Swimming pool salt electrolysis systems work perfectly when the cells are clean. Chlorine production and conductivity are then at their peak. If these devices require little maintenance, knowing when and how to carry out this cleaning is essential.
One of the best products for descaling salt cells is vinegar.
So, in this article, we’ll see how to clean salt cells with vinegar and how often this maintenance has to be done. But first, why is this cleaning important?
Why Clean the Salt Cell?
Although there are so-called self-cleaning devices that work by reverse polarity, most electrolyzers do not have this option.
The chemical reaction of the transformation of salt into chlorine creates a point of crystallization of the lime present in the swimming pool’s water. It is deposited around the plates (anode-cathode) of the cell, forming layers of tartar.
The more scale there is, the less the electrochemical reaction around the Titanium/Ruthenium/Iridium plate is carried out correctly. Then, there comes a time when the device can no longer convert enough salt into chlorine.
The swimming pool is then no longer properly disinfected. The cell must therefore be descaled for the chlorinator to resume optimal operation.
When to Clean the Cell of Your Salt Chlorinator?
In spring and summer, it is recommended to clean your cell every 10 days. But this interval is to be determined considering the water’s hydrotimetric titer and the electrolysis operation time. The easiest way is to check the condition of the cell visually.
However, there is no standard rule. As always, it’s linked to your pool and its location. There are models of salt devices where you can see the scaling of the cells without dismantling them. And other models where you have to disassemble the cell to control lime deposits.
Two factors accelerate the production of scale:
- The level of lime (or hydrotimetric titer).
- Use of the device.
In some areas, the fill water is naturally very hard. The cells become calcified there more quickly if you don’t use anti-lime. And besides that, the addition of products, external pollution, and too hot water can increase the hydrotimetric titer. These are aggravating factors that must be taken into account.
In addition, the hotter the season, the more the water is filtered to keep it clear and suitable for swimming. However, the salt device is connected to the filtration system. It works when the filtration is on. So the more you filter, the more the device builds up.
How to Clean Salt Cell With Vinegar
The element of the swimming pool salt chlorinator that needs to be cleaned is the cell that contains the electrodes. When deposits are too heavy, they should be removed using white vinegar.
- The first thing to do to ensure your safety is to turn off the system and shut off the water supply. Remember to protect your hands and face with gloves and glasses during this operation, as the product is dangerous.
- It would be best to unscrew the nuts to release the electrodes. You will be able to check if the quantity of scale has reached the level for maintenance or not.
- Immerse the electrodes in vinegar for a maximum of 10 minutes. You can also clean the cells with hydrochloric acid. Just prepare in a basin a mixture of water and hydrochloric acid. Prepare a formula of 1/10 parts of hydrochloric acid to water for this. Immerse the cells in the solution for 10 minutes.
- Above all, do not rub the coating, as you risk damaging it. Ensure you don’t submerge the connection buttons.
- Once this is done, rinse the system well with clean water and dry it gently. Be careful not to leave any acid that could damage the electrodes.
- You can then reassemble all the elements of the electrolyzer. Open the valves and turn on the system. Your electrodes will be like new and able to disinfect your pool fully.
Warning: the connection part of the electrolytic cell must not come into contact with the cleaning product or water. Some precautions should be taken. If in doubt and to avoid making a mistake, seek advice from a pool specialist or a company specializing in swimming pool design.
Cleaning the Salt Cell Can Never Be Easier But Safety First!
Remember to protect yourself (apron, glasses, gloves) while handling acidic, corrosive, and dangerous products. Then stop the filtration and the device (for electrical safety). Close the valves to isolate the cell and prevent the passage of water. If necessary, unscrew the electrical connections and union nuts from the cell.
Remove the cell and soak it in the acid solution you have prepared. If you dilute, always add the acid to the water, not vice versa. Let the cell soak until the scale disappears.
There’s no need to rub. It only takes a few minutes if there is a little deposit. Rinse the cell abundantly and reassemble it. Open the isolation valves of the cell and restart the filtration and the electrolyzer.