How do you clean your salt chlorinator?

richgatorOctober 21, 2007

Our remote is telling us to inspect our salt chlorinator. A friend said the chlorinator needs to be cleaned every so often. How do you clean the chlorinator and how often should it be cleaned?

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I have a zodiac clear water and I remove the cell and soak it for 5-10 minutes in 6 parts water/ 1 part acid in a 2 liter soda bottle. Rinse and repeat till clean. Mine gets a white build up between the cells then I clean. Check the owners manual for directions for your generator.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 7:24PM
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Our Aqua Rite manual says to use a high pressure hose and just rinse w/ water unless you see a build up, then use the acid soak.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2007 at 10:30AM
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The Pentair Intelli-Chlor requires the cell to be soaked in a weak muriatic acid - water mix (15 parts water to 1 part acid, I think) until the solution stops bubbling (Bubbling means the calcium build up is disolving). The last time I did it, I used a 5 gallon bucket. I did not get any bubbling - meaning the cell had no build up on it. I think with the Intelli-Chlor the message is based on time not an actual measure of build up.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 12:28PM
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Sorry for asking on someones post, but I have a question to this and figured I'd keep some answers in the same are.

I have the Intellichlor and this may be a stupid question, but when it says to let the cell soak does it mean the whole unit or is there a way to actually remove the cell from the control pad. The manual doesn't show a picture it just says the same as what fl-waterburg stated.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 9:56AM
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The IntelliChlor has a cap you can buy to do the cleaning. I've never immersed the electronics in acid and I don't think that is a good idea. The part # for the cap is 520670. It calls for a 25% solution of acid. At times, it may be 50% if the electronics are giving you a fit. There is a coating that can develop that does not remove with 25%.

The AquaRite, can be totally immersed. he diagnostics lights are not driven by buildup. They are time driven in hours. In most cases, 60-90 days depending on make.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 10:49AM
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Repair guy, Where do you attach the part to the IntelliChlor? Ours is 1yr. old and we have never cleaned it!! Is that bad??

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 12:04PM
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Highly likely it a bad situation. The cleaning cap is pretty self explanatory. Remove cell from pipe and screw on cap, fill with solution, watch bubble.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 5:55PM
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At near $30 for a cap and "o" ring, any chance some hardware store pvc cap and "o" ring would do the trick?

Maybe some ductape if I want to get real cheap.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 2:51PM
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Generally all electrodes require cleaning periodically (self cleaning or not)
We have always reccomended that cells be cleaned with a solution no stronger than 10 parts of water to 1 part of Muriatic or Hydrochloric acid.
Never use a cell cleaner that contains Phosphates or phosphoric acid as even trace amounts are great for growing algae.
An alternative that can be used is neat vinegar. (don't dilute) It is a weak organic acid that generally will get the job done (slowly in terms of days)
If you are short of time instead of using normal temperature tap water, hot water can be used, bear in mind that using hot water will make the reaction faster and more reactive. The other option is to manually clean the electrodes. Over the last 40 years of all the methods I have used my personal favourite is to use a water blaster.
BUT the electrodes break down and wear over time. I would not use a water blaster on a cell that is 14 years old as the titanium will be brittle but most brands of electrodes don't last more than 5 years old so it should not be a problem. There are only a few that can get a cell life greater than 6 - 8 years and cleaning cells regularly will help cell life.
Chlorinator electrodes are typically made of a Titanium base with a coating of Ruthenium Iridium Platinum (group metals) painted on and baked. The calcium gets under the coating and grows. For a non self clean cell you have one titanium and one coated electrode the coating over time wears off and electrodes last anywhere from two years to some that will last up to about 18 years (the longest I have seen) For a self cleaning type electrode there are two technologies the more common one found in all brands except one use a dual set of coated electrodes. Calcium gets under and on the coating on the one that is polarized negative and when the polarity is reversed the calcium (which is drawn to that polarity) is thrown off taking a small amount of the coating with it.
Electrodes wear as a result of three things, As hydrogen is a by product it soaks into the electrodes over time making it brittle the other thing is when the calcium flakes off during a reverse polarity it takes part of the coating off as well.
The last part is that electrode voltage will also destroy electrodes. This is one of the most critical things to electrode life.

Hope this helps

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 7:42PM
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