As humans increase in knowledge, so is the advancement in the use of technology. This has led to an absolute improvement in the way we do our things. Before the era of technology, people are used to the conventional way of pouring chlorine directly into their pool just to get it purified. A process that takes time (especially when you have a large pool) and requires the service of an expert to get it done.
Nowadays, people make use of a system called the salt cell system, a method of water purification that naturally turns salt into chlorine. Compared to the old ways, this method is the best as it requires little or no human effort. However, these cells get stained and people usually find it hard to clean.
Cleaning salt cells with vinegar is a simple but effective way to make the most out of your pool. After all, who would want to swim in dirty pool water, right? But before anything else, there are several important things you should know first when it comes to using vinegar for salt cell cleaning.
What are salt cells
The salt cell is a modern system of chlorination that works by breaking down salt molecules to transform the salts present in the water into chlorine. It is the part of a saltwater pool system that does the plumbing work.
What are salt cells made of
Salt cells are made up of two primary components. The first one is the cell that turns salt to chlorine, and the second one is the control board that allows you to control the chlorine levels.
Do salt cells get stained
Yes, salt cells do get stained; and when they do, it is most likely as a result of pouring salts into the saltwater pool or adding liquid chlorine, garden dirt, or organic stains.
Do salt cell stains come off easily
No, salt cell stains wouldn’t come off easily. Organic stains (which is common with cell salt) are usually hard to clean unless they are treated almost immediately they happen which is usually not the case as people don’t notice until the continuous stain buildup starts to affect the workings of the system.
How often do cell salts need to be cleaned
It is important to know how frequently salt cells need to be cleaned: Leaving them uncleaned for a long time would cause buildup which may affect the purification of your pool water; and if cleaned more too often, it could cause the coating on the pool grid to erode faster.
With that being said, it is quite complicated to determine how often one needs to clean their salt cells because it varies from pool to pool. The key determinant factor when it comes to salt cell cleaning is the hardness of the water in a pool. While some salt cells need to be cleaned at least twice a year, some need to be cleaned every two months.
The best way to figure out what works for you is by checking your pool every two months to see if there is any build-up within your chlorination system.
How do I know when to clean my salt cell
Unfortunately, there are no known formulas to determine when to clean your salt cell; the best you can do is check them every two months as I said earlier. If your salt cell should need cleaning, at this time, stain buildups would have been more noticeable for you to see. Once you see the signs of buildup, it is time for you to clean your salt cell.
Can I clean salt cells with vinegar
Yes, you can clean salt cells with vinegar. Most experts would recommend cleaning calcium deposit stains (especially pool stains) with muriatic acid. A highly corrosive cleaner is stronger than vinegar in acidic content.
Will vinegar damage salt cells
No, vinegar will not damage your salt cell at all. Distilled white vinegar, in particular, is considered an excellent alternative to using muriatic acid, which is another common product used to clean salt cells.
Vinegar is natural and gentle, so you don’t have to worry about it causing any damages to your salt cell. More importantly, vinegar is also very affordable, and you can get it almost anywhere. If you have always wanted to clean your salt cell but you are worried that chemicals will damage it, vinegar is the best solution that you can try so you can have your much-needed peace of mind.
What kind of vinegar is good for salt cell cleaning
Distilled white vinegar is a good kind of vinegar that you can use to clean your salt cell.
Why vinegar is a good option to clean salt cell
Due to the mild acidic property of white vinegar, it can easily remove limescale, calcium, and other kinds of tough buildups from the salt cell of your pool with no need to seek help from a service professional. Using vinegar for cleaning salt cells is not only effective it also lets you save money.
Cleaning a salt cell with vinegar
When you leave the salt cell untidied for a long time, calcium and hard water minerals will start to build up in the salt cell, this may make it less effective and may at some point cause underlying health issues for the swimmers. To avoid this, you must clean your salt cell periodically with any effective cleaner of your choice. In this section, I will be discussing how you can effectively clean your salt cell with vinegar. Follow the steps below for the processes involved.
You will need;
- Distilled white vinegar
- High pressures nozzle
- Flip off the salt cell and disconnect it from the wall socket.
- Remove the salt cell so you can inspect them further. If you discovered the salt cell filter has mineral deposits on it ( it should look white, dry, and flaky) you can proceed.
- Close the salt cell on one side ( preferably the cord side) with a cap.
- Fill up the salt cell with distilled white vinegar and place the cell gently inside an empty bucket.
- Leave the vinegar to sit inside the cell for about 24 hours for effectiveness.
- Dispose of the vinegar in the cell and use the high-pressure nozzle to thoroughly rinse the cell. This should be done for a few minutes.
- Connect the salt cell back to its original position.
How to clean salt water chlorinator cell with vinegar
To clean your saltwater chlorinator in the best possible way, follow the steps below.
- Saltwater chlorinator usually comes with a stand, use the stand to hold the cell with the cord side facing down, and must be erect. A dish or tube should be placed under the cell to collect solution spillage while you pour. Fill up the cell with distilled white vinegar and leave to soak overnight.
- Empty the cell and thoroughly rinse the cell.
- Connect the cell back to its original position and switch it on.
How to clean Intex salt cell with vinegar
Follow the steps below for processes involved in cleaning Intex salt cells with vinegar.
- Switch off and unplug your Intex salt cell from the power source.
- Inspect the cell after detaching it. Proceed to the next steps when you see mineral deposits on the filters that look white, flaky, and dry. Otherwise, return the salt cell to its position and check it after one month.
- Use a cap to close the cord side of your salt cell.
- Fill this up with white distilled vinegar completely and place the cell inside an empty bucket.
- Let the device sit in the bucket for 24 hours to allow the solution to work its magic.
- Empty the cell then use a high-pressure nozzle to rinse it for two minutes.
- Reattach the Intex salt cell to its position.
How to clean Hayward salt cell with vinegar
Follow the steps below to guide you through the processes involved in cleaning Hayward salt
- Switch off the power controlling the system and disconnect the pool pump before detaching the cell.
- Check for scale formation on the plates after detaching the cell. If there’s none, reattach the cell back to its original position. If you can find some deposits, you can proceed.
- Flush off the scale formation on the plates using a high pressured hose.
- If you can still see some stain residue after flushing with the hose, then you can clean it with distilled white vinegar.
- Attach the cell to the cell stand ensuring that the cord side is faced down and fill up the cell with the vinegar and leave to soak overnight.
- Dispose of the vinegar and check if the stain is completely gone. If stain persists, repeat the process until there’s no more stain in the cell. In case there’s no more deposit, rinse thoroughly with the high-pressure hose and fix the cell back to normal position.
How to clean Jandy salt cell with vinegar
- Turn the system off and shut the water supply off. Make sure you keep your face and hands protected with glasses and gloves throughout the process.
- Unscrew the nuts to take out your Jandy salt cell This will also allow you to check if the amount of scale already reached a maintenance level or not.
- Immerse the Jandy salt cell in vinegar for up to 10 minutes.
- Avoid rubbing the coating to prevent any damages to it. Make sure that the connection buttons are not submerged either.
- Use water to rinse off the salt cell properly afterward then dry it completely. Make sure that you don’t leave behind any vinegar on your Jandy salt cell.
- Finish off by reassembling all of the salt cell’s elements. Open the valves then turn the system on. Your Jandy salt cell will be as good as new once again so it can work better in disinfecting your pool.
How to clean Pentair salt cell with vinegar
The steps below are how a Pentaur salt cell can be cleaned with vinegar. Follow the steps for a guide through the process.
- Switch off the salt cell and disconnect completely from the socket.
- Attach the salt cell to the cell stand.
- Pour undiluted distilled white vinegar into the cell and leave it to soak there overnight.
- Dispose of the vinegar and rinse thoroughly afterward.
- Reconnect the salt cell and switch it on.
How to clean pool salt cell with water
You can clean a pool salt cell by following any of the steps highlighted below.
- Test your pool professionally at a local Clark rubber store before you begin this treatment.
- Determine if there are deposits of calcium or other minerals. Turn the power off before touching the cell. Remove it once the power is completely off and inspect it for any mineral deposits.
- If you see any deposits that look dry, white, and flaky, you can now start cleaning the salt cell. Remove any large debris from the cell first if there is any. You can pull them out using your hand as long as they are reachable. Use the garden hose to clean the salt cell. Connect the garden hose to one tip of the unit then let the water run through your pool salt cell. Doing so will let you get rid of most of the random bits trapped inside the cell together with some mineral deposits. Just make sure that you don’t end up wetting the plug because this is not meant to be waterproof.
- Scrape the mineral deposits off. For this step, plastic or wooden tool can be used for removing these unwanted minerals from the salt cell. Just make sure that you scrape gently to ensure that you don’t damage the cell. Also, never use metal because it will easily damage the pool salt cell.
- After removing all the bigger debris and scraping off some of the deposits, you can now clean your salt cell with vinegar. Although there are already ready-made solutions available in the market, you can also try preparing your own. All you have to do is mix the correct proportion of water and vinegar. Make sure that it is neither too concentrated nor too diluted. Mild water and vinegar solution are best used for this.
- Soak the pool salt cell in the water-vinegar solution poured into a container. Let the cell stay throughout the night. Any leftover minerals and debris will be removed by the solution. Just be sure that the wiring at the side of the salt cell is harnessed properly before soaking it. The unit can be immersed to the top of this wiring.
- Grab your garden hose and use it to rinse your pool salt cell the next day. Using the hose might already be enough for removing any loose material remaining on the salt cell. If there are still leftover deposits, you can start over with all the steps until your salt cell is fully cleaned.
Precautions when cleaning salt cell with vinegar
There are several important precautions you need to remember when using the tips above for cleaning salt cells with vinegar:
- Don’t forget to wear your protective gear like a good quality face mask, hand gloves, shoes, and goggles.
- Keep your children and pets away from the salt cell.
- Ensure that you clean your salt cell every two weeks.
- Do the steps above while in an area with proper ventilation.
Bonus; Distilled white vinegar is a mild acidic cleaner and that is why it wouldn’t harm your salt cell and takes hours to get the job done. To effectively clean your saltwater, make use of Muriatic acid as cleaning will take between 15 to 30 at most. However, you must wear protective gloves when cleaning with muriatic acid because of its corrosiveness.