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    Salt Chlorine Generators Buyer's Guide

    July 8, 2014
    mattspencer

    salt-chlorine-generators-compared

    In today's blog post, we take a look into our Inground Salt Chlorinators we have for sale on our website. Many of our DIY inground pool building customers choose to install a salt chlorine generator when building the pool, but they can be added to a system at any time.

    Salt chlorinators consist of a control panel that mounts on the wall, and a salt cell that plumbs in the return line, after the filter and any heater. As the slightly salty water is pumped through the salt cell, electrolysis takes place which separates the molecules into HOCL, the killing form of chlorine. After sanitation, the chlorine is converted back into it's base components; salt and water!

    Let's discuss some of the benefits specific to our top 5 salt chlorine generators.

    Aqua-Rite

    hayward-aqua-rite-salt-system-smThe Aqua-Rite salt systems uses a patented Turbo-Cell™ that is available in 3 sizes, for pools up to 15K, 25K and 40K gallons. 3-Year warranty is one of the strongest among salt systems, and even covers the salt cell. The Aqua-Rite system is made by Hayward, and is the same as their SwimPure salt system. Interfaces with Polaris, Pentair and Goldline controls. Titanium coated cell blades ensure long life.  

    AutoPilot

    autopilot-salt-systemThe Autopilot was another pioneer in the development of salt systems for residential pools, back in the 80's. Their vertical manifold allows for plumbing the salt cell in only 11 inches of pipe, and also regulates the flow rate to reduce wear on the cell, and optimizes the production and delivery of the chlorine. It looks a little funky and clunky, but the loop manifold does have an advantage over straight-thru designs of salt systems.  

    Salt & Swim Pro

    hayward-salt-n-swimThe Hayward Salt & Swim is a lower priced salt unit that has a replaceable salt cell, which will last you for 2-3 seasons, depending on how long and how much you operate the salt system. The entry price point on the Salt & Swim is much lower than the others, but the replacement cell will cost you about $200. Other salt cells tend to last longer, perhaps as much as 5 years, but their price is as much as $500 to replace. The most compact design takes up only 6" of pipe space, and the wall unit is also very compact.

    IntelliChlor

    pentair-intellichlor-systemThe Pentair IntelliChlor is an Intelligent salt system, connecting with many controllers on the market seamlessly. It also has the diagnostic lights and indicators on the cell itself, and the wall mounted control unit merely supplies the power for the combination salt cell and control panel. Can be mounted vertically or horizontally, in about a foot of clear pipe. The cell is available in 3-sizes, for 20K, 40K and 60K gallon pools.  

    Pool Pilot Digital Nano

    poolpilot-digitalThe Pool Pilot Digital, is fully digital, with a Tri-Sensor that reads temperature, salt level and water flow. Many salt systems monitor temperature to shut down chlorine production when water temperatures reach 60 degrees. The Nano goes a step further and increase chlorine production when the water temperature rises. The loop assembly bypasses excess water flow into the unit, and the loop also contains all sensors, no additional sensors needed.  

    In terms of installation, all models take up about the same amount of room, with the exception of the Salt & Swim system, which is ultra compact. They consist of a wall mounted power center / controller and the inline salt cell. The AquaRite salt system has an additional flow switch to be plumbed in place. Systems with flow rates over 100 gpm may need to plumb the salt cell in a bypass loop, to control the water flow. And pumps with two speeds, or variable speed pumps may need a relay, to operate with low water flow.

    To wire a salt system, most units can take power from an existing timeclock, breaker, switch or controller. The Salt & Swim has the easiest wiring, just plug it in. Other models have the ability to accept 220V or 110V. Salt systems for inground pools should be grounded and bonded according to installation instructions and local electrical codes. Wires are run connecting the power center to the salt cell and to sensors for salt, water temperature or flow rate.

    In terms of features, all of the models above are self cleaning and have a boost feature, to superchlorinate. You may still need to use granular or liquid pool shock occasionally, when opening the pool in spring, or if you have algae, or if the pool pump or filter (or salt system) is not working.  

    ~ Let us know if you have any questions regarding use or installation of any of our inground pool salt systems. You can call or email us at any time!

    Matt Spencer
    SPP Pool Expert  

    Blog Author
    mattspencer
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