How To Properly Size Your Salt Chlorine Generator
Choose a salt pool system that will meet your pool's needs.
A saltwater chlorine generator makes life so easy that you often forget it’s there. Once you get it set up, it keeps the swimming pool sanitized every day and works automatically with your circulation pump. The most important step in getting your saltwater pool set up and operating smoothly is choosing a properly sized the saltwater chlorine generator. What many people don’t realize is that the amount of sanitation your pool needs is unique to your environment and use – and – it can vary greatly over the course of the swim season. During the peak of the summer, with heavy sun and hot pool temperatures, pools have a high chlorine demand, requiring as much as twice the amount of chlorination, or more. The amount of swimmers, the amount of organic matter that finds its way into the pool, the chemical balance – all of these things are always changing, and you need to be able to compensate. So you need to have a salt system that has plenty of extra power for those periods of peak demand. If you undersize your system, you may have issues maintaining a good chlorine level (which can be frustrating).
Your Pool Size vs. Maximum Capacity
When you look at the description of saltwater chlorine generators, you’ll see that they are listed in terms of “max capacity”, or how many gallons the system can sanitize running constantly at peak operation in ideal circumstances. The swimming pool industry decided a long time ago to use this specification, but it sometimes can cause confusion. These numbers are *maximum limits*, not guaranteed size ranges. Given that your pool’s chlorine demand can have such variation, most pool owners will want to choose a salt chlorinator with a maximum capacity 1.5 times to 2 times your actual pool size. For example, you may want to choose at least a 30,000 gallon max capacity system if you have a 20,000 gallon pool (1.5x more). This will help ensure sufficient chlorine levels, cause your system to not work as hard (and last longer), and allow you to have a stress-free beautiful pool.
"Choose a maximum capacity 1.5 times to 2 times your actual pool size."
The real sizing secret? Look at the system's "Chlorine Output" spec. That is how much power it actually has to keep the pool clean.
More Power means More Capability
Another reason to have a properly sized salt chlorine generator is so that you can deal with potential problems more easily. For Example, when you have a day of heavy activity in the pool, such as a pool party, you would want to super chlorinate the pool to get it back to crystal clear and sparking. If your salt system has plenty of extra capacity (i.e. it’s not already working at full power just to keep up on a normal basis), then you will have the ability to temporarily boost the system’s power and quickly deal with a pool that is on the verge of getting cloudy. (Doing this after a heavy storm is another good example).
Below are a number of factors that will cause your pool to require more chlorination / sanitation. The more of these that your pool has or is prone to, the bigger the salt system you’ll want.
- The chemical balance of the pool
- The size of the swimming pool
- The average amount of swimmers
- The maximum amount of swimmers you might have at one point
- The amount of young swimmers you might have
- The climate you’re in – high temperatures require more sanitation
- The amount of rain your area gets
- The amount of sunlight the pool gets
- The amount of shallow areas in the pool (those areas soak up more sun)
- The amount of trees nearby and leaves that get in the pool
- The proximity of lawn & garden areas nearby (debris, clippings, fertilization)
- The amount of dirt that gets tracked into the pool
- The amount of dust that gets blown into the pool
- The amount of pets or other animals the get in the pool
- The proximity of farming or ranching in your area, up to 30-50 miles
- And much more…
As mentioned numerous times above – size is important, and BIGGER IS BETTER! If you only look at one spec when sizing your salt chlorinator, look at its “chlorine output” – that is the amount of power it has. Buy the most powerful system for your budget. It’s a better value, it will last you that much longer, and it will ensure a worry-free experience.Choose your Saltwater Pool System