Saltwater Pool Start-Up Instructions

Learn how to open your saltwater pool for the first time using our helpful step by step guide. Follow these steps to insure your pool will be clean and clear this summer.

Saltwater Pool Start-Up Instructions

Starting up a saltwater above ground pool for the first time requires some specific steps to ensure the salt system is properly set up and the water chemistry is balanced. Here's a step-by-step guide by our experts here at The Pool Factory.

To open your saltwater above ground pool for the first time you will need the following pool supplies (see below).

Saltwater Series Chemical Maintenance Kit with Test Kits

Saltwater Series Chemical Maintenance Kit with Test Kits

Saltwater Series Stabilizer 7lbs

Saltwater Stabilizer

Saltwater Alkalinity

Saltwater Alkalinity

Saltwater pH

Saltwater pH

Saltwater Series Oxidizing Shock 3lbs

Saltwater Oxidizing Shock

Pool Salt

Pool Salt

Pool Check 4 In 1 Chlorine Test Kit

Pool Check 4 In 1 Chlorine Test Kit

Pool Check Salt Test Kit (16 Strips)

Pool Check Salt Test Kit

Your new pool has been installed and is now filled with water. Follow these steps for opening your pool for the first time.

Step 1

Begin running the filtration system:

  • Turn on the filter system allowing the water to circulate.

Step 2

Add salt to the pool:

  • Refer to the chart below to find the correct amount of salt for your pool.
  • Spread the salt evenly across the pool surface. Avoid adding salt directly to the skimmer or pool filter.
  • Leave the pool pump on to circulate the water for at least 24 hours to dissolve the salt completely.

Salt Reference Table

The following table displays a pools size and shape and the recommended amount of salt one would need based off those dimensions.

Pool SizeShapeGallonsSALT (lbs.)BAGS (40lbs.)
12'Round 3,000 872
24'Round13,000 406 10
12'x17'/18'Oval 5,000 1453.5
15'x30'Oval 10,500 3198

Please note: Pool calculations below have been rounded off to be used as a quick guide for easy pool maintenance. For exact calculations please use our pool volume calculator.

Step 3

Test the pool water:

  • Use the Pool Check 4 In 1 Chlorine Test Kit to check the pool water chemistry, including pH, Alkalinity, and Chlorine Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid). Test Kits can be found here → Test Kits

Step 4

Balance the water chemistry:

  • Adjust pH and Alkalinity levels as needed. pH and Alkalinity balancers can be found here → Pool Chemicals
  • Here are the optimal pH and Alkaline levels: pH - 7.2 to 7.6 |Total Alkalinity - 80 to 120 ppm
  • Add Saltwater Series Stabilizer at a rate of 2 lbs per 6,000 gallons of pool water. Stabilizer can be found here → Saltwater Series Stabilizer

Step 5

Start up the saltwater system:

  • Adding the salt to the pool water BEFORE starting the salt system is required. The system could show error lights on the power supply if there is no salt circulating in the pool water for several hours before starting the system.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to start up the saltwater system and adjust the settings according to your pool size and water chemistry.

Step 6

Regular Maintenance:

  • Adjust your Saltwater System so it maintains a chlorine level between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm. (Refer to your Saltwater System's user manual)
  • Test and adjust your alkalinity and pH levels weekly, after heavy use and after heavy rain.
  • Test the salt level in your pool water each week. Add salt to bring the salt level between 2700 and 3400 as neccessary.
  • Test the Stabilizer (cyanuric acid) levels in your pool using the Pool Check 4 in 1 Test Kit. Maintain levels between 60 to 80 ppm. Add Saltwater Series Stabilizer if you need to raise the cyanuric acid level.

Following the instructions above on how to open your above ground pool should get your swimming pool ready for the season to come. Should you have any questions during this process please use the contact us form and our pool experts will get back to you as soon as possible.

Saltwater Pool Chemicals

The Pool Factory™ offers a great selection of quality pool chemicals used with saltwater pools at everyday low prices.

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About The Pool Factory

America’s Above Ground Pool Experts – is the best place to find everything you need to make owning a swimming pool or spa fun and easy, at the best prices today. With a combined 50+ years of experience The Pool Factory employs a highly trained staff of above ground and semi inground pool specialists. The Pool Factory can provide unique solutions for all pool supplies and swimming pool needs.