The Basics of Salt Water Chlorinators: What You Need To Know

The Basics of Salt Water Chlorinators: What You Need To Know

Have you ever gone swimming in the ocean, accidentally tasted seawater, and thought, “Hmm, I wish my home pool had this flavour”? Well, chances are, a saltwater pool does mimic the taste of seawater.

A saltwater pool uses a salt chlorine generator. Rather than directly introducing chlorine to the pool water, you add salt, and the generator converts it into chlorine.


How Does It Work?

A salt water chlorinator uses electrolysis to turn dissolved salt in the pool water into chlorine. The system consists of the generator, which is plumbed directly in line with the pool equipment, typically after the heater.

The generator sends a low-voltage current through a set of electrodes inside a chlorine-generation salt cell to break down salt in the form of sodium hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid, which destroy bacteria, algae and other contaminants.

The chlorinator has built-in sensors that monitor chlorine output and automatically adjust it to maintain optimal sanitiser levels. So there’s no need to manually add chlorine or deal with the inaccuracies of floating chemical dispensers.

Benefits of Salt Water Chlorinators

Reduced Discomfort for Swimmers: Salt water chlorinated pools mainly use sodium hypochlorite, a type of chlorine that is significantly gentler on the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes compared to other chlorine variants.

Lower maintenance requirements: With salt water chlorinators, there is no daily measuring and adding of chlorine products as the system generates chlorine automatically from the salt water as needed. You only need to occasionally check the salt levels and adjust accordingly. Overall, there is less chemical handling and storage required.

More stable chlorine levels: Salt water pools tend to have fewer fluctuations in chlorine levels compared to manually chlorinated pools. The salt cell can raise or lower chlorine production to maintain the optimal range, rather than depending on the pool owner to make frequent adjustments. This helps ensure proper sanitisation.

Cost savings over time: While salt water systems have considerable upfront costs in equipment and installation, they can provide substantial long-term savings in chemical costs. Also, automation saves on time and labour for maintaining ideal chlorine levels compared to a traditional chlorinated pool.

How to Maintain a Salt Water Chlorinator?

Salt chlorinators can last for years when properly cared for. However, they do require some regular upkeep to reach their maximum lifespan. We recommend focusing on these key tasks:

  • Monitor Salt Concentrations: Keep salt levels in the pool water between 2,700-3,400 ppm. The ideal level is around 3,200 ppm.
  • Clean the Unit Yearly: Schedule time every swim season to clean the salt cell inside the chlorinator. This routine maintenance helps prevent the accumulation of scale, ensuring optimal chlorine production.
  • Prevent Electrical Surges: Shut off the power to the unit during major storms. This safeguards sensitive electronics against voltage spikes that can occur when lightning strikes.

Last Word

Upgrading to a salt water chlorination system is one of the best investments you can make for your pool. It takes the hassle out of maintaining adequate sanitiser levels to keep the water clean and clear all season. Be sure to have a pool professional help you select and properly install the right salt chlorinator model for your pool’s needs.


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