I was excited to get this system after having had a pool for years, doing the chlorine and/or Baquacil thing and spending all sorts of money and time.
I received the system and got it set up, purchasing the salt in 40 lb bags from my local pool supply store.
Right away, it told me I was low on salt; I was getting really frustrated, b/c when I tested the water, it said I had enough salt, even almost too much!
I was getting really mad, until I finally realized that I was using the WRONG chart to see how much salt was in the pool!!
There is one chart ON the bottle of the test strips, and there is a chart on the instructions that come with it. The chart on the instructions is COMPLETELY different than the one on the bottle (can't understand why!!), and it also says, in very light grey letters in the background "Sample, Do Not Use". DUH!!!
So, I tested again, used the chart ON the bottle, found I truly WAS low in salt, added more, tested again, and the system started working beautifully!!!
My pool water stayed crystal clear all summer long! Take into consideration that we had a VERY cold, wet summer...we only swam in the pool less than 10 times total, it was that cold, even with the solar cover.
But the water stayed clear, and the most I did was to add a clarifier once a week, recommended by the pool store. I checked the system occasionally, to make sure it was running.
One thing I found to happen was that b/c we hardly used the pool, there wasn't a huge need to create chlorine.
I found that I only needed to set the system to run about 4 hrs everyday, instead of recommended 5 or 6 for my size pool (24 ft round, above ground). Towards the end of the season, I found the system would run about 2 or 3 hrs, then say there was low salt; I think it had used all the salt in the water to make chlorine, and so it basically "shut" itself off, saying there was low salt. After testing, there really wasn't low salt, but I think that's what happens when it makes enough chlorine. I just left it alone, and when it was ready to come on again, it would make chlorine, work for however many hrs it needed, then say low salt again. I think it may have been our weather too...just too cold!
I had to take quite a bit of water out of the pool upon closing it this fall, so I'm not sure how much salt I'll need to add in the Spring, but I'm hoping it won't be a lot. Even if it is, I still spent less on salt and this system, than I would have on other chemicals and time to manage it!
I spent about $75 on salt for initial startup, plus the test strips, plus ONE bottle of the clarifier, which was only about $12 for the year. Not to mention the time I saved not fussing with any chemicals!
This was TRULY worth it! Also, the pool store I bought my salt from sells salt-water systems that cost closer to $1,000! This worked just as well as they said those expensive systems worked! I don't think you'll be disappointed if you get this system...just be sure to read the correct chart on the salt test kit!! ;-)
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