Salt Water Chlorine Generator

by Mitch
(Seattle, WA)

I have a salt water chlorine generator.

I just opened my pool and looked inside the chlorine cell and there's alot of white crusty stuff.

What is that and how would I clean it out?

Thanks for your question Mitch

What you probably have is calcium build-up on your chlorine generator.

Swimming Pool Chlorine Generator

Salt Water Swimming Pools

What I do with the YMCA cell is to first remove it from the line. Plug up one end of the cell.

If you don't have a plug you might be able to go to your local pool store and see if they have anything.

I try to get as much debris and calcium build-up out of the cell as I can using a soft bristle brush.

Then I mix water and muriatic acid, a 4:1 ratio, and pour that into the cell.

Allow that to sit for about 5 minutes, pour the acid out and rinse the cell with clean water.

Inspect inside the cell for any calcium build-up or debris and do the above again if necessary.

I do this once per month but you might only need to do it a couple of times during your swimming season.

Hope this help


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How Do You Clean A Salt Water Cell?

by Tina

Can you clean your salt water cell?

My control box keeps saying check cell.

If you can clean it, what can be used?

Thanks for the question Tina

I'll tell you what I've done for the YMCA salt cells. This goes for both the pool and the hot tub. It works every time, but you need to be careful because you're going to be using muriatic acid.

Use a 4:1 mix of water and acid. I use 2 gallons of water and 1/2 gallon of acid.

Rinse the cell with clean water. Get a soft bristle brush and gently remove larger particles and debris from inside the chlorinator cell.

Call you local pool store and see if they have any salt cell plugs. You can plug up one end of the cell and fill the other end with the mixture of water and acid.

Allow this to sit for about 5 minutes. It will probably start to bubble up a little bit. This means the acid is eating away the salt and calcium inside the cell.

Pour it out and rinse the salt cell with clean water.

It's good to go.

Remember to use rubber gloves, goggles, and long sleeve shirt and pants. Clothes that you wouldn't mind if they get stained.

If the acid gets on the clothes it will bleach it out.

Here are some links in case you missed them:

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Chlorine Generator

Salt Water Chlorine Generator

Salt Water Pool Maintenance Guide

There's also alot of information about salt pools and chlorine generators on the Q&A page:

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Hope this helps. Have a fun and safe swimming season.


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Why Do I Have To Clean My Salt Cell So Much

by Ron

I have a Compupool salt water generator which I have to clean every two weeks from the calcium build up.

Can you please tell me why this is?

Thanks for the question Ron

There are some reasons why your chlorine generator will have a build up inside.

High calcium is one. Try to keep your calcium between 150 - 250ppm.

This is mostly for plaster pool. You can go a little lower with a vinyl or fiberglass pool.

To reduce water hardness, the only thing you can do is a partial or full drain and refill.

2nd is a high salt level. Many salt cells have a range between 3000 - 3500ppm.

The cell we have for YMCA hot tub is a little more forgiving, between 2800 - 4800ppm.

You need to manually test your salt against the reading on the cell. Here are a couple of links to look over:

Salt Water Swimming Pools

Chlorine Generator

The tester I use is a Myron Salinity Meter. You can get one from TMI Salt Pure.

They're the company I've used for the last 3 years. Ask them about salinity water to calibrate the meter.

To lower the salt you'll need to drain 1/3 - 1/2, refill, and balance the chemicals again.

Using the wrong kind of salt. Here's a post for that:

Which Salt To Use In A Salt Water Swimming Pool?

Another one is allow the pool to be gunked up with dirt and debris, then cleaning it.

It will cause a massive amount of dirt, calcium, etc.. to go through the system, and through the cell.

This happened to the Y pool a week before I started to work there.

The guard who was supposed to vacuum the pool every week, but didn't, let it go for about 1 month.

Then he swept all of the built up dirt into the bottom drain. The cell got a massive dose of dirt at once, and burned up within a week.

Clean and vacuum your pool weekly.

Try to scoop out as much debris with a leaf rake as you can.

Don't use those blue skimmers. They're useless.

Hope this helps and have a fun and safe Summer.


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