Thursday, July 18, 2013

Converting A Chlorine Pool To A Salt Water Pool

Converting a chlorine pool to a salt water pool
This will cover our conversion of a regular chlorine swimming pool to a salt water pool with the installation of a Hayward Aqua Rite Turbo Cell salt system written by This is not meant as a “how to” on converting your pool over to a salt pool since there are lots of variables and each situation will vary but this can be used as a general reference.

A “Hayward Aqua Rite Power Center” (Manufacturer Part #: AQR) with a “Hayward Turbo Cell” (T-CELL-15) was used as the salt generating system. This was chosen since this exact model is commonly found in the area. If there are be any issues, finding support and parts for this unit will not be a problem.

Parts Used:
- “Hayward Aqua Rite Power Center” (Manufacturer Part #: AQR) (includes flow switch, unions, and manual)
- “Hayward Turbo Cell” (T-CELL-15)
- 5 feet of 2 inch PVC pipe and miscellaneous PVC 2inch fittings
- Redhot PVC pipe glue
- PVC saw
- Almond color spray paint
- 1/2in electrical conduit
- (2) 1/2 inch conduit end fittings
- Electrical wire spools (at least two different colors needed)
- 5/16 inch nut driver, Phillips head screwdriver, Flat head screwdriver,
- Wire cutters/Strippers
- (4) Phillips head screws (used to secure the power center to the wall)
Pool Water
- (12) 40lb bags of swimming pool salt

While not required, some swimming pool owners want to start fresh so this pool was drained and refilled before the appropriate startup chemicals were added (conditioner, balanced chlorine and acid) to the water. (Link: See an example of draining a pool here)

Attaching the Cell:
Inside the “Hayward Turbo Cell” salt cell box was only the cell,(no unions or flow switch).

Those are found in the controller box as seen below.

The salt cell and flow switch needs to be plumbed on to the return side of the system. Hayward suggests 12 inches of straight, unobstructed pipe before the flow switch, the cell itself with unions is 12 inches and can be place directly behind the flow switch if need be.
As seen in the picture below, there is not a suitable run to install the cell. The pipe needs to be reformed to make the necessary space available.

A loop was started going back and up around the inlet.

The flow switch was place at the end of a 12 inch straight pipe. Nowhere in the manual does it say that a salt cell needs to be installed horizontally but for cosmetic reasons the sell was installed in a horizontal direction.

Mounting the Controller

The salt system controller (and power system) needs to be mounted to either a wall or to standing posts.

Before doing this, remove one of the plugs at the bottom of the controller box.

Because of limited space, the box was mounted to a nearby wall with 4 Phillips head screws (not included with the system).

Note: Check that the cell power cable, flow switch cable, and main power conduit lines are all long enough to reach the box from where you want to mount it.

Connecting the power
The conduit, wires, and conduit ends used to connect the controller to the circuit breakers are not included and must be assembled by the installer.

This setup used a 220v setup.

The manual requires that the salt system be on the same power lines at the pool pump so that when the pump turns off or on, the salt system is also turned off and on.

The conduit in-between the two was buried to keep it out of the way; this was not a requirement and just done for cosmetic reasons.

The newly installed pipes were painted since most of the current equipment were already tan colored.

Getting the pool ready for the salt and turning the system on:
12 bags of 40lb salt were added to the pool then as per the manual the system was allowed to run for 24 hours without powering on the salt cell.

After the 24 hour period, the controller was checked to see what sized cell it was set up for.

Note: The chad over the “Generating” light was still covering the LED and had to be manually removed.

While the power was off, the flow switch and salt cell cable were connected to the controller.

The manual now suggests letting the system run for 24 hours for the salt level to be correctly calibrated on the system.

Now, the pool has been converted from a regular swimming pool to a salt water swimming pool.Total time from start to finish with the pool drain included was 3 days.