If you’ve got a salt water chlorinator, it’s helpful to know some regular maintenance tips and tricks to keep everything running smoothly. Read on for our advice on maintaining your salt water pool.

What salt level do you need?

For most systems you need around an 1/8th the amount of salt that is found in seawater – so it is very mild. There are even mineral salts now for people who don’t want normal salt. Salt is only lost through loss of water, eg through backwashing and through rain, so most customers find they only need a few bags of salt per year.

 How can I get my cell to last longer?

These things can extend the life of a cell:

  1. Don’t let the salt level get lower than the recommended minimum level required for the model of chlorinator you choose. If you do it will strip the coating off the cell.
  2. Keep the cell cleaned, check it regularly for calcium build up and clean the cell if you notice build up.
  3. When cleaning it, use a salt cell cleaner or be careful to make up the acid solution carefully, as if you make it too strong you will strip the precious metal coating on the cell.

How long will my cell electrode last?

Most good cells have enough coating to last around 6000 hours of running.

Cleaning your cell

Some customers make up their own salt cleaning solution. This is fine – you just need to be careful handling acid and ensure you don’t make up the solution too strong (most suppliers recommend 10% solution). Otherwise you can buy a salt cell cleaning product (most customers get several cleans out of it) which is easy to use and ensures your cell is not damaged.

How do I know when it is time to replace my salt cell?

The symptoms you might notice include:

  1. Your pool keeps going green.
  2. Your salt chlorinator keeps showing a LOW SALT warning even though your salt level has been checked and is fine. This is because the low salt message is a warning of low conductivity caused by low salt and also the cell plate coating wearing down.
  3. The plates may start to bend and distort as the precious metal coating wears off.
  4. The plates may start to erode, so some plates will become shorter than others (usually the middle one does this first).

How long do salt chlorinators last

Ideally, you want to look after your salt chlorinator so it lasts as long as possible. With cells, see the tips we have listed to ensure they last as long as possible. For the control box, they have a circuit board – so like any electronic device, it could last years or something may cause it to burn out. What you can do is ensure that you have it properly covered from the elements if required, spray for insects to ensure they cannot damaged the PCB, and turn the control box off during an electrical storm.

New fully automated systems that can control your pH as well

There are now systems that not only make all the chlorine you need but can test your pool’s pH and add the correct amount of acid required for you. The installation of these is a little more technical, so for most of these systems we will quote them for you to ensure you get the advice suited to your unique requirements. If you’re interested in this option, we have several in store on display and our pool experts are more than happy to advise you.

There are also separate acid dosing systems that you can add into your existing chlorinator such as the Zodiac pH Perfect.

Zodiac pH Perfect probe installation.

 Mineral Pools and Salt Chlorinators

More customers are now wanting to use mineral salts (such as magnesium) and we have a large range of salt chlorinator units that are able to work with minerals. We also sell minerals at our shop in Claremont so feel welcome to come in for advice on converting to a mineral pool.

Warranty – not all warranties are created equal

Some systems only provide pro-rata warranty and not full warranty. This often frustrates customers as they buy products with a long pro-rata warranty rather than one with a shorter time period with more comprehensive cover.

For example, a 6 year pro-rata warranty is simply a discount off a new replacement – it is based on the full retail price and you get a discount (that gets progressively less as time goes on) off the cell. This, when compared to a full 3 year warranty where if the cell fails it is replaced at no cost to you, usually works out much better for customers.

Takeaway Tips:

  1. Turn your chlorinator off during lightning storms to reduce the risk of power surges that can damage your control board
  2. Keep your salt level at the range required for your system to ensure the cell lasts as long as possible
  3. Clean the cell as often as required
  4. Keep calcium levels within range to avoid damaging your cell

Visit us in Claremont to find the right solution for you! 

We offer our customers in Perth the option of purchasing their items in store, having them delivered or having our experienced installer, come out and install for you.

Our shop has them on display in store so most customers prefer to come into our shop at 211 Stirling Highway in Claremont and look at the products before they purchase. This means you can see them in person, we can show you through the differences  and benefits as well as advise you on the correct sized units for your pool.