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What should I look for in a chlorinator?

Choosing the right chlorinator for your pool can be overwhelming with the variety of options available. Here’s a breakdown of key factors to consider:

1) Type of Chlorinator:

Salt Chlorinators: Generate chlorine from salt in your pool, producing soft, sanitised water with minimal maintenance. They’re generally more expensive upfront but cost-effective in the long run.

Tablet Chlorinators: Use chlorine tablets that slowly dissolve in a ...

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What should I look for in a chlorinator?

Choosing the right chlorinator for your pool can be overwhelming with the variety of options available. Here’s a breakdown of key factors to consider:

1) Type of Chlorinator:

Salt Chlorinators: Generate chlorine from salt in your pool, producing soft, sanitised water with minimal maintenance. They’re generally more expensive upfront but cost-effective in the long run.

Tablet Chlorinators: Use chlorine tablets that slowly dissolve in a feeder, requiring minimal attention. They’re affordable but generate chlorine unevenly and can affect pH levels.

2) Pool Size and Bather Load:

  • Chlorine Output: Measured in gallons per hour (GPH), it should match your pool size and bather load to maintain proper sanitation. Choose a slightly higher output than calculated for peak usage periods.
  • Turnover Rate: Refers to how often the pool water is completely filtered and cycled. Aim for a turnover rate of 1-2 times per day for proper chlorination.

3) Additional Features:

  • Automation: Consider models with timers, self-cleaning functions, and remote control for added convenience.
  • Safety Features: Look for flow switches that prevent chlorine production without proper water flow, and leak detectors for added peace of mind.
  • Warranty: Choose a chlorinator with a good warranty for long-term protection against defects.

Bonus Tip: Research specific models and read online reviews to get real-user experiences and insights before making your final decision.

Here are some additional factors to keep in mind:

  • Budget: our chlorinators range in price from $1,399.00 AUD to $$2,999.00 AUD. Even more expensive ones can be found, with pricing dependant on type, features, and brand.
  • Installation: Some chlorinators are easier to install than others. Consider your DIY skills or budget for professional installation.
  • Maintenance: Different chlorinators require varying levels of maintenance. Choose one that fits your time and effort commitment.

Can too much salt damage a chlorinator?

Yes, too much salt can damage a chlorinator, although the exact effects depend on the severity of the over-salination and the specific type of chlorinator you have. Here’s a breakdown of the potential risks:

Short-term effects:

  • Reduced chlorine production: When salt levels are too high, the chlorinator cell becomes less efficient at converting salt into chlorine. This can lead to inadequate sanitation and algae growth.
  • Salty water: This might seem obvious, but excessively salty water can be unpleasant to swim in and irritate skin and eyes.

Long-term effects:

  • Cell damage: The high concentration of salt can cause the electrodes in the chlorinator cell to corrode and break down. This can permanently damage the cell and require expensive replacement.
  • Equipment corrosion: Over time, high salt levels can also corrode other metal parts of the chlorinator system, such as the pump and piping.

Severity of damage:

Moderately high salt levels (around 5,000-6,000 ppm): These levels may not cause immediate damage, but they can put stress on the chlorinator cell and shorten its lifespan.

Very high salt levels (above 8,000 ppm): At these levels, the risk of permanent damage to the chlorinator and other equipment increases significantly.

What to do if you have too much salt:

  • Test your pool water regularly: It’s important to monitor your salt levels regularly to prevent over-salination. Most pool stores sell test kits or strips that you can use at home.
  • Drain and refill some of the pool water: If your salt levels are too high, the simplest solution is to drain some of the pool water and refill it with fresh water.
  • Reduce the output of your chlorinator: If you have a variable-output chlorinator, you can reduce the output to produce less chlorine and prevent further salt buildup.

Prevention tips:

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions: Your chlorinator manual will specify the ideal salt level range for your system. Be sure to stick to these recommendations.

Don’t over-salt when refilling your pool: Only add the amount of salt that is necessary to reach the recommended level.

Rinse off swimmers: Encourage swimmers to rinse off before entering the pool to prevent them from bringing additional salt into the water.

By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your salt chlorinator operates at peak efficiency and lasts for many years to come.

What is the best setting for a pool chlorinator?

Unfortunately, there is no single “best” setting for a pool chlorinator. The ideal setting will depend on several factors, including:

  • Pool size and volume: A larger pool will require more chlorine than a smaller one, so your chlorinator will need to be set accordingly.
  • Bather load: Pools that are used more frequently will need more chlorine than those that are used less often.
  • Sun exposure: Pools that are exposed to direct sunlight for long periods will need more chlorine than those that are shaded.
  • Water temperature: Warmer water breaks down chlorine more quickly, so pools that are used in hot weather will need more chlorine than those that are used in cooler weather.
  • CYA (Cyanuric Acid) level: CYA is a stabiliser that helps to prevent chlorine from being broken down by sunlight. However, high levels of CYA can also make it difficult for chlorine to do its job.

Here are some general guidelines for setting your pool chlorinator:

  • Ideal free chlorine level: Aim for a free chlorine level of 1-3 ppm (parts per million). You can test your chlorine level using a pool test kit.
  • Salt chlorinators: If you have a salt chlorinator, the output setting will determine how much chlorine is produced. Start with a low setting and increase it gradually until you reach the desired chlorine level.
  • Chlorine tablets or pucks: The number of tablets or pucks you need will depend on the size of your pool and the chlorine level you want to maintain. Start with a few tablets or pucks and add more if necessary.

Here are some additional tips for setting your pool chlorinator:

  • Shock your pool regularly: This will help to kill any algae or bacteria that may be present in the water.
  • Maintain your pool’s pH level: The ideal pH level for pool water is 7.2-7.8.
  • Keep your pool filter clean: A dirty filter can make it difficult for the chlorine to circulate properly.

Why do chlorinator cells fail?

There are several reasons why chlorinator cells can fail, ranging from chemical imbalances to internal breakdown. Here are some of the most common culprits:

Chemical issues:

Incorrect salt level: Both overly high and low salt levels can harm the cell. High salt accelerates corrosion, while low salt reduces production efficiency, and the cell may overwork to compensate, leading to premature wear.

High calcium levels: Calcium build-up on the electrodes, also known as “scaling,” can block the flow of electricity and hinder chlorine production. This is often caused by high pH or alkalinity levels.

Low cyanuric acid (CYA) level: CYA stabilises chlorine by protecting it from sunlight breakdown. If CYA is too low, chlorine will degrade quickly, requiring the cell to work harder and ultimately reducing its lifespan.

Improper sanitation: Inadequate chlorine levels or infrequent shocking can allow algae and bacteria to thrive, contributing to cell wear and tear.

Internal problems:

  • Electrode wear and tear: Over time, the electrodes in the cell naturally wear down due to the constant electrical current and chemical reactions involved in chlorine production. High operating temperatures can accelerate this process.
  • Cracks or leaks: Physical damage to the cell caused by external factors like dropping or freezing can compromise its integrity and lead to malfunction.
  • Internal component failure: Internal parts like seals or gaskets can deteriorate or fail, affecting the cell’s functionality.

Other factors:

  • Running time: Operating the chlorinator for extended periods at high output can put additional stress on the cell and shorten its lifespan.
  • Water flow issues: Insufficient water flow through the cell can cause hot spots and damage the electrodes.
  • Poor maintenance: Failing to regularly clean and descale the cell can contribute to build-up and performance issues.

Identifying the cause:

Pinpointing the exact reason for a failing cell can be tricky. Checking water chemistry, salt levels, and visual inspection for cracks or leaks are first steps. Consulting a pool professional for in-depth diagnostics and advice on replacing or repairing the cell is recommended.

Preventing cell failure:

Maintaining proper water chemistry, regular cleaning and descaling, adhering to manufacturer’s recommendations on operating conditions, and monitoring water flow ensure optimal cell performance and extend its lifespan.

What are signs that a salt cell is going bad?

Water Quality:

Algae growth: If your pool starts turning green or cloudy, even with the chlorinator running at full blast, it could be a sign of low chlorine production from a failing cell.

Combined chlorine odor: This strong, chloramine smell indicates insufficient free chlorine, suggesting the cell isn’t converting salt efficiently.

Salt Chlorinator:

  • Low salt warnings: The chlorinator might constantly display a “low salt” message despite having the correct salt level. This could be due to the cell not reading the conductivity properly.
  • Reduced chlorine output: You may need to adjust the chlorine level setting higher and higher to maintain proper sanitation, indicating the cell’s declining production.
  • Error messages or indicator lights: Some chlorinators have specific lights or messages that signal cell issues. Consult your manual for their meaning.

Cell Condition:

  • Visible wear and tear: Look for loose, broken, or misaligned plates, excessive scaling, or erosion on the cell plates. These indicate physical damage affecting performance.
  • Weak bubbling: The cell should produce visible and consistent bubbling during operation. Weak or uneven bubbling suggests reduced functionality.

Additional factors:

  • Cell age: Most salt cells have a lifespan of 3-7 years, depending on usage and maintenance. If your cell is nearing the end of its expected life, be extra vigilant for signs of decline.
  • Water chemistry imbalance: Imbalanced pool water chemistry (e.g., high calcium, low pH) can accelerate scale buildup and shorten the cell’s lifespan.
  • Remember: While these signs can point towards a failing cell, they can also be caused by other factors like dirty filters, imbalanced water chemistry, or even a malfunctioning chlorinator. It’s important to diagnose the issue correctly before replacing the cell. Consider consulting a pool professional for confirmation and a proper course of action.

How do I know if my chlorinator is clogged?

Determining if your chlorinator is clogged depends on the type of chlorinator you have. Here’s a breakdown for different types:

Salt Chlorinator:

  • Low chlorine levels despite high salt: If your pool’s chlorine level is low even though you have enough salt, the salt cell might be clogged with calcium deposits or debris. Check the cell for visible scaling or buildup and consult your manual for cleaning instructions.
  • Flow indicator issues: Some salt chlorinators have built-in flow indicators. If the indicator shows low or no flow, even with the pump running, there could be a clog in the cell or plumbing leading to it.
  • Error messages: Specific error messages related to “low flow” or “cell malfunction” might indicate a clog. Refer to your manual for their interpretation.

Tablet Chlorinator:

  • Uneven chlorine distribution: If only part of your pool is sanitised, there might be a clog in the chlorinator feeder, preventing even chlorine release.
  • Slow chlorine release: If the chlorine tablets dissolve very slowly or not at all, the feeder mechanism might be clogged with debris or undissolved residue.
  • Visible blockage: Open the feeder and check for any debris, buildup, or mushy tablets blocking the flow path.

General Tips:

  • Consult your chlorinator manual: It will provide specific instructions for troubleshooting clogs based on your model.
  • Check the pump and filter: A clogged filter or malfunctioning pump can also reduce water flow and contribute to chlorinator issues. Ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Consider professional help: If you’re unsure about diagnosing or fixing the clog yourself, consult a pool professional for assistance.

How do you fix a chlorinator with no flow?

A “no flow” error on your chlorinator can be caused by several factors. Here are some steps you can take to diagnose and potentially fix the issue:

Basic Checks:

  • Verify the pump is running: Ensure your pool pump is turned on and functioning properly. Check for any obstructions in the skimmer baskets or pump strainer that could be restricting water flow.
  • Inspect valves and lines: Make sure all valves leading to the chlorinator are open and there are no visible kinks or blockages in the hoses.
  • Check for leaks: Inspect the plumbing around the pump, filter, and chlorinator for any leaks that could be diverting water flow. Tighten loose connections and repair any leaks if found.

Troubleshooting based on Chlorinator Type:

Salt Chlorinator:

  • Clean the salt cell: Calcium buildup or debris on the cell plates can impede water flow. Follow your manual’s instructions for safe and proper cleaning of the cell.
  • Check flow sensor: Some salt chlorinators have built-in flow sensors. If the sensor is faulty, it might trigger the “no flow” error even with proper flow. Consult your manual for troubleshooting or replacement guidance.
  • Inspect for air bubbles: Air bubbles trapped in the cell can disrupt water flow. Ensure all connections are tight and there are no leaks allowing air to enter the system.

Other Chlorinator Types:

  • Clean the feeder: For tablet chlorinators, clean the feeder basket and mechanism to remove any debris or clogged residue. Ensure tablets are placed correctly and dissolve freely.
  • Check internal components: For cartridge or feeder-based chlorinators, consult your manual to see if there are any replaceable filters or internal components that might be clogged and require cleaning or replacement.

Additional Tips:

  • Consult your manual: The specific troubleshooting steps may vary depending on your chlorinator model. Refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions and diagrams.
  • Seek professional help: If you’re unsure about diagnosing or fixing the issue yourself, or the problem persists after trying the above steps, consult a qualified pool technician for assistance.

What to do if my chlorinator is not working?

There are several possibilities when it comes to a malfunctioning chlorinator, so the best course of action depends on the specific symptoms you’re experiencing. Here are some steps to help you diagnose and potentially fix the issue:

1) Identify the problem:

  • No flow: If your chlorinator displays a “no flow” error or isn’t producing any chlorine, check for blockages in the pump, skimmer baskets, filter, hoses, or valves. Ensure the pump is running and all valves are open. Refer to my previous responses on how to fix a chlorinator with no flow for specific actions based on your chlorinator type.
  • Low chlorine production: If you have sufficient salt (for salt chlorinators) but low chlorine levels, consider:
  • Clogged cell: Clean the salt cell according to your manual’s instructions.
  • Imbalanced water chemistry: Check and adjust pH, alkalinity, and sanitiser levels.
  • Failing cell: Older cells lose efficiency over time. If your cell is nearing its lifespan, consider replacement.
  • Other factors: Check for pump issues, dirty filters, or malfunctioning sensors.
  • Error messages or indicator lights: Consult your chlorinator manual for specific troubleshooting steps based on the displayed error code or light pattern.
  • Other issues: If you experience strange noises, leaks, or other unexpected behaviour, consult your manual or seek professional help.

2) Gather information:

  • Chlorinator model: Knowing your exact model helps access specific troubleshooting guides and support resources.
  • Symptoms: Be specific about the issue you’re facing, including error messages, chlorine levels, and any recent changes to your pool system.
  • Maintenance history: When did you last clean the cell/feeder, check salt levels, or perform other maintenance?

3) Take action:

  • Consult your manual: Most manuals provide detailed troubleshooting steps for common issues.
  • Online resources: Search for troubleshooting guides specific to your chlorinator model on the manufacturer’s website or pool supply stores.
  • Pool forums: Online communities can offer advice and suggestions from other pool owners.
  • Seek professional help: If you’re uncomfortable troubleshooting yourself or the issue persists, consult a qualified pool technician for diagnosis and repair.

Important safety reminders:

  • Always turn off the power to your chlorinator before performing any maintenance or repairs.
  • Handle pool chemicals with care and follow safety instructions on product labels.
  • If you’re unsure about any procedures, prioritise safety and seek professional assistance.

Will chlorinator work if salt is low?

No, your chlorinator won’t work effectively if the salt level is low. Here’s why:

Salt Chlorinator Function:

  • Salt chlorinators generate chlorine through a process called electrolysis. They pass a small electric current through the dissolved salt water in the pool, converting it into chlorine gas.
  • This chlorine gas then dissolves in the water, sanitising it and keeping it clean.

Salt Level Requirements:

  • Each chlorinator model requires a specific salt level range, typically between 2,700 and 3,400 parts per million (ppm). You can find the exact range in your chlorinator’s manual.
  • Operating outside this range can negatively impact performance.

Consequences of Low Salt:

  • When the salt level falls below the recommended range, there isn’t enough salt for the electrolysis process to generate sufficient chlorine.
  • This leads to low chlorine levels in your pool, potentially resulting in:
    • Algae growth: Lack of chlorine creates a breeding ground for algae.
    • Cloudy water: Bacteria and other contaminants thrive in unsanitised water.
    • Unpleasant odours: Algae and bacteria can produce unpleasant smells.
  • Additionally, running the chlorinator with low salt can damage the cell due to excessive strain, eventually requiring replacement.

Actions to Take:

  • Test your salt level: Regularly check your salt level using a pool test kit or strips.
  • Add salt if needed: If the level is low, add the appropriate amount of pool salt according to your pool size and chlorinator recommendations.
  • Monitor chlorine levels: After adding salt, allow time for it to dissolve and the chlorine level to rise. Keep an eye on chlorine levels and adjust the chlorinator setting if needed.
  • Remember: Maintaining the proper salt level is crucial for optimal chlorinator performance and pool health. Regularly check your salt level and address any imbalances promptly to ensure clean and safe swimming water.

How many hours a day should I run my salt chlorinator?

The ideal runtime for your salt chlorinator depends on several factors, making it impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer. However, I can provide some guidance to help you determine the optimal schedule for your specific situation:

Key factors to consider:

  • Pool size: Larger pools require more chlorine production, translating to longer runtimes.
  • Salt level: Maintaining the correct salt level (within the recommended range) ensures efficient chlorine generation, potentially reducing runtime needs.
  • Water temperature: Warmer water promotes algae growth and requires more chlorine, potentially necessitating longer runtimes.
  • Pool usage: Heavily used pools need more chlorine, suggesting longer runtimes.
  • Desired chlorine level: Maintain a chlorine level of 2-4 ppm for effective sanitation. Adjust runtime based on testing results.
  • Chlorinator model and capacity: Each model has a specific chlorine production capacity, influencing runtime requirements.

General guidelines:

  • Starting point: Begin with 8-12 hours per day and adjust based on your pool’s specific needs.
  • Monitor chlorine levels: Regularly test your water to ensure you’re maintaining the proper chlorine level. Adjust runtime as needed.
  • Consider automation: Many chlorinators can be automated to adjust runtime based on real-time chlorine levels and other factors.
  • Seek professional advice: Consult a pool professional for personalised recommendations based on your specific pool setup and conditions.

Additional tips:

  • Run during peak sun hours: Chlorine degrades faster in sunlight, so consider running the chlorinator during peak sun hours, especially in hot climates.
  • Divide runtime: Splitting the runtime into two sessions (e.g., morning and evening) can improve chlorine distribution and circulation.
  • Don’t over-run: Running the chlorinator excessively won’t significantly increase chlorine levels but can waste energy and shorten cell life.

How do you reset a salt chlorinator?

The way to “reset” your salt chlorinator depends on what issue you’re trying to address and the specific model you have. Here’s a breakdown of potential scenarios:

  1. Minor malfunction or error message:
  • Some chlorinators have a “soft reset” feature, often achieved by holding down specific buttons for a few seconds. Refer to your manual for the exact combination for your model. This can clear temporary glitches or minor errors.
  • If you have an error message, consult your manual for its meaning and specific troubleshooting steps. It might involve checking sensors, cleaning the cell, or adjusting settings.
  1. Re-calibrating salt level:
  • If your chlorine level is low despite having enough salt, the salt reading might be inaccurate. Some models have a re-calibration function. Again, refer to your manual for instructions specific to your model.
  1. Factory reset:
  • This option should be used with caution as it erases all settings and stored data. Only use it if other troubleshooting steps fail and you’re comfortable reprogramming your chlorinator. Consult your manual for detailed instructions and warnings.

Important before doing any reset:

  • Identify the issue: Understand why you want to reset. Is it a minor glitch, inaccurate salt reading, or something else?
  • Consult your manual: Each model has specific reset procedures and potential consequences.
  • Safety first: Always turn off power to your chlorinator before performing any maintenance or resets.

Why do you turn off salt cells when adding salt?

It’s actually not universally recommended to turn off your salt cell when adding salt to your pool. While some sources might suggest doing so, there are reasons why it’s generally considered unnecessary and potentially risky:

Modern Salt Cells are Safe:

  • Most modern salt cells are designed to handle sudden changes in salt concentration effectively. Their internal components can withstand the temporary spike as the salt dissolves.
  • Turning the cell off and on again can create surges and electrical stress, potentially causing more harm than simply adding salt with the cell running.

Potential Disadvantages of Turning Off:

  • Uneven Distribution: Adding salt with the cell off can lead to uneven distribution in the pool water. This can make it harder for the cell to generate chlorine efficiently and consistently.
  • Delayed Sanitisation: Leaving the cell off delays the conversion of salt to chlorine, potentially leaving your pool vulnerable to bacteria and algae growth during that time.
  • Confusion and Risk: Remembering to turn the cell back on after adding salt might be easy to forget, potentially leading to further issues and safety concerns.

Recommended Approach:

  • Maintain Proper Levels: Ensure your salt level is within the recommended range before adding more. This minimises the temporary rise in concentration when adding salt.
  • Monitor Levels: Keep an eye on your salt level after adding and adjust if needed. Some chlorinators automatically adjust chlorine production based on salt concentration.
  • Run Normally: Leave the salt cell running during the process. Modern cells are equipped to handle it safely and efficiently.


  • If your manual specifically instructs you to turn off the cell for salt addition, follow those instructions for your specific model.
  • If your cell is very old or you have concerns about its functionality, consulting a pool professional for their recommendation is always advisable.

How do you calibrate a salt chlorinator?

The calibration process for a salt chlorinator depends on the specific model you have. To provide the most helpful guidance, I need some additional information:

  1. Brand and model of your salt chlorinator: Having this information allows me to access specific instructions and troubleshooting resources for your model.
  2. Reason for calibrating: Are you experiencing any issues with your chlorinator, such as low chlorine levels despite sufficient salt, or are you performing routine maintenance?
  3. Type of calibration needed: Depending on your model, you might need to calibrate the salt level, the pH sensor, or both.

General steps for salt level calibration:

Important reminder: Always consult your owner’s manual before attempting any calibration procedures. It will provide specific instructions and safety precautions for your model.

  1. Gather materials: You may need testing strips, a screwdriver, and possibly a calibration solution (depending on your model).
  2. Test salt level: Use a pool test kit or strips to measure the actual salt concentration in your pool water.
  3. Access calibration mode: Refer to your manual for the specific button combinations or menu steps to enter calibration mode.
  4. Adjust the reading: Depending on your model, you might adjust the displayed salt level to match the actual test result using buttons or arrows.
  5. Exit calibration mode: Follow the manual’s instructions to exit calibration mode and save the new settings.

Additional notes:

  • Some models perform automatic salt calibration based on their internal sensors. Consult your manual for details.
  • Calibrating the pH sensor might involve immersing it in calibration solutions and adjusting readings as instructed in the manual.
  • If you’re unsure about any steps or encounter difficulties, it’s always best to consult a qualified pool professional for assistance.

Can a salt chlorinator be repaired?

Yes, in many cases a salt chlorinator can be repaired. Whether it’s worth repairing or replacing depends on several factors:

Type of damage:

  • Minor issues: Simple problems like loose connections, dirty cells, or faulty sensors can often be repaired relatively easily and cost-effectively.
  • Major damage: Internal component failures, circuit board issues, or severe corrosion might require extensive repairs, and the cost might approach the price of a new chlorinator.

Age of the chlorinator:

Older models: If your chlorinator is nearing the end of its expected lifespan (typically 5-7 years), replacing it might be more cost-effective than investing in repairs.

Newer models: For newer models, repairs might be a more viable option, especially if the damage is minor.

Availability of parts:

  • Common models: Replacement parts for popular chlorinator models are readily available, making repairs more feasible.
  • Discontinued models: For older or discontinued models, finding parts might be difficult or impossible, limiting repair options.

Your budget and preferences:

  • DIY skills: If you’re comfortable with basic troubleshooting and repairs, you might be able to fix some issues yourself.
  • Professional assistance: Hiring a qualified pool technician guarantees professional diagnosis and repair, but it comes at a cost.

Here are some tips for deciding whether to repair or replace your salt chlorinator:

  • Consult a pool professional: They can diagnose the problem, assess the repair cost, and advise on the most cost-effective solution.
  • Compare repair estimates to the cost of a new chlorinator: Factor in the warranty and expected lifespan of a new unit.
  • Consider your DIY skills and comfort level: If you’re unsure about repairs, opt for professional help to ensure safety and proper function.

How do you clean the cells on a salt chlorinator?

he cleaning process for your salt cell depends on the specific model you have. However, I can share some general guidelines and resources to help you:


  • Always turn off the power to your chlorinator before performing any maintenance or cleaning.
  • Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions and recommendations for your salt cell model. It will provide details on the cleaning frequency, appropriate cleaning solutions, and any safety precautions to follow.

General Cleaning Steps:

  • Remove the cell: Follow the manual’s instructions on safely removing the cell from the chlorinator housing.
  • Prepare the cleaning solution: Some models have specific cleaning solutions recommended by the manufacturer. If not, you can use a diluted solution of muriatic acid (1 part acid to 10 parts water). Always wear gloves and eye protection when handling acid.
  • Submerge the cell: Place the cell in a bucket or container filled with the cleaning solution. Ensure the entire cell is submerged and soak for the recommended time (usually 10-30 minutes).
  • Rinse thoroughly: Rinse the cell with clean water to remove all traces of the cleaning solution.
  • Inspect the cell: Look for any visible buildup, scaling, or damage. If the cell is heavily scaled, you might need to repeat the cleaning process or seek professional assistance.
  • Reinstall the cell: Once clean and inspected, carefully reinstall the cell according to the manual’s instructions.

Additional tips:

  • Frequency: Clean your salt cell every 3-6 months, depending on your pool usage and water chemistry.
  • Gentle cleaning: Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals that can damage the cell’s delicate coating.
  • Professional cleaning: If you’re unsure about cleaning the cell yourself or encounter stubborn buildup, consult a qualified pool professional for assistance.

What is the life of a salt chlorinator?

The lifespan of a salt chlorinator can vary depending on several factors, but generally falls within the range of 3 to 7 years. Here’s a breakdown of the key influences:

Main Factors:

  • Salt Cell: This is the primary component responsible for chlorine generation and has a limited lifespan due to wear and tear from use and exposure to pool chemicals. The typical lifespan of a salt cell is 3-5 years, and its quality significantly impacts the overall chlorinator lifespan.
  • Water Chemistry: Maintaining balanced water chemistry (proper pH, alkalinity, and stabiliser levels) minimises stress on the cell and other components, extending their lifespan. Imbalanced chemistry can accelerate wear and tear.
  • Operating Conditions: Factors like pool size, usage frequency, and climate impact the workload on the chlorinator. High usage or extreme temperatures put more strain on the system, potentially shortening its lifespan.
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance of the cell and entire chlorinator system, including checking connections and hoses, helps prevent issues and optimise performance, potentially extending its life.

Additional Considerations:

  • Brand and Quality: Different brands and models of salt chlorinators have varying build quality and component durability. Choosing a reputable brand and higher-quality model can contribute to a longer lifespan.
  • Warranty: Check the warranty period offered by the manufacturer. It can provide an indication of the expected lifespan and coverage in case of premature failure.

Maximising lifespan:

  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions: Adhere to recommended cleaning procedures, maintenance schedules, and water chemistry guidelines.
  • Use high-quality salt: Impurities in low-quality salt can damage the cell and other components.
  • Monitor performance: Regularly check chlorine levels, cell condition, and overall system performance to identify potential issues early.
  • Seek professional assistance: If you have questions or encounter problems, consult a qualified pool technician for advice or repairs.
  • Remember: While 3-7 years is a typical range, your salt chlorinator’s lifespan might be shorter or longer depending on the factors mentioned above. By prioritising proper care and maintenance, you can maximise its performance and enjoy safe, clean pool water for many years.

How often should you replace a salt chlorinator?

The exact frequency of replacing a salt chlorinator depends on several factors, making it difficult to give a single answer. However, I can provide you with some key information and considerations to help you determine when it might be time to replace yours:

Factors influencing replacement:

  • Salt cell lifespan: This is the most significant factor. Salt cells typically last 3-5 years, but this can vary based on quality, water chemistry, and usage.
  • Chlorine production: If your chlorinator struggles to maintain proper chlorine levels even with a clean cell, it’s likely nearing the end of its lifespan.
  • Overall condition: Visible wear and tear, leaks, or recurring issues suggest potential replacement needs.
  • Performance: If the chlorinator is noisy, inefficient, or requires frequent repairs, consider replacement.
  • Technological advancements: Newer models might offer improved features, efficiency, or warranty coverage, making them attractive upgrade options.

Signs it’s time to replace:

  • Frequent cell cleaning: Needing to clean the cell more often than usual indicates potential wear and tear.
  • Reduced chlorine output: Despite proper salt level and clean cell, chlorine levels remain low.
  • Error messages or indicator lights: Consult your manual for specific meanings, but they might point to internal issues.
  • Visible damage: Cracks, leaks, or corrosion on the cell or chlorinator housing indicate potential safety concerns.
  • Frequent repairs: If repairs become more frequent and expensive, replacement might be more cost-effective in the long run.

Before replacing:

  • Consult a professional: A qualified pool technician can diagnose the issue and advise on repair vs. replacement based on your specific situation.
  • Consider costs: Factor in the cost of a new chlorinator, installation, and potential warranty compared to repair costs.
  • Research new models: Explore newer models for potential efficiency, feature, and warranty benefits.