9 Best Salt Chlorinators | February 2017

We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Sick of stinging eyes? Tired of messy liquid chlorine that can stain decks? Get rid of smelly liquid chlorine for good while keeping your pool or spa water cleaner and softer than ever before with with one of these salt chlorinators. They convert the Cl in NaCl to free chlorine to sanitize your water in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Skip to the best salt chlorinator on Amazon.
9 Best Salt Chlorinators | February 2017

Overall Rank: 6
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 4
Best Inexpensive
The TechniChlor 110 offers 10 adjustable levels of chlorine production without the need for external timers, so you have one less thing to worry about. It provides simple plug & play installation without requiring any modifications.
Designed for 2,000-gallon swim spas, the Saltron Mini Drop-In creates a more pure form of chlorine through salt electrolysis for better water sanitizing. It keeps water crystal clear at all times.
The Circupool SJ-20 is made in USA and has an industry-leading cell lifespan for long-lasting use. It is backed by an unmatched 7-Year limited warranty, and it works on the widest available salinity range.
Designed to save on chlorine creation and energy usage in above ground pools, the Aqua Trol is able to control your existing filtration pump via an internal time clock. Plus it is virtually maintenance free once installed.
  • only takes 30 minutes to hook it up
  • produces pool water with a silky feel
  • operation instructions are confusing
Brand Hayward
Weight 24.7 pounds
The Solaxx CLG10A is designed for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools. It is ideal for any pool with a 20,000 gallon or less capacity, and it doesn't require the installation of any plumbing.
  • only requires 3,000 ppm salt to operate
  • programmable digital timer
  • need to run the pump constantly
Brand Solaxx
Model CLG10A
Weight 11 pounds
Designed with an innovative copper ionization feature that reduces needed chlorine levels by 60%, the Intex Krystal Clear will keep your pool both fresh, safe, and smelling good. Plus you won't have to worry about eye irritation.
  • fits most popular pump brands
  • 7,000 and 15,000 gallon models available
  • not for use with inground pools
Brand Intex
Model 28669EG
Weight 33.7 pounds
The Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 is capable of producing 1.4 lbs. of chlorine every 24 hours. It has an easy-to-view display that allows for fast checking of salt levels, cell cleanliness, sanitizer output, water flow, and more.
  • captures daily performance data
  • cell includes unions for easy removal
  • has an automatic shutoff feature
Brand Pentair
Model pending
Weight pending
The ChlorMaker DO is the perfect option for both hot tubs and spas. It comes at an affordable price point, and is designed to constantly refresh your chlorine supply while reducing maintenance to make your life easier.
  • has 10 built-in power levels
  • simple plug-and-play design
  • self-cleaning reverse polarity tech
Brand ControlOMatic
Model ChlorMaker DO
Weight 2.4 pounds
The Hayward Goldline PL-PLUS works with 40,000-gallon pools, and has a user friendly electronic programmable interface that allows you to keep your pool clean for considerably less than standard chlorinating methods.
  • automatic control of every output
  • consistently renews chlorine supply
  • automatically senses orp and ph levels
Brand Hayward
Weight 42.7 pounds

How Salt Water Chlorinators Work

Many people think saltwater pools don't have any chlorine, but this is simply untrue. They have a perfectly balanced level of free available chlorine (FAC), which is constantly generated by the saltwater chlorinator. Traditional swimming pools have a combination of FAC and combined available chlorine (CAC). CAC is formed as FAC reacts with amines in the pool, and high levels of CAC is associated with skin and eye irritation in swimmers. FAC isn't known to cause any irritations and won't result in that chemical smell found in heavily chlorinated traditional pools.

Salt water chlorinators use a generator to create electrical currents, which are then passed along a cell. This cell is comprised of titanium plates that are coated with either iridium or ruthenium. Electrolysis attracts minerals in the pool water to these plates as the saltwater passes through the circulation system. A low-voltage current running through the plates breaks the salt and water up into hydrogen gas and hypochlorus acid. The hydrogen molecules then bubble to the surface and are released from the pool, while the acid remains behind to be used for disinfection.

This process creates an excess of hydroxyl as it releases the chlorine molecules from the salt. This results in an overly alkaline pool and the leftover hydrochloric acid from the electrolysis process is used to neutralize the alkalinity. This is repeated over and over again, constantly releasing a steady stream of usable chlorine into the pool water.

The salt isn't consumed in the process and is continuously split and reformed as it passes through the titanium plates of the cell. Periodically new salt must be added to saltwater pools, but this is because some is lost from splashing and other activities like backwashing.

Benefits Of Salt Water Chlorination

Saltwater pools have a number of benefits over traditional pools. First and foremost being the reduction of harsh chemicals. As mentioned previously, saltwater pools have chlorine, but there is significantly less that what is found in traditional pools. They are ideal for people with sensitivities to chemicals who often find that other pool types irritate their skin and eyes. Since you won't be adding pure chlorine directly to a saltwater pool, you won't have to deal with handling and storing a toxic chemical either. This makes it safer and more environmentally friendly.

Saltwater pools also require less maintenance than traditional pools as they are cleaning themselves continuously. You will still need to check the water chemistry to monitor your pH, ppm, and salinity periodically to ensure you swimming pool is at optimal levels, but rarely will you have to add anything other than a stabilizer. Unlike traditional pools, which often experience high and low levels of sanitizer, the level in saltwater pools stays constant, which results in less formation of algae.

The initial setup cost of a saltwater pool is higher than a traditional pool, but the yearly maintenance cost is significantly less. This means that over time, you will actually save money by having a saltwater pool. As an added bonus, you may find yourself saving money on swimwear as well if you use your pool constantly. Just like saltwater pools are easier on your skin, they are easier on bathing suits as well and won't discolor them or cause the material to weaken over time.

Maintaining A Saltwater Pool

You can break up your saltwater pool maintenance into three separate categories; weekly maintenance, monthly maintenance, and quarterly maintenance activities.

Every week you should test your pool chemistry to check the pH and amount of free chlorine. As with a traditional pool, you can use a drop test kit or pool dip strips. Ideally your pH should be maintained between 7.2 and 7.6. Your free chlorine should fall somewhere in the 1 to 3 ppm range. You can add muriatic acid to lower pH and sodium bicarbonate to raise it. Free chlorine can be adjusted via the output control on your system's cell or control box.

In addition to your weekly maintenance schedule, you should test your pool's, salt, stabilizer, alkalinity, and calcium levels at least once every month. It is vital that your pool has enough salt as this is directly related to how much free chlorine your system can create. Your stabilizer, calcium, and alkalinity can be tested with the same testing kit you use for your weekly maintenance, and your salinity level is usually displayed somewhere on your chlorinator. It can be good to periodically check your salinity manually, as sometimes chlorinators need to be recalculated.

Your quarterly maintenance should include a physical inspection of your chlorinator system. Open your cell and look for any scale buildup that could affect your system's efficiency. You also need to check the coating on your cell as it can be stripped off if you run your chlorinator for too long without enough salt in your pool. While the cell is open, remove any debris that may have made it past your filter.

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Last updated: 02/27/2017 | Authorship Information