A malfunctioning salt water chlorinator is every spa and pool owner’s nightmare. A salt chlorinator cell not working causes the water to become murky and dirty with time and most sane people wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. More often than not, the problem is with the salt cell and not the entire chlorinator system itself. This is one handy little unit that is responsible for all the benefits of the system that allow us to enjoy clean chlorinated water without the pungent smell and irritating effects of chlorine itself. So what is it that causes the salt chlorinator cell to stop working? Below is all the information you need to identify a malfunctioning cell, the cause of the problem and the most appropriate way forward.
The first thing when it comes to dealing with a salt chlorinator cell that is not working is to identify the problem. Below are a few tell-tale signs of a dysfunctional unit.
Having identified the problem, the next thing you need to do is to find out what is causing the problem. This comes in handy when it comes to determining the best solution. Below are 3 of the most common causes of failure in the salt cell’s function.
1. Wear and tear due to continuous use. This usually leads to problems like PCB electric failure and disconnection of plates.
2. High salt concentrations in water. When the plates within the salt cell are exposed to high concentrations of the free ions, they tend to become eroded. This seriously compromised the effectiveness of the entire unit.
3. Poor maintenance practice. Salt chlorinator cells are the most overworked of the entire system. Regular maintenance is therefore something whose importance cannot be emphasized enough. Failure to make repairs and replacements where and when they're needed leads inevitably to failure some time down the line.
Finally, you will need to rectify the problem as soon as possible to ensure that your pool is clean and safe for use in no time. Below are a few tips on how to deal with salt cells that don’t work.
1. Replace or repair damaged units immediately when problems are identified.
2. Replace the entire unit every once in a while. More often than not, a well maintained and high quality system should offer decent service for up to 5 years.
3. Regularly check chlorine levels in the water. If they are too high, you risk damaging the system. If they are too low, you are probably dealing with a salt cell that is already damaged.
4. Turn off the salt cell during the winter. At low temperatures, the system is not effective and leaving it on might cause damage especially to the electrical parts. For more information on how temperature effects salt water chlorinators, read our article on salt water chlorinator temperature.
After all is said and done, dealing with a salt chlorinator cell that isn’t working is not exactly rocket science. The most important thing is to identify and fix the problem early to prevent damage to other parts of the system. It is also super important to ensure that you run regular and thorough maintenance on the entire system as a way to avoid some of the problems that cause malfunctioning. That way, you will have a system that functions optimally for happy pool and spa (hot tub) users.