The summer has brought with it: the sun, holidays, dark shades and the question what is the best salt water chlorinator on the market?, and thankfully, the reasons aren’t far-flung. With so many new products and techniques and, importantly, the uniqueness of salt-water pools, we would agree that selecting the appropriate salt water chlorinator these days might be a little tricky.
Well, to-the-rescue, Cap! Taking cues from my longtime experience as a pool owner and expert reviewer, I have selected the 10 best salt water chlorinator that offer the best value for your cash.
Here goes nothing!
How To Choose The Right Chlorinator for Your Salt Water Pool
Selecting an appropriate chlorinator for your salt water pool is quite easy and, yet, many end up making the wrong choices. Having been there so many times, here are factors to consider before settling for a chlorinator:
- Pool Size: This is the most important consideration of all. My first chlorinator purchase turned out to be really bad as the poor, little machine was slugging it out with a 30, 000-litter pool whereas it was designed for 20, 000 litters at most. Needless to say, it wasn’t an encouraging debut. However, following that, I’ve purchased excellent chlorinators either for myself or others. Just pay attention to the size, that’s all.
- Chlorinator Specifications: It is common logic to settle for a machine that meets our needs before any purchase, isn’t it? Well, say that to a friend of mine who bought an ordinary chlorinator for the purpose of controlling a comprehensive pool + spa package.
- Pool Type: Chlorinators for above ground pools can’t work for inground pool, and vice versa. I can’t forget this one time someone had ordered an inground pool chlorinator for an above ground pool. It was a waste of time and I hope it never happens to any other person.
- Installation Process: This tends to be ignored, or overlooked, until it’s time to do so. Choose a chlorinator that is easy and fast to install. Avoid chlorinators that take up to 2 hours to fix, remember you’ll be paying the technician. You may want to cut costs.
Benefits of A Salt Water Pool Chlorinator
Basically, there are three benefits of a salt water pool chlorinator.
- Absolute Pool Protection: The foremost purpose of a chlorinator is the protection it offers your pool. Without a screen, your pool wouldn’t last even a day, trust me when I say I’ve been there. The engagement of a chlorinator therefore ensures that your pool is completely protected and kept safe for a very long period of time.
- Cost Reduction: A chlorinator reduces costs as long as the initial purchase price is looked past. In the long run, a chlorinator saves you a lot of precious money. With the ideal chlorinator, you are saved the cost of chlorine purchase, transportation and storage. Consider that a well-maintained chlorinator could last for more than 5 years and you realize how much you could save.
- Ease of Operations: The simplicity with which a chlorinator is used is just mind-blowing. With a chlorinator, you don’t have to mix any mixture and go through the stress of application. The machine takes care of it all and it is even more effective as well as efficient.
How to Use and Maintain Your Chlorinator
Proper maintenance of a chlorinator is easy to do but could be confusing if you’re new to it.
1. Add tablets to the chlorinator when needed
Usually, this is done per week. Do not add tablets when unnecessary as this is likely to cause some pool damage. When adding tablets, always turn off the pump.
2. Inspect the O-ring intermittently
The O-ring is often damaged by high chlorine levels. Upon inspection, if it is cracked or crooked, it would be the right time to acquire a replacement. Ideally, the ring should be replaced biannually. It can be lubed before replacement, but ensure you only use the oil that comes from the manufacturer.
3. Test the control valve
There’s always the chance of some debris or residue stuck in the control valve, and that’s the reason you must do regular testing. If the valve has some residue in it, it will not open or close appropriately, and this will lead to a reduction in chlorine feed.
Top 10 Best Salt Water Chlorinator
And here comes the unveiling of my 10 best salt water chlorinators; grab some couple towels, let’s chlorinate and swim!
Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator
The Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 is one of my favorites, as well as that of perhaps a couple hundreds I’ve referred it to. Electrolytic chlorine generation has been deemed the safest, easiest and most effective way to keep your pool sparkling and here it is at your fingertip.
This chlorinator generates chlorine by literally (or electrically?) converting common table salt to the right proportion needed by your pool, right in your pool. Sounds magical, I suppose. But that’s enhanced further.
Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 is equipped with easy-to-view displays, a feature that helps me to rapidly determine salt level, water flow, cell cleanliness and sanitizer output. Remarkable.
- Full diagnostic capabilities
- Daily recording of performance data
- Saves the cost of transporting and storing chlorine
- Automatic shut-off feature to save power
- Timely cycling to maximize power.
- Might be too expensive for certain users.
Hayward Goldline AQR9 AquaRite Electronic Salt Chlorination System
And here comes my first Hayward representative. The Goldline AQR9 has proved its worth for a luxurious, excellent and genuine experience.
Offering an electrolytic operation, the Aquarite 120 automatically generates chlorine from common salt and, furthermore, carries out the application to the pool. This is an ability I really like, as I never have to mix, measure, lug or store chlorine anymore.
Owing to the premium built-in technology, AQR9 filters water to its optimum state, thereby delivering soft, silky water that leaves your eyes white no matter how long you stay in the pool.
And, as expected, this Hayward model is most suited for pre-installed pools. By the way, the supported cell size is massive: 25, 000 gallons!
- Measures pool performance
- Diagnostic ability
- Saves you from handling chlorine
- Fast electrical connection
- Complex and time-consuming to install
Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System
The Intex Krystal is ahead of the curve when it comes to the chlorinator market. This system uses titanium electrolytic cells to create natural chlorine, thereby eliminating the environmental hazards associated with other chlorinators.
Once installed, the Krystal converts common table salt to chlorine in the inground pool, consequently ensuring proper circulation and filtration.
The Intex Krystal comes with the ability to connect with your filter pump, and hence water is sparkling clear and protected, thereby seeing that swimmers don’t suffer hair discoloration, red burning eyes, faded swimsuit and chemical smell.
And, oh, if you appreciate aesthetics, the Intex Krystal is surely an eye-catcher with its sleek, compact design.
- Sparkling clear and protected water
- Side effects, such as red eyes and hair discoloration, are eliminated
- Environmentally safe conversion and application
- Improved digital control panel
- Sensor-enabled to measure water flow and cells
- May take 45 minutes to install
Hayward Goldline AQR3 AquaRite Electronic Salt Chlorination System
The most noticeable difference between this and the earlier highlighted Hayward AQR9 is the size. Whereas the latter was ideal for at most 25, 000 gallons, this AQR3 could only effectively filter 15, 000 gallons of pool water. Quite a fit.
Water texture is incredibly soft despite the elimination of harsh chlorine odor that leaves swimmers discomfited. In fact, I have stayed in my salt water pool for hours, all thanks to the texture. Sanitization is round-the-clock as well, thereby ensuring that water doesn’t redden eyes, itch skin or causes fabrics to lose color.
Owing to its portability, Hayward AQR3 is one of the bestselling chlorinators globally.
- Computerized self-cleaning feature
- Adequate diagnostic ability
- Tracks and report pool condition
- Additional costs of storage are eliminated
- For warranty to matter, installation has to be done by Hayward officers, thereby incurring more cost.
Hayward Goldline AQ-TROL-RJ AquaTrol
Specifically designed for above ground pools, the Hayward AQ-TROL-RJ is an edge-cutting chlorinator. There is a catch however: the maximum support size is 18, 000 gallons.
That aside however, the accompanying features are impressive. The AquaTrol is equipped with an integral time clock, a spec which eases the control of the pool filtration pump via automatic adaptation.
The water quality is silky and leaves a soft feel on one’s skin, making the pool an ideal place to have some rest. That aside, there’s a display that shows the salt level as well as 7 diagnostic functions, some of which are cell level, water cleanliness and sanitizer output.
- Selectable super chlorinate function
- Automatic cleansing of the cells
- Programmable to 15-minutes increments
- Daily filter pump control
- Patented turbo cell for optimum flow rate
- Unavailability of automatic on/off feature
Solaxx CLG10A Saltron Retro Self-Cleaning Salt Chlorine Generator
The Solaxx Saltron Retro is, in many circles, regarded as one of the foremost salt water chlorinators and the reasons are obvious. The Saltron Retro is the first chlorinator on this list that works just fine for inground pool, as well as those above ground.
Saltron uses the natural purification process of converting common table salt to chlorine. What makes Saltron outstanding here is that the salt used in this process is less than a teaspoonful per gallon. And as expected, the water texture after filtering is of very fine quality, and hence red eyes and hair discoloration are eliminated.
Saltron Retro can be used without any plumbing or electrical engineering. This helped reduce costs when a friend had to acquire a chlorinator for his already-installed pool.
- Programmable digital timer to modify chlorine level
- LED lights indicators to show salt preference
- 24/7 purification cycle
- Switch-mode power supply
- Maximum support size is 20, 000 gallons.
Circupool SJ-20 Complete Salt Water Chlorination System
Circupool has earned its reputation as an innovative, high-standard and excellent brand that always puts pool owners first, and thus this selection shouldn’t be surprising. Of course, the Circupool SJ-20 performs all tasks expected of a chlorinator, and perhaps even more. It works by converting salt into chlorine via an electrolytic process, as all top chlorinators do.
A great favorite of mine, the SJ-20 delivers perhaps the finest, silkiest water you can find after chlorination. With the purchase of this fantastic chlorinator, your pool is ridden of all inconveniences, such as red burning eyes, fabric fade, hair discoloration, skin irritation and dryness and many others.
Circupool is unmatched in warranties. The US company offers a 5-year-guarantee as well as a very responsive and helpful customer support team. This helped immensely when I suffered a minor operation glitch.
- Very economical choice
- Durable titanium salt cell
- Easy design and low maintenance
- Minimal salt consumption
- Requires no extra installation
- Maximum support is 20, 000 gallons
Pentair 520556 IntelliChlor Power Center
This choice is not exactly a chlorinator, but it has come in handy on a number of occasions. Pentair 520556 was designed for use with the IntelliChlor salt generator. It serves as a power center to provide extra support to your IntelliChlor salt generator in cases of necessity.
The IntelliChlor Power Center connects with your pool circulation pump to keep filtration going and keeps power and control communication active to and from the salt generator.
It comes with a power center replacement kit, and fits with EasyTouch, Non-Salt, and SunTouch pool automatic control systems. This keeps the home wired to a single network for easier control. If you have the IntelliChlor spa, then this will come in handy as well.
- Automatic shut-off feature to prolong power
- Works well with other IntelliChlor products
- Provides power and control communication to the IntelliChlor cell
- Relatively inexpensive cost
- Not exactly a Salt Water Chlorinator
Hayward Goldline PL-PLUS AquaPlus
And yet another Hayward product! No, I’m not a Goldline addict but the brand has consistently excelled since its establishment. This is further proven in the PL-Plus AquaPlus chlorinator.
The Goldline PL-PLUS AquaPlus is a groundbreaking chlorinator and is the only one of its kind on this list. For a start, it is a comprehensive solution for all pool options, whether new or old.
The PL-PLUS AquaPlus is an adequate pool manager for any backyard environment, pool and spa inclusive. It automates every relevant pool function, effective water chemistry, salt chlorination, and automatic dispensation.
The Pl-PLUS is equipped with LED lights, a feature that keeps you updated on the salt levels and preferences at all times.
- In the box absolute solution
- Monitoring and reportage capability
- LED lights display
- Aids Flexible Pool Management
- May take more than 30 minutes to install
BLUE WORKS Pool Chlorine Generator Chlorinator BLH40
To conclude the pages, I introduce you to the Blue Works Pool Chlorinator, although I suppose you’d have heard of it. This product engages an electrolytic process to convert salt to chlorine.
The BLH40 connects with your filtration system and pump to ensure that your pool stays protected at all times. Upon the installation of this generator, you’re guaranteed clean and healthy pool water, and are hence safeguarded from red eyes, dry skin or any other irritation.
The salt cells are self-cleansing and maintenance is therefore easy and routinely done. There are a host of other features as well, such as diagnostic capabilities to determine the state of your pool at all time.
- 24/7 constant maintenance
- Enhanced digital control panel
- Flow switch
- Adjustable chlorine output
- Reverse polarity system to maintain cleaning
- Can be complicated to install
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Is A Salt Water Chlorinator?
A: A salt water chlorinator is a filter for pools to protect them from the direct and harsh effects of the sun. It could include the tool used to generate and dispense the chlorine in the pool.
Q: What Size Water Chlorinator Do I Need?
A: Basically, the size of your water chlorinator depends on the size of your pool. A pool of 25, 000 gallons should use a chlorinator of corresponding size. If you use a chlorinator below or above the pool size, the chlorine content of the pool may be inadequate or surplus, each capable of contaminating the pool.
Q: How Long Do Salt Water Chlorinators Last?
A: The duration of a salt water chlorinator often depends on the product, environment and consumer. Should all recommended instructions of usage be followed, the least a chlorinator will last is 5 years.
Q: How To Add Salt To Pool With Salt Water Chlorinator
A: To add salt to pool using a chlorinator, all you have to do is dissolve measured salt in the pool and afterwards activate the chlorinator to convert the salt.
Q: How Much Is A Salt Water Chlorinator?
A: The price of a chlorinator depends on the product. Some products could be purely for the chlorination process while some may be able to perform additional functions, and hence the cost is likely to differ. You could acquire one for as low as $500 and as much as $1000.
Q: How to Tell If Salt Water Chlorinator Is Working?
A: If you suspect your chlorinator has stopped functioning, you should engage the services of a certified engineer to conduct an inspection routine. You could, as an alternative, check the manual for any helpful information.
Selecting the best salt water chlorinator system depends on your preferences and, importantly, budget. However, regardless of the price, each of the chlorinators above would make an excellent choice. I would suggest you focus on the pros of each and see which meets your needs and specifications.