A salt chlorinator is an essential part of a saltwater pool system. The salt chlorinator cell is responsible for converting the salt in the water into chlorine, which sanitises the pool. Properly maintaining your salt chlorinator cell is important for keeping your pool water clean, clear, and safe for swimming. While the Pool Supply Stores ensure their cells are crafted from durable materials designed for long-lasting performance, it’s important to note that the cell coating can gradually deteriorate due to electrolysis. As this coating wears down, the electrodes may cease to produce chlorine. Here are some tips on how to properly care for your salt chlorinator cell.
Inspect The Cell
Remove the cell from the salt water chlorinator to inspect it every 3-4 months. Look for any buildup of calcium, dirt, or algae on the plates. The formation of calcium deposits is the primary culprit behind the premature failure of chlorinator electrodes. When scale accumulates on these electrodes, it leads to a reduction in chlorine production and restricts water flow. So, gently clean with a cloth or brush on a regular basis. Make sure the plates are not bent or damaged.
Replace The Cell
Expect to replace your salt chlorinator cell every 3-5 years. While it might seem like a costly expense, it’s necessary to ensure your pool stays clean and safe for swimming. Some manufacturers provide a prorated warranty that allows you to replace the cell at a discounted price over time.
The duration of the replacement depends on how well you take care of your pool. If you maintain the pool’s chemical balance properly, your salt cell will last longer. Keep an eye out for signs that your pool or salt cell isn’t functioning correctly.
Maintain a Proper Salt Level
Ensuring the right balance of salt concentration in your pool is crucial. Ideally, you should keep it between 2,700 and 3,500 parts per million (ppm), or follow the guidelines in your instruction manual. If the salt level deviates from this range, your salt cell won’t be able to produce chlorine effectively, destroying the coating of the electrodes.
Keep Proper pH Balance
High pH levels indicate high alkalinity, can be a common issue in saltwater pools, and are often responsible for the buildup of calcium deposits in saltwater cells. It’s advisable to regularly test both pH and alkalinity, ideally on a weekly basis. Additionally, it’s essential to monitor the accumulation of calcium deposits, checking at least once a month or more frequently depending on your pool’s water quality. The reason for this vigilance is that calcium deposits tend to obstruct pipes, impeding the flow of water in the pool’s circulation system. This added strain can cause damage, leading to expensive repairs. High pH levels can result in cloudy water and, in some cases, cause discomfort for swimmers, including skin rashes, stinging eyes, and dry skin. It’s generally recommended to maintain your pool’s pH levels within the range of 7.2 to 7.6 to ensure optimal water quality and swimmer comfort.
Maintain your Salt Chlorinator Cell in Optimal Condition
1) Turn off the salt water chlorinator and carefully remove the cell from its housing, adhering to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
2) If the buildup of scale on the cell isn’t severe, you can effectively remove it by rinsing it with a regular garden hose. It’s crucial to note that you should never use brushes or sharp objects to clean the electrodes, as this can damage them.
3) If rinsing alone doesn’t suffice, it’s time to use a specialised cleaning solution. You can either use a commercial product like Salt Chlorinator Cleaner or create your own acid solution. To make the acid solution, mix one part of Pool Acid (which typically contains Hydrochloric Acid) with five parts of water in a bucket.
4) Submerge the cell in this acid solution for a duration of 3 to 5 minutes. If it takes longer than 5 minutes to completely clean the cell, consider this a sign that you should clean the electrodes more regularly to prevent heavy buildup.
5) Once the cleaning process is complete, carefully reinsert the cell into its housing, ensuring it is securely in place.
Your salt chlorinator cell is the heart of your pool sanitization system. Taking care of it properly ensures that it keeps your pool water clean and healthy for swimming. Testing chlorine levels, replacing the cell when needed, and maintaining proper water balance will maximise the cell’s lifespan and effectiveness. With proper care and cleaning, your salt chlorinator cell should provide many years of trouble-free operation.