Salt Cell Care During Winter Months

Preparing Your Pool for Cold Weather

Preparing your saltwater pool for the winter months doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process. From balancing the chemicals to cleaning the filters, ensuring that your pool will ride out the winter season is critical to a proper reopening. When closing your pool for colder weather, one thing to consider is the proper running and maintenance of your salt cell. 

What is a salt cell?

A Salt Cell or Salt Generator is a key component of any saltwater pool. The salt chlorine generator converts sodium chloride (aka- salt) into chlorine through a process called electrolysis. Salt generators allow a pool owner to alter the amount of chlorine by simply pushing a button and reduce maintenance time when it comes to checking pool water chemistry. 

Winterizing Your Cell

During the colder winter months, when your pool water temperature starts to drop, your salt cell will most likely be programmed to shut off and stop the process of making chlorine. There are two main reasons for this 

  1. The amount of chlorine needed to keep your pool clean during the winter is significantly less due to the fact that bacteria growth slows down during cold weather. 
  2. When the pool water temperature drops between 65-62 degrees (depending on the brand), the salt cell will automatically shut down to preserve the lifespan of the cell. 

What do I do with my salt cell during winter?

It is best practice to remove your salt cell during the colder winter months. By removing your cell, you limit the potential damage that may occur to the unit during cold or freezing temperatures. The cold water and temperatures can damage the plates and stop the salt cell from functioning as intended. If you choose to remove your salt cell during the winter, you can place a “dummy cell” or “mock cell” into the location of your existing salt cell.

Ohh no…my salt cell won’t work!

If you left your salt cell in place during the winter and are now experiencing low chlorine levels and blinking lights on the unit, your salt cell might be damaged due to the cold temperature exposure. If you are experiencing problems, it may be easier and worth your time to simply replace the entire unit. 

 Salt Cell Maintenance

It is best practice to clean your salt cell when scale develops on the metallic grid system or at least once every season. Our pool experts at Parnell Pool and Spa suggest using the SaltScapes™  Cell Cleaner alongside the SaltScapes™ Scale Defender. These products are effective, easy to handle, and increase the life of your chlorine generator cell. 

Want to read more about winter pool topics?

Take a look at some of our other blogs to help with winter pool maintenance. 

Need Help Balancing Your Pool Water?

At Parnell Pool & Spa, our trusted specialists use only the best equipment and procedures to get a complete and accurate reading of your pool water. Our computerized Water Analysis System, BioGuard’s® ALEX®, provides results in an instant with step-by-step instructions. Bring us your water sample today and leave knowing every step needed to get your pool water safe and sanitary. 

Contact Us Today

If you have a question about the proper running of your pool or spa, contact us or stop by our Fayetteville or Lumberton location anytime. While in the store, check out our products, purchase chemicals for your pool/hot tub, or get a specific question answered by one of our experts. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well.

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(910) 425-6138

4206 Cumberland Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28306

Mon-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
Sunday: Closed


(910) 738-8110

1380 Linkhaw Rd
Lumberton, NC 28358

Mon-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
Sunday: Closed

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