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How Does a Salt Chlorine Generator Work?

February 11, 2021

In the past few years, salt chlorine generators became more popular since many pool owners prefer this chlorinator compared to a typical chlorinator.

Salt chlorine generators sanitize your pool like your regular chlorinator but without the harsh effects to your skin and clothes by using salt instead of chlorine tablets to produce chlorine. But how does this chlorination work? In this article we will tell you how it happens.

In order to understand how a salt chlorine generator works, we must know what comprises a salt chlorinator. So basically there are only two parts of a salt chlorinator and these are;

The Cell

This is the main part of your salt chlorinator. The conversion of salt into chlorine to sanitize your pool happens in the cell or electrolytic converters. The salt cell commonly has titanium metal plates, which are commonly coated with iridium or ruthenium. The control board charges the plate during the conversion process, which initiates electrolysis that converts the salt into chlorine and vice versa.

Control Board/Panel

The control board is the control system of your salt chlorinator. It serves as the power supply for  the conversion of salt to chlorine. Since it supplies the power/electricity in your cell, this also enables you to control the amount of chlorine that is being applied into your pool.

How Does a Salt Chlorine Generator Convert Salt to Chlorine?

First, we will clarify one thing, salt pools still contain chlorine in contradiction to the belief that using salt water pool systems doesn’t have chlorine. As mentioned earlier, these salt chlorine generators produce chlorine differently by using salt as its main source.

The process begins as soon as you add salt to your pool. Then as the salt water passes through your pool’s circulation, it goes to your salt chlorine generator and enters the salt cell. After that, a low-voltage is directed by the control board/panel into the plates inside your cell; this process initiates the electrolysis wherein salt and water are broken down into hydrogen and hypochlorous acid, a weak acid. This hypochlorous acid kills algae and bacteria, sanitizing the pool water and the hydrogen gas leaves the water in the form of bubbles. Lastly, when the chlorine sanitizes your pool entirely, it will be reverted into salt; thus, the salt is recycled automatically throughout the day.

Here is an informative video about how salt chlorine generator works.


We hope that we answered your question about how a salt chlorine generator works. 

Chlorine generators can be really convenient when it comes to sanitizing your swimming pools and salt chlorine generators can offer a much safer pool water for your skin and clothes. 

If you are interested in salt chlorinator products you can check out our 11 Best Salt Water Pool Systems.

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