How to Extend the Life of your Salt Cell in 5 Easy Steps

How to Extend the Life of your Salt Cell in 5 Easy Steps

When you make the investment to purchase a pool, it is best to maintain it the best you can. Energy Center-Manhattan Pool has chosen to use one of the best brand of products, Bioguard, for your pool in the industry. On top of that, they offer incredible education for staff and customers. Being a Bioguard dealer, helps us hold the title of water care experts. They also provide advice on how to extend the life of your salt cell, which typically includes the products that you will use.  Throughout this blog you will read about products that we recommend, ensuring you can get the most out of your salt cell. Below are the 5 easy steps to verify you are extending the life of your salt cell: 

1. Maintain a Proper Water Chemistry Balance

 It is important to keep an eye on your pH levels, Calcium Hardness, and Total Alkalinity. Elevated levels can lead to scale buildup on those metal plates in your salt cell and can reduce chlorine production. Phosphates are also a great thing to keep an eye on. When we talk about phosphates, we truly mean orthophosphates. Orthophosphates is the only form that shows up on test kits and will be affected by phosphate remover products. It is no longer oxidizable by chlorine. According to BioLab, Phosphate is a natural food source for algae and considered a limiting nutrient for algae alongside nitrate. When all the right components are met, algae will flourish in your pool. Upon a plethora of research, Zero Phos is an important step in the routine balancing orthophosphate in pool water. Managing orthophosphate levels provides many benefits and is just as important as maintaining total hardness, total alkalinity, and pH. 

2. Check Salt System Weekly

Of course, when you check your chemistry levels, it is also important to take a look at your salt system control board to verify it is working well. Inspect the wires and control box to verify there are no errors on the screen. If you are unsure, we are one phone call away, 785-776-5118.

3. Use a Salt System Additive

Here at Energy Center-Manhattan Pool we want to help you protect and lengthen the life of your salt cell just as much as you do. We recommend Scale Inhibitor as it is highly effective at preventing scale build-up and cloudy water from high calcium levels. This can help prevent that calcium hardness from getting elevated, but it is still important to keep an eye on your water balancing each week and bring in pool samples monthly. 

4. Inspect Salt Cell Monthly

Checking your salt cell is a step further than just checking the control board and wires. You also need a visual on your salt cell each month to check for scale buildup and other problems. Resolving scale buildup or damage early can extend the life of your salt cell and prevent costly repairs in the future. 

How to Inspect your Salt Cell: 

  • Turn off your pool pump & disconnect the cell from the unions.
  • Inspect the inside for calcium scale buildup, which would look white and flaky. (If it is Blue or Green, that is a different problem)

Blue or Green Buildup is rare, but not unheard of. It is caused by high amounts of metals in pool water. It is important to test your water chemistry and if it results in high amounts of metals, Energy Center-Manhattan Pool recommends Pool Magnet Plus to bring down metal contents. Blue or green buildup can also indicate your cell has gone bad or lost protection on the blade coating and needs to be replaced. 

5. Clean your Salt Cell, when necessary

If Scale buildup is present, it is time to clean your salt cell. Remember, cleaning your salt cell with acid too often will strip the coating off the metal plates and render the cell useless. Inspect monthly, but only clean it when it starts to develop scale. 

Needed to clean salt cell:

  • Personal Protective Equipment – Goggles, Gloves, & Closed-toe Shoes
  • Salt Cell Cleaner 
  • Salt Cell Cleaning Stand or Plastic Bucket

How to clean salt cell:

  • Shut off power to your pool and remove salt cell from pool lines.
  • Hose off inside the cell to remove any debris
  • Put Personal protective equipment on and prepare your Salt Cell Cleaner mixture as directed on the bottle. Once ready, soak the cell.
  • If using a cell cleaning stand, connect the end of the salt cell to the stand. Slowly pour the mixture into the cell until the plates are completely submerged. 
  • If using a plastic bucket, attach a cap to one end of the salt cell. Place the cell in a dry plastic bucket, then pour the mixture into the cell.
  • Let mixture soak in cell for 2-5 minutes. If there was excessive buildup, soak for 10-15 minutes or until the bubbles stop. 
  • When the cell is done soaking, carefully remove it from the stand or bucket, dispose of the solution and rinse your salt cell with fresh water. 
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