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How to Convert a Sand Filter to Salt Water

By Jamie Conrad ; Updated September 21, 2017
Saltwater pools are gentler on eyes and skin than freshwater pools.

Converting your swimming pool from a sand filter to a salt system allows you to greatly reduce the amount of chemicals used in your swimming water, reducing your family's exposure to chemicals. Salt systems also reduce problems with algae and pool chemical imbalances in a conventional chemically treated pool. The conversion from sand to salt is relatively simple if you have the proper tools and equipment.

Step 1

Check your pool pump and filter to be sure it is compatible with a salt system. Your pool's compatibility information should be in the owner's manual. If you can't locate the information or have misplaced the manual, call the equipment manufacturer and ask about compatibility.

Step 2

Select a salt system compatible with your current swimming pool equipment. The manufacturer of your pool equipment or a pool care specialist can help guide you to the system best-suited to your needs. Choose a system from a brand you trust with a control panel that's easy to read and use.

Step 3

Drain your pool of all the chemically treated water. Once it's drained, refill the pool with fresh water.

Step 4

Wire, or hire someone to wire, the salt-chlorine generator to your pool's existing pump. Doing so ensures that the generator turns on each time the swimming pool pump is turned on, allowing the generator to convert the pool salt to low-level chlorine. The low-level chlorine cleans and sanitizes your pool.

Step 5

Add pool salt to your swimming pool. Use the amount recommended in your salt system instruction manual or have a pool care specialist recommend the amount to use for your swimming pool.

Step 6

Test your pool water regularly to check for proper pH levels. If you are unsure about how to test the water, have a pool care specialist test it for you. Adjust the salt generator control panel as needed until your pool water is at the proper pH levels.



  • Clean the electrodes on your salt-chlorine generator regularly to prevent buildup of byproducts. Replace salt cells in the generator every four to five years to keep the system well-maintained and running properly.


  • Saltwater can be corrosive to certain types of pipe, so ensure that the pipes used in your system are suited to saltwater. If not, consider replacing the pipes or forgoing the saltwater conversion.