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Intex Saltwater Pool System FAQ

Intex® Saltwater Pool System FAQ (frequently asked questions)

1.) What is the INTEX Saltwater System (Chlorine Generator)?
2.) Why has the name of the device been changed from Chlorine Generator to "saltwater system"? Is it the same product?
3.) Why use the INTEX saltwater pool system?
4.) How does the INTEX saltwater pool system generate chlorine?
5.) What type of maintenance is needed for the Saltwater System?
6.) Is the Saltwater System available for different sizes of pools?
7.) Do you need to use any other chemicals in the pool besides salt? What happens if you put other chemicals in the pool?
8.) How often do you run the Saltwater System?
9.) Can you adapt an older Filter Pump to the Saltwater System?
10.) If the Saltwater System runs too long, will it over chlorinate the pool?
11.) Will my pool water be salty?
12.) What type of salt should be used?
13.) What will happen if iodized salt is used?
14.) How does the salt affect the vinyl? 15.) How long does it take for the Saltwater System to clear the "green" water from my pool?
16.) Is the Saltwater System capable of lifting dirt off the bottom of the pool?
17.) Will the Saltwater System work even if I use well water? What if I have hard water?
18.) What is the warranty on the Saltwater System?
19.) Will the salt produce any harmful by-products over long periods of time?
20.) Can you run the Saltwater System with the pool cover on?
21.) Is it safe to swim in the pool while the Saltwater System is operating?
22.) What if the saltwater is accidentally swallowed? Is it harmful in any way?
23.) Which pool sets come with the Saltwater System? Can it be purchased separately?
24.) Does the Saltwater System prevent algae and bacteria from forming on the bottom and sides of the pool?
25.) What is the life expectancy of the Saltwater System?
26.) If I am allergic to chlorine, can I still swim in the pool?
27.) Why sometimes is it called Chlorine Generator, since it doesn't actually produce chlorine in the traditional sense?
28.) Is the Saltwater System technology proven?
29.) Is the chlorine produced by a Saltwater System different than the standard liquid or granule chlorine used in most pools?
30.) What is the chemical process that takes place in a Saltwater System?
31.) Why are INTEX Saltwater Systems better than other products on the market today?
32.) Why do I have insufficient chlorine output?
33.) How do I increase the chlorine output?
34.) Why did I find white flakes in the pool water?
35.) How can I test the chemical level in my pool?
36.) How do I verify if the Saltwater System (chlorine generator) is generating chlorine?
37.) Why are there tiny little bubbles in the water when the Saltwater System is running?

1.) What is the INTEX Saltwater System (Chlorine Generator)?

The INTEX saltwater system is an easy to use, automatic pool maintenance system, it's also called Chlorine Generator or Chlorinator. Pool owners no longer have to endure the expense and time of constant trips to the store and the dangers of handling and storing traditional packaged chlorine. Instead, the INTEX saltwater system uses only 100% all natural salt to generate a low level of natural chlorine in the water that destroys bacteria, algae and oxidizes other organic materials to present you a fresh, clean, clear swimming pool. And the level of salt is so low, that swimmers do not even know that it is there!

2.) Why has the name of the device been changed from Chlorine Generator to "saltwater system"? Is it the same product?

Yes, it is the same product. The "Saltwater System" name describes more clearly the advantages of the product and eliminates confusion with traditional pool chemicals.

3.) Why use the INTEX saltwater pool system?

INTEX Saltwater System will provide you with a number of important benefits: First, the advantage of not having to use traditional packaged chlorine: Traditional packaged chlorine is a dangerous, unstable, hazardous chemical. INTEX Saltwater System eliminates the problem by using salt, a natural substance, to electrolyze chlorine into the water. Second, natural softened pool water: the level of salt in the pool water is so low that is not noticeable. There is no salty taste, smell, or cloudiness in the water. However, there is enough salt in the water to provide a softening effect, just as homeowners often add salt to the water in their homes via water softeners to produce soft, soothing water. Traditional packaged chlorine must be added to pool water frequently because it constantly degrades under sunlight and with use of the pool. This means that the pool owner has the constant expense and aggravation of buying, transporting, and adding packaged chlorine to their pool water. In addition, they frequently end up storing packaged chlorine in and around their home and garage, which might be a danger to family members. An INTEX Saltwater System eliminates these problems and dangers. Unlike traditional packaged chlorine, the salt mixes with the water once and does not have to be constantly replaced. Each time the salt passes through the INTEX saltwater system's electrolytic cell, it is re-energized into natural chlorine, which is reconverted into the bacteria and algae destroying agents each time it passes through the electrolytic cell.

4.) How does the INTEX saltwater pool system generate chlorine?

Common salt (sodium chlorine) is made up of two elements; sodium and chlorine. Salt water passes through the saltwater system's electrolytic cell to produce chlorine, which is then dissolved instantly in the water. This continuous process destroys bacteria, algae, and oxidizes other organic materials in the pool.

5.) What type of maintenance is needed for the Saltwater System?

The INTEX Saltwater Pool Systems are designed to operate with a minimum amount of maintenance. It is recommended to always turn the pump on prior to turning on the Saltwater System (see Owners Manual) unless the saltwater system is part of a combination pool and filter set, to ensure that air pockets are eliminated from the hoses, and that water is flowing through the unit. In addition, the electrolytic cell should be examined and cleaned if necessary. The frequency of cleaning will depend on the local water conditions, pool usage conditions, and length of time the Saltwater System is operated each day. (See Owners Manual.) The INTEX Saltwater Systems contain several features that minimize maintenance requirements: 1.) An automatic self-cleaning cycle: The Saltwater System automatically undergoes a self-cleaning cycle to maximize the operating length of the electrolytic cell. 2.) Safety diagnostics: the Saltwater System will alert the operator to conditions that could result in poor operation.

6.) Is the Saltwater System available for different sizes of pools?

The INTEX Saltwater System will work for all above ground pools as long as the pump meets the minimum flow rate requirement. Since the operating cycle can be set for different operating hours each day, the system will work with all pool sizes under virtually any operating conditions. In addition, the INTEX Saltwater Systems come with hose adaptors, so they can be used with all standard-size pool hoses and fittings.

7.) Do you need to use any other chemicals in the pool besides salt? What happens if you put other chemicals in the pool?

You may wish to add other chemicals to your pool water, depending on the local characteristics of your water supply. It may be desirable to further soften your water, or add clarifiers or algaecides. However, in many instances, additional chemicals are not needed. If you add other chemicals to the water, there will be no impact on the salt in your pool. Check your local pool supply stores who usually understand local water conditions, for further information.

8.) How often do you run the Saltwater System?

The Saltwater System should be run every day, just as the filter pump should be run everyday. The length of time that the Saltwater System should run will depend on your local conditions, including temperature, rainfall, size of pool, and number of swimmers using the pool. See Owner's Manual for operating time table list.

9.) Can you adapt an older Filter Pump to the Saltwater System?

Yes. The INTEX Saltwater Systems comes with standard hoses and adaptors that will enable you to fit the Saltwater System to most INTEX above ground pool filter pumps.

10.) If the Saltwater System runs too long, will it over chlorinate the pool?

It is possible to run the system for a longer period of time than is necessary. However, because chlorine dissipates over time (which is why pool owners must constantly go to the store, constantly purchase, and continually add standard chlorine to their pools), if you happen to run your Saltwater System too long, you can simply begin running it for a shorter period the next day, and your pool will be fine. The best way to determine the optimal length of time to operate your system is to experiment with different operating lengths of time, and to test the amount of chlorine in your pool using the chlorine test strips provided by INTEX. See Owner’s Manual for operating time table list.

11.) Will my pool water be salty?

No. The amount of salt in your pool is less than one tenth the level of salt in the ocean so you will not feel, taste, see, or smell any salt in your pool. What you will feel is soft, clean, clear, fresh water minus the chemical taste and smell that most standard chlorine pools contain.

12.) What type of salt should be used?

Use only sodium chloride (NaCl) salt that is at least 99.8% pure. Check your owners manual to verify if it is also acceptable to use water conditioning salt pellets (the compressed forms of evaporated salt), but it will take longer for these to dissolve. Do not use iodized or yellow (yellow prussiate of soda) colored salt. The purer the salt, the better is the performance of the electrolytic cell.

13.) What will happen if iodized salt is used?

The iodine in iodized salt will produce a yellow tint to the pool water and cause the electrolytic cell to deteriorate.

14.) How does the salt affect the vinyl?

The salt will have no effect on the vinyl. In fact, because the salt and the chlorine produced by the Saltwater System are much gentler than standard chlorine, it may be easier on the vinyl than standard pool water treated with standard chlorine chemicals.

15.) How long does it take for the Saltwater System to clear the "green" water from my pool?

The INTEX Saltwater Systems work very quickly, and will immediately begin eliminating bacteria and algae from pool water. However, the exact amount of time needed to transform dirty, dangerous pool water to safe, clean, clear, fresh pool water will depend on a number of factors including how dirty the pool water is to start with, the size of the pool, and the temperature of the outside air.

16.) Is the Saltwater System capable of lifting dirt off the bottom of the pool?

No. The Saltwater System is designed to clean pool water; it is not a pool vacuum or a pool filter, or a pool water pump. To remove dirt from the bottom of the pool, a pool vacuum, either automatic or manual, will need to be used.

17.) Will the Saltwater System work even if I use well water? What if I have hard water?

Yes, the Saltwater System will work in all water conditions. However, you may find it desirable to treat your water (just as you would if it was being used in your house), if it is hard or has high levels of calcium, etc. Calcium can form white scale on the titanium plates in the electrolytic cell, thus requiring more frequent cleaning. Other than more frequent cleaning, it will not affect the ability of your Saltwater System to perform its functions.

18.) What is the warranty on the Saltwater System?

All manufacturing defects in material and workmanship for a period from the original date of purchase which is printed in the Owners Manual.

19.) Will the salt produce any harmful by-products over long periods of time?

No. Salt is a natural product, and will not produce any by-products, regardless of how long it is used. In fact, salt is much safer than the compounds used with traditional, packaged chlorine. Finally, the salt level in your pool water is so low that the water in your pool is technically considered fresh water.

20.) Can you run the Saltwater System with the pool cover on?

Yes. However, to ensure that there is nothing obstructing the water flow to the pump, skimmer, or Saltwater System, it is a good idea to visually check the pool before turning on any equipment, including the Saltwater System.

21.) Is it safe to swim in the pool while the Saltwater System is operating?

Due to various local, state, national and international standards, do not operate the device when pool is in use and/or occupied.

22.) What if the saltwater is accidentally swallowed? Is it harmful in any way?

No. The saltwater is completely safe for human swimming. Swallowing small amounts of salt water pool water though not recommended, is not harmful.

23.) Which pool sets come with the Saltwater System? Can it be purchased separately?

All INTEX pool sets can be purchased with a combination Saltwater System & pool filter system. In addition, a Saltwater System can be purchased separately for those pool owners who already have a pool filter system.

24.) Does the Saltwater System prevent algae and bacteria from forming on the bottom and sides of the pool?

Yes

25.) What is the life expectancy of the Saltwater System?

The life expectancy of the Saltwater System depends on several conditions: the condition of the water in the pool (hardness, calcium level, etc.), the amount of hours it is run each day, and the amount of swimmers using the pool. For most Intex models, the only part that could need replacing in the Saltwater System is the electrolytic cell, which can be purchased separately. The INTEX Saltwater Systems are designed with special features including an automatic self-cleaning cycle to maximize the life of the electrolytic cell, and a user-diagnostic warning system that protects the unit from operating conditions that could damage the machine.

26.) If I am allergic to chlorine, can I still swim in the pool?

Allergic conditions are unique to the individual person, so it is not possible to answer this question for all people. However, because of the much lower level of chlorine in the water in a salt water pool, and the absence of other compounds associated with traditional packaged chlorine, many individuals who are allergic to traditional packaged chlorine, can safely swim in and enjoy a salt water pool maintained by a chlorine generator.

27.) Why sometimes is it called Chlorine Generator, since it doesn't actually produce chlorine in the traditional sense?

The Saltwater System produces the sanitizing agents that are responsible for eliminating bacteria and algae without the additional compounds found in packaged or liquid chlorine.

28.) Is the Saltwater System technology proven?

Yes. The technology used in the INTEX Saltwater System has been used since 1974. In fact, over 90% of the pools in Australia use the same technology, and have been using it for decades. In the U.S., many in-ground pools use the same technology that INTEX uses -- both residential and commercial pools. However, in the past, salt water systems have typically cost many hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. INTEX, with its commitment to manufacturing and best value, has designed Saltwater Systems specifically for above ground pools, and backs them with a year-long product warrantee.

29.) Is the chlorine produced by a Saltwater System different than the standard liquid or granule chlorine used in most pools?

Yes. INTEX Saltwater Systems create the same algae and bacteria eliminating agents in traditional packaged chlorine. However, traditional packaged chlorine requires additional chemical compounds to stabilize it and give it shelf life. These compounds end up in your pool water. They do not exist when an INTEX Saltwater System is used.Yes. INTEX Saltwater Systems create the same algae and bacteria eliminating agents in traditional packaged chlorine. However, traditional packaged chlorine requires additional chemical compounds to stabilize it and give it shelf life. These compounds end up in your pool water. They do not exist when an INTEX Saltwater System is used.

30.) What is the chemical process that takes place in a Saltwater System?

The chemical process is very simple. Salt and water are combined with a low-level electrical charge inside the Saltwater System to produce Sodium Hydroxide which converts to Hypochlorous Acid. Light, in the form of sunlight, converts the Hypochlorous Acid to Hydrochloric Acid, which then reverts back to salt and water. This process means that the agents that eliminate bacteria and algae in the pool water are continuously produced in the Saltwater System, and when used up, revert back to plain, natural, salt and water in an ongoing cycle, never needing replacement. Even though the water in your pool will evaporate, only the water is absorbed into the air. The salt remains in your pool. So you will need to add water occasionally, but not salt. However, if water is removed or spilled out of your pool, obviously the salt in the water is also lost. So in this instance, depending on how much water is removed from the pool, some salt may have to be added. But under normal operating conditions, salt will not need to be added.

31.) Why are INTEX Saltwater Systems better than other products on the market today?

INTEX Saltwater Systems are better than other products on the market today because they provide the best value in Saltwater Systems. INTEX has become the world leader and the largest manufacturer of above ground pools in the world by providing people with high quality pools at an outstanding price. Our commitment to quality and customer service is second to none. INTEX is now bringing this same commitment of high quality and great value to chlorine generators, providing consumers with easy to use, well-designed machines backed by the best customer service organization in the industry and a one year product warranty for manufacturing defects.

32.) Why do I have insufficient chlorine output?

Insufficient chlorine output may happen due to: i) Insufficient operating hours of the chlorine generator unit, ii) Insufficient (less than 2000ppm) salt level in pool water, iii) Chlorine loss due to intense sunlight exposure, iv) The bather load (pool occupancy) has increased, v) Clogged or dirty electrolytic cell.

33.) How do I increase the chlorine output?

Chlorine output can be increased by: a) Increasing the Saltwater System’s operating time per day. b) Increasing the salt content in the pool water or in the saltwater tank (depending on which INTEX saltwater system is being used) to the appropriate level. Test the salt level with a saltwater Test Kit, and adjust as needed. c.) Removing the cell for inspection, and cleaning it if necessary.

34.) Why did I find white flakes in the pool water?

Because excessive calcium is present in pool water. You can drain about 20 to 25% of the pool water and add fresh water to decrease the calcium percentage. Visually inspect the electrolytic cell for scale build-up and clean the electrolytic cell if necessary.

35.) How can I test the chemical level in my pool?

Buy and use INTEX 3-WAY Test Strips. 3-Way Test Strips can test the "Free Chlorine", "pH" and "Total Alkalinity" levels at the same time.

36.) How do I verify if the Saltwater System (chlorine generator) is generating chlorine?

Use INTEX 3-WAY Test Strips to check. With the device running, dip the 3-way test strip just in front of the water outlet (water returning back into the pool) inside the pool, and check the chlorine level on the bottle's color scale.

37.) Why are there tiny little bubbles in the water when the Saltwater System is running?

When the chemical process takes place in the electrolytic cell, small amounts of gasses, such as oxygen and hydrogen are released into the water. This is safe and normal.

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