A chlorine generator is almost effortless to use. You install the unit, a task which is usually done by a licensed electrician, and add salt to the pool. You will need to calculate the amount of salt to add, but if you are in doubt, just add 10 lbs. or so at a time, and check the pool daily until the salinity is correct.
Notes on Choosing a Chlorine Generator
There are two basic types of chlorine generators. The brine or electrolysis generators tend to be used in larger pools and commercial installations, and residential pools are often better suited for the cell-producing, chlorine generators, which require the addition of salt. Among the considerations for which one is the best for your needs, consider the price and size.
Electrolysis units are generally more expensive, which may prove prohibitive. It will be helpful to know how many gallons are in the pool before you purchase a chlorine generator, and the calculations for that are given below.
Step 1 - Calculate the Pool Size
To determine the size of the pool for salt chlorine generators, multiply the circumference (the distance around the pool) times the width, and then multiply that by the average depth of the pool. To get an approximate gallon size, multiply that result by 5.9. To simplify that, the formula is C x D x 5.9 = gallons.
If the pool is rectangular, the formula is slightly different. You multiply the length by the width, and then the average depth, and then multiply that result by 6.7. In simple terms it reads L x W x D x 6.7 = gallons.
Step 2 - Add Salt
With that number, you can determine the amount of salt your electronic chlorine generator will need to have. The basic rule of thumb is that 1 bag, or 50 lbs., is about right for every 2,000 gallons of water. Start out with 10 lbs. less than your calculations, and see how well it balances. To add the salt, simply pour it slowly into the deepest end of the pool. If you are trying to shock the pool, you can broadcast the salt into it, but there is no guarantee that it will have any different effect.
Step 3 - Test the Salinity
The goal for your pool is an overall salinity of 3,000 parts per million (ppm). Check it twice a week until the balance has been achieved, and then continue checking once a week throughout the season. If more salt is needed, add a bit more, and keep track how much is required. After the first treatment is successful, subtract 10% of the amount of salt used, and try that amount the next time.
Step 4 - Maintain
Service your chlorine generator at least once a month. Check the connections and make sure that there are no loose or missing parts. Making minor repairs as you go can prevent major malfunctions in all of your pool equipment, including the filtration and pumping systems.