Why Saltwater?

A question we often get asked is “Why saltwater?”  A lot of people grew up and are accustomed to using Chlorine.  Like many things, innovation is always improving upon the tried and true methods of yesterday.  New methods used in the industry are salt chlorination.  It is still chlorine.  It is just produced by salt as opposed to chemicals.

Traditional chlorine, when combined with swimmer waste and bacteria in the water, create what are called chloramines. Chloramines (also referred to as combined chlorines) are what cause common side effects associated with chlorine such as irritation to the eyes and skin, bleached bathing suits, green hair and that awful chlorine smell. Salt Chlorinators continuously oxidize, or eliminate chloramines, and create pure “Free Chlorine”. With salt chlorination, you will have luxuriously soft, continuously sanitized water without the unpleasant side effects of traditional chlorine.

Salt chlorinators continuously chlorinate your pool’s water automatically. You will no longer have to buy, handle, mix or store chlorine, which saves time and money and keeps you from direct contact with a potentially harmful chemical.

Salt chlorination can save you 50% or more on chlorine costs. Because chlorine is converted back to salt after use, it can be used again to make chlorine. Salt does not wear out, degrade or evaporate. Your pool will have a constant supply of salt to continuously convert into fresh, pure chlorine.

How do Hayward® Salt Chlorination Systems work?

After a salt system is installed and the proper amount of salt is added to the pool, water begins to flow through the salt cell when the pump is turned on. Power is then applied to the salt cell, and electrolytic plates within the cell convert chloride ions into chlorine gas. 

The 100% pure chlorine gas is distributed evenly throughout the water via your pool’s plumbing. After the chlorine does its job fighting algae, killing bacteria, and oxidizing bather waste such as suntan lotions, body oils, etc., chlorine is converted back to salt and the process of turning salt into chlorine happens all over again. The only reason you might need to replenish salt is if you backwash or drain your pool, or after heavy splash out. Even then, replenishment usually is needed only once or twice per year.

Is it less expensive to sanitize pools with a salt system than regular chlorine?

Yes. Sanitizing with salt can save you 50% or more on chemical chlorine costs. Conventional factory-produced chlorine typically costs $2.00-$3.00/lb., and most and these chemical forms (tablets, powders, liquids) are not 100% pure chlorine. With many Hayward Salt Systems, the cost of chlorine made automatically by your salt cell is less than $1.00/lb. The savings add up fast on chlorine costs, plus with the added savings of additional chemicals needed, like algaecides.

How much electricity does a salt chlorinator use?

Hayward Salt Systems use, at most, the equivalent of a standard 150W light bulb, depending on model. Additionally, Salt Systems are typically operated for only a portion of the time that your pump is running, which oftentimes is much less than 24 hours per day.

Is this technology safe?

Yes. All components of Hayward salt systems are independently certified to rigorous standards set forth by the National Electric Code and Underwriters Laboratory. Look for the UL or ETL symbols on our packages.

What kind of salt does it use?

Hayward Salt Chlorinators use the same active ingredient found in non-iodized table salt! It is recommended to buy salt from your pool professional. Pool salt is typically much finer and dissolves more easily. Many other salt mixtures (ionized salt, ice salt) contain other additives which are not good for salt chlorinators. It is also acceptable to use water conditioning salt pellets, however, it will take longer for them to dissolve.

You can purchase salt at most retail pool stores, and many home improvements stores.

DO NOT USE rock salt, salt with yellow prussiate of soda, salt with anti-caking additives, or iodized salt.

How much salt does the system require?

Salt Systems work best with approximately 3200 parts per million (ppm) of salt, which is roughly the equivalent to a teaspoon of salt per gallon. However, all Hayward Salt Systems are designed to operate with salt levels anywhere from 2700 ppm to 3400 ppm. When salt levels are outside this range, our various salt systems provide a means (typically an LED light) to alert you to the need to adjust your salt level.

Will the water taste salty?

Typically not. The water in your pool (with the salt dissolved in it per our recommended levels) meets the definition of fresh water by the EPA. It is vastly different than ocean water-which can have salt levels over 30,000 ppm (or ten times the levels in your salt pool which should be maintained at around 3000 ppm). The salt in your pool is so low, it is highly unlikely you would notice any taste difference from a non-salt pool, however, some people with sensitive palates might detect a small amount. The low concentration of salt is generally below the taste level of most people. Usually individuals don’t begin tasting salt until it is around 4000-5000ppm. Here is a list of typical salt levels in common.

Ocean water – 35,000 PPM
Human tear – 9,000 PPM
Hayward salt pools – 3,000 PPM

Is salt or chlorine the sanitizer in my pool?

Salt is not the chemical sanitizer in pools, chlorine is. Salt chlorinators produce chlorine automatically from salt. Yet the feeling of the water is different because the water is softer and it doesn’t have that harsh chlorine smell. But we can assure you, salt chlorinators produce chlorine to sanitize your pool’s water.

What kind of maintenance do I have to do with a salt chlorination system?

As with any pool, you need to check pH, alkalinity, hardness and chlorine levels on a regular basis. Most pool retail stores will perform this test for you at no charge. Salt, which does not vary much, should be checked regularly also-but this may be every other month or so. Again, many stores will perform this test at no charge. If you are a Do-it-Yourself type, many types of test kits are available for at home use.

Depending on the use of your pool, you may need to adjust your salt chlorinator’s chlorine production to a higher or lower output level to keep the chlorine level where it needs to be. If there have been a large number of swimmers in the pool, if you have had heavy rain or if the pool water is cloudy, you can put the chlorinator into “Super Chlorinate” mode where it will automatically generate the maximum amount of chlorine for the next 24 hour period.

Salt Cells should be inspected for calcium build up about every 500 hours of use (our systems have a “Check Cell” LED light will illuminate every 500 hours to be used as a reminder) and cleaned if necessary. The most convenient time to clean your cell is prior to turning on your salt system at the beginning of the pool season (for people who close their pools).

What is the warranty and how do I get warranty service?

All Hayward Salt Chlorination Systems are backed by an industry best warranty. The warranty period can be 3 years or more in many of our systems. To register your salt chlorinator for warranty, follow this link. For service simply call the Hayward technical service department at 908-355-7995 (Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, EST).


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