One of the most important things I have to do to keep my pool clean and in good shape is to clean the pool salt cell. Over time, scale and mineral layers can build up on the cell, making it less effective and making it harder to make chlorine. I have found a good way to deal with this problem: use muriatic acid. By carefully following a few steps, I was able to get my pool salt cell back to its best state, which will keep the water clear all season.
In this blog post, I’ll show you how to use muriatic acid to clean the salt cell in your pool. I’ll give you full instructions and tips on how to do the job, from getting the materials you need to safely handle the acid and doing the cleaning. Remember that keeping your pool’s salt cell in good shape is important for how well your pool’s chlorine generator works as a whole. Let’s dive in and find out how to do that!
Steps to Use Muriatic Acid to Clean Your Pool Salt Cell
For your saltwater pool to work well, you need to make sure the salt cell is clean and working well. Scale and mineral layers can build up on the cell plates over time, causing them to work less well and possibly need expensive repairs. One good way to clean the salt cell in your pool is to use muriatic acid. But you must be careful when handling this strong acid to keep yourself safe. Now, I will show you step-by-step how to use muriatic acid to clean the salt cell in your pool, and we will explain each step in detail.
Step 1: Get ready
Before you start cleaning, make sure you have all the safety gear you need. This includes rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator mask to keep the dangerous fumes of muriatic acid from getting into your lungs. Also, make sure you work in a place with good airflow, ideally outside.
Step 2: Shutting down the pool gear
Turn off everything in the pool, like the pump and salt chlorinator, so nothing bad happens. This step is very important because it stops any water from going through the cell while it is being cleaned.
Step 3: Take the Salt Cell Out
Find the salt cell in your pool’s system next. Usually, it is put in the pipeline after the filter and before the return jet. Once you find it, carefully pull the cell away from the pipes. Depending on the type, you may need to unscrew it or use clamps to get it off.
Step 4: Getting the Cell Clean
Once the salt cell has been taken out, rinse it well with clean water. This helps get rid of any dust or small dirt that may have built up on the surface. Use a garden hose to spray water slowly on both sides of the cell, making sure to get rid of any dirt or dust that you can see.
Step 5: Make the solution of muriatic acid
Now, make the muriatic acid solution that will be used to clean the salt cell. Fill a plastic bucket or container with water, allowing enough space to add the acid. To avoid splashes or dangerous reactions, you must add the acid to the water and not the other way around. Follow the advice from the manufacturer for the right amount of acid to water. Most of the time, muriatic acid and water should be mixed at a ratio of 1:10 or 1:20.
Step 6: Let the Salt Cell Soak
Place the salt cell carefully in the prepared muriatic acid solution and make sure it is fully covered. Give the cell about 15 to 20 minutes to soak. Don’t leave the cell in the acid solution for too long, because it could hurt it.
Step 7: Give the Cell Plates a Brush
After the soaking time, gently scrub the cell plates with a soft-bristled brush or a brush made just for cleaning salt cells. Pay close attention to getting rid of any scale or mineral layers that have formed on the surface. Be careful not to scrub too hard, because that could hurt the thin layer on the cell plates.
Step 8: Washing the Salt Cell
Once the cell plates have been cleaned well, take the salt cell out of the muriatic acid solution and rinse it well with clean water. Again, use an outdoor hose to wash away all of the acid and dirt.
Step 9: Take a look at the cell
Take a moment to look closely at the salt cell. Look for any scales or crystals that are still there. If you see spots or buildup that won’t come off, you may need to repeat the cleaning process or think about using a cleaner made just for salt cells.
Step 10: Putting the Salt Cell back in
Once you’re sure that the salt cell is clean, it’s time to put it back on the water system. Make sure that all of the connections are tight and safe. Check the manufacturer’s instructions twice to make sure you’re doing it right, and then follow them to the letter.
Step 11: Turn on the equipment for the pool
After putting everything back together, turn on the pump and salt chlorinator. This lets the water move through the salt cell again and start the process of chlorination.
Step 12: Regular Maintenance
It is important to do regular upkeep on your salt cell so that it doesn’t build up too much scale in the future. This means keeping an eye on the cell for signs of scale, changing the salt levels in your pool, and making sure the water balance is right. The best way to keep the cell in good shape is to clean it at least once every three to six months, or as the maker suggests.
When dealing with muriatic acid, remember that safety is the most important thing. Always follow the directions from the manufacturer, wear safety gear, and be careful when handling the acid. Talk to a professional pool expert if you aren’t sure about any step of the process or have questions.
Other Ways to Do It
There are a few different ways you can clean the salt cell in your pool if you don’t want to use chemicals. The effectiveness and ease of use of these methods can vary, so it’s important to choose the one that fits your wants and preferences the best. Here are five other options you can think about:
Method 1: A solution of vinegar
Using a vinegar solution instead of muriatic acid to clean your pool’s salt cell is a safer and less damaging choice. Acetic acid, which is found in vinegar, helps get rid of mineral buildup and scale. Even though it isn’t as strong as muriatic acid, it can still be used to get rid of light buildup. To use this method, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a container, soak the salt cell in it for about 30 minutes, then scrub it gently with a brush and rinse it well.
Method 2: A solution of citric acid
You can also use citric acid, which is found in many common items, to clean the salt cell in your pool. It is a natural acid that can get rid of mineral buildup and scale. To use this method, mix citric acid powder or crystals with water to make a citric acid solution. Follow the directions from the manufacturer for the right concentration. Soak the salt cell for about 30 minutes in the solution, scrub it gently, and then rinse it well.
Method 3: Pool Salt Cell Cleaning Tablets
Pool salt cell cleaning pills are made to get rid of deposits and scale from salt cells. Most of the time, these pills have a mix of chemicals that break up mineral buildup. To use this way, put the tablets in the skimmer basket or dissolve them in a bucket of water as directed by the manufacturer. Let the tablet or fluid move through the cell for as long as it says to, then rinse well.
Method 4: Clean with high-pressure water
Using high-pressure water to clean the salt cell plates can help get rid of scale and deposits that are hard to move. For this method to work, you need a pressure washer or an attachment for a hose that has enough power. Carefully spray water on the cell plates, paying special attention to the areas where you can see buildup. For full cleaning, use a back-and-forth motion. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the cell plates, because that could damage the thin layer on them.
Method 5: Store-bought cleaners for salt cells
There are commercial salt cell cleaners on the market that are designed to get rid of scale and mineral buildup. Most of the time, these cleaners come in liquid or powder form. Follow the directions on how to use the cleaner on the salt cell that came with it. Most of the time, you have to soak the cell or put the cleaner straight on the plates, let it sit for a certain amount of time, and then rinse it well.
If you choose a different way to clean, be sure to always follow the advice given by the manufacturer. Also, keeping up with maintenance and keeping an eye on your pool’s salt cell will help avoid too much scale buildup and keep it running at its best.
Preventive Tips to Maintain a Clean Pool Salt Cell
Regular preventive maintenance is a must if you want your pool salt cell to last as long as possible and work well. By taking a few simple steps, you can stop the scale from building up and make your salt cell last longer. Here are six ways to make sure your pool salt cell stays clean and works well:
Make sure the water’s chemistry is right
Keeping the water’s chemistry in check is very important if you don’t want scale to build up on the salt cell plates. Check the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels and make changes based on what the maker says to do. Scale can form when the chemistry of water is out of balance, so it needs to be tested and balanced on a frequent basis.
Monitor Salt Levels
Salt is an important part of saltwater pools, and keeping the right amount of salt in the water is important for the salt cell to work well. Low amounts of salt can put stress on the cell and cause scales to form. On the other hand, too much salt can also be bad. Use a salt test kit to check the salt levels often and make changes as needed to keep them within the suggested range.
Use a system to clean salt cells
You might want to clean your pool with a salt cell device. These systems use a technology called “reverse polarity” to clean the cell plates automatically, so they don’t have to be cleaned by hand as often. The system regularly switches the direction of the electrical current. This keeps scale from building up and makes the salt cell last longer.
Set up a regular schedule for cleaning
Set up a regular plan for cleaning your salt cell. Depending on things like how often the pool is used and how the water is, the best rule of thumb is to clean the cell every three to six months. Regular cleaning keeps scale from building up and keeps things running at their best. Follow the directions from the maker for how to clean it properly.
Check and change the calcium hardness
Scale can form on the salt cell plates when there is a lot of calcium hardness in the pool water. Check the calcium hardness regularly and make changes as needed. If the amounts are too high, you might want to use a calcium remover or add more water to the pool to lower the calcium level.
Make sure the water flow is right
For the salt cell to work well and to keep the scale from building up, water must flow through it in the right way. Make sure that the pump and filter are the right size for the size of your pool and that they are working well. To keep the water flowing properly, keep the skimmer and pump baskets clean and free of waste.
By following these tips, you can make it much less likely that scale will build up on your pool’s salt cell. Regular checks, good care, and following the manufacturer’s instructions will help keep your salt cell clean and in good working order, giving you a well-kept and enjoyable swimming pool.
Is it safe to use muriatic acid to clean the salt cell in a pool?
Muriatic acid is a strong and corrosive acid that needs to be treated carefully. It can cause chemical burns and gives off smells that are bad for you. But it can be used safely to clean a pool salt cell if it is used right and the right safety measures are taken, like wearing protective gear and working in a well-ventilated area. When handling and using muriatic acid, it is important to follow the directions and rules given by the manufacturer.
How often should I use muriatic acid to clean the salt cell in my pool?
How often you use muriatic acid to clean your pool salt cell relies on the size of your pool, the chemistry of the water, and how often you use your pool. As a rule of thumb, the salt cell should be cleaned every three to six months. But you may need to change how often you clean it based on how much scale has built up or what the maker suggests. Keeping an eye on how well the salt cell works and looking for scale deposits will help you figure out how often it needs to be cleaned.
Can I clean a salt cell with muriatic acid while it’s still attached to the pool’s plumbing?
No, you shouldn’t clean the salt cell while it’s still attached to the pipes in the pool. To clean the salt cell, you need to soak it in a solution of muriatic acid. This is best done in a different container. If you clean the cell while it is still attached to the plumbing, the acid solution could flow through the pool system and damage or change the chemistry of the water. Before cleaning the salt cell, it’s important to take it away from the pipes.
What should I do if I get muriatic acid in my eyes or on my skin by accident?
If you accidentally get into muriatic acid, it is very important to move right away. If it gets on your skin, wash the area for at least 15 minutes with a lot of clean water. Take off any dirty clothes while you rinse. If acid gets into your eyes, keep rinsing them with water for at least 20 minutes and go to the hospital right away. When working with muriatic acid, it’s always a good idea to wear safety gear like gloves and goggles to reduce the chance of getting exposed by mistake.
Can I clean other pool parts or surfaces with muriatic acid?
Because of how they are made and what they are made of, muriatic acid is mostly used to clean pool salt cells. Muriatic acid shouldn’t be used to clean pool equipment or surfaces because it can damage some materials, like plastic liners or painted surfaces. If you need to clean other pool equipment or surfaces, it’s best to check with the manufacturer or an expert.
Is muriatic acid the only way to clean a pool salt cell, or are there other ways?
Yes, there are other ways to clean a salt cell for a pool. You could also use vinegar or citric acid solutions, pool salt cell cleaning tablets, high-pressure water cleaning, or industrial salt cell cleaners. These methods vary in how well they work and how easy they are to use, so it’s important to choose the one that works best for you and follow the steps given by the manufacturer. Also, taking protective steps like keeping the chemistry of the water right and checking on and cleaning the salt cell regularly can help reduce the need for harsh cleaning methods like muriatic acid.
Is it Safe to Clean Pool Tile With Muriatic Acid?
When it comes to cleaning pool tile, many people wonder if using muriatic acid is safe. While this method is effective in removing stubborn stains, it requires caution. Cleaning pool tile with muriatic acid should only be done by professionals or experienced individuals who can follow proper safety measures. It is crucial to wear protective gear, have good ventilation, and dilute the acid appropriately to avoid any potential hazards.
For your saltwater pool to work well, you need to make sure the salt cell is clean and working well. Even though muriatic acid works well to clean the salt cell, you have to be careful and follow safety rules. By following the step-by-step steps in this guide, you can safely clean your pool salt cell and get rid of scale and mineral deposits.
We have also looked into other ways to clean the salt cell to give you choices that may fit your preferences and needs. Remember to do regular maintenance, make sure the water chemistry is right, and take preventative steps to keep your pool salt cell in good shape and make sure you have a refreshing and fun time swimming.