Salt cells play a crucial role in your swimming pool; however, like all components, they have a finite lifespan. Eventually, they’ll need to be replaced due to wear and tear or damage. But the question arises: when is the right time for salt cell replacement, and how can you identify it?
If you’re seeking guidance on effectively maintaining your saltwater pool, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we provide a closer look at salt cells, the salt systems that operate within saltwater pools, and the best practises for their upkeep.
By using this information, you’ll be equipped to manage the maintenance of your saltwater pool more effectively. This ensures that you can enjoy your pool throughout the entire year without any unexpected interruptions.
Let’s embark on a journey to explore the realm of salt cells, their significance, and the strategies to uphold their optimal functioning.
Check the Cell’s Age
The average lifespan of a salt cell is 5-7 years. Check when your salt cell was installed and compare it to the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement timing. Exceeding the recommended service life likely means that performance has dropped.
Inspect the Cell Plates
Open up the salt water cell system and inspect the electrode plates inside. Look for areas of excessive wear, pitting, calcium buildup, or other degradation. The titanium plates should be straight and uniform. Warped, uneven plates indicate that the cell has been working overtime and requires a salt cell replacement.
Monitor Chlorine Output
Keep track of your pool’s chlorine levels each season. If you find that the salt cell runs at a higher percentage to maintain proper chlorine levels, it’s a sign that the cell is wearing down. Healthy cells can sanitise at lower outputs.
Watch for Low Salt Alerts
The saltwater water pool chlorinator will warn you if salt levels drop below the recommended range. But if you’re staying on top of adding salt as needed and still getting alerts, the cell could be the issue. Older cells struggle to convert salt efficiently, causing low salt errors even when levels are fine.
Consider Water Factors
The mineral content, pH, and other qualities of your source water impact the cell’s lifespan. High levels of calcium, iron, or other minerals in the water will cause plates to calcify and degrade faster. Check if tap water parameters have changed or if you need additional filtration.
Optimal Water Flow for Salt Cell Operation
For the salt cell to function at its best, a specific level of water flow is essential. However, various factors can diminish this flow. A clogged pump or skimmer basket, a filter that has accumulated dirt, or directional valves that are closed can all lead to decreased flow rates. It’s crucial to address these potential issues to ensure the salt cell operates effectively and your pool’s water remains adequately circulated.
Verify the Power Supply
The functioning of the salt cell relies on the control panel. If you notice that the control panel isn’t displaying any indicator lights, it’s a clear indication that power might not be reaching the system. Additionally, many salt chlorinators include a fuse in their cabinet. This fuse is designed to blow out in situations of power overload or in the unfortunate event of a lightning strike.
Replacing an ageing salt cell restores proper sanitising performance, reduces chlorine use, and saves electricity costs. Proactively swapping it on schedule ensures you won’t be left with weak chlorine output or other issues at the peak of the swim season. To keep your pool water sparkling all season, know when it’s time to retire the old cell.