Making sure that the salt cell of your pool works correctly is essential. If it is not clean and functional, you will end up with levels of chemicals that are not optimum. The salt cell is responsible for producing chlorine, without you adding it into your pool. But the salt cell is also a magnet for calcium and other minerals that could clog it. Vinegar can help you keep such problems away, though.
If you are wondering how to clean salt cell with vinegar, you came to the right place. We will discuss all the essential aspects of this process! So, keep on reading and get rid of that calcium or mineral deposit on your salt cell!
What causes scale build-up in a Salt Cell?
You will notice that scale can quickly appear on the surfaces as well as on the salt cell. This scale comes when you have a wrong pH level, outside of the 7.2 to 7.6 range. It also develops when you have a calcium level that is too high for your pool. You will also find out that hot temperatures of the water can facilitate scale development faster. Increased water temperature will also increase the calcium level, which results in the appearance of scale.
But how do you recognize this scale formation to treat them as soon as they appear? The scale is easy to identify as it looks like gray, white, or even beige and yellow rough spots on your salt cell or surface. As we will further learn in this article, it is just as easy to eliminate scale build-up.
How to prevent scale build-up to the salt system
As with many other problems that might appear in your pool, you should do your best to avoid scale build-up rather than treat it. If you stay on top of it, you will not have to worry about investing in products to treat it, and prevention is always the more natural path.
The best way to avoid scale build-up is to keep your salt cell clean. Check on it regularly and several times in a season to notice the amount of calcium deposits present. As soon as you see some residue, please do your best to remove it by using proper cleaning products. You might be able to get rid of specific waste by using your hands too.
You should clean your salt cell once every six months for minimum maintenance. However, if you want to avoid significant deposits build-up, you should consider cleaning it as often as every eight weeks. If you use hard water in your pool, you have bigger chances of getting your salt cell damaged by residue. So, monthly inspection is a must in such cases, and you will have to clean the salt cell accordingly.
Also, checking the quality of your water, including its pH level, will help to avoid scale build-up too. As we mentioned, the scale will develop harder and slower in the right pH level. There are test kits that you can purchase at budget-friendly prices to check the standards of the chemical in your pool.
There are also salt cells that are part of an automatic pool cleaning system. If you own such a pool system, you will not have to worry about cleaning it. But these are the newest systems on the market and the pricier ones. You can also find pool systems that notify you when the deposits start to build up. These salt cells come with an alert that you should pay attention to and clean them as soon as you get the notifications. Ignoring these alerts will only lead you to more complicated scenarios that require more work to get rid of the debris!
How to clean the salt cell and remove scale buildup
If you find yourself in need to clean your salt cell, know that you can do it quite easily. You have the option to use salt cell protectors and cleaners, but you can also use plain vinegar. Using a vinegar solution is not only cheaper but also more accessible to pool owners.
Step 1: Check the Salt Cell
The first thing you will have to do is check the state of your salt cell. This step will help you identify if there are any mineral or calcium deposits on it and if you need to clean it.
- Turn off the power
It is essential to turn off the power before starting to deal with your salt cell, so you stay safe. You should never try to unscrew the system when the power is on! You can turn the power off by using the switch on the filter or by using the control panel of your filtration system.
- Disconnect the salt cell
You will need to look at the amount of deposit present on the salt cell. To do that, take the cell out of the housing. Unscrew the sides of the cell and take it out. The only thing you need to pay attention to when you do this step is potential water leak outs.
- Check the salt cell
It will be reasonably easy to identify mineral deposits or calcium deposits on your salt cell. They look hard, dry, flaky, and they can be white or gray but also yellowish. Even if your salt cell is not entirely covered in these deposits, you should still clean it. If you ignore the problem now, you will have to work a lot more in the future.
Step 2: Using Physical Methods to Clean the Salt Cell
Depending on the amount of calcium or mineral deposits, you might be able to eliminate them with your hands. It is not one of the most straightforward steps in this process, but it is a necessary one. If you don’t remove the big pieces of the residue by hand, you will not be able to move to further and deeper cleaning phases.
- You can use a garden hose
Try to get rid of the most significant pieces of deposits by using your hands. For the debris that you can’t remove by using your hands, you can try with a garden hose. Add the garden hose to the unit and turn the water on at high pressure. You have to be careful not to let water get in the plug unless it is waterproof.
- Scrape off the residue
If using the water hose will not get rid of all the deposits of your salt cell, you can scrape the rest of them. To scrape off this residue, you can use any tool. Both wood tools and plastic tools will work just as beautiful. However, avoid metal tools because you can damage your salt unit in the process.
Step 3: Use Vinegar to Clean the Salt Cell
To completely clean your salt cell, you should consider using vinegar as it is one of the most efficient solutions.
- Get the vinegar mix ready
You can find vinegar mixed solutions on the market that come ready to use. But if you want to save money and get this process over with fast, you can prepare your cleaning mix. All you have to do is mix a strong vinegar with water. Make sure you don’t dilute it too much. The standard ratio used for such a mix is one part vinegar with one part water. Put this mix in a container that is large enough for your salt cell.
- Use the vinegar to clean the salt cell
You will have to place the salt cell in the container with the vinegar and water mix. You don’t have to do anything else but let the salt cell sit in this solution for one night. During this time, the vinegar will work to eliminate any deposits left on the salt cell. It will remove both calcium deposits and mineral deposits quickly and without the need to interfere with the process at all.
- Clean the vinegar mix off your salt cell
Now that you let the salt cell soak in the vinegar and water mix, you will have to rinse it. All you need for this final step is water. You can use the garden hose to eliminate all the residue of the salt cell. Use the proper water pressure to make sure that your salt cell is completely clean when you are rinsing it. You might need to repeat this process before your cell is entirely free of any deposits.
When it comes to how to clean salt cell with vinegar, the process is straightforward. By following the steps in this guide, you shouldn’t have to deal with any hassle. Keep in mind that prevention remains the best strategy to keep your salt cell clean. Check the state of your cell and the water quality regularly and take measures as soon as possible! Keeping your water chemicals under control is going to save you from potential deposits that could damage your salt cell.