Using a Salt Water Chlorinator

23 Jun 2016 22:57
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Salt Water Chlorinator Operating Tips

If you are a beginner to maintaining a swimming pool or spa or you are stuck using chlorine to maintain water cleanliness, then this article could give you a guideline of what having a chlorine generator is like and how to operate one.

A salt water chlorinator (also known as a chlorine generator) makes use salt in the spa to generate chlorine. This is carried out by a chemical reaction called electrolysis which is done by what is known as a chlorine generator cell. A another result of the chemical reaction, and this is a huge benefit, is that a chemical named sodium chloride is produced which is basically common salt. This means that all things being equal, salt does not need to be often added to your pool or spa.

Many units are comprised of a control unit and the chlorinator cell. The control unit requires a power supply and the cell usually needs to be installed into the return pipe (outlet) to your pool or spa, and placed after the filtration system. Fitting the control unit and cell is typically not overly complex and if you\'re somewhat handy you could do it yourself. Please just check with the manufacturer however - some manufacturers are strict and will void your warranty if the unit is not fitted by a certified pool expert.

If the chlorine generator is new to the pool or spa, salt has to be added and dissolved in the pool or spa. every unit and manufacturer are slightly different so please check your operator manual for the amount of salt to add to the pool or spa. A rough idea though is 25 bags (40 pound bag) of salt for every 40,000 gallons of water. Check the salt is entirely dissolved prior to operating the chlorine generator.

Setup and operation of the control unit is typically straight forward. Again, check the operator manual for specific instructions. Typically though, most units will have a timer, level of chlorine output, indicators to display salt level warnings and/or cell fault warnings. Higher end chlorinators can also measure and monitor PH levels, temperature, and log operating events.

Start by setting the timer on the control unit. Most brands have a feature to have multiple timer settings which allows you to operate your chlorinator multiple times in a 24 hour period. The recommended run time is roughly 8 hours a day which suits the filtration run duration. Many people tend to break up the 8 hours into two 4 hour cycles, one in the am and one in late afternoon/evening.

Next step will be to adjust the chlorine output level. This can be a little trial and error over time until you have had the chlorine generator running for sometime. Typically you'll need more output during warmer months than during colder months as the hot sun will evaporate more of the chlorine. You should get advice from your local pool shop to get the levels correct and read the guidelines of the operator manual.

When the chlorine generator has been setup, leave it alone and let it run for a while. Then keep an eye on the indicator lights and displays checking for any issues. Check the pool or spa for salt and chlorine levels, and PH levels. You'll find after a brief time the water will settle and you will be so glad you do not need to maintain your pool or spa on a daily basis anymore.

Often take your water to have tested to ensure the chlorine generator is performing well and your chlorine levels, salt levels, PH etc. are all where they should be. Also as mentioned, regularly inspect the chlorinator's control unit status for any errors or other information that indicates action is required. It is also important to regularly visually check the cell for calcium build-up that will impact performance and also shorten cell life. If there is a build up of calcium (a white, milky chemical) then you may have to manually clean the cell and remove the build-up.

Various models have various ways of cleaning the cell - nearly all are self cleaning these days and this is achieved by functionality called reverse polarity. However sometimes a manual clean is required. Most pool shops will carry a product for cleaning the cell but you can also make one using hydrochloric acid. Just check that manufacturer's instructions again before carrying out any such cleaning as you may void your warranty if not done according to manufacturers recommendations.

You will be so happy with using a chlorine generator as it makes life so much easier. So little maintenance and not having a chlorine smell or kids complaining of red eyes is such a plus. If you don't already have one and are in the market, then head on over to to see reviews on the most popular chlorinators on the market for both pools and spas/hot tubs.

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