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11 Best Salt Water Pool Systems

February 3, 2021

Owning a swimming pool can be tedious when it comes to maintaining clean pool water. This is where salt chlorinators come in, especially if you don’t like the harsh effects of regular chlorine on your pool, but with several brands and types in the market, it can be hard to decide which is perfect for your pool. 

After hours of reading and researching different salt-chlorinator systems out in the market, we are here to provide you with the best salt water pool systems for your pool.

We found that Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell is the best salt water pool system in the market, especially for in-ground pools, but you might have a different type of pool, so we included reviews for some of the best salt water pool systems for others as well.


 

Here is our selection of the best salt water pool systems:


  1. Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell  (Best Overall Saltwater Pool System)
  2. Circupool SJ-40 Salt Water Pool Chlorine Generator (Best Durable Salt Water Pool System for 40,000 gal. in ground/above ground pool)
  3. Circupool SJ-20 Complete Salt Water Chlorination System (Best Durable Salt Water Pool System for 20,000 gal. in ground/ above ground pool)
  4. Solaxx CLG10A Saltron Salt-Chlorine Generator (Best Easy-to-install Salt Water Pool System for 20,000 gal. in-ground/above ground pool)
  5. Hayward Goldline AQ-TROL-RJ AquaTrol (Best Salt Water Pool System for 18,000 gal. above ground pool)
  6. Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System (Best 2-in-1 Salt Water Pool System for 2,600 to 8,500 gal. above ground pool)
  7.  Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System (Best Salt Water Pool System for 15,000 gal. above-ground pool)
  8. Hayward Goldline PL-PLUS AquaPlus (Best Automatic Salt Water Pool System for 40,000 gal. pools/spas)
  9. Saltron Mini Salt System Drop-In Saltwater Chlorine Generator (Best Drop-in Salt Water Pool System for 2000 gal. hot tubs/swim spas)
  10. BLUE WORKS Pool Chlorine Generator (Best Replacement Model for 25000 gal. pools)
  11. Hayward T-CELL-3 TurboCell (Best Replacement Cell for 15000 gal. pools)


11 Best Salt Water Pool Systems On The Market


1. Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell

This automatic salt chlorinator cell is designed for up to 40,000-gallon in-ground pools. It utilizes a higher level of electrolytic chlorine generation, which continuously recycles the salt during the chlorination, reducing your pool's maintenance requirements. 

It has a reverse cycling and on-time cycling feature that prevents calcium and scale build-up, along with an automatic shut-off feature during low water temperature that prolongs cell life.

This cell uses a tracking feature that lets you know the number of hours the cell life remains in real-time.

This product is also easy to use since it only takes two buttons to adjust the pool's chlorine levels. And for added convenience, it also has an easy-to-view display that will enable you to easily monitor salt levels, cell cleanliness, sanitizer output, and water flow.

Though it requires a Pentair 520556 IntelliChlor Power Center, you can buy this specific power center as well on Amazon.


Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Easy to operate
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Pentair 520556 IntelliChlor Power Center is sold separately


2. Circupool SJ-40 Salt Water Pool Chlorine Generator

This pool salt-chlorinator is compatible with both in-ground and above-ground pools. With its durable titanium salt cell and 5-year warranty, this is undoubtedly one of the most durable salt-chlorinators in the market. It is easy to install and doesn’t require any professional assistance. This also works well with any brand of pumps and filters.

It can maintain up to 40,000 gal. of water under ideal conditions, and it features automatic performance monitoring and works on a wide salinity range. This pool chlorinator is also an effective algaecide and bactericide that maintains your pool bacteria and algae free. Also, with its self-cleaning mode, you won’t need to buy additional acids to maintain and preserve this salt-chlorinator's polarity.


Pros

  • Accurate monitoring
  • Low-maintenance
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Installation cables might be short for your need 


3. Circupool SJ-20 Complete Salt Water Chlorination System

Another product from the Circupool Brand, this salt water chlorinator is a smaller variant of the SJ-40 and is specifically designed for up to 20,000 gal. pools. It is also compatible with both in-ground and above-ground pools. 

This pool chlorinator is manufactured in the USA and is easy to install, you can even do it yourself! In addition to that, this salt-water chlorinator is user friendly and easy to operate!


Pros

  • Accurate monitoring
  • Low-maintenance
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Installation is not easy compared to other products in the list


4. Solaxx CLG10A Saltron Salt-Chlorine Generator

This fully automatic salt-chlorine generator is designed for 20,000 gal. pools. It doesn’t require any plumbing and is easy to install. It features a programmable digital timer that allows you to adjust chlorine output. Besides that, an LED light indicator will enable you to have an easy reference for the salt levels. 

It has a commercial-grade titanium plate that prevents scaling, and the reverse polarity maintains the cell keeping it clean. And with its switch-mode power supply that provides smooth current to the cell, you are guaranteed that this pool chlorinator lasts for a long time.


Pros

  • Easy DIY installation
  • Easy to use
  • Uses low salt concentration

Cons

  • Has lower durability compared to others in this list


5. Hayward Goldline AQ-TROL-RJ AquaTrol

A product from Hayward, a reputable company when it comes to pool equipment. This salt chlorinator is compatible with up to 18,000 gal. above-ground pools. It is easy to install, it only takes approximately 30 minutes to finish installation!

This pool salt chlorinator comes with an integral time clock that controls the pool filtration pump and a selectable chlorinate function that makes it convenient for pool owners to operate. It also features a digital salt display and 7 diagnostic indicators for easy salt level reference.

 

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Produces great water quality
  • Allows multiple pumps per day 

Cons

  • Expensive 


6. Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System

Another product from a well-known manufacturer when it comes to above-ground pools, Intex. This salt chlorinator is specifically designed for above-ground pools with 2,600 to 8,500 gallons capacity. 

It is a 2-in-1 saltwater system and sand filter pump that utilizes E.C.O. saltwater system that combined with the sand filtration provides you a low cost and low maintenance pool system. In addition to that, both systems are automatically controlled with a 24-hour timer that makes it easy to use!

It is easy to install since included with the product is an instructional DVD with everything you need when installing the unit!


Pros

  • Easy DIY installation
  • Utilizes GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter)
  • Comes with 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Pricey


7. Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater System

This Intex Krystal Clear chlorinator is designed for up to 15,000 gal. above-ground pools. Though you might have second thoughts about the price, this saltwater system is cost-effective compared to some chlorinating systems in the market.

It features a unique two-stage technology that uses E.C.O., which guarantees that your pool will be clean and free from packaged pool chemicals' potentially harsh side effects.

It’s redesigned control panel with a display and easy access buttons ensures that this product is user friendly! In addition to that, maintaining this salt water system is easy with its 3 self-cleaning modes.


Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Utilizes GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter)

Cons

  • Requires a pump with a flow Rate between 700 and 3000 GPH


8. Hayward Goldline PL-PLUS AquaPlus

This cost-effective salt chlorination system is designed for up to 40,000-gallon pools/spas. It is fully programmable and user friendly due to its automatic controls.

It has automatic pH and ORP sensors and dispenses a renewable supply of fresh and pure chlorine to control the pH that ensures saving time and money on your pool maintenance.


Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Convenient
  • Provides accurate monitoring

Cons

  • Warranty issues


9. Saltron Mini Salt System Drop-In Saltwater Chlorine Generator

This drop-in salt water system is designed for up to 2000 gal. hot tubs or swim spas. It is easy to install and use; once installed, all you need is to plug it and add salt to chlorinate. No plumbing is required and consumes a low amount of energy.

It utilizes a reliable titanium cell system that ensures this chlorine generator will last a long time. With its built-in timer and controller with LED indicators, you are guaranteed to have an easy adjustment on the chlorine levels.


Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Saves you money
  • Uses low salt concentration

Cons

  • Durability issues


10. BLUE WORKS BLH30 Pool Chlorine Generator

Commonly used as a replacement model, this salt water chlorine system is designed for up to 25,000-gallon pools. This product is compatible with Hayward Goldline Aquarite, SwimPure, AquaRite XL, NatureSoft, SmartPure, Mineral Springs and Blue Essence Systems.

It features a self-cleaning titanium cell that makes regular maintenance easy and guarantees that this product will last. It has salt and temperature indicators that will help protect the equipment from damage.


Pros

  • Fully adjustable chlorine output
  • 2-year full warranty
  • Live customer support

Cons

  • Expensive compared to Hayward T-CELL-3


11. Hayward T-CELL-3 TurboCell

Tested and proven by the National Sanitation Foundation, this replacement cell for all Hayward Turbo cells offers reliable performance for pools up to 15,000 gallons of water. It provides an automatic self-renewing fresh and pure chlorine for maintaining soft, clear, and clean water for your pool.

It provides better chlorination and a better life span than most replacement cells with its Extended Life TurboCell. This product is cost-effective since it cuts your chlorine costs by almost 50%.


Pros

  • Reliable performance
  • Good value for money
  • Hayward GLX-CELLSTAND Cleaning Stand included

Cons

  • Only compatible with Hayward products


Things to Look for When Buying a Salt Water Pool System


1. The Cell

The conversion process of salt to chlorine happens in the cell of a salt water chlorinator. You should ensure that the cell has a durable construction like titanium cells. Aside from that, the cell's compatibility to the chlorinator should be considered like the cell size and the gallon output of your cell should match the chlorinator to have the best experience.


2. Auto-Clean Function

Since maintaining your pool’s cleanliness is as tedious as maintaining your salt water chlorinator system, it is also essential to look for an auto-clean feature for added convenience when maintaining your salt water system. Considering this feature will help you save time and money in maintaining your salt water system since it will reduce the need to remove calcium deposits or other corrosive materials manually by reversing the cell's polarity. Not to mention, all of these happen automatically so don’t have to worry about operating this feature.


3. Chemical Monitoring

For additional convenience, salt water pool systems should monitor certain chemical levels in your pool, like the salt, pH, chlorine levels, etc. Plus you won’t be needing to do manual strip tests since your salt water pool system will do that job for you.


3. Control Pads and Timers

Control pads may be either included or sold separately depending on the model of salt water pool system you are buying. Consider buying systems that have user-friendly and easy-to-use buttons for convenient navigation. Some control pads are even Wi-fi enabled that allows you to operate your system outside from your home. Some of the control pads also have timers that automate the power cycle of the pool pump. It would be best if you considered looking for timers that have a basic dial for convenience.


FAQs


Q: How Does A Salt Chlorinator Work?

A: Salt chlorinators convert salt to chlorine to chlorinate your pool. This process happens when you put salt on the system; the salt water goes to your chlorinator’s cell separating chloride and sodium from your salt by a low-voltage current. Then the chloride turns into chlorine gas by electrolysis. After that, the chlorine passes through your pool’s plumbing system, killing bacteria and algae sanitizing your pool water. Lastly, the salt chlorinator recycles the chlorine, converting it into chloride, combining it with sodium to become salt again, and repeats the cycle.


Q: Which Type of Salt Can I Use On My Salt Chlorinator?

A: Salts can either be iodized or not. Natural salts or non-iodized salts are naturally occurring salts that can either come from the ground or the ocean. At the same time, iodized salts are just salts with iodine added to them. In salt water systems, non-iodized salts or even table salts are preferred since it dissolves in water more efficiently and it contains a high amount of sodium chloride compared to iodized salts. Since salt is corrosive in itself, you wouldn’t want additional additives that could damage your salt chlorinator.


Q: How to Convert Your Pool Chlorinator Into a Salt Water System?

A: Converting your pool into a saltwater system is easy. Since some salt chlorinator systems are easy to install. Draining your pool would not be necessary or any alterations to your current pool’s electrical and plumbing systems unless the salt water system requires you.

After installing your salt chlorinator system, you will need to see how much of salt would your pool need to be sanitized. And to ensure that the pool is sanitized, let the water circulate for a whole day. With that you just converted your pool into a salt water system!


Conclusion

Salt water pool systems offer a lot of convenience for pool owners. It reduces costs and time when it comes to maintaining and sanitizing pools. Selecting one depends on what is compatible for your pool, considering different pool sizes and uses. 

But with all the features and value for money that Pentair 520555 IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell offers, it would be an excellent choice to meet your pool's needs.

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