Question about Intex Automatic Salt Water System for Above Ground Saltwater Pool

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Brown water installed the salt water machine and within 2 days the water was solid brown...... had the machine running all night ans more solid color now than last night... frustrating.... i know the salt level was too low, so we added another bag.. good levels, salt machine ran all night???? what to do, thanks, Judy

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When you fill a pool with new water ... the first thing to do is remove the metals. Did you do that? This should be done with a sequestering agent ... "Metal Out" is one generic name. Treat according to the package instructions. You should treat for metal before any other product is added to the water. I believe you are seeing 'rust' from the iron in your water. The salt did it If you said green I would say you have copper or mag in the water. You may have a variety of metals in the water. Nitrates? Get rid of them ... they will eat the CL as soon as you add it. If yours is a gunnite pool, expect serious staining. To remove staining, consult your pool professional.

It is probably too late for the above ... let the CL go to zero or add some thiosulfate to kill it. Get it at the pool supply place. Use according to package instructions. Then go back to the start and add the metal out, etc.

After the metal is out of the water, you should raise the CL level - 2 to 4 PPM - using liquid or dry CL. Your filter should run 24/7. When the pressure on your filter increases 10 PSI, you should back wash - NOT BEFORE!

Check your Alkalinity ... get it to 100. When this is done (and this will not happen in minutes - it will take hours ... move slow on adding chemicals. You already saw what speedy adding of chemicals does (Brown Water)

When the Alk is 100, (use Sodium Bi Carb or dry acid for this) then adjust your pH - (use Bi Carb or dry acid for this). Your pH goal is 7.4 (7.2 to 7.8 is acceptible).

Now is the time to add salt (after your water is balanced!). There is a chart in your salt machine instruction manual that will tell you how much salt to use. Your goal should be about 3200 ppm salt. If the salt is low, you will not make CL at all. If the salt is high, you will have to dump some water to dilute back to around 3200 ppm.

You should consider adding Cyanuric Acid to your pool to around 60 - 80 ppm. Cyanuric acid will protect the CL in your out of doors pool. Just a side note, dry CL normally comes with cyanuric acid in it for stabilizing. Since you are making CL, you will need to add the cyanuric acid to protect it.

You don't say if you are gunnite or plastic ... if gunnite - you should consider your calcium level. Calcium should be around 300 ppm. (you can go as high as 1000) To much (more than 1000), you have to dulute it with water that is lower in the mineral. If there is little or none, the water will take the mineral from the surface of your pool - not good. Again, your goal is 300 ppm

This is all information that your Pool Tech guy will charge you $ for - or you can get it free from your pool chemical supply place. You also got it free here at from this volunteer CPO (Certified Pool Operator) question catcher. Please remember to evaluate this response.

Thank you for your interest in

Posted on Jul 12, 2010

  • A Miller Jul 24, 2010

    Hi Judy,

    I hope you are enjoying your sparkling clear water this summer. Thank you for the 4 thumbs up.


  • A Miller Jul 31, 2010

    I made an error ... 'Sodium Bi Carb' is for ALK increase 'Sodium Carb' is for pH increase. Dry or Liquid acid is to reduce either.

    I originally said useSodium Bi Carb for pH and Alk.

    Sorry for the inconvenience ... thanks for the 4 thumbs and thanks for using


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It might be easier to start fresh. Have a professional acid wash your swimming pool and make sure you remove the metals from your water with "BIO DEX STAIN OUT" prior to chemically treating your water.

Posted on Jun 19, 2011

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You have alot of Iron in your water like we did. Just keep your pump running and change the filter cartridge at least 3 times per day. After about 7-10 days, the iron will eventually be taken out of suspension. Hope this helps.

Posted on Jul 12, 2010

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Related Questions:

1 Answer

Water is greenish brown

run run run that pump 24/7 clean clean that filter check ph first then balance other chems it will take awhile with well water to clear

Jul 14, 2017 | Intex Automatic Salt Water System for ...

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My pool is cloudy and I added clarifier and it still won't clear. I checked the salt count and it's reading 1100 ppm. We have a 15 foot round 48 inch deep pool. I also shock the pool weekly...

1st... Your salt count should be at 3000 ppm... For your size pool, the start-up salt needed should be about 95 to 110 lbs..
2nd... Run your pump for 24 hrs without the chlorinator after you have reached the 3000 ppm to properly disolve the salt and use only "pool salt"
3rd... Set your pump at 12 hrs and your chlorinator at 10 to 11 of those hrs until you have reached the desired chlorine level.
4th.. After your pool water has cleared, within 2 to 3 days...clean your chlorinator electrolytic cell and adjust your time down to maintain the proper chlorine level..

Hope this helps and if it does, please rate and comment....
Good Luck!!!

Jul 31, 2011 | Intex Automatic Salt Water System for ...

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The salt in the softner is not processing its just turning a brown color and not disolving

if your water is turning brown it's magnesium in the water,salt will not help it. call a plumber have water tested & then you can treat it.

Jul 19, 2011 | Kitchen Ranges

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Recently installed Intex saltwater system, all of a sudden, have green forming around walls of pool. All levels look okay; except chlorine is a little low and PH is very high...I ran the boost cycle last...

Once you get the "Green" stuff on the walls, you must brush it off.. and one boost cycle will not do.... Make sure you have the correct salt level!!! Keep in mind..big pools can take up to 350 lbs of salt... Now...set you pump at 12 hrs and you chlorinator at 10 hrs between those 12 hrs.. Run this cycle and you should see results within 2 to 3 days... Clean you filter and rinse your electrolytic cell after 3 days because you will have dead algae. After the water turns clear, you can then lower your cycle to 10 pump and 8 chlorinate.. Good luck! hope this helps!

Jul 19, 2011 | Intex Automatic Salt Water System for ...

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Hi, last month we bought an intex round pool (18' x 54") with sand pump and salt sanitizer. Within the last 2 days the water started turning green. It turns out my husband accidently set the pump...

You don't want to swim in water that has algae... 1st ...Make sure you have the correct amount of salt. See you manual for amount needed. Must set you pump timer first and sync your chlorinator between that time, if pump turns off before chlorinator cycle ends, you will get an "Low flow" alarm. Set you pump timer to run 12 hours and the chlorinator for 10 to 11 of those hours and should see results within 3 days or so. After that, If you live in an area that is hot, 10 hours pump and 8 to 9 chlorinator... Hope this helps...

Jul 13, 2011 | Intex Automatic Salt Water System for ...

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We have a 15' by 48 " pool with an Intex saltwater chlorinator.About two weeks ago the low salt light started flashing .We ended up adding way too much salt (160 lbs)because the low salt light kept...

First of all green water can arrise from a lot of different situation.
Low chlorine is one of them coupled with the crappy filter that comes with the intex pools it does not filter enough.

Start with getting your salt level to 3000ppm
any lower than 2700 and you will not generate enough chlorine and any higher than 3500 and you could go cloudy or trigger high salt alarms

you need to get the salt test kit that reads in #'s not color the color ones has to much of a variance
once your salt is at 3000 clean your cell then filter filter filter

I run my filter 24/7 if it is not generating chlorine I am filtering.

Clean your cartridge every few days
I have had the same 2 cartridges for this being my 4th season and have never been green or replaced the filters.
Also I reccomend a non foaming algecide

Just follow directions on bottle

Aug 29, 2010 | Intex Automatic Salt Water System for ...

1 Answer

We just up graded the pump and have the salt water system hooked to it for days now the the water is a light green color It looks clean not algae green Could it be to much salt or not enough? When I test...

Did you have to put more water in than usuall before you noticed the green? If you filled the pool with well water it could be iron in the water (which gives you a clear green look). If thats the problem then next time run the hose into the skimmer or into the filter pump suction. That way the fill water will be filtered before going into the pool. If it is iron in your pool and you shock the pool it will turn brown.

Jun 17, 2010 | Intex Automatic Salt Water System for ...

1 Answer

We filled our pool and the water was mercuy and greenish, and after running the saltwater system for about 8 hrs. the next day our water turned dark brown to almost black. what happened?


We had a similar problem. Do you have hard water or well water that you used to fill your pool? We have well water that we use for everything, drinking/bathing/etc., but it wasn't until we started the Intext Saltwater System that we noticed the dark green that turned to black color, horrible! I spent quite a bit of time researching this online, both on this site and a few others, and went to the pool store in town. It was determined that it was the metals in our water counteracting with the chlorine that the Saltwater System is making. We were able to buy a bottle of "metal out" from the pool store, costs about $20 but it worked!!! Biggest thing to remember is to change the filter, you'll be shocked at how brown and nasty your filter will look when you're done! It took about 24 hours to notice a difference and within a few days it was completely clear, like brand new water. Hope this helps, good luck!

Jul 29, 2009 | Intex Automatic Salt Water System for ...

2 Answers

I have a 18ft x 52 intex pool with salt water

although you may or may not have enough chlorine in your pool you must also realize that a pool need turned over at least 3 times a day.
an example is if you have 7000gl of water and a 2000gph pump you need to filter at least 10 hours or so.
More important than chlorine is the actual circulation of the water you can have all the chlorine in the world but if you do not have the circulation the water will become cloudy or green this also happens when you have no swimmers for days at a time

the filtration time is over and above the chlorine generating time your 4 hours a night for generating chlorine sound like you are guessing sometimes it may be 4 and sometimes 2 or 6
it depends on # of swimmers a day sun and what was in the pool to start

It is important to have a test kit for ph and chlorine and keep chlorine at 1.0to 1.5 now set your ph
ph will rise and fall with your chlorine level one you have them set good at the first time then ph should stay safe enough and re level as chlorine is kept right

also remeber that the wrong ph causes more problems than wrong chlorine levels

Also make sure your salt is no more than 3000ppm and no higher like some people recommend and no lower than 2500 test kits are available for 10 dollars

all of this can be found on either in a video or pdf files for water capacity and approximate time for generating chlorine.

to be sure always use test kits

Jul 12, 2009 | Intex Automatic Salt Water System for ...

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