When it comes to salt water chlorinators, you’ll frequently hear, “bigger is always better”. No matter what brand you buy, you want to oversize your system. The industry standard is to choose a salt system with a maximum capacity of 1.5 to 2 times the size of your actual pool (ex: for a 20,000 gallon pool, choosing a system that can handle up to 30,000-40,000 gallons max). This isn’t overkill – every pool’s sanitation needs are incredibly variable over time – and more importantly, there are 5 reasons that this is a major benefit to you.
1) Longer Equipment Lifespan
A salt chlorinator’s “cell” is a consumable item. It is the part that does all the work to clean the pool and it gets wear-and-tear as you use it. The bigger your salt system, the longer it will last you because it works proportionately less hard to do the job. You can more easily keep your pool within the ideal 1.0 – 3.0 ppm chlorine level range and the system doesn't have to use all of its resources just to keep up. In other words, you’re able to run it less often and on a lower power setting every day. Your putting less “miles” on your system, and that translates to more years of use that you’ll get out of it.
2) More Power means More Capability
During the peak of the summer is when pool owners often notice that, no matter what you do, you can’t keep up with the pool’s needs – the pool wants to turn cloudy on you at a moment’s notice. With a properly large salt system, you’ll be able to turn it UP to compensate in that situation, because it’s not already having to run near its peak capacity to keep up in the normal times. As mentioned, running your system constantly will decrease its lifespan, but more importantly, a larger system can create more chlorine more quickly when you need it. That means you are more capable to handle pool issues when then arise and fewer headaches for you.
3) Decreased Run Times and Lower Energy Costs
As a rule of thumb, most pools generally need about an hour of run-time for every 10 degrees of temperature outside (ex: running your circulation pump 8 hours when its 80 degrees). In peak summer, a struggling pool may need you to run your circulation pump longer to get enough filtration and sanitation. However, with a larger more powerful salt system, you can sanitize the pool in proportionately less time, which means that many hours less without need to keep the circulation pump on. That directly translates to lower energy bills, minimizing wear on your other pool equipment.
4) Completely Eliminating Chlorine, Algaecide, & Shock
One of the main reasons for having a salt system is to eliminate the most harsh and expensive pool chemicals: chlorine, shock, and algaecide. Why buy the wrong size system and still have to buy & add these chemicals you were trying to avoid in the first place? At some point you’re going to have heavy pool use, peak summer sun and heat, or other pool problems. The best way to completely eliminate the need for any more chlorine, shock, or algaecide is to choose a large enough salt system that has the power to compensate when your pool has worse-than-normal chlorine demand.
5) Stress-Free Pool Care
The main reason to get a salt system is to eliminate the parts of pool care that force you to have the most maintenance and unnecessary spending. Salt systems are meant to give you a great swimming experience and to eliminate all the stress that you had to deal with before. A properly sized salt system will let you enjoy your pool knowing that you’ll have consistently sparkling-clean water, and that you don’t have to worry even when things heat up.
PS… There is another reason why its better to buy a bigger more powerful salt system, and it’s a secret – it’s a better VALUE! You don’t pay twice as much to get double the power. Its usually just a fraction of the cost more, and you’ll be getting longer equipment lifespan, more pool cleaning ability, shorter run times, and you’ll consistently know you don’t have to buy more chlorine or worry about the pool. It’s win-win!