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AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators have been in use,
for over 30 years. They incorporate the latest
features, for superior performance and convenience.
Used by homeowners, hotels and resort operators.
Click on any image for Product or Ordering
How to use a
salt chlorine generator, in place of standard
spa chorine products? Salt Chlorine
Generators, also referred to as Salt
Chlorinators, Saltwater Chlorinators or Salt
Chlorination Systems, are actually miniaturized
chlorine manufacturing plants: the same
technology is utilized. The devices are plumbed
in-line and work by electrolytically converting
salt, in the spa or hot tub water, into chlorine
as it passes over specially coated titanium
electrode plates. Salt must be added to the
water prior to start up, as directed.
Thereafter, salt need only be added
occasionally, to replace that lost due to splash
out, pump outs or backwashing. The device
generates Free Chlorine and destroys odorous and
irritating chloramines, as the water passes
through the cell. Chlorine production is
regulated by a controller setting and the
equipment operates in conjunction with the timer
controlling the filter. Properly used, there is
much less sensation of chlorine being present.
The other water analysis parameters must be
maintained, as with any chlorine-maintained spa
or hot tub. It certainly is easy-to-use and
convenient and lends itself to automation. If
problems arise, refer to the
Page, as a source of problem-solving
information, broken down into various
categories. Scroll down the page and click on the linked
or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.
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Problem-Solving Information, in a question and
Spa Salt Chlorine Generator?
A friend of mine has a salt water pool
and seems to have a easy time keeping the chlorine level in
range. Is this technology available for use in a spa? Is it
available as a retrofit or must the spa be ordered that
way? Thanks for the help.
Actually the pool is not a salt water pool. Salt is added to
the pool, but at a fraction of that present in true salt
water. Saltwater chlorinators are available for use in spas
and offer similar advantages: complete elimination of
chlorine chemical products, easy maintenance and improved
water quality - just to name a few. It can be added to an
existing spa. If you are interested in eliminating or
reducing that unpleasant chloramine odor, a Salt Chlorine
Generator is a suitable means of alternative spa water
sanitizing and should be of great interest. I hope that I
have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/21/2011
Alan, thank you! Your website is such
a big help. I am a new owner of a 20'x40' in ground vinyl
lined pool and a 500 gallon spa (separate). This has been a
'night-marish' summer just getting the projects completed
and now I am into the daily maintenance and care of both the
pool and spa. The pool builder set up the pool initially
using stabilized Tri-chlor 3" chlorine tablets administered
by an automatic chlorinator. My pool has an automatic cover
and is closed except when in use. I tested weekly and
unbelievably did not have to add any chlorine tablets the
last 6 weeks of the season! Can this be true? The Cyanuric
acid levels are extremely high and with minimal loss of
chlorine thanks to the cover, my strips were correct as
confirmed by professional analysis. This fall I added a spa
and this dealer insisted on setting up the spa using a 5%
copper product to sanitize the spa. I have been reading many
cons to using copper as a sanitizer, most stating that
copper is an incomplete sanitizer. Being new to this
industry, I feel like the advice that I receive is all about
selling the chemicals. I am looking for a truly impartial
opinion to sanitizing and oxidizing both the pool and spa.
With no consideration to cost, what would you use to
sanitized and oxidize your pool and spa? My region is North
Central West Virginia if that matters. The winters are cold
and the summers are hot. Thank you for your time.
Ted K., 11/12/2010
You would need a magnifying glass to find something that
makes good sense about the use of copper as a spa sanitizer.
I am perplexed that, given all the better possibilities,
copper would be recommended, by any truly knowledgeable,
objective person. Copper is a primarily algaecidal and will
not control the infectious bacteria, that may develop in
spas very quickly. Copper not oxidize the wastes. At the
very least, you should have an ozonator. This will provide
the important oxidation function. A backup sanitizer will be
required and you can use bromine for that purpose. Another
excellent way to sanitize the pool and the spa is with a
salt chlorine generator, which will produce chlorine right
in the spa. There is no need to add a separate oxidizer and
it is highly automated. This is a complete sanitizing
systems. Fewer chemicals to add and store, fewer chemicals
building up and conditions that are less likely to lead to
heater corrosion. Given the chemicals saving, the end result
is quite affordable. I hope that you will find the
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/12/2010
Bromine To Chlorine?
I just order a MINI salt chlorine
generator, from your website store, and have a question..
I'll just use the bromine until it comes, then change out
the water. Any suggestions on how to purge the tub before
using the new chlorine generator? Should I only use chlorine
until then? I'd like to stick to bromine if it's not going
to cause an issue later. Thanks in advance.
Nick W., West End, NC 1/11/2012
So long as there are bromides in the water, the chlorine
produced will convert it to bromine. The chlorine, then
becomes chloride ions. In a outdoor pool, the bromine would
get destroyed much faster than chlorine, which can be
stabilized against the Sun's UV rays. This makes it
necessary to operate the salt chlorine generator at a higher
output, which, in turn, shortens the life of the salt cell.
However, in a spa, that is covered most of the time, there
is no issue with the Sun's UV. You can simply start using
the MINI salt chlorine generator and test, as if bromine is
present. Once the spa is drained, it will be all chlorine,
unless you add sodium bromide.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/12/2012
► Chlorine Or
Which would you recommend, a bromine
generator or a chlorine generator? We are getting a new spa
and like the idea of only changing the water once a year.
Please let us know if you think one or both of these would
be a good choice. We have been told that the salt will wreck
the equipment. Also is one easier on the skin than the
other. Thank you.
Kathy M., 2/21/2010
Not a simple group of questions! You can use a
generator to produce bromine in a spa. A salt chlorination
system should be fully capable of satisfying the sanitary
demands of the spa, while avoiding many of the problems
associated with traditional chlorine spa products. A typical
bromine generator is probably more costly and not
necessarily any better, as a spa sanitizer. There is also
the possibility that sodium bromate will be produced and for
this reason, I suspect, bromine generators have fallen out
of favor. I am not at all sure about the once-a-year water
replacement, as that might fly in the face of common sense.
A lot depends upon your source water quality (calcium
hardness and TDS) and the type of usage that the spa
receives. The spa chemistry should be maintained in a manner
similar to that of a typical chlorine or bromine spa, in
order to minimize corrosive effects and to help assure
optimum bather comfort. I hope that this information proves
helpful Enjoy the spa experience.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/21/2010
Alan, great site, I added you to my
favorites list. I have checked into the various alternative
spa sanitizers such as ozone and ionization and it seems
that I still need to add chlorine or bromine -- perhaps at
some reduced level. It doesn't make as much sense, if I
can't give up the chlorine. If I use a salt chlorine
generator, will I still need to add chlorine?
Fred H., 9/12/2004
Mineral Sanitizers and ionizers are not complete
sanitizers and require a backup. Chlorine or bromine is
usually used for this purpose.
Salt chlorine generators are
complete sanitizing systems and need very little, other than
chemicals to balance the pH and total alkalinity. During
periods of very high bather usage, it may be necessary to
dial up the chlorine output or, at the very worst, add some
non-chlorine shock. If you have a salt chlorine generator
and opt to add SPA FROG, it will provide backup, persistent
sanitation and allow you to the salt chlorine generator at a
lower rate of production. I hope that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/30/2004
Hi there. I have a swim spa and have
used a salt chlorinator system for close to 5 years. It has
been great. The dealer that installed the spa and the
equipment is no longer in business. I think that I need to
replace the salt cell, as I have checked the salt level and
cleaned the electrodes and still chlorine production is
lacking. The control unit seems OK. Are these cells
interchangeable? I'm afraid that I may have a problem
locating a replacement cell, given the age of the unit. Any
Mike F., 5/6/2008
You must use a cell that is equivalent to the one furnished
with the salt chlorinator. Cells differ in terms of the
number and size of the electrode plates. The dealer may not
be around, but you might be to locate a replacement cell.
There are companies the carry replacements cells for most
salt chlorinators. You will find a few
affordably priced salt
chlorine generators for spas, in our
Stuff for Spas Store. You
might be better off replacing the whole unit. Good luck and I hope that I have been
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/6/2008
► How Much
Salt Is Required?
I purchased a spa with the salt water
chlorinator, and received no info for testing. I bought test
strips for salt, but do not know what range the water should
be on the rating. It is showing 2480 ppm on the strip. What
should it be reading to know if it has enough salt in the
water to be sanitizing it? Your help would be appreciated
since I can't get help from spa company.
Cathi R. 12/18/2007
Different salt chlorine generators have different suggested
salt levels, ranging from 2500 to about 4000 PPM. Too much
and it will shorten the life the cell. Too little and it
probably will not produce enough chlorine. Usually the
range is about 500 PPM. You could have enough or be 1000 PPM
low. There is no way for me to know.
Test the salt level and
see where you stand. You should have received a manual
outlined proper operation of the salt chlorine generator.
Try and look for a brand name on the controller unit or cell
and give them a call. If there is none, ask the supplier to
replace the unit with a brand name product. I hope that this
information was helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/18/2007
Editors note: The spa owner was able to find a
manufacturer's name on the salt chlorine generator and was
able to obtain the missing information, that the dealer
failed to provide.
► Salt Chlorine Generator For A Spa?
I found your topics discussing
chlorine generators in spas. Could you please provide me
with some brand names/models or sites that list them? Thanks
Scott M., 10/17/2009
Salt chlorine generators can be used with spas. Smaller salt
chlorine generators work well in a spas and hot tubs. You
will find several,
affordably-priced salt chlorine generators for spas, in
our Stuff for Spas
Store. It is the better way to do chlorine and eliminate the
odor, handling and storage problems. Good luck and I hope
that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/18/2009
Chlorinator And Need To Shock?
I recently added a salt generator to
my hot tub because I was developing a skin rash from using
chlorine. Bromine, which I also tried, wasn't any better. My
water was not contaminated, as a skin rash might suggest. I
maintain the water religiously. The salt generator has been
a savior and no more rash. With a salt generator, do I still
need to shock the water every now and then? Thanks in
advance for taking the time to answer my question.
Marc S., Canada, 1/2/2007
A salt chlorine generator should meet the basic needs for
sanitizing your spa. Most likely, you were sensitive to the
irritating and odorous forms of combined chlorine and the
salt chlorine generator should minimize their presence. Once
a month, it might be a good idea to turn up the setting and
produce a high 5 PPM level for an overnight period. This
helps prevent resistant microorganisms from getting started.
Otherwise, shocking should not be required, unless you see a
loss of water quality or the free chlorine level has
bottomed out. If you have an ozonator, run it along with
the salt chlorine generator. It will allow you to favor the
low end of the 1-3 PPM range, reduce the chlorine presence,
make pH control easier and extend the life of the salt cell.
I hope that this information proves helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/2/2007
► Just Adding
Hi, I have a small spa that I manually
add chlorine to. Can I convert to salt and manually add it
like I do the chlorine now? Will salt affect the motor etc.?
Paul, Flagstaff, AZ, 3/15/2006
Spas and pools that are using a "salt system" don't just add
some salt. You need some equipment and about 2500-3500 PPM
of salt added to the water. The equipment (salt chlorinator)
converts the salt into chlorine. More information, on
Chlorinating Systems, is available. I hope
that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/15/2006
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