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Your salt chlorinator isn’t working and you are trying to troubleshoot the problem…. Well, trust us when we tell you, you aren’t alone. Lots of homeowners purchased salt chlorinators for their swimming pools because they were told they were maintenance free, they were easy to use and your swim experience would be much better. We would agree with the quality of water and the feel of the water part but they definitely aren’t maintenance free and they do require work. At Pure Water Industries, we get a lot of phone calls and inquiries on the issue that their salt chlorinator isn’t working and how we can help fix it. To be honest, your salt chlorinator isn’t working because of the following issues:

  • Not enough salt or too much salt
  • Lack of Cyanuric Acid (CYA)
  • The size of the chlorinator isn’t big enough for your swimming pool
  • Too much calcium in the water

First and foremost, we highly recommend performing a thorough water analysis to make sure your chemistry is where it needs to be for your salt chlorinator. This would be the easiest to fix and usually the least expensive. We highly recommend checking the following levels:

  • pH
  • CYA
  • Calcium Hardness
  • Salt

If any of those are out of balance it can cause malfunction with your salt chlorinator. Please refer to the owner’s manual in regards to water chemistry because each salt chlorinator manufacturer has different requirements for their system. If the salt, CYA or pH is out of balance those are easy fixes but if your calcium hardness is too high that causes other issues and is typically a harder fix. In many parts of the country, the tap water is hard. Most salt chlorinators prefer calcium hardness to be between 200 – 400 parts per million (ppm) and in many areas, the tap water is much higher than that. With water that high in hardness, the calcium will scale the electrode plates and prevent them from operating. At this point a water change is necessary and we would like to highlight a customer who’s salt chlorinator wasn’t working. He chose to use our Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration because we have the ability to give you much better water than tap.

Initial Chemistry 

Calcium hardness – 740ppm (too high for his salt cell)

CYA – 70ppm

Salt – 3586ppm

After filtering this 33,000-gallon swimming pool we were able to leave him the following:

Ending Chemistry

Calcium hardness – 160ppm (optimal for his system and much better than tap water)

CYA – 0ppm (will need to add conditioner)

Salt – 726ppm (will need to add salt)

Other than having to add certain basic chemicals necessary for his salt chlorinator to work, he now has a functioning saltwater chlorinator because the calcium levels are low. Please note, this is the most common issue that salt pools have. If you want to prevent this from happening in the future, we highly recommend using our service once a year.

If you should have any questions on how this service works, contact us today! If you’re looking for a great saltwater chlorinator that can handle higher levels of calcium hardness in your swimming pool you will want to research the SGS Breeze. This is the saltwater chlorinator that we highly recommend!