Swimming pool Salt Chlorinator Trouble shooting guide and some useful tips

Confirm these basic checks below first before you call anyone -

Zodiac Tri Salt chlorinator controller

Incoming 230Vac power supply is getting into the controller. Power indicator is ON.

Salt cell plates are fully covered with water and Gas is being produced by the cell plates. This cell is producing chlorine as designed.

Dirty salt chlorinator cell

Salt cell plates and water sensor is partially coated with Calcium. This cell is not producing chlorine. "So called" self cleaning salt cells still require cleaning periodically. This is often an overlooked problem for many owners.

  • Check and confirm that you have power getting into your salt chlorinator control box - does the control box display illuminate and can you adjust settings? see picture.

  • With the pool pump running do you have good water flow through the salt cell housing? are all the cell plates fully immersed with water? if not, try backwashing and rinsing your pool filter 1st and then check again. View the video below -

  • Are all the salt cell plates and the water sensor clean? No visible white Calcification build up on any components?Strip and clean the cell plates anyway. This is what we would do to start with.

  • With the system running, turn up the chlorinator output control knob to Maximum output, give it a few seconds and you should see Gas coming OFF the cell plates ... as per video below. You may need a torch if your cell is located in a dark spot. After a period of time the cable supplying power to the salt cell should start to get warm to touch. However some newer models are using different technology with reduced current output. Some older designs draw around 28A on the secondary side when running flat out.

  • Test and confirm what the salt level reading is in your pool. The residual should be close to or slightly above the level that the chlorinator manufacturer recommends ( ppm ) Most chlorinators have the recommended levels detailed on the control box, or you should find this amount ( ppm )in the operating manual, failing that, go on-line to the Manufacturer's website and download the applicable data sheet/PDF's.

  • If you have no means of testing the salt level in your pool, uplift a water sample and take this to your local pool shop for testing ASAP. Running the chlorinator with the correct salt levels is essential if you want longevity from the salt cell or expect your warranty to be honoured ( if applicable )

  • Before calling anyone have the following information at hand - you should get asked these questions if the person you are talking to has any experience in this field - approx pool water temperature, pump daily running time in hours, is the pool covered, what is the present chlorine residual present in the water. What brand/model chlorinator do you have installed. Approximate pool size i.e 45kL etc. You can also take a few pictures of the pool and salt chlorinator and email these to us. We are familiar with virtually every Brand/ make and model currently in service in NZ.

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