Saltwater pools have been around for years now generating chlorine from the salt within the water that goes through the salt cell. Salt systems do need maintenance and cleaning the salt cell is part of that.
Here are some basics on salt systems.
1) All salt cells should be checked for cleaning at least every 3 months.
2) If they need cleaning then turn off the system and turn off the power to the cells and unplug them. Use a mixture of 9 parts water and 1 part muratic acid. Use the salt cell cleaning units supplied by the manufactures at one end then fill the cell with the mixture until it stops bubbling it should normally be around 5 minutes depending on how much calcium hardness has built up. Different cells need to be cleaned as recommended by the manufacture check their websites for the most recent updates. DON’T use too strong a mixture as that will harm the cell and cause for a shorter lifespan.
3) Once cleaned rinse the cell out with just water and reattach checking that it’s put in correctly with the flow signs going in the direction of the water flow. Also, check that the rubber gaskets either end of the plumbing unions on some cells are in place otherwise it will leak.
4) Even if the salt system isn’t being used salt cells will still need cleaning as the grids within them can still form calcium deposits and if left uncleaned will restrict water flow through the cell. A dummy salt cell can be used as a replacement to the real cell if not being used anymore or to use during the winter months to prolong the life of a salt cell.
Important things to note on salt systems.
:Most do not work during the winter months as the water temperature has to in the 50s
:The cyanuric acid levels have to be correct otherwise the chlorine that’s being generated will dissipated quickly and not be held within the water.
:The pump has to run for the system to generate chlorine the less the pump runs the less chlorine is generated.
:Some units have the controls on the cell some are on a separate control box. On the pentair salt systems and the Jandy systems the control boxes are sometimes behind the wall controller and have to be accessed by unscrewing the panel to access the salt control system.
:Check that the unit is in fact enabled using the settings options within the control boxes and the chlorine output is correct according to the manufacturer recommendations.
:Ensure there’s enough pump run time and on variable speed pumps it’s running fast enough as it only generates chlorine when the pump is running. Too short of a pump run time will mean low chlorine output this will happen as well if the speed of the pump is too low.
:You might get a “no flow” error on some systems possible issues are filters need cleaning or replacing or the cell is in incorrectly ensure water flow arrows are pointing in correct direction.
:Disconnect power cord prior to doing cell maintenance like cleaning if not possible turn off breaker to cell.
: Salt cells should always be installed at the last point of entry into the pool on the plumbing never prior to the heater or entering the solar.
: On pentair intellichlor systems there’s a reset button within the wall control panel marked intellichlor circuit breaker if cell has no lights on it check this button and reset and check status light is active.
Some Salt systems have a fuse that can blow and cause issues but can be replaced. Here’s a video on changing a salt cell fuse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9-ePh5CoiM
:Once salt is added to a pool it’s in there and the only way to reduce the salt level is by partially or fully draining the pool so be cautious not to add too much. The correct level is between 2800-3200 but they can still work up to 3400 parts per million PPM
:PH levels are very important as well. The better the PH the better the chlorine output.