Everything You Need To Know About Salt Chlorinators
Salt chlorinators are the most popular systems for sanitising pool water here in Perth
If you have a saltwater pool or want to convert to one, you need a salt chlorinator to maintain pool hygiene. Along with lower maintenance costs, saltwater systems are a convenient and safe option as you don’t need to store drums of chlorine. Plus, saltwater pools are a great alternative for people with chlorine sensitivities – most people report saltwater pools as gentle on the eyes, skin and hair.
How does a salt chlorinator work?
A salt chlorinator converts salt into chlorine using a process of electrolysis. The unit is made up of a salt cell electrode and a power supply. The salt cell consists of parallel titanium plates coated with precious metals (ruthenium or iridium), and this is where the saltwater runs through the system. The process of electrolysis results in a reaction that produces chlorine from the salt in the water.
The control panel allows the user to adjust how much chlorine the salt cell will generate and should be used based on your specific pool requirements. It will also have indicators to alert you to any operating problems or damaged components.
Choosing the salt chlorinator for your pool
Your individual situation will determine the needs required, but a few common things to think about are listed below:
- Size and the climate – these factors will determine the size your salt chlorinator unit will need to be. Warmer or larger pools require a bigger system.
- Cell life and warranties – some cells last longer than others. You’ll want to know how often these will need to be replaced in the future. Also, consider the warranty of your unit, sometimes it is worthwhile to have a longer warranty to help with ongoing maintenance costs.
- Replacement salt cell costs – it’s good to know upfront what the salt cell prices are as this will be your main ongoing cost. The prices will vary based on your unit.
- Brand reliability – large scale industry recognised brands are usually the best way to go, as they have an economy of scale to produce quality units with warranty support. Each brand has a range of units to suit different needs.
- Service and support – you will need to continue maintaining your salt chlorinator, so make sure to purchase from a supplier that will be able to help with anything along the way.
There are a few other elements to consider to make your salt pool suit your personal needs. There are now automated systems that will maintain the correct pH by testing the pool water and altering levels to get the appropriate acidity. Some people want mineral salt pools, such as magnesium and these may need specific salt chlorinators. Talk to our team if you have something specific in mind.
Taking care of your salt chlorinator
Good maintenance and care of your salt chlorinator will extend its life. Most good salt cells will have about 6,000 hours of running time with proper maintenance. Read our tips below to make your unit last longer.
- Don’t let the salt level go below the minimum level because this will strip the metal coating from the salt cell.
- Check regularly for calcium build up on your salt cell and maintain a regular cleaning schedule based on the recommendations for your salt chlorinator.
- Ensure your salt cell cleaner is not too strong (most suppliers recommend a 10% solution), as this will deteriorate the metal coating. Be careful handling the acid cleaner – some people make up their own solution or you can purchase premixed salt cell cleaners.
- Like any electronic device, take care of your control panel by keeping it covered from external elements, spray for insects and turn it off during electrical storms.
Replacing your salt cell
There are a few different things to look out for to make sure your salt cell is functioning properly. It’s time to replace the salt cell if your pool goes green or you see a low salt warning on your control panel even though your salt levels are fine. If you notice the metal plates in the salt cell bend, distort, erode or shorten this is a sign the precious metal coating is wearing off and the cell should be replaced.
We’re happy to help!
If you have any questions or need any further advice on salt chlorinators, get in touch with our experienced team.