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Salt Water Pool Systems

salt water pool system Salt water pool systems are designed to generate chlorine through an electrolysis cell from pool water that has a sodium level between 2500 to 3500 parts per million on average. If you are researching whether you want to buy a salt water system for your pool then the information on this page will be extremely valuable. Comparing salt chlorine systems can be tricky as a pool owner and it can be tough to determine which one will be the best for your pool. I have compiled all of the most important information about each salt system on this page as a platform to make an apples-to-apples comparison of each brand. This will help you to make an informed decision as to which salt system will be the best for your pool.

If you are still researching salt water pool systems and are not sure if this technology is right for you then you should start by reading about the potential risks of salt water pools. First, you need to learn the facts about salt water which you find in my article about salt water reviews. Once you know the facts about the basics of salt water then you can read this more detailed article that discusses an important question that any pool owner should consider: Is salt water bad for pools? Armed with this information and combined with the salt water pool system reviews on this page you can now make an informed decision as to which salt chlorine generator is best for you.





Hayward Salt Systems

Hayward is one of the big three swimming pool equipment manufacturers with a reputation for cost effective products. They have more than one salt water system in their lineup but by far the Aqua Rite is their most popular series. They also offer a system called Salt And Swim however the Aqua Rite system was introduced in 2004 when Hayward purchased Goldline Controls, an industry leader in automation systems at the time. Since adopting the Goldline technology Hayward salt systems have increased market share and continue to introduce updates, improvements and new model options to the lineup.





The Hayward Salt & Swim 3C is designed to have a shorter service life to the cell than their more popular Aqua Rite brand. While the cell will need to be replaced more often than with the Aqua Rite, the cost of the Salt & Swim replacement cell is much less.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 30,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: .95 lbs in 24 hours / 200lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: SAS-CELL
Power requirements: 120 volts
Salt range: 2700 - 3400 parts per million



The Hayward AquaTrol system is available in two different models. The RJ model is for mounting vertically under the return jet of your pool. The HP model is for standard hose / pipe connections as with other Aqua Rite models. The RJ model does not use a flow switch where the HP model does use a flow switch which accounts for the price difference between these models.

Pool type: Aboveground pools
Size: For pools up to 18,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: .65 lbs in 24 hours
Replacement cell: GLX-CELL-5
Power requirements: 120 volts*
Salt range: 2700 - 3400 parts per million

* The Aqua Trol comes with two types of electrical connectors. One style uses a standard household 120 volt plug end however some areas in the USA require a twist lock style electrical plug. Systems that come with the twist lock style of electrical plug are denoted with TL in the model number




The Hayward Aqua Rite AQR3 is the smallest salt system for inground pools that Hayward offers. Suitable for inground pools up to 15,000 gallons and despite being smaller than the Aqua Trol unit this AQR3 unit is not suitable for aboveground pool installations.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 15,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: .50 lbs in 24 hours / 210lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: T-CELL-3 (3 year warranty) or GLX-CELL-3-W (1 year warranty)
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 2700 - 3400 parts per million



The Hayward Aqua Rite AQR9 is the middle of the road salt chlorine generator from Hayward meant for inground pools up to 25,000 gallons. When sizing the cell for your pool you want to make sure to oversize the cell. Cell life is based on total hours the unit runs and over sizing your cell means that you will run less often which means your cell will last much longer.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 25,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.1 lbs in 24 hours / 385lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: T-CELL-9 (3 year warranty) or GLX-CELL-9-W (1 year warranty)
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 2700 - 3400 parts per million




The Hayward Aqua Rite AQR15 is the most popular salt water chlorine system that Hayward makes. Since cell life is directly tied to hours of operation many pool owners oversize for their pool and use this AQR15 model.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.4 lbs in 24 hours / 580lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: T-CELL-15 (3 year warranty) or GLX-CELL-15-W (1 year warranty)
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 2700 - 3400 parts per million

The Hayward salt system lineup has been changing over the last few years. Announced in 2016 was the launch of Hayward offering an "expert line" of products that you can only get through authorized Hayward dealer. This is to encourage pool owners to shop directly with swimming pool retail stores and authorized Hayward dealers as opposed to buying online. In recent years the availability of pool products online have been so inexpensive to the general public that pool stores and pool professionals were losing the ability to compete with big online retailers. First Hayward introduced a minimum authorized price policy (MAP) to discourage internet vendors from undercutting brick and mortar stores. The expert line of products from Hayward is a continuation of these efforts as pool dealers have been pushing back aggressively with manufacturers in an attempt to reduce the availability of products online. The expert line of salt system from Hayward includes the AQR925 and the AQR940 which are identical to the AQR25 and AQR40 models plus the addition of a new longer life generation cell. The long life 25k cell can produce a total of 480 lbs of chlorine and the long life 40k cell can produce 725 lbs which is approximately 25% more than the standard 25k and 40k cells.

Hayward also has changed the warranty period for the cells themselves with two models being available. T-CELL-X and GLX-CELL-X are the two models of replacement cell where the T-CELL models carry a 3 year warranty option and the GLX-CELL has a one year warranty. It is important to note that these are the exact same cell and the difference in price is due to the difference in warranty periods.

Hayward released a new salt system in Canada in 2015 which is the AQR15-LS which is a "low salt" system. This unit is the exact same as a AQR15 system except that the programming has been changed so that the system no longer detects a low salt reading at 2500 ppm but instead will allow the system to run with as little as 1200 ppm. 1500 is the ideal salt level for the Hayward low salt system. Since it is a rebranded T-Cell-15 this means while it can operate at lower salt levels it will also produce less chlorine at 1500 than it would at 3000. With the low salt system if you are unable to make enough chlorine you have the option of simply adding more salt to improve the system performance. While this product is not available in the USA as of yet, hopefully this salt system is successful enough to see it widely used in North America.


Pentair Salt Systems

Pentair is one of the big three manufacturers of swimming pool equipment and most pool professionals would agree that Pentair represents the highest quality of pool equipment on the residential market. While the quality is arguably higher than other major brand names it should be noted that this is not a clear cut decision as the quality between Pentair, Hayward and Zodiac (Jandy) is high, and in reality all are good choices. The reputation for high quality with Pentair is based largely on their extensive research and development of pumps due to their involvement with the aquatic industry globally on a commercial and industrial level (not just swimming pools). If Pentair can be said to have the highest quality of pool products, it could also be argued that their line of salt water systems are their weakest component. What does that mean exactly? While I would place the quality of a Pentair pump higher than that of a similar pump from Hayward, the salt system from Hayward may be slightly better than a similar Pentair model based on my personal experiences in the field. At the end of the day, both the Hayward and the Pentair salt systems are the best two on the market when compared to any/every other brand and either one would be a reliable choice for your pool.



The Pentair IntelliChlor IC15 is the aboveground salt water pool system from Pentair which is suitable for pools up to 15,000 gallons. The IC15 has an internal flow switch and control panel built right into the generation cell for simplicity. The blades of the generation cell are rated to run for up to 7500 hours which is good for an aboveground salt chlorinator.

Pool type: Aboveground pools
Size: For pools up to 15,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.6 lbs in 24 hours / 188lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: Cell replacement requires a new unit
Power requirements: 120 volts
Salt range: 2800 - 4500 parts per million



The Pentair IntelliChlor IC20 is the smallest inground pool salt system offered by Pentair. As with the other salt chlorinators from Pentair this is an all-in-one unit with the flow switch and control pad built directly into the cell. The only other component other than the cell itself is the external power supply. Similar to the inground salt systems from Hayward, the inground systems from Pentair are rated to run approximately 10,000 hours total.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 20,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.7 lbs in 24 hours / 292lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: Cell replacement requires a new unit
Power requirements: 240 volts (with a 120 volt option if you rewire the transformer)
Salt range: 2800 - 4500 parts per million




The Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 is the most popular model of salt system from Pentair. Capable for inground pools up to 40,000 gallons and rated for a lifetime of 10,000 hours of operation. The output specifications for the IC40 are almost identical to the capability of the larger AQR15 system from Hayward.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.4 lbs in 24 hours / 583lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: Cell replacement requires a new unit
Power requirements: 240 volts (with a 120 volt option if you rewire the transformer)
Salt range: 2800 - 4500 parts per million


The Pentair IntelliChlor IC60 is the largest salt system offered from Pentair and is one of the highest chlorine output units available on the residential market. This link is only for the cell so check the product description. You need the cell and the Pentair 520556 power center for a complete system.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 60,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 2.0 lbs in 24 hours / 833lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: Cell replacement requires a new unit
Power requirements: 240 volts (with a 120 volt option if you rewire the transformer)
Salt range: 2800 - 4500 parts per million



Pentair has maintained their line of salt water chlorine systems relatively unchanged since inception by comparison to many of the other manufacturers who seem to update with design changes and new models more than Pentair. This could be viewed as a positive in that Pentair is happy with the models that they offer or a negative in that other manufacturers of other salt systems are improving design and function while Pentair is not. In my experience in the field I have witnessed hundreds of high end installations that the IntelliChlor was chosen as the salt system and the output potential in their mid range and largest salt systems are very impressive.


Jandy Salt Water Systems

Though Jandy is now owned by Zodiac there is still products from each original line in production. Jandy has a few salt water chlorinators on the market and while Jandy (and Zodiac) make up the third position in the big three pool equipment manufacturers they do have less market share than either Pentair or Hayward. There are some areas in the USA where Jandy products are very popular while in other areas (and other Countries like Canada) they might have only between 5 to 10 percent market share.



The Zodiac APURE35 AquaPure Ei is a standalone model offered by Jandy that is suitable for pools up to 35,000 gallons. This is a very compact unit so if space is an issue for you this would be a good system to consider. The main benefit of this unit is the easy installation intended for pool owners to be able to do.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 35,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.93 lbs in 24 hours / 388lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: R0511400
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts (discontinued plug in style units have a PLG part number)
Salt range: 3000 - 6000 parts per million (4000 - 4500 optimal)



The Jandy PLC700 is the smaller of the two PureLink salt systems from Jandy. This is a 7 blade salt cell system capable for smaller pools up to 12,000 gallons. This unit requires the cell kit pictured here as well as this APUREM AquaPure Power Center.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 12,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.63 lbs in 24 hours / 263lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: PLC700 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 - 3500 parts per million




The Jandy PLC1400 is the larger of the two AquaPure salt systems from Jandy. The AquaPure series have a 3 port cell for any plumbing orientation and similar to the PLC700 system the PLC1400 also requires the APUREM AquaPure Power Center.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.25 lbs in 24 hours / 521lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: PLC1400 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 - 3500 parts per million



In 2007 Jandy Pool Products was combined with the marine division of the Zodiac Group and formed the Zodiac Marine & Pool division which later became Zodiac Pool Systems, Inc. While Zodiac and Jandy are now under one ownership group each still maintains a certain degree of individual product lines. The advantage in doing so is similar to how Pentair and Sta-Rite are the same company but operate individual product lines - it helps to increase market share where there are dense concentrations of pool dealers and retail stores. Competing stores often prefer to carry different product lines to prevent from having a price war between dealers in the same area.


Zodiac Salt Water Systems

Since Jandy and Zodiac still have some independent lines of salt water systems I have separated these two however it should be noted that both are the same parent company now. Zodiac in particular offers a few different salt water chlorinator options and most of their systems operate at a notably higher salt level than other major brands. Since there is a linear increase in galvanic activity as the salt content of the pool increases this means a system designed to run at 4000 parts per million would have approximately 20% to 25% more potential for damaging galvanic activity. Every salt water pool should be bonded, including the equipment, and should have a sacrificial anode installed on the plumbing system. With a Zodiac salt water chlorinator it is even more important to do this than with other salt water systems.




The Zodiac LM2-15 was an earlier generation of salt water system from Zodiac that has since stopped production on new units. Replacement cells, as well as other replacement parts are still widely available and some new LM2 salt systems can still be found.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 15,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.59 lbs in 24 hours / 246lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: LM2-15 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 4000 parts per million




The Zodiac LM2-24 was the mid-size salt cell from the LM2 series which has now been discontinued by Zodiac. This system is rated as suitable for pools up to 24,000 gallons.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 24,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.94 lbs in 24 hours / 392lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: LM2-24 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 4000 parts per million




The Zodiac LM2-40 is the largest chlorine generation cell from the Clearwater series. Suitable for pools up to 40,000 gallons however this model, along with the rest of the LM2 series, has been discontinued by Zodiac. As with any of the LM2 series, each system needs the generation cell and the appropriate power supply control box.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.56 lbs in 24 hours / 650lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: LM2-40 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 4000 parts per million




The Zodiac LM3-24 was an upgrade to the LM2 salt systems from Zodiac. While not available in Canada, these were to replace LM2 units that experienced heat related failures in the wire connections. The LM3 series was ultimately discontinued as well after a short run.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 24,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.94 lbs in 24 hours / 392lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: LM3-24 Cell
Power requirements: 240 volts
Salt range: 4000 parts per million




The Zodiac LM3-40 was available as an upgrade kit for existing LM2 system owners or as a stand alone salt system when combined with the associated LM3 Power Pack. This LM3 model has also been discontinued along with the rest of the line.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.56 lbs in 24 hours / 650lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: LM3-40 Cell
Power requirements: 240 volts
Salt range: 4000 parts per million




The Zodiac Fusion Soft 700 is part of the newer generation of salt systems from Zodiac. These systems, based on the discontinued DuoClear systems, combine a mineral pack along with a chlorine generation cell in. The mineral pack is copper and colloidal silver and works to reduce chlorine demand as the silver is a bactericide and copper is a algaecide.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 12,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: .625 lbs in 24 hours / 260lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: FSOFT700 Cell / Nature2 Mineral Cartridge
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million




The Zodiac Fusion Soft 1400 is the larger of the two Fusion Soft systems. These units are unique as they are designed to be ground mounted as opposed to most salt cells which are suspended in the plumbing system. While the mineral pack (copper and silver) systems do help to reduce chlorine demand there is some concern for adding metals to the pool water. If you want to see why having metals in your water can be bad you could ask the Olympic Committee that was in charge of the swimming pools at the Rio Olympics.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.25 lbs in 24 hours / 520lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: FSOFT1400 Cell / Nature2 Mineral Cartridge
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million



Zodiac salt water systems have undergone many changes, model redesigns and upgrades over the years along with joining with the Jandy Pool Products line. With two complete lines of salt water systems now, from Jandy and Zodiac, they have been working to merge the technologies of these systems. The only Zodiac salt systems not shown on this list are the DuoClear systems (as pictured at the very top of this page). The DuoClear units have been rebranded into the Fusion series. If you have an existing DuoClear system and need to find replacement cells then the three models of DuoClear replacement cells are the DuoClear 25 Cell, the DuoClear 35 Cell and the DuoClear 45 Cell.


CompuPool Salt Water Systems

CompuPool is a pool products manufacturer with a full line of products including pumps, filters and salt chlorine generators. CompuPool actually introduced their first salt chlorine generator in 1979 and they are based in Australia with distribution in Australia, USA and 30 additional Countries around the world. In addition to manufacturing many different models of salt chlorinators for both commercial and residential applications, CompuPool also specializes in replacement salt cells. In addition for offering salt cell replacement for their own systems, they also offer a line of "generic salt cells" which have been designed to replace OEM replacement cells for all other major brands of salt systems.



The CompuPool CPX16 is a small pool salt system from CompuPool that has been designed for inground pools up to 20,000 gallons. This unit is also available in an above ground version with the part number CPX16-AG.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 20,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.0 lbs in 24 hours / 416lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: CPX16RC Cell
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 3000-4000 parts per million



The CompuPool CPX24 is available in both this inground but also an aboveground pool modelwith part number CPX24-AG.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 30,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.3 lbs in 24 hours / 542lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: CPX24RC Cell
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 3000-4000 parts per million




The CompuPool CPX36 is suitable for pools up to 40,000 gallons and has an impressive chlorine output similar to other models from the major three pool equipment manufacturers. The shape of the cell, and plumbing orientation, is similar to the Jandy PLC series in that there are 3 ports on the cell for using the cell as a 90 degree fitting.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.9 lbs in 24 hours / 792lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: CPX36RC Cell
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 3000-4000 parts per million




The CompuPool CPX48 is the largest system in the CPX family and this system is able of delivering chlorine at a rate higher than most other brands on the market. If you have a pool with very high chlorine demands then this should be one of the units that you compare.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 60,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 2.5 lbs in 24 hours / 1042lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: CPX48RC Cell
Power requirements: 120/240 volts
Salt range: 3000-4000 parts per million



CompuPool has many other brands and models of salt water systems on the commercial and residential markets. Some of the earlier systems such as their CompuChlor line require a salt level to be maintained between 5500 to 6000 parts per million. While this will help to deliver a maximum amount of chlorine, this will also increase the rate of galvanic activity (damage) that your pool experiences. Any system that requires this much salt would not be something I would use on my own pool or in my swimming pool contracting work. The older CPS line of chlorinators has now been replaced with the CPX line listed above. The replacement cells are not compatible between the CPS and the CPX line.

While CompuPool also offers an impressive array of generic replacement cells for other major brands of salt water systems, it would appear that the other major brands have reacted to this with possible litigation against CompuPool. There are also many complaints filed with the BBB against CompuPool for problems relating to warranty support and product failures which has resulted in some retailers no longer supporting the CompuPool line.


AutoPilot Salt Water Systems

AquaCal AutoPilot Inc. has been offering salt water chlorine systems for swimming pools since 1976 and they are based in the USA. They advertise that they have sold over 500,000 salt chlorinator units and do not show any serious signs for concern with the BBB in terms of product or warranty support. In some areas of North America there is very little market penetration for AutoPilot, where in other areas AutoPilot systems are one of the most common brands you will see working in the field.


The AutoPilot AG line is specifically for above ground pools and it comes in three different configurations. The AutoPilot AGN that has a regular inline cell, the AutoPilot AGR that is for mounting directly to the return jet, and the AutoPilot AGF that uses a unique floating cell.

Pool type: Aboveground pools
Size: For pools up to 22,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.8 lbs in 24 hours / 200lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC-35/22 Cell
Power requirements: 120 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million (optional 1000ppm operation with special salt mix)




The Autopilot Pool Pilot Digital RC-35 is one of three complete lines of salt chlorinators from AutoPilot. The Digital series requires the DIG-220 power supply and one of the four sizes of generation cells they offer on this series.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 35,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.25 lbs in 24 hours / 200lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC-35/22 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million





The next step up in the Pool Pilot Digital family is the Pool Pilot Digital RC-42 which is suitable for pools up to 42,000 gallons in size.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 42,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.56 lbs in 24 hours / 300lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC-42 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million





The Pool Pilot Digital RC-52 is the second largest salt system from the Pool Pilot Digital series and is capable of sanitizing swimming pools up to 52,000 gallons in size.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 52,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.92 lbs in 24 hours / 575lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC-52 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million





This is the Pool Pilot Digital CC-15 which is the largest salt system in the Pool Pilot Digital line. This model has an extremely high output cell that can generate as much chlorine as almost any other system available on the residential market.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 67,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 2.5 lbs in 24 hours / 1000lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC-52 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million





The Pool Pilot Digital Nano DN1 is the 120 volt version of the Digital Nano series. The 240 volt version of this digital nano is the Pool Pilot DN2.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 22,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.8 lbs in 24 hours / 200lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC-52 Cell
Power requirements: 120 or 240 volt models available
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million




The Pool Pilot Digital Nano Plus DNP1 is the 120 volt version of the Digital Nano Plus system which is intended for use on pools up to 28,000 gallons. The Pool Pilot Digital Nano Plus DNP2 is the 240 volt version of this system and both of these use the new RC-28 cell that was developed specifically for this model.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 28,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.06 lbs in 24 hours / 300lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: n/a
Power requirements: 120 or 240 volt models available
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million




The Pool Pilot Soft Touch With RC-35 salt system is designed to offer similar functions to the flagship Pool Pilot Digital system in a slightly more cost effective unit. The Soft Touch series has a more basic visual display than the Digital series but most importantly it does not have the internal clock and ability to control the pump operation through a relay like the Digital systems do.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 35,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.28 lbs in 24 hours / 200lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC35/22 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million




The Pool Pilot Soft Touch With RC-42 is the next size up in the Soft Touch family with the RC-42 cell being able to chlorinate pools up to 42,000 gallons in size. The entire Soft Touch line is able to function in water that is up to 104 degrees making these suitable for swimming pool and spa combination systems.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 42,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.56 lbs in 24 hours / 300lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC-42 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million





The Pool Pilot Soft Touch With RC-52 is for larger pools up to 52,000 gallons. As with all of the Soft Touch systems they are able to be wired with 120 or 240 volts and is programmed to operate at any salt level from 2000 ppm up to 25,000 ppm though anything above 4000 ppm would put your pool at risk for damage from galvanic corrosion.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 52,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 2.0 lbs in 24 hours / 575lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: RC-52 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million





The Pool Pilot Soft Touch With CC-15 is the largest capacity cell in the Soft Touch Series. Suitable for pools up to 67,000 gallons, this is one of the largest output systems on the residential market before you start to look at dual (or more) cell systems.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 67,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 2.5 lbs in 24 hours / 1000lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: CC-15 Cell (not OEM)
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000-3500 parts per million



Pool Pilot Digital is the flagship product in the Pool Pilot lineup. The main feature advantage of the Pool Pilot Digital system is the internal time clock that allows you to control the operation of your pool pump. In order to use this feature an additional part is required which is a relay & wiring harness with part number APK0004. Most of the Pool Pilot lines from AutoPilot have a very large range of salt that the system is able to operate in. While the system may be programmed to continue to function at elevated salt levels, the reality is that salt levels above 4000 ppm are not advised. Salt levels up to sea water salt levels as the Pool Pilot advertises would certainly be something you want to avoid. If you were to have salt levels at 10,000 to 30,000 ppm you can bet that there will be some seriously advanced decay and corrosion happening in your pool.


Intex Salt Water Systems

Intex is a very popular brand if for no other reason than being the least expensive salt chlorination system on the residential market. Intex has traditionally been involved in the aboveground pool market where Intex pools hold a large market share in North America. While the quality of an Intex system may not be as high as more expensive name brand units, if you have a very inexpensive aboveground pool the price point for an Intex system might be the only salt chlorinator that is within your budget. With reasonable expectations of performance and longevity the Intex systems can deliver adequate performance on a minimal budget.



The Intex 7110 Krystal Clear Salt Water System With E.C.O comes in a few different sizes. This is the smallest of the Intex systems which is suitable for aboveground pools up to 7000 gallons. The ECO system is new, previously being a copper ionizer, but problems with the copper based system led to the new ECO oxidizing models. This is the CG28667 model number.

Pool type: Aboveground pools
Size: For pools up to 7,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.27 lbs in 24 hours / (not published) lifetime total
Replacement cell: 11899 Cell / 11900 ECO Cell
Power requirements: 120 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million





This Intex 8110 Krystal Clear Salt Water System With E.C.O. is slightly larger and intended for pools up to 15,000 gallons. All of the E.C.O. systems (electrocatalytic oxidation) combine salt water electrolysis for generating chlorine as well as an separate system for creating hydroxyl radicals. The hydroxyl radicals are highly active oxidizers and work to reduce chlorine demand. This is the CG28669 model number.

Pool type: Aboveground pools
Size: For pools up to 15,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.63 lbs in 24 hours / (not published) lifetime total
Replacement cell: 11904 Cell / 11905 ECO Cell
Power requirements: 120 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million





The Intex Krystal Clear Salt Water & Ozone System combines chlorine derived from salt water with an ozone generator for a system that provides water clarity with minimal chlorine. Intex prefers to combine technologies having a discontinued copper ionizer system, as well as the ECO system and this ozone system. The actual function of the ECO this system would be very similar in that both oxidize the water as well as chlorinate it.

Pool type: Aboveground pools
Size: For pools up to 15,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.58 lbs in 24 hours / (not published) lifetime total
Ozone output: 150mg per hour
Replacement cell: 11374 Cell
Power requirements: 120 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million



When you buy an Intex salt water system you need to understand that you are buying the cheapest salt system on the market. It will, under the most ideal of circumstances, operate for a few years. The quality of materials used for the Intex systems can not compare to much more expensive salt water systems. The information made available from Intex as to the longevity of their products as well as information about the technology used (such as with E.C.O.) is difficult to come by. Much of the success of the Intex line is the cleverly worded marketing combined with the rock bottom price point however if you are looking for a salt water system, any salt water system that you can afford, then this is a good entry level product line to get your feet wet with.

Many older models of Intex salt water systems are still available through retailers such as Ebay and Amazon.com. The older models of the CS7110 and the CS8110 included a copper ionizer that helped to reduce chlorine demand by adding ionized copper to the water which acts as a algaecide. Improper maintenance of pools with copper in the water can easily result in staining of the pool. Copper is also responsible for turning light colored hair green and having a copper injection system on an entry level above ground pool system is not ideal. The problem is not that the technology does not work, but more that the likelihood of having improperly balanced water in a cheap above ground pool is statistically much higher than with any other kind of pool. I would suspect that Intex dealt with many angry customers with green hair before they decided to update the product line and replace this feature with a high output oxidizing E.C.O. system. If you have found a good deal on an older model of Intex salt system that has the copper ionizer you can still successfully use this system in your pool. You can learn about and monitor your copper levels or you can also disconnect the copper ionizer and operate the system on the salt chlorine generator exclusively. Intex also makes full combination pool systems that include a small pump and filter in addition to the salt water and E.C.O. system. These combination units come in two different sizes: The Intex pump, filter & salt water up to 7000 gallons and the Intex pump, filter & salt water up to 15,000 gallons. If you are looking for a complete all-in-one filtration and sanitizing system for your above ground pool then this would be a very cost effective choice.


CircuPool Salt Water Systems

The CircuPool brand is manufactured by CompuPool in Australia and licensed for retail in the USA. While the product itself is clearly based on the same technology it would appear that CircuPool has taken a much stronger stance on customer service and product support than CompuPool. CompuPool carries a very low BBB rating (F) which is largely to do with warranty related problems. Being that the product is manufactured in Australia it is reasonable to assume that this would account for some of the negative experiences that customers have had since support and replacement parts might be far away. With CircuPool, while the products are similar, the after sales support and warranty offerings are unique. CircuPool itself has been around since 1997 so while they are not as established as brands such as Pentair or Hayward, they are not a brand new company that you should worry about going away before your warranty expires. The newest products from CircuPool all advertise that they are manufactured in the USA.




The CircuPool SJ-20 is a salt system capable of sanitizing pools up to 20,000 gallons. The SJ series from CircuPool is designed as a more basic version of the RJ series with a similar designed function but somewhat more limited interface and display.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 20,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.87 lbs in 24 hours / 362lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: SJ-20 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million





The CircuPool SJ-40 is the next size up in the SJ series and is suitable for pools up to 40,000 gallons in size.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.7 lbs in 24 hours / 708lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: SJ-40 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million





The next size up is the CircuPool SJ-55 salt system which is suitable for pools up to 55,000 gallons. If you are looking for a lower cost unit with a strong warranty but you have a very large pool then this should be one of the systems that you consider.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 55,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 2.35 lbs in 24 hours / 979lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: SJ-55 Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million





The CircuPool Universal 40 salt water system is designed to use on pools up to 40,000 gallons in volume. This product is made to fit the same plumbing space as any Hayward Aqua Rite system as a direct swap replacement and is priced much more aggressively than the Hayward systems.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 45,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 2.0 lbs in 24 hours / 833lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: Possibly SI-45 Cell (no replacement cell listed by manufacturer)
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3500 parts per million



CircuPool has a number of additional salt systems both current and archived. The CircuPool RJ series has had three redesigns and is the flagship salt system from CircuPool. The SJ series offer the same functionality as the RJ series with a few less frills such as the lack of a display screen in lieu of light indicators. This means reduced ability to diagnose and interact with the system but the chlorine production is all you need if you are looking for the most cost effective option.

The previous generations of CircuPool included the SI series as well as the SI + (SI plus) series which had an extra long life cell. Both of these lines have been dropped in place of the newer RJ series though the Universal40 system appears to be identical to the older SI45 system. If you would like to see more options from the newest RJ and RJ Extended Life series you can view them on the CircuPool website.

One of the areas that really makes CircuPool stand out is in their unique warranty offerings. While their warranty sounds very impressive it is actually very comparable to other brands in that it is pro rated to cover only part of the cell replacement costs depending on how far into the warranty period you are. Also the unique way they phrase their warranty period would make it seem their warranty is much longer when it is much closer than that. Companies like Hayward and Pentair have recently been introducing limited, or no warranty, for pool equipment that is installed by the pool owner (not a professional pool company). CircuPool has taken advantage of this limitation from other manufacturers and advertises heavily that DIY installation of their systems will not have any effect on their warranty coverage.


Solaxx Salt Water Systems

Solaxx has been in the pool and spa industry for over 30 years and they advertise that over 100,000 customers are using their products. While decidedly smaller than some of the bigger names, Solaxx has been around for a while. Solaxx is based in Florida and they deal primarily in ozone, UV and salt water systems as well as water testing equipment.




The Solaxx CLG10A Saltron Retro is designed to meet the needs of pool owners looking for easy installation. These salt water systems are unique in that the chlorine generation cell hangs in the pool water from the edge of the pool. These systems are suitable for either inground or aboveground pools.

Pool type: Inground or aboveground pools
Size: For pools up to 20,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.4 lbs in 24 hours / 166lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: CLG10A-010 Saltron Retro Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million





The Solaxx CLG215A Reliant is the smallest of the Saltron Reliant series and is suitable for pools up to 15,000 gallons in size. While these units are still available to buy, Solaxx no longer lists specifications for this model under the Reliant system section.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 15,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 0.75lbs in 24 hours / 313lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: Saltron Reliant 25k Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million





The Solaxx CLG225A Reliant is made for pools up to 25,000 gallons and is the middle sized system of the three Saltron Reliant series offered by Solaxx.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 25,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.15lbs in 24 hours / 480lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: Saltron Reliant 25k Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million





The Solaxx CLG240A Reliant is the largest of the Saltron Reliant line. This system is rated for pools up to 40,000 gallons and has chlorine production levels that are on par with some of the biggest name brands in the industry.

Pool type: Inground pools
Size: For pools up to 40,000 gallons
Chlorine maximum output: 1.65 lbs in 24 hours / 688lbs lifetime total
Replacement cell: Saltron Reliant 25k Cell
Power requirements: 120 / 240 volts
Salt range: 3000 parts per million



Solaxx has a number of other products in the pool and spa industry most of which are salt water chlorinators, ozone systems and UV systems. Solaxx also owns branded products such as the Relaxx Salt System which is a salt system that has an optional device for regulating acid control for an automated pH system. There are two different models which are the Relaxx 20,000 Gallon Salt Chlorine Generator and the Relaxx 40,000 Gallon Salt Chlorine Generator.


Best Salt Water Pool Systems

There are so many salt chlorinators on the market so how are you supposed to know "what is the best salt water pool system?" The information that is listed on this page can help you to find the right system - if you know how to interpret the data. First and most importantly you need to understand how the information on this page was compiled so that you can make an educated decision for your purchase.


Pool size - The volume of pool that each potential salt system can handle has been taken from each manufacturer directly. This means that you need to factor in that most companies are probably advertising the absolute best case, ideal operating conditions. It is only natural that each marketing team would try to make their own systems sound the best. This is why you can not simply look at the volume recommendation to determine which salt system you should get. If a system is rated to 40,000 gallons, and you have a 40,000 gallon pool, logic would dictate that this system would work on your pool...but that is not the case. Right away you should be deducting a minimum of 25% off of the volume capacity of the system. This would account for anything other than ideal conditions. Rain, poor water chemistry, debris in the pool, heavy bather loads, dirty filters and the presence of nitrates or phosphates all will reduce how much volume the system can sanitize in a real world setting. Further to this, as a general rule of thumb, you are always supposed to oversize your salt system as this will have a great effect on the longevity of the cell. The longer your cell needs to operate for to keep up with your chlorine needs, the sooner you will need to replace it. With an oversized system you can operate it on a very low setting to meet your needs and then begin to increase your output setting over time as the cell begins to produce less and less chlorine. You are further ahead to way oversize the system as opposed to have it undersized by even a small amount.

Chlorine maximum output - This is one of the most important factors that you should be looking at with each salt system you consider however the information is not as straight forward as it would seem. The chlorine output and maximum yield over the cell lifespan values need to be taken with a grain of salt. There are many variables that affect these numbers. The maximum hourly output value for each system is a more reliable statistic to look at as each of these values have been collected from each individual manufacturer and are factually accurate. The lifetime chlorine output however is not a reliable statistic. Some manufacturers provide clear information about how many hours that their cell will last (should last). Some manufacturers provide how many ampere-hours the cell will last (should last), and some manufacturers do not publish this data at all. There is a lot of important information to be garnered from this. The hours of operation rating provided by manufacturers is the most clear statistic however very few systems make this information available. The ampere-hour (amp hour) rating is a tricky way that some systems are marketed being that it would be easy to mistake this for a comparison to hours of operation. The two are not the same. If a salt system operated at 4 amps when at full power, and had an ampere-hour rating of 10,000 then this sounds like you can expect to operate your system for at least 10,000 hours. In actuality, this would mean that 10,000 divided by 4 is how long you could expect your cell to operate, or 2500 hours of operation. In many cases the data from the manufacturers had to be extrapolated in order to provide a working number for comparison of expected total lifespan. PLEASE NOTE that even understanding that the total lifespan of the cell is a calculated value, you need to be careful to not weigh this one statistic too heavily in your decision. The daily chlorine output of the system does give you a good idea of the capability of the cell but the total lifespan of the cell is based on manufacturers ideal estimation and NOT real world settings.

Salt range - All salt systems have a range of salinity that they operate at. Some systems stop functioning when the values fall outside of the normal range where others continue to operate with reduced functionality. For each system the ideal salt value recommended by the manufacturer has been provided. Many of the systems here boast a huge range that they can operate at with some as much as 1000ppm up to 30,000 ppm. The first thing that you need to know about salt content is that less is more. The lower the salt level in your pool the lower the rate of galvanic activity (and damage) to your pool as discussed in this article: Is salt water bad for your pool? Around 3000 to 3500 is the maximum level of salt that you should use. At salt levels higher than this the rate of galvanic corrosion can be problematic. Use of a sacrificial anode, as well as being sure that your pool is bonded, are both ways you can (should) help your pool to protect itself against damage from salt water. While some salt systems advertise being able to operate up to 30,000 ppm of salt this is not something that you would ever want to do to your pool. Salt levels like this, as found in ocean water, is far too damaging for regular swimming pools and almost all pool equipment is "not rated for salt water" when you read the fine print. In this wording, manufacturers are not talking about salt water systems at 3000 ppm, they are talking about salt water like in the ocean at 30,000 ppm.


Salt Water System Warranty

One of the most important details that you need to consider about your new salt system is what kind of warranty you will get with it. The warranty for salt chlorine generators is usually confusing and commonly less inclusive than you would hope it to be. First, almost all manufacturers offer a pro rated warranty which means that the older your cell is, the less percentage of the replacement price they will cover should it fail before the warranty period ends. Salt cell deterioration is considered to be normal wear and tear and is not usually covered unless there is some kind of failure of the system. If you have a high chlorine demand and you run your salt cell around the clock to keep up then you can expect that it will fail before the warranty period expires. If the system indicates more operational hours (or ampere-hours) than what is covered under warranty then you are out of luck since this is just normal operation.

Some manufacturers (many) are now encouraging pool owners to buy from local brick and mortar retail stores, as well as with pool dealers, by altering (or voiding) the warranty of the system unless it is installed by a professional (and you can prove this with a receipt). While the logic is better for things like pool pumps or heaters which can be technically challenging to install, the reality is that a salt system is easy to install and any pool owner could likely do a fine job of it with little instruction. If you plan to install the system yourself then you need to be aware of how this will affect your warranty coverage. Also, what constitutes a professional installation? Since pool guys are not a recognized trade in most areas of North America then this means a receipt for a pool company, plumber, electrician or contractor. Some manufacturers will approve self installation if you are a qualified trade professional in a relatable trade. The warranty terms, period, and coverage limitations are different with every manufacturer. If you want to be 100% certain about your warranty coverage then the best option is to call the manufacturer directly and find out about their installation requirements, pro rated warranty and how they handle warranty procedures in your area.


Hayward - (908) 355-7995 - Hayward warranty coverage
Pentair - (800) 831-7133 - Pentair warranty coverage
Jandy - (800) 822-7933 - Jandy warranty coverage
Zodiac - (800) 822-7933 - Zodiac warranty coverage
CompuPool - (888) 989-7258 - CompuPool warranty coverage
AutoPilot - (727) 823-5642 - AutoPilot warranty coverage
Intex - (800) 234-6839 - Intex warranty coverage
CircuPool - (888) 206-9938 - CircuPool warranty coverage
Solaxx - (561) 455-0252 - Solaxx warranty coverage





Swimming Pool Steve

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