Swimming pool water maintenance is one chore that never seems to have an end for every pool owner. From clearing out debris to keeping the water bacteria and organisms free, there never seems to be an end to it all.
One way pool owners have been found to reduce the overall pool maintenance is by having saltwater swimming pools maintained by salt water chlorinators.
Salt water pool chlorinators are devices that convert sodium chloride, the normal table salt, into hypochlorous acid or chlorine output. Using a salt chlorinator system instead of the typical liquid chlorine is much safer as the resulting chlorine output rids the pool of algae and bacteria, keeps the swimming pool sparkling clean, and without that harsh chlorine smell.
As a new wave of pool maintenance, many are still unsure of the best salt water chlorinator to choose and that is why this piece is here for guidance.
Top 3 Recommendations
Best Overall – Pentair 520554 IntelliChlor IC20 Salt Chlorine Generator
Runner Up – Intex- Krystal Clear Saltwater System
Best pool sanitizer – Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Chlorine Generator
The Best Salt Water Chlorinator Reviews for 2022
1. Pentair 520554 IntelliChlor IC20 Salt Chlorine Generator – Best Salt Water Chlorinator
As a renowned brand when it comes to pool and spa equipment and products, Pentair products are nothing short of high-quality and high-functionality with a special touch of always meeting the consumer requirements.
It is no surprise then that one of the toppers on the list of best salt water chlorinators is the Pentair 520554 IntelliChlor IC20 Salt Chlorine Generator.
As an advanced predecessor to the 520555 models, the Pentair 520554 IntelliChlor IC20 offers a salt chlorinator featuring an easy-to-read display designed for quick and easy checks on the salt level, cell cleanliness, sanitizer output, and water flow of your chlorinator, invariably all performance data required.
This is furthermore combined with an easy adjustment feature that allows you to quickly make necessary adjustments, with relation to your chlorine production by pressing just two buttons on the display panel featuring a five sanitizer output level.
In addition to adjustments, the 520554 model allows its users to set the hours of operation alongside cell cleaning cycles for easy recollection and to avoid missing the targeted schedule that could hinder getting your pool sanitized properly.
The Pentair 520554 IntelliChlor also features an automatic shut-off with on-time cycling features all encased in a waterproofed composition to ensure the long-lasting performance of the unit under low water temperature conditions, and prevent calcium build-up.
As a perfect model for small pools with up to 20,000 gallons, the product produces up to 1.70 pounds of chlorine every 24 hours.
- Easy-to-read display
- Offers all required data
- Provides an easy adjustment and schedule feature
- Built to last
- Adequate for different pool types.
- Requires additional IntelliChlor power center
2. Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System – Best Worth for the Money
You are on a budget and want to generate chlorine with the best salt system that is worth every penny, then the Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater system is a prime choice amongst saltwater chlorinators to consider.
On its part, the self-cleaning Intex Krystal Clear model is suitable for small above-ground pools with up to 15,000 gallons of water. Powered with Electrocatalytic Oxidation designed to provide your pool with the cleanest, smoothest, and most eco-friendly pool water, the model produces up to 0.63 pounds of chlorine per day.
Unlike the Intex Krystal Clear and Saltwater sand filter pump system which is both a saltwater system and a sand filter pump, the Intex Krystal Clear system is solely a salt chlorinator.
Its sleek and compact case features a control panel that allows for automatic operation with a 24-hour automatic timer.
The model also utilizes indicator lights to show when there are issues with the salt level, or when there is a need for maintenance.
The control panel also includes a boost mode for a deeper cleaning process and also features a plug-in option. Plus for assured quality, there is a 2-year warranty on the product.
- Designed to offer clean, smooth, and safe pool water
- Compact and sleek design
- Useful features with a functional control panel
- Easy to set up
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Suitable only for small-sized pools
3. Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator – Best Installation
One of the main factors to consider when purchasing a salt water chlorinator is the ease of installation as some salt water chlorinators often require extra cost to install and set up which can be a hassle.
Fortunately, the Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 is amongst the best salt water chlorinators on the market thanks to its easy installation process.
The model is an eco-friendly one designed with large threaded unions that allow for easy installation and replacement of the cell.
Designed to automatically generate pure chlorine when saltwater passes through the salt cells, the model offers a purer form of chlorine ideal to sanitize a large pool with up to 40,000 gallons of pool water in it with a 1.40 pounds of chlorine output per day.
In addition to its output capacity, the Pentair 520555 IC40 model features a built-in control display panel with an easy-to-read display and LED indicators that display all necessary data.
Also as an Eco select product, the salt chlorinator is designed to save energy, conserve water, and reduce noise while functioning appropriately to deliver safe clean water for your swimming pool.
- Fast and easy installation and replacement
- Produces very clean pool water
- Perfect for large saltwater pools
- Features a versatile control panel
- Easy adjustments and setting
- The IntelliChlor Power center is sold separately
4. Circupool CORE35 Salt Chlorinator System – Best Easy Operation
Operating a salt water chlorinator for a salt water swimming pool can be a hassle sometimes as you need to understand multiple bits of scientific information to be able to operate the chlorinator properly.
This is where Circupool CORE35 salt water chlorinator comes in with its easy operation feature that makes getting your swimming pool clean an easy chore.
Designed to automatically clean the swimming pool with premium controls, the Circupool CORE35 model makes operation a breeze. As an ideal model for inground pools, the self-cleaning Circupool CORE35 is capable of automatically cleaning and purifying up to 35,000 gallons of water with ease.
Featuring a compact design, the product is super easy to install featuring an easy DIY installation with no extra cost or help needed.
Built to be environmentally conscious, it utilizes an extremely low table salt level to produce 2.3 pounds of chlorine daily.
Finally, CircuPool offers unlimited expert customer support with an 8-years limited warranty that backs up its USA Titanium cell for added quality assurance.
- Easy and reliable operation
- Easy to install
- Sturdy and durable construction
- A great choice for larger inground swimming pools
- Comes with an 8-year limited warranty
- A bit pricey
5. Circupool® Universal40 Saltwater Chlorinator – Best for Large Pools
Owners of commercial-sized swimming pools or homeowners with large salt water swimming pools in need of the ultimate chlorinator for their pool would find the Circupool® Universal40 the ideal large pool water chlorinator.
Made with titanium cells, this saltwater chlorinator is the perfect choice to purify and sanitize large pools of up to 40,000 gallons of swimming pool water.
As an easy replacement for any size of Hayward Goldline AQ Trol, Swimpure Plus, and others, the model utilizes a little volume of table salt to deliver up to 2.1 pounds of chlorine on a daily basis to keep your swimming pool clean and healthy.
Also, the self-cleaning salt water chlorinator features a view-through window to view the vitals of the salt water pool chlorinator without the need to open the door to the unit.
In addition to the display capacity, the Circupool® Universal40 salt water chlorinator features easy DIY installation and is compatible with old systems.
Plus, you get to enjoy a 4-years limited warranty on the product with unlimited expert customer support.
- Perfect salt water chlorinator for large pools
- Compatible with a variety of new and old models
- Easy display and monitoring features
- Optimum cleaning capacity
- Offers a 4-year limited warranty
- A bit expensive
6. BLUE WORKS Salt Water Pool Chlorine Generator System BLSC Chlorinator – Best for Small Pools
Oftentimes it’s easier to find saltwater chlorinators for larger pools than it is to find salt water chlorinators for smaller pools, it is for this reason that BLUE WORKS designed a unique water chlorinator to cater to the purifying needs of the smaller guys.
The BLUE WORKS BLSC Salt Water chlorinator is designed to cater to the chlorine needs of small pools with up to 15,000 gallons of water with a salinity level of 3400 PPM by providing them with clean, non-irritant and safe water for your pool.
Featuring titanium cell plates provided by a USA manufacturer, the self-cleaning water chlorinator is a suitable replacement for a variety of salt water chlorinator models like Hayward Goldline Aq Trol, NatureSoft, SwimPure, SmartPure, Mineral Springs, AquaRite XL, and Blue Essence Systems.
With a smart chlorinator program, the model makes the entire process a breeze with a control panel that indicates high/low salt level indicators as well as high/low-temperature indicators to protect the unit and ensure it functions optimally. And you can observe the readings of the pool through a look-through window without having to open the door of the unit.
In addition, installation is easy and hassle-free for the DIY as the setup of the model requires very little work. And as a self-cleaning water chlorinator, regular maintenance will be an easy task.
Finally, you get to enjoy a 2-year warranty on the product which of course boosts the quality assurance of the product
- Ideal for smaller pools
- An easy replacement for a wide range of brands
- Optimum salt level
- Features a smart chlorinator program
- Installing the model is easy
- Not suitable for bigger pools
7. Hayward W3AQ-TROL-RJ AquaTrol Salt Chlorination System – Best for Above Ground Pools
As a prerequisite for choosing a salt water chlorinator, knowing the right pool type helps choose the perfect chlorinator for your pool.
It is with this in mind that Hayward developed the Hayward W3AQ-TROL-RJ AquaTrol chlorinator for above ground swimming pools.
Ultimately designed to cater for above ground swimming pools with up to 18,000 gallons of water, the model automatically converts table salt in very little time to chlorine to make for soft silky feel water.
The Hayward W3AQ-TROL-RJ AquaTrol chlorinator comes coupled with a Hayward TurboCell Salt Chlorination Cell (T-CELL-5), straight blade line cord, return jet fittings, and an outlet. All these components are easily set up in a manner of minutes, in as little as 30 minutes.
For its controls, the model dons an easy-to-use digital display that allows its users to adjust the chlorine output level to the desired level and also gives access to seven other diagnostic metrics to follow up with the performance of the chlorinator and to ensure that your swimming pool has the cleanest and clearest water at all times.
- Suitable for above ground swimming pools
- Easy and quick installation
- Perfect chlorine results for clean, soft, and silky water
- Easy to program
- Provides a variety of data for optimal performance
- Only suitable for above ground pools
8. Saltron Mini Salt System Drop-In Saltwater Chlorine Generator – Best for Hot Tubs and Spa
Hot tub and spa owners are also not left out of the salt water chlorinator goodness, and to that effect, the Saltron Mini Salt System Drop-in chlorinator offers the best of the salt wonders to the much smaller pool sizes.
Knowing how difficult finding a suitable chlorinator for a tub or spa can be, Saltron specifically designed this mini system to provide soft and silky water without having to run a huge unit.
Designed to convert any hot tub to a salt water system the Saltron Mini Chlorinator effectively converts very little salt (less salinity than that found in tears) to chlorine for tubs and swim spas with up to 2,000 gallons of water.
Saltron Mini Chlorinator also uses a reverse polarity process to ensure quality and low maintenance of the model in the long run.
The mini chlorinator is super easy and quick to install. It works by plugging in the controller above ground and out of the water while the titanium chlorinator cell is immersed into water. Due to its size, the mini chlorinator uses an ultra-low energy consumption level allowing you to power the cell with very little energy expended.
Also for easy control, the model features a built-in timer/controller with an LED indicator that displays all the levels of intensity of chlorination that the model has to offer. And of course, you get a 1-year warranty on the product.
- Perfect for hot tubs
- Does not require a pump
- Easy and quick installation
- Uses reverse polarity for maintenance
- Simple and functional controls
- Not suitable for large pools
9. BLUE WORKS Saltwater Generator Chlorinator – Best for Large Inground Pools
BLUE WORKS is widely known for manufacturing a wide range of products that meet various individual demands without leaving anyone out. And just as the brand manufactured a model for smaller pools, it also made sure to cater to the larger in-ground pool type.
The BLUE WORKS BLH40 Salt chlorinator is designed to cater to the chlorine needs of inground pools that are larger than the average-sized pool with up to 40,000 gallons of water. With a salinity level of 3400 PPM, the model ensures that there is enough chlorine to provide you with clean, clear, non-irritant, and safe water for your pool.
In terms of compatibility, BLUE WORKS is a suitable replacement for a variety of chlorinator models like Hayward Goldline AquaRite, Mineral Springs, NatureSoft, Blue Essence Systems, SwimPure, SmartPure, and AquaRite XL.
For operations, the chlorinator features a smart chlorinator program with a control panel that indicates a high/low salt level indicator with a high/low-temperature indicator to protect the unit and optimal functionality.
The control panel is housed in a clear cell housing and for better observation of the readings of the pool, there is a look-through window that allows for that without having to open the door of the unit.
The model is a self-cleaning one designed to make maintenance less of a struggle at the end of the day, and in terms of installation, you can enjoy a simple and stress-free process since the product is a DIY setup.
As the ultimate chlorinator for commercial-sized large pools, the BLUE WORKS BLH40 Salt chlorinator is amongst the top 10 best chlorinators from 2018-2020 by Ezvid Wiki, and to confirm that quality assurance, you get to enjoy a 2-year warranty on the product.
- Perfect choice for large-sized pools
- Offers replacement for a variety of chlorinator models
- Easy to operate smart chlorinator program
- Maintenance is easy with its self-cleaning feature
- Easy installation with a 2-year warranty on the product
- Not suitable for smaller pool sizes
How do salt chlorinators work?
Saltwater chlorinators work by converting sodium chloride which is found in table salt to produce chlorine. through electrolysis.
The process occurs when water runs through the salt chlorine generator cell that contains blades covered with iridium or ruthenium alongside a control board designed to provide electrical charges for the conversion.
Once the water runs through the salt cell the salt molecules are split in the water and the result is the creation of hypochlorous acid or chlorine output.
A salt water system consists of a power supply to generate power, a control box, a salt cell where the table salt is converted, and a flow sensor.
How long do salt water chlorinators last?
The average lifespan of a salt water chlorinator is between 3-7 years.
As an electronic device, the salt chlorinator system as a whole would require maintenance and with constant functionality, its output capacity would dwindle over time.
One way to ensure that a salt chlorine generator cell lasts longer is by using proper table salt, the non-iodized salt type, and proper and adequate maintenance.
What size of salt chlorinator do I need?
The size of a salt chlorinator system actually varies depending on the size of the pool, pool water, and the quantity of chlorine demand it’s designed to work with and meet.
In that case, most pool owners choose salt water chlorinators with a maximum capacity that is 1.5 – 2 times the actual pool size.
And for in-ground pools, there is a formula to know the approximate maximum size needed based on the shape and measurements of the pool. For instance, for a rectangle in-ground pool, the formula is length x width x average depth x 7.5. Using this formula, you can have a better idea of what you need.
How often should I run my saltwater chlorinator?
The run time of the saltwater chlorinator varies based on factors such as pool size, filtration system size, pump horsepower, and resistance to flow.
Keeping all these in mind, on average, your salt chlorination system should run at least every 12 hours or twice a day.
Which salt water chlorinator is the best?
Based on reviews and findings and in accordance with the work of this article, the best salt water chlorinator is the Pentair 520554 IntelliChlor IC20 Salt Chlorine Generator cell.
As a renowned brand, Pentair offers the best products, and its salt chlorination system is highly recognized because of its availability in different sizes and quality-built units. Again the model offers an enormous amount of data to its users in an easy-to-read display and also makes adjustments and scheduling easy.
Salt chlorination system type
Invariably, saltwater pool systems come in different types. These are:
The standard salt system requires the salt cells to be removed monthly and soaked in acid and water to dissolve the resulting calcium buildup from the chlorination production.
The Self-cleaning salt chlorine generator carries out the salt cell cleaning cycles by reversing its polarity regularly to deter calcium buildup.
The built-up pH control chlorinator is a new model being developed that automatically detects the pH levels in the swimming pool and in case the levels are not balanced, it automatically corrects the pH level by adding acid. This model would definitely reduce a lot of stress.
Finally, there is the power backup timer chlorinator designed to store all its settings on the backup timers in case of a power outage. With the backup feature, the chlorinator can easily decipher where there is a problem and when the water flows normally.
The first step to getting the best salt water chlorinator for your pool is to understand that every pool type requires a different model of the saltwater chlorinator.
While some models work better for above ground pools, others work better with inground pools. The same goes for hot tubs and spas. The best thing to do before purchasing one, therefore, is to read the product information made available to ensure that the model you choose will fit perfectly with the chlorine production demands of your swimming pool water.
Pool size and capacity
Knowing how big your swimming pool is, and the average volume of water your pool requires goes a long way in the accurate choice of a saltwater system.
Each saltwater system comes with a recommended pool capacity meaning that they are each designed to meet chlorine demands of certain pool sizes and capacities. For this, you can find a salt chlorination system designed for larger pools with about 45,000 gallons capacity and some for mid-sized and small pools with 20,000 – 30,000 gallons of water capacity.
Chlorine power and salinity range
Chlorine power indicates the total chlorine production or the total chlorine generated by the system. Although the amount of chlorine each pool requires depends on its size, the volume of water, and other factors, many pool owners prefer to have low chlorine levels.
This is to avoid any form of irritation like eye or skin, damage to swimming pool liners and attires, and also to avoid having any strong chlorine smell while keeping the pool clean.
Salinity range on its own is about the salt levels due to the salt water chlorinator effect and the range is measured in parts per million.
Knowing that the higher the salt levels, the saltier the water will be it is advisable to keep the range low at about the range of 3,000ppm to avoid any form of irritation.
To ensure low chlorine power and salinity range, look out for salt water generators designed to produce low ranges to keep your pool sanitized and healthy.
Being a complex electronic device does not mean that its installation process must be complex too.
Although each design is installed differently, it is best to go for those that offer easy installation to reduce stress and even the need to spend extra on installation.
Also, consider the space necessary for installation. Chlorine generators come in different sizes and shapes which also affect their setup process.
Ensure you have the necessary space to fit the chlorinator as well as have an idea if you’ll require extra plumbing and accessories before purchase.
The first thing you need to know is that there is a saltwater pool system out there to keep your pool clean and sanitized. You must therefore decide on the amount you are willing to spend on the best salt water chlorinator for your swimming pool.
Always note that these chlorinators don’t come cheap but there is one for every budget. Outline what you need in a chlorinator system, match it with your budget and you’ll find the best one for yourself.
Warranty and maintenance
An extra assurance on the quality of the chlorinator you wish to buy goes a long way since many hope to have their chlorinator system running for a long time. Look out for models with the best warranty as they are often pointers of the quality and durability of the product.
Maintenance-wise, once you’ve installed your salt water chlorinator there is very little you require to keep it running, and luckily there are some low maintenance models that require very little attention. Choosing low-maintenance models would definitely save you some trouble and extra costs in the long run.
Whether you are into salt water pools with a saltwater chlorine generator or you have a regular swimming pool with a chlorine system, there is no doubt that having a salt water chlorinator is a big step to having a healthy swimming pool.
With endless advantages which include minimal maintenance, reduced exposure to dangerous pool chemicals, softer water, eco-friendly, and quite affordable.
Having one of the best salt water chlorinators for your swimming pool will go a long way to ensure longevity for your pool and your health, plus all the salt water chlorinator posted here is proof of the wonders these chlorinators can do. So what are you waiting for?