Salt/chlorine generators can provide a good source of chlorine for pool sanitizing when properly sized, installed, operated and maintained.
Salt/chlorine generators must be checked frequently to determine if minerals are collecting on the electric plates in the generator. The buildup of calcium and other minerals on the plates dramatically reduces the ability of the generator to produce chlorine, increases energy (electricity) consumption and can shorten the life of the unit or cause it to fail.
Acid must be carefully used to clean the electric plates when mineral build up occurs. Muriatic acid is typically used to clean the plates. Some salt/chlorine generators have the ability to reverse the electric charge on the electric plates to minimize or reduce mineral buildup. (14)
General pool maintenance is required for salt water pools, even more than with non-salt water pools. There is a growing body of evidence that the use of salt/chlorine generators accelerates the destruction of pool structures and equipment, including stone, cement, metal ladders, hand rails, light fixtures, heater parts and tile grout. (16)
The pH and chlorine levels must be maintained at proper levels as with non-salt water pools.
Pool side walls require frequent brushing to remove any build up of minerals. The pool bottom will require vacuuming. When salt/chlorine generators are used, pool structures and equipment should be frequently inspected for signs of deterioration and corrosion damage.
Swimmers should shower before entering the pool to remove contaminants such as sand, suntan products and body oils.
Swimming pools are equipped with filtration equipment which requires maintenance. Some pool filters require backwashing; others have replaceable filter bags; others use filter cartridges that can be cleaned and returned to service or replaced.
Pools sanitized by salt/chlorine generators have the same general maintenance requirements as pools sanitized with liquid chlorine bleach or chlorine tablets, plus the added requirement to carefully check the pool structure and equipment for signs of deterioration and corrosion damage, as well as the condition of the salt/chlorine generator and its component parts, primarily the electric plates. IMPORTANT WARNING: If you do not properly maintain a salt/chlorine generator or your pool chemistry while using a salt/chlorine generator, you can destroy your pool’s interior finish, decking and pool equipment. Salt water pools need a great deal of care. (14)
Salt/chlorine generators require periodic inspection and the replacement of the electric plate components due to wear and mineral build-up.
The salt/chlorine generator components which create the electrolysis process of chlorine generation will typically need replacement every 3 - 7 years. Replacement time frames will vary, depending on the quality of the pool water and the maintenance performed, or not performed, on the generator. Improper operation of a salt/chlorine generator can damage pool and deck surfaces, pool equipment, pumps and pool hardware, as well as the salt/chlorine generator itself. (14)
Salt/chlorine generators require frequent maintenance and monitoring of the pool water chemistry to achieve optimum results.
Salt / Chlorine Generators: Special Construction Requirements Other Pool Chemicals Needed Long Term Cost