Are you thinking about getting the best salt water chlorinator? Are you bemused about all the various points of view on salt water chlorine generators? Are you unsure whether they are safe? We got your back!
If you have made up your mind that salt water is perfect for your swimming pool then this article will help you make the right decision on which salt water chlorinator to buy. As with every product, there is a buying guide that you need to follow and that what we will look at as well as a review of the top chlorinators out there.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Salt Water Chlorinator
- 2 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Salt Water Chlorinator
- 3 Benefits of the Best Salt Water Chlorinator
- 4 The Top 7 Salt Water Chlorinators on the Market
- 4.1 Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell
- 4.2 Hayward Goldline AquaRite Electronic Salt Chlorination System
- 4.3 Hayward Goldline AquaPlus Salt Chlorination System
- 4.4 Circupool Salt Water Pool Chlorine Generator
- 4.5 Zodiac AquaPure Ei Series Electronic Salt Water Chlorine Generator
- 4.6 Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System
- 4.7 Solaxx Saltron Retro Self-Cleaning Salt Chlorine Generator
- 5 How Salt Water Chlorinator Works
- 6 Maintenance Tips for Salt Water Chlorinator
- 7 FAQs about Salt Water Chlorinator
- 8 Conclusion
Types of Salt Water Chlorinator
There are lots of options of salt water chlorinator on the market today.
- Self-cleaning vs. Standard Chlorinators – Probably the biggest difference you will notice about chlorinators is between self-cleaning and standard chlorinators. Standard chlorinators need the cell to be uninstalled once every month and soaked in a mixture of water and acid to dissolve any calcium buildup. Self-cleaning unit reverses the polarity on a regular basis to prevent calcium buildup.
- Chlorinators with power backup timers – Other chlorinators that you will find are units with power backup timer, which stores all the settings on the timer in case the power goes off. This feature enables the unit to know when there is enough water flow and switches off the chlorinator as well as the pump when there is an issue.
- Chlorinators with built-in pH control – As pool owners are becoming more alert about the benefits of the right pH in their pool, salt water chlorinator companies are developing units with in-built pH control. These devices are able to determine the level of pH in your swimming pool, and automatically add acid as required.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Salt Water Chlorinator
It’s important you choose your chlorinator carefully to make sure that you enjoy a splash-tastic time in a crystal clear, hygienic, and safe pool year-round. Therefore, before you splash your money on a salt water chlorinator, go through our tips for choosing the perfect salt water generator.
1. A Reliable Product
When choosing the best salt chlorinator, you want a unit that you can depend on. It needs to be built to last, work efficiently, and be fuss-free – especially in salt water conditions. You surely don’t want to invite your pals over for a pool party only to find your pool has changed color. Your product needs to be robust enough in order to get through all types of weather.
2. A Reputable Brand/Manufacturer
When it comes to choosing a salt water pool generator, it will serve you right if you go for a well-known producer. Reputable manufacturers produce high-quality products that will last longer and even offer value for the money. They design chlorinators that keep your swimming pool in mind condition even in hot weather.
3. Low Maintenance Product
Everyone wants to swim, but no one wants to maintain the pool. With the best salt water chlorinator, you do not need to frit. Keeping your swimming pool sparkling clean, fresh, and free of bacteria and algae can never be easier.
4. Product Technology and Design
Ensure that your salt water generator is approved to the set standards, featuring cutting-edge design. Don’t just go for trending chlorinators that haven’t been approved by the industry.
5. Consider Pool Size and Type
Surely, when you are buying a salt water chlorinator you need to know the size and type of your pool, and how frequent you intend to swim.
6. Your Budget
Another key factor to consider when buying your salt water chlorinator is your budget. Ensure that you buy a product that is within your set budget and has all the features that you require for your swimming pool.
Benefits of the Best Salt Water Chlorinator
There is an ongoing debate about why pool owners should switch to a salt water chlorinator from traditional methods and thus why we want to discuss this issue today by giving you the benefits of using a chlorinator.
1. No Harsh Chemical
One of the major benefits of these products is that although there is chlorine in your pool, the level is quite low and you don’t need to add other sanitizing chemicals. What this means is that you do not need to handle harsh or toxic chemicals that are often used in chlorine spa and pools.
Additionally, caring your pool using a chlorinator is environmentally friendlier compared to other traditional methods. And you don’t need to worry about chlorine smell that many pools have.
The water is also not bad for the skin because there is no high concentration of harsh chemicals. Swimmers won’t be subjected to discolored swimsuit, discolored skin, red eyes, and dry skin. This means you will enjoy 100 percent comfort in your pool and the water will look clear and feel good.
2. Minimal Maintenance
Another benefit of using a salt water generator is the minimal maintenance that is required. These kinds of swimming pools clean themselves, meaning that you will have more time to relax. You don’t need to add other chemicals. Moreover, the level of sanitizer is stabilized in salt water and this makes it hard for algae to develop. This also means that you will need to clean your pool less regularly.
However, even with the best chlorinator, you still need to check pH, alkalinity, and hardness of the water to ensure that your pool is healthy.
3. Health Benefits
It is healthier to swim in salt water. It is softer on your eyes, hair, and skin when compared to chlorine-treated water. High level of addictives and chlorine are responsible for the itch or irritation that some swimmers experience when relaxing in the pool. This makes the salty pool the best option for swimmers with allergies.
4. Cost Effective
The initial cost of these products might be pretty high, but they are cost-effective in the long run. Salt water chlorinators pay for themselves as the price of buying salt is lower than that of chlorine. A small amount of salt is required to maintain the concentration of salt in your pool. The quantity of salt to be added is also determined by evaporation.
The last benefit of buying a salt chlorinator is that it can be installed in all types of water bodies whether it’s a small hot tub or spa or a large commercial pool. The process of installing a chlorinator is very simple and is often a DIY project.
6. Low Salt Level
Although it’s a salt water product, the concentration of salt that gets into your swimming pool is nowhere near the salt water lakes or ocean. You can safely open your eyes when inside your pool and enjoy a refreshing swim.
The Top 7 Salt Water Chlorinators on the Market
Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell
Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 uses table salt to provide all the chlorine that your swimming pool needs, automatically, effectively, and safely. It offers the same sanitation results as normal chlorine does when added to the pool without any shortcomings. Best for above ground pools, the unit relieves you the need of buying, transporting, and storing chlorine compounds in your garage. The product boasts of a full diagnostic ability that tracks its cell life to notify you how many hours of life is left.
Another great quality of this generator is that it’s able to capture all the performance data every day, including hours of operation, production settings, salt readings, water temperature averages, cell cleaning cycles, and chlorine output. It comes with an easy-to-view display and push-button operation that enable cell cleanliness, fast checking of salt level, water flow, and sanitizer output. On-time cycling prevents scale and calcium build-up to maximize its cell life.
- Automatic shut-off feature.
- Communicates with IntelliTouch technology.
- Records all the performance data.
- Doesn’t work when the water gets below a certain temperature.
Hayward Goldline AquaRite Electronic Salt Chlorination System
Hayward Goldline AquaRite is amongst the best salt water chlorinators for inground pools that offer complete spa and pool sanitization using table salt. It changes a small amount of table salt into an endless supply of pure and fresh chlorine. This self-renewing and environmentally friendly unit produce up to 1.45-pounds of chlorine per day, enough to keep your 40,000-gallon pool clear, clean, and soft. The product uses advanced electrolytic tech to change the salt into chlorine, and since salt doesn’t evaporate or wear out, you don’t need to add regularly.
The chlorinator has two components: its patented turbo cell and the control box, a specially made electrolytic changer that attaches to your pool’s return line, behind the heater, filter, and pump. This is one of the best salt water generators around and it cuts your costs by 50 percent. Its displays are easy to access and view water flow, salt level, and cleanliness. Another notable feature of this unit is the performance data settings which include cleaning cycles, chlorine output, salt content, and hours of operation.
- Uses less salt.
- Suitable for large pools.
- Cuts cost by 50 percent.
- Requires an IntelliChlor which is sold separately.
Hayward Goldline AquaPlus Salt Chlorination System
Hayward Goldline AquaPlus enhances and simplifies spa and pool ownership by combining salt chlorination and automated control into one easy-to-install, easy-to-run package. With this unit, programming vital functions for the best performance, cost-efficiency, and effectiveness is a snap. The product allows you to set any program you want: steady during the week, cutting back on weekdays, or increasing during busy weekends, depending on the level of activities. You can even set your spa jets or pool lights to go on/off automatically.
Another great feature of this unit is salt chlorination which instead of measuring, mixing, and messing with a chemical tablet or liquid chlorine, AquaPlus uses a safe electric charge that automatically convert a small amount of table salt into a self-renewing supply of pure and fresh chlorine. The chlorinator keeps your water consistently clear, silky smooth, and clean. The best thing about this unit is that it saves you at least 75 percent on energy costs, making it the best chlorinator for the money.
- Saves you money.
- Uses normal table salt.
- Keeps the water clean.
- Might require frequent cleaning.
Circupool Salt Water Pool Chlorine Generator
Circupool Salt Water is designed to provide ultimate simplicity and reliability for your pool. It is designed for pools of up to 40,000-gallon water capacity and is manufactured in the US. The product is very easy to install, you can even DIY if you are handy enough. Another feature of this unit is that you can operate it on both 110 and 220 volts, which you can easily switch when installing. The cell is constructed out of “high-quality” titanium cover in clear material to enable perfect visibility of the chlorine generation.
The product is designed to keep your swimming pool clear, producing soft pool water that doesn’t irritate your eyes, hair, or skin all year round. Like most chlorinators, the SJ-20 has a self-cleaning functionality which is released by reverse polarity. In case there is some calcium build up, cleaning is required which is pretty easy since you only need to remove the plates from the cover and submerge in a cleaning solution.
- Easy to inspect the cells.
- Easy to clean.
- Automatic operation.
- Calcium builds up a lot.
Zodiac AquaPure Ei Series Electronic Salt Water Chlorine Generator
Zodiac AquaPure Ei is pretty easy to install, has zero leaks, and almost removes the need for adding other chemicals to your pool. This is one of the most accessible chlorinators on the market and is very easy to get its spare parts. What is even amazing is that it’s suitable for large pools of up to 3500-gallons, and uses normal salt to get the job done. This consumer-oriented product boasts of a simple, instinctive interface for effective control.
The other notable thing about this unit is the automatic reversing polarity that helps to minimize calcium buildup. Additional, able to connect to 120/240 volts socket without moving jumpers or toggling a switch and comes with a 1.5 or 2 inches pipe that connects to your pool with ease. You will also be glad to find out that it sells at a reasonable price that provides value for the money.
- Very easy to install.
- Has a simple interface.
- Quite affordable.
- Needs an electrician to install.
Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water System
Intex Krystal Clear system combines 2-stage technology to offer a great salt water chlorinator for above ground pools. The first stage involves adding table salt to water to generate chlorine before passing via a titanium electrolyte cell. The outcome of this stage is clean, fresh, and soft water that has no harsh side effect of harmful chemicals. The next stage sees the electrocatalytic oxidation process, water molecules are splits into oxidants. The oxidants kill the algae and bacteria that might be in your pool. The combination of the two process results in a natural chlorine which is strong and safe for your swimming pool.
The process of Intex is quite effective such that the amount of chlorine required and produced by the system is reduced by about 60 percent. This means that you enjoy the benefits of salt water pool as well as less chlorine than other pools. The product is suitable for a 15,000-gallon pool and runs on 110-120 voltages.
- Easy to use.
- Worth your money.
- Good quality product.
- Some reliability issues.
Solaxx Saltron Retro Self-Cleaning Salt Chlorine Generator
Solaxx Saltron is a salt chlorinator for inground pools as well as above ground facilities of up to 20,000-gallon that needs no electrical or plumbing contracting project to install. Ideal for DIY installation, this self-contained unit uses a natural process to produce pure chlorine. Its electrolytic process utilizes a low concentration of table salt (about ½ a spoon) to produce free chlorine. The chlorine kills algae and bacteria and then changes back to salt. This indefinite cycle makes the water to feel soft, refreshing, sparkling clear, and silky.
Another notable thing about this unit is its economic nature and is 100 percent automated. With Solaxx, you don’t need to buy, transport, and store harmful chlorine anymore. Furthermore, you don’t need to worry about diving into a pool that irritates and itches your eye and skin. The unit also comes with a programmable timer that adjusts chlorine output as well as an LED indicator that shows the level of salt in the pool.
- Suitable for above and inground pools.
- Easy to install.
- Programmable timer for setting output.
- A bit expensive
How Salt Water Chlorinator Works
If you want to buy a salt water chlorinator, it will help to understand how this product works. However, you cannot understand how these units work if you don’t know their basic components and the process of changing salt to chlorine.
Here is a video of how salt water chlorinator works.
The Basic Components
- Power Supply – This is the transformer that offers DC current to the salt cells. It steps down the power to 27 VDC from 240 VAC.
- Control Box – It informs the cells when to activate and for how long. Also, it controls the flow sensor as well as the performance of the cell.
- Salt Cells – These are series of covered titanium that is packed together with spaces between them for the water to run via them. As the salt runs through the cells, the water carries the DC current from one plate to the other – this converts the salt to chlorine.
- Flow Sensor – They monitor the flow of water to ensure that there is constant water running via the salt cells when they are on. The sensor will cut power if there is no water.
The process of Converting Salt to Chlorine
The process of changing salt to chlorine can be explained using a simple equation. If you understand this equation, you will have an easy time maintaining the right chlorine level in your swimming pool.
H20 + NaCl —————-àHOCl + NaOH
In simple terms:
Water + Sodium Chloride (table Salt) —————–à Hypochlorous Acid (Chlorine) + Sodium Hydroxide
Read More: Chlorine Tablets for Swimming Pool
- Hypochlorous acid is the active form of chlorine in your swimming pool. Pure chlorine is usually a gas which turns to hypochlorous acid when you dissolve it in water.
- Sodium hydroxide is a byproduct of salt water chlorine generation. Sodium in the salt combines with oxygen and hydrogen to form this product.
- Remember that sodium hydroxide has a high pH, so you will find your pool pH rising when you use a salt water chlorinator (manage your pool properly to avoid this).
Maintenance Tips for Salt Water Chlorinator
In order to make your unit last, you need to perform a regular check on it just as you would do with all other parts of your swimming pool.
- Always maintain a consistent level of salt of between 2700-3900 parts per million.
- Clean the unit’s cells at least once per year or as recommended by the manufacturer.
- During storms, switch of the chlorinator to eliminate the risk of power surge that can damage the unit.
- Keep the calcium level as low as possible while still maintaining the right level of your swimming pool.
- Avoid standard chlorinators as they increase the probability of calcium buildup in their cells.
FAQs about Salt Water Chlorinator
This section will help you solve some of the questions that you might be having about salt water chlorinator.
- Is it safe to buy a salt water chlorinator online? Gone is the era when purchasing online was a risky affair. When buying a pool chlorinator online you can go through the reviews of previous buyers and get unbiased opinions on the unit. That alone is a great benefit if you compare buying the same product in a physical store where you will only get the seller’s opinion.
- How much should I spend on a salt water chlorinator? There is no correct answer to this query. As you will see from online stores, the price will vary depending on the brand you choose. Go for a product that fits your planned budget and has all the features you want for your pool’s needs.
- How will I benefit from a salt water chlorinator? As we looked above, there are lots of benefits of having the best salt water chlorinator, including health benefits, cost benefits, cleaning benefits, and others.
- How can I determine the best salt water chlorinator? You should look for a few features when searching for the best chlorinator – it’s often easy when going through the manufacturers’ list of feature. Of course, the price should be one of the major features to watch out for but you shouldn’t go for a low-quality product because it’s cheap.
- How can I determine the best salt chlorinator for my needs? Go through the product description – see if it fulfills your needs. Then go through the different brands in the same category and see what they are offering, and most importantly, go through the reviews of these products and see what others are saying.
- Will my pool water taste salty when I install a chlorinator? No, it won’t. You cannot taste salt until it hits around 5,000 parts per million and a normal salt water chlorinator will produce a salt level of at most 4000 parts per million. This is sufficient to keep your pool fresh and clean.
- Will I need to add chlorine? Again, no. In fact, this is the best thing about chlorinators. While pure chlorine is good, purchasing, transportation, and storing can be a risky adventure; even using it. It is volatile, loses potency, and is harmful to your skin, lungs, and eyes.
- Will my swimming pool be sanitized and balances? Yes, it will. This is one of the benefits of a salt water pool. It will take you less time to maintain the right chemistry and even balance your swimming pool. This is especially true because most of the activities of sanitizing will be automatic.
- How durable is the best salt water chlorinator? When it comes to durability, getting the right size is critical. For example, if you have a 40,000-gallon swimming pool but buy a device suitable for 2,5000-gallon, the unit will work harder, which will make it wear faster.
The initial cost of the best salt water chlorinator might be higher, but the annual maintenance cost of your pool will reduce significantly. This means that you will save a lot of money in the long run if you purchase a chlorinator such as the Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell, which offers great benefits and comes with amazing features.