How Long should I Run My Salt Chlorinator?

Salt chlorinators are a great addition to any pool, but how long should you run your salt chlorine?

The lifespan of a salt chlorinator cell is dependent on several factors. Factors that impact the lifespan include: how often you use it, what type of water hardness and alkalinity levels exist in your pool, and the temperature at which it operates.

In this blog post we will discuss all these topics in depth so that you can make sure to get the most out of yours!

How Long should I Run My Salt Chlorinator?

How long to run your Saltwater Chlorinator each day depends on how much salt is in the pool, the size of the swimming pool and how many people are using it.

How Long should I Run My Salt Chlorinator

Maintain chlorine levels in a small family-sized pool with an average amount of use, you should be running your salt water chlorinator for about one hour per day.

If you have used more than an average amount of salt or will be away from home longer periods of time without use then you may need to increase that number to two hours per day.

Salt chlorinator cells need to be replaced when their output declines substantially or they fail to produce any chlorine at all. You can use a salt cell efficiency test kit, such as PoolLab’s CellSmart Kit, which will accurately measure what percentage of active salt is present in your pool water once it has been processed by the unit for an hour or two. The manufacturer-recommended lifespan of a typical electric cell is usually between five years and seven years before you’ll need to replace it with new one; however if you’re using larger units that are more powerful than average, this time span may increase due to increased electrical consumption from the process.

Depending on how often you run your system (and depending on how much electricity is available to you), some homeowners may be able to get a little more longevity out of the cells before they need replacement.

Number two, how does salt turn into chlorine? The conversion starts when you mix the salt with water in your pool and run it through an electric cell that acts like a battery. Sodium chloride dissolves into positively charged sodium ions and negatively charged chlorine gas molecules (chlorine is what gives saltwater pools their characteristic smell). What about solar-powered units or wind-driven generators? If you’re looking for an alternative energy source, consider one of these types of systems instead: either way, be sure to check voltage requirements so that once again your unit can’t exceed 80% power consumption.

To find out how long to run your chlorinator, enter in this formula: Hours = (gallons) x (.006). In this case, if your pool is 20 gallons and running for only one hour per day, then it would take about six months before the cell would require replacement. If we input 60 hours instead – which equals three days worth of operation time- then the lifespan will extend to 18 months. This means that by doubling our usage time, we could extend the lifespan of this cell by about three months.

To find out how much you should set your chlorinator to run for on a daily basis: (Hours) x .006 = Gallons per day. For example, if I want my pool to be cleaned and sanitized every day with a saltwater chlorinator that runs for one hour per day, it would take 60 gallons or 30lbs of chlorine each week. If I wanted my pool clean and sanitized twice in one day – which is double the amount- then it will require 120 gallons or 60lbs of chlorine per week.

How does salt turn into chlorine?

The next question then is how does salt turn into chlorine? The conversion starts when you mix the salt with water in your pool and run it through an electric cell that acts like a battery. Sodium chloride dissolves into positively charged sodium ions and negatively charged chlorine gas molecules (chlorine is what gives saltwater pools their characteristic smell). What about solar-powered units or wind-driven generators? If you’re looking for an alternative energy source, consider one of these types of systems instead: either way, be sure to check voltage requirements so that once again your unit can’t exceed 80% power consumption.

Factors that Impact the Lifespan of a Salt Chlorinator Cell

As mentioned above, the lifespan of a salt chlorinator cell is dependent on many different factors. The first factor that will affect how long your chlorine lasts is how often you use it. If you are only using it every few weeks or months then its longevity should not be severely impacted and can last for up to one year before needing replacement.

The second major factor affecting the life span of your sodium chloride (salt) cells in an automatic pool chlorination system is what type of water hardness and alkalinity levels exist within your swimming pool. Sodium Chloride pools can tolerate higher quantities of these two substances than other types of water treatments such as liquid chlorine, bromine, ozone etcetera because they have more time to react.

How does a saltwater chlorinator works

A salt chlorinator works just as well as a chlorine pool system. The only difference is that it does not need to rely on an outside source for the chemical components of the water treatment solution (chlorine gas or liquid bleach). Rather, saltwater pools use a natural chemical process in which sodium chloride from solar powered generators breaks down into two other ingredients: Sodium hypochlorite and table salt. These are then combined with calcium hydroxide to form what we know as ‘sodium hypo-chlorate‘ – your typical household pool chlorine product!

The downside? It’s expensive, costing anywhere between $700-$2000 upfront depending on how large you want your generator to be. And while some people have claimed they’ve saved a bundle in long term expenses, there’s no guarantee you’ll have the same luck.


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Is a Saltwater Chlorinator worth it?

Yes, a salt chlorinator is worth it. Saltwater pool owners can save up to $200 or more each year in chemicals and chlorine costs by using this type of system. A typical home owner will spend approximately $55 dollars on chloride per year for every 50,000 gallons they use which breaks down to about 18 cents per day for clean water! That’s much less than the average cost of 60 cents per day homeowners pay for traditional chlorine pools with their monthly chemical expenses ranging from $60-$100/month!

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