Cleaning chlorinator cell?

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Cleaning chlorinator cell?

Postby peterb » Sun 14 Jan, 2007 06:40

How do I clean a salt chlorinator cell (electrode)? Or is it best to take it into the pool shop and get them to do it?


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Postby dynamictiger » Sun 14 Jan, 2007 16:34

Extract from Pool Care Basics from www (dot) poolindustrysecrets(dot) com free Ebook.

1 Salt Cell care
Salt water chlorination or SWG has taken off as a chlorination method for many pools. I cover this in more detail in my chemistry e-book, for those interested.
Caring for your salt cell is important. Cells are nearly as expensive as new pumps and often are not covered by warranty.
Some simple things you can do to prevent pre-mature failure of the cell are included here.
Bore water. I am not actually opposed to using bore water in a pool if it has been tested and found to be suitable. However bore water typically contains iron and or high levels of calcium either of which are not good for your cell and will lead to increased cleaning cycles.
Copper based algaecides, most salt cell companies will tell you these are fine to use with your chlorinator. This is a reverse of what they were telling us ten years ago, and cells where copper based algaecide are used regularly are usually the first cells I see that have failed.
Salt level, again the push in the last ten years has been towards lower and lower salt levels. Yet when you ask the right questions you will find the salt chlorinator manufacturers are operating on very fine tolerances at these low levels. That is to say if the salt level drops even 500 mg/l below the current level the cell will start to overdraw current and become burnt. Practically it is impossible to operate your pool within these tolerances. You are better to operate at the top of the range for the chlorinator. In other words if the chlorinator manual says a range of 2000-4000 mg/l operating at 4000 your salt cell will last longer. Finally if your pool remains in operation during the winter, regularly check probably once a month, the salt level and maintain it all year round.
Calcium deposits on your cell happen all the time. The colour of the deposit can assist in working out what is in your water. White is calcium based, brown usually indicates iron, green or blue indicates copper. Regardless of the colour the salt cell must be cleaned regularly. In the procedures I have laid out a suggested procedure for cleaning a typical salt cell.
One extra comment on salt cell cleaning before we leave this topic. The salt cell manufacturers suggest using HCL or Muriatic acid in a cut solution to clean the cell. Mixed incorrectly or soaked too long this treatment can damage the cell. A few years ago Lo-Chlor brought out a salt cell cleaner based on ADPA or Alkyl Phosphonic acid. This has the advantage of being recyclable you can clean your cell multiple times with this product and if you left your cell in it for 48 hours it would not damage the cell. The disadvantage is it is a slower method of cleaning, however, I think this is a very small price to pay for the advantages. I highly recommend it.

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