Chlormaker, SmarterSpa, and MegaChlor:
Salt Water Chlorine Generator FAQ
What is a salt water chlorine generator?
Salt water chlorine generators, first commercially used in the 1970s, are devices that use electrolysis on dissolved salt (NaCl) to produce free chlorine. In other words, it uses the chlorine atoms (Cl) from the salt molecules themselves to sanitize your pool and spa. Since the chlorine is directly produced from the salt, any unused chlorine will over time break down back into salt, naturally returning to a safely inert state that can easily be re-electrolyzed back into free chlorine, minimizing waste.
Is it more cost effective than conventional chlorine?
Generally, most spa owners use their tub for six months out of the year and will spend approximately $250 to $350 on traditional chlorination. To operate a spa saltwater system the costs are as follows:
- $400-$500 For a one-time purchase for one of our units: 4 years at 10 operating hours a day
- $2.25 For salt: 40 pound bag is $10, and you would need about 9 pounds a year
- $3.25 For electricity: 7 Watts for 10 hours per day at $0.25 per kilowatt hour
- $10 For acid (pH down), as needed
- Total cost per year: $115.50
All with the added benefits of:
- Softer water from salt system
- Sanitation consistency
- Saved time on weekly maintenance
- Fewer shocks and draining from fluctuating levels
Is there anything I should do before switching to a chlorine generator?
To prevent damage, drain and refill your spa with fresh water and balance the water's pH and hardness, to give your spa a fresh start and to not mix your old sanitizer with your new system. Here are some recommendations based on your former sanitizer type:
● Chlorine: simply rinse out the spa well
● Bromine: rinse out the spa very well and also clean the filter
● Hydrogen Peroxide: clean the spa very thoroughly and replace the filter
Then install your new chlorine generator, add salt, and enjoy the soft water and low maintenance.
What is the salt concentration?
Most of today’s modern salt water pools have a level of 3,000 PPM (parts per million) or higher. ControlOMatic’s spa chlorine generators, on the other hand, use less salt at a more efficient 1,500-2,000 PPM.
We recommend 1.5 pounds of salt per 100 gallons of water, which is about a teaspoon per gallon. If there is too much salt, our unit will automatically pause chlorine production so as not to overtax the power supply.
Note: It is much easier to add salt than to remove it (i.e. drain water), so start low and gradually add more as needed.
For reference on salt PPM:
- Ocean Water – 35,000 PPPM
- Human Tears – 9,000 PPM
- Ability To Taste Salt – 5,000 PPM
- Modern Salt Pools – 3,000+ PPM
- ChlorMaker and SmarterSpa – 1,500 PPM
- MegaChlor – 2,000 PPM
Will it work with my spa size?
The ChlorMaker and SmarterSpa are rated for up to 1,000 gallons (most standard hot tubs and spas), and our MegaChlor is rated for up to 17,000 gallons (swim spas and small pools).
Someone told me Ozone and/or UV treatment is all I need, is that true?
Both Ozone and UV systems require the use of some kind of sanitizing agent like chlorine or bromine, i.e. chlorine generated by one of our systems.
Those systems also tend to be expensive, but they will indeed help to lower the spa’s demand for chlorine, which will allow your chlorine generator to last longer.
Will a salt water chlorine generator corrode my spa?
Our chlorine generators operate at 1,500-2,000 PPM (parts per million), which is nowhere near the concentration that would hurt your spa. For reference, the average human can taste salt starting at 5,000 PPM, which is over double what we use. Also, human tears tend to be at around 9,000 PPM, which is over quadruple.
Corrosion is much more commonly caused by the calcium hardness of your water (200-250 PPM is recommended), and that comes from your water source, not the salt. If you are unsure, you can bring a sample of your water to your local pool or spa store, and they can help you balance your calcium levels.
What is your warranty policy?
All of our products come with a 30-Day Satisfaction Guarantee and a 1-Year Limited Product Warranty. If you are at all unsatisfied with your unit within 30 days, simply return the undamaged product in its original packaging for a full refund.
Our electrodes also have a 7,000 hour lifespan, chlorinating your spa for years to come.
How should I dispose of my old unit when it eventually wears down?
As with any electronic, we ask that you take it to your local, certified E-Waste site, instead of throwing it in the trash.
E-Wastes are also a common local fundraiser, which means you can help your community, your planet, and your taxes all at once!