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How to Troubleshoot a Salt Chlorinator

By Justin A. Mann
Keep your pool looking good with a properly working salt chlorinator.

Swimming pools hold a large body of water that is constantly assailed by bacteria and other contaminants. In order to keep pool water clean and safe for swimmers, the water is sanitized regularly. The most common form of pool sanitizer is chlorine. Chlorine is applied to the pool water in a number of ways, including through a salt chlorinator, which converts salt to chlorine that in turn sanitizes the pool. These units have a tube that water passes through and a salt cell that converts the salt.

Examine the salt chlorinator;s display or test a sample of your pool's water for salt content. A yellow glowing light on the display or the word "low" on the display means that the salt level is low and is preventing the chlorinator from generating the correct amount of chlorine. Ensure that the salt level is in the range indicated in your owner;s manual. Each chlorinator requires a different level to run optimally.

Turn off all pool equipment. Unscrew one end of the chlorinator from the plumbing, or unscrew its lid if it is not directly plumbed into the pool. Unplug and remove the salt cell from the chlorinator. Thoroughly clean the cell with a water hose and washcloth until all debris and gunk is removed. Replace the cell and reattach the chlorinator to the pool as needed.

Examine the chlorinator's cables for cuts or severe bends. Replace any severed or bent cables. Remember to turn off all pool equipment while performing this step, and do not attempt to replace electrical cables yourself unless you are a trained electrician.


Things You Will Need

  • Salt testing kit
  • Water hose


  • If after troubleshooting your chlorinator no problems are found, contact a pool professional for a thorough inspection of your equipment.

About the Author


Justin A. Mann has been a freelance writer since 2007. Mann is experienced with computers and all things relating to swimming pools, and he uses his knowledge in these fields to write articles for various websites. Mann is an English major at East Central University.