolves in the water and sanitizes your pool. The chlorine then reverts back to salt, creating a self-regenerating cycle of chlorine production.

With a salt chlorinator, you don’t have to worry about adding chlorine tablets or shock to your pool. You just have to keep an eye on your salinity level and add more salt when necessary. You should also clean your cell periodically to remove any calcium buildup that may affect its performance.

Benefits of Salt Water Pools

Salt water pools have many advantages over traditional chlorine pools. Some of them are:

  • Salt water pools are easier to maintain. You don’t have to buy, store, or handle chlorine products, which can be hazardous and expensive. You also don’t have to measure and add chlorine manually, which can be time-consuming and inaccurate.
  • Salt water pools are more comfortable for swimming. The salinity level of a salt water pool is similar to that of human tears, which means it won’t irritate your eyes or skin. You also won’t experience any dryness, itching, or burning sensations that are common with chlorine pools.
  • Salt water pools are gentler on your pool equipment and surfaces. Chlorine can be corrosive and damage your pool liner, pump, filter, heater, and other components over time. Salt water is less harsh and can extend the lifespan of your pool equipment and surfaces.
  • Salt water pools are more environmentally friendly. Chlorine can produce harmful byproducts that can affect your health and pollute the air and water. Salt water does not produce any harmful byproducts and does not require any chemical additives.


Making a salt water pool is not as difficult as it may seem. You just need to balance your water, add some salt, install a salt chlorinator, and turn it on. Then you can enjoy all the benefits of having a salt water pool in your own backyard.