CES had been successfully marketing ChlorKing commercial-grade saline chlorination systems for over 15-years. CES systems have literally a 100% SUCCESS RATE with some original systems still in operation. But success is not a given. It requires proper design, operation, and maintenance (see below). This is a stellar accomplishment in a HIT & MISS industry with many folks woefully failing to provide a long-term solution using “ganged-up” residential cells.
Using our systems, some customers have gotten 4-years or more of life out of the “cell stack,” which is the WEARABLE part of the system and has a finite lifespan. This is unheard of in commercial saline chlorination, but at the same time others have gotten less than 3-years (our target rate) – and some much less. Why the difference? It comes down to a few parameters. Here are a few tips to help you maximize the life of your saline cell, and to make the investment better than ever.
But first, how does saline work and pay for itself? Simply put, the ChlorKing system produces chlorine by passing 20 gallons per minute (GPM) of pool water, which is seeded with the proper salinity level, through the electronic “cell stack.” It produces pure chlorine and sends it to the pool. The ChlorKing system is connected to your CES chemistry controller and the system shuts off when the target chlorination level is reached, preserving valuable hours. If the systems can’t keep up, a redundant chlorine feeder is normally activated by the CES controller, and they both work in concert to reach the set point.
This process can make chlorine for as little as $0.40 cents per pound, and provided a great payback for years when chlorine was $1.00-$2.50 per pound. But, now that chlorine costs have literally doubled in price, the economics are even better, and incredibly better if you follow the recommended tips.
It’s all about run time: Cell stacks are designed to last 15,000 hours, which can be two years of constant operation or double the years of 10-12-hour operation – which is our typical sizing target. The actual run time of a cell stack is continually monitored and displayed on the face panel on current units. We both need to focus on this, as it can help us predict the life span.
Stabilizer can help: Judicious amounts of cyanuric acid (stabilizer) in the 15-30 PPM range, can cut chlorine consumption (and run time) by 40-50%. Rain will dilute stabilizer, so one needs to stay on top of this (normally) monthly manual correction to your water quality to keep the run time down, while providing all the chlorine you need.
Correct salt level is a key: The system works twice as hard to produce half as much chlorine if you don’t have enough salt in the pool. CES provides automatic salinity control systems with 99% of our units, and operators only need to periodically fill the saturator bin with rock salt to make it work.
Keep it clean: The ChlorKing system has a self cleaning mode, which helps keep well run facilities to only periodic cleaning. But, the units still need to be manually cleaned depending on your facility, your water balance, and other parameters. Instead of cleaning on a schedule (annually, monthly, quarterly, etc) the cell stack should be cleaned whenever there is build up on the plates. Dirty cells run longer hours to achieve the same results, so not staying on top of cleaning is a key source of issues. If cells are neglected to the point that they are completely clogged (including the top plate), it is like connecting the positive and negative terminals of a car battery together…lots of heat, and lots of damage. REALLY dirty cells like this will get completely destroyed in months not years and the 15,000 target life no longer applies.
Phosphates – enemy to all saline systems: It has been proven that high Phosphate levels (>2,000 PPM) will severely increase run time of saline cells, robbing valuable lifespan. Simply check phosphates a minimum of monthly and keep below 500 PPM using CES Concentrated Phosphate Remover (CPR).
A 2nd set of eyes: CES has affordable PM programs to help you extend the life of the saline system. We’ll check and report run time and voltages, verify the cleaning cycle is working, test and even correct the phosphates, and manually clean the cells for you. There is nothing worse than a disappointed operator who only got 18-24 months out of the cell stack, but was missing out on the important points above.
Prorated 3-year warranty: The ChlorKing prorated warranty on the cell stack is only offered with customers using automatic salinity control. It will discount the cost of a new cell depending on the number of months of operation. It helps assure a good payback even when the cells don’t last as long as we’d like them to. A quick study of cells replaced this year showed an average life of 3.62 years, so seeing a cell only last 18-24 months because of neglect makes us pretty sad.
As you can see, our goal is to help your saline cells LAST AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. Following the simple steps above will help assure the longest life, but many operators confess that they don’t really know what they’re looking at, and have turned to CES PM services to help assure the longest life, and to give them progress reports on hours, cleanliness, etc. We recommend a minimum of semi annually, depending on your in-house program, but will train you on how to check the status yourself, if desired, so that you can make it a part of your periodic service program.
So, to summarize. Saline saves a TON of money on chlorine, and has proven to perform reliably for years at a time. One must pay periodic attention to the cleanliness of the cell, and the leading facilities utilize PM services from CES to protect their investment. Saline is simple and making your own chlorine saves a LOT of time and drama.
Hope this helps. Contact your CES rep to see how easy it is to make your own chlorine in your facility, long term.