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How Does a Salt Water Pool System Work?

How a Salt System Operates

Salt systems have three main


The first
component is plain old salt.  You have to have a minimum level of
about 3000 parts per million of salt in the pool water.  Salt
makes the water conductive so that the electricity can pass between
the plates in the cell.  If the salt level goes too low, then the
chlorine production simply stops.  Salt is also the raw material
from which the chlorine is produced.

Control Box

control unit is a device that sends power to the salt cell.  The
unit controls how much chlorine is produced by regulating how long the
power is applied to the cell.  If you turn the control knob way
down, then the unit might apply power to the cell only 25% of the
time, thereby producing less chlorine.  If you turn the control
knob up, then the unit would apply power to the cell for a longer
period of time.  The amount of power applied to the cell does not
increase or decrease. 

The control
unit will often sense the level of salt in the pool and indicate the
need to add more salt.

cleaning units
have a feature
built into the unit that reverses the polarity of the voltage through
the cell in order to clean any scale buildup off of the cell plates.

Salt Cell

salt cell is a series of
plates with opposite charges in a cell. 
As the water passes between the plates, electrolysis takes place,
releasing the chlorine in the salt. 


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salt systems