Common Questions About Salt Cells
As swimming pool owners are learning more about alternative methods of sanitation, we at PoolSupplyWorld are hearing more questions about salt chlorine generators and proper maintenance of salt cells. A properly maintained salt cell will last 3-5 years; an improperly maintained cell can fail in a year. Considering that salt cells are relatively expensive, we want to make sure you know the basics about prolonging their lifespan so you’ll get the most value for your dollar.
Why do salt cells fail?
Salt cells fail for a few different reasons, the main reason being lack of proper maintenance. It is very important to check the cell regularly for excessive buildup. Doing this ensures excess calcium doesn’t become caked on the metallic plates. Use a cleaning kit designed for salt cells to keep the plates clear of buildup. Another common cause of salt cell failure is improper water balance. Be sure to test your pool water regularly using a test kit designed for salt water pools.
Can I replace it myself?
Absolutely, replacing a salt cell is rather simple (we have a whole article dedicated to replacing your salt cell) and it just involves turning off the pump, disconnecting the cell and replacing it with a new one.
How can I test to see if my cell is working properly?
The easiest way to do this is to test your water balance regularly for the pH and chlorine levels. If the chlorine level is dropping it might mean your salt chlorine generator is not producing enough chlorine. Also, most system control units come with some kind of alert to notify you of low salt and chlorine levels. If this is something you don’t want to worry about, make sure to check the model before you purchase a system.
How can I clean my salt cell?
If your salt cell doesn’t have that much buildup you might be able to clean it with water pressure once its disconnected from the plumbing but if not, then follow these instructions:
To clean your salt cell you need to turn off the power and remove the cell from your plumbing. After you have it removed, you need to mix up one part hydrochloric acid and five parts water in a suitable container (Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection because you’re dealing with acid). Now soak your cell for 3 to 5 minutes and rinse, visually inspect the cell to make sure its clean and replace. You can also purchase a cleaning kit designed for salt cells.
How often should I clean my cell?
Proper maintenance is the key to making anything last longer. To get the most out of your salt cell, we recommend inspecting the cell once a week during heavy use and every other week during the off season. If you notice any buildup, clean as necessary.