How to Clean Pentair Intellichlor Salt Cell? – 2 Main Cleaning Methods to Improve its Life Span

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how to clean pentair intellichlor salt cells

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The Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Chlorine Generator (SCG) is a machine that produces chlorine gas by the process of electrolysis.

The gas so formed gets dissolves in the solution and forms a hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid pool.

They can be used as a sanitizer when a little salt is added to the pool water.

Both hypochlorite and hypochlorous solutions help to eradicate bacteria and algae from your swimming pool.

They also oxidize the organic materials from the pool.

Thereafter they revert to salt.

The salt so formed is again used by the Intellichlor Salt Cell and the above process repeats itself.

The cleaning of Pentair Intellichlor SGC blades can be done in two methods.

Cleaning Method 1: Self or Automatic Cleaning

This is a unique feature that an Intellichlor SGC is equipped with. 

In case of minimum scaling, the process of automatic cleaning can be used.

The automatic scaling does not alter chlorine production.

You need to bear in mind that this process should be used only when it is necessary.

Because regular usage of this feature may affect the life span of Pentair Intellichlor salt cell.

Cleaning Method 2: Acid Wash

When excessive scaling gets built up inside the Intellichlor SGC  blades, acid wash is the only option.

The steps for the acid washing process are stated below.

7 Steps for Acid Wash Cleaning of Pentair Intellichlor Salt Cell

Step 1:  At first you need to disconnect the AC power from the power center.

Then detach the communication cable of the Intellichlor SCG cell from it.

Step 2: In a plastic bucket, you need to prepare a mixture of 1 gallon of tap water and 1 quarter of muriatic acid.

Step 3: Now on the threaded end of the Intellichlor SCG cell, screw the cap with a washer and o-ring.

Step 4: The next step is to place it in a five-gallon bucket in a vertical position.

Then slowly pour the acid mixture into the Intellichlor SCG until its blades and salinity probes are immersed.

You should be careful not to spill acid out of the Intellichlor SCG cell while pouring.

If it spills, wash it off immediately with water.

Step 5: Now acid will start to bubble and foaming action will start.

This action will clean the scaling. However, do not keep the cell submerged in acid for more than 30 minutes.

Excessive cleaning by acid may damage the cell blades.

Step 6: Once the process is over, put the device in an empty 5-gallon bucket and rinse thoroughly with water.

Now observe the presence of scaling. If you still find them, you need to repeat the process.

Step 7: After the device is cleared of all scaling, place it in its original place.

Finally, make all the necessary connections and then your machine is ready for regular use.

These are the 2 main methods which you can basically use to clean your Pentair Intellichlor Salt Cell.

Use the right method which is necessary to use as per the condition of that salt cell.

How Long Does Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Cell Last?

The Pentair Intellichlor Salt cell is designed to last for 10,000 hours or 5 years approximately.

Generally, no replacement is needed before the said time frame.

Tracking of usage hours of the cell is very easy.

The device has an inbuilt usage hours meter for displaying the hours of usage.

If you want to check the same, just press the “MORE” button for 3 seconds.

You will notice that one of the Sanitizer Output LED indicators starts to glow.

This will display the usage hours.

You might expect one of the following outcomes:

1. 20% LED on means 2000 hours of usage

2. 40% LED on means 4000 hours of usage

3. 60% LED on means 6000 hours of usage

4. 80% LED on means 8000 hours of usage

5. 100% LED on means 10000 hours of usage

When you need to replace the salt cell you can either buy them at your local stores or at online stores.

Click Here to Get Pentair 520555 Intellichlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator Cell.

When Should You Clean Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Cell?

After few months of regular usage, Pentair Intellichlor salt cell generator tends to get scaling.

This affects the overall efficiency of the machine.

So, removing this scaling becomes highly essential.

Hence, periodic evaluations of the cell blades should be done at the right time.

In my experience, to get the best results, you should conduct a detailed inspection of the device’s interior after every 2-3 months.

If no debris or scaling is found after 4 months, you can stop inspecting every 2 months.

However, the chemistry of pool water may change from time to time.

So, a detailed evaluation should be done twice a year.

During the inspection, if scaling or debris is found immediate cleaning is advisable.

Depending on the severity of the scaling, you can either opt for the self-cleaning method or acid wash method as mentioned above.

When scaling is not excessive, self-cleaning or automatic cleaning is advised.

For the excessive buildup of scaling, only acid wash is useful.

Before starting an acid wash, you can try removing the scaling by rinsing it with high-pressure water.

If nothing works, then I recommend to try out the acid wash method.

Also, the frequency of the cleaning procedure depends upon how fast scaling is built up inside the device.

Some reports suggest that cleaning should be done every 3 months.

However, frequent cleaning also decreases the lifespan of your Intellichlor salt cells.

The acid washing process is especially harmful when used frequently.

Hard water and other imbalances in the pool tend to increase the scaling of the machine.

So, it is advisable to monitor it on a regular basis.

Make all the necessary adjustments to limit the need for frequent cleaning.

You can easily test the pool chemistry by using a digital kit.

Click Here to Get the Best Quality Digital Pool Chemistry Test Kit.

The pool chemistry test kit such as the above mentioned one will help you test around 25 parameters of your pool water.

This includes testing of chemicals such as chlorine, calcium, copper, salt, pH, Cyanuric acid, phosphate, etc.

In this way, you can enhance the longevity of this device without damaging it too much by acid washing process.

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How to Clean a Pentair Salt Water Pool Filter?

The filtration process of the Pentair salt water pool is carried out by a device named a Pentair Intellichlor salt cell generator.

The operating principle of the device is based on the simple theory of electrolysis.

Chlorine gas is produced during the process of electrolysis.

It dissolves quickly and reacts with low concentration salt in the pool water and forms a hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid pool.

Both the hypochlorite and the hypochlorous acid act as pool sanitizers.

They kill the bacteria, and algae and also oxidize the organic materials residing in the pool.

Once the process is over they revert to salt.

Then, again the entire process begins.

In this way, the salt cell generator keeps your swimming pool clean and bacteria free.

From this, we can conclude that saltwater pool filters play an important role to keep away all the dirt and debris.

Sometimes organic debris and other dirt clog the salt water filter.

This hinders the production of chlorine gas and thus hampers the entire filtration process.

Generally, three types of pool filters are used in the saltwater pools.

They are as follows.

Type 1: Cartridge filters

Type 2: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filters, and

Type 3: Sand filters

Each of these filters have different cleaning processes.

If you are using a sand filter, you need to backwash and rinse the filters.

Before starting the process, you need to turn off the pool pump to prevent any damage.

The cartridge filters offered by Pentair are the most cost-effective and easy to maintain.

They are colorless and have a chemical-resistant tank.

The cleaning process of such filters has 3 steps which are provided as follows.

Step 1: Opening and removing the cartridge

Step 2: Hose off the dirt particles

Step 3: Reinstall the cartridge

You can take reference to the user manual for proper guidance of the entire cleaning procedure.

For DE filters, the cleaning process involves the following 6 steps procedure:

Step 1: At first, switch off the pool pump and start the process of backwash by rotating the filter valve.

Step 2: If your pool does not have a waste line, attach a backwash hose for clearing debris.

Step 3: Now you need to turn the pump in reverse order.

Then run it for 1 to 3 minutes to get rid of old DE powder and impurities.

The water will soon start to get clear.

Step 4: The next step is to switch off the pump and put the filter valve in the rinse position.

It will clear all the debris from the filter.

Step 5: Again, turn the pool pump on and run it for another 30 to 60 seconds. This will help to remove all the leftover debris.

Step 6: Finally, put the valve in the filter position.

Then turn on the pump and add fresh DE powder.

After this, the filter is now ready to use.

9 Simple Steps to Clean Pentair Salt Cells with Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is generally used to clean Pentair Intellichlor salt cells.

Vinegar being mild acidic, acts efficiently without causing damage to the salt cells.

The cleaning process of the salt cell using distilled white vinegar has the following 9 easy to follow steps.

Step 1: The first step is to switch off the salt cell and completely detach it from the power source.

Step 2: Now inspect the presence of white, flaky mineral deposits on it.

If you find none, then no need to clean it.

You can again check it after a month.

Step 3: If mineral deposits are present then you need to proceed with the cleaning process mentioned below.

Step 4: The next step is to block the cord side of the device with a cap.

Step 5: Thereafter, slowly fill the salt cell with white distilled vinegar and place it in an empty bucket.

Step 6: Keep the salt cell in that position for around 24 hours.

Step 7: After the required time frame is over, empty the cells.

Step 8: Now with a high-pressure nozzle, thoroughly rinse the cell with water for few minutes.

Step 9: Finally, reconnect the salt cells and after that, your device is ready for regular use.

Click Here to Buy Pure White Vinegar for Proper Cleaning Pentair Salt Cells.

What is the Best Pentair IntelliChlor Salt Cell Cleaning Kit?

As per my research and experience, I can say that one of the best Pentair Intellichlor Salt Cell cleaning kits available in the market today is the Pentair 520670 IntelliChlor Acid Washing Kit.

The product is most favored by it users because of the following benefits.

1. It is durable

2. Easy to use

3. Easy Installation

4. The cleaning process is simple.

5. Compatible with almost all Pentair Intellichlor salt cells models like IC60, IC40, IC20, and IC15.

6. It also does fine with Pentair EasyTouch pool and spa automatic control systems.

7. It has an overall customer rating of 4.7 plus out of 5.

8. The product also comes with coupling nuts, o- rings, and close-end union caps.

9. The product offers great value for money.

Click Here to Get Pentair 520670 IntelliChlor Acid Washing Kit.

References:

https://www.pentair.com/content/dam/extranet/nam/product-related/product-manuals/pool-and-spa-equipment/intellichlor/IntelliChlor_Owners_Manual_Version_3_units_after_Nov_2011_English.pdf

https://askthepoolguy.com/when-a-salt-cell-lifetime-expires/

https://www.remodelormove.com/when-should-i-clean-my-intellichlor-salt-cell/

https://blog.maytronics.com/pool-and-water-maintenance/how-to-clean-a-pool-filter/

https://www.poolexpress.com/pentair-pool-filters

https://www.hellolidy.com/clean-salt-cell-with-vinegar/

https://www.saltchlorinegenerators.com/product/pentair-520670-intellichlor-acid-washing-kit/

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