For some video tutorials on how to troubleshoot your unit or understand some of the error codes, please visit the Tutorial Videos page
Why Chlorinate your pool?
You enjoy fresh clean water in your swimming pool. For the health, safety and comfort of you, your children and guests you want the most sparkling water in your swimming pool. Chlorine is the best way to sanitize water, be it drinking water or swimming water. There are many common ways to sanitize your pool with chlorine; chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, granular chlorine and chlorine gas. The easiest and safest way is to generate your own chlorine at a constant low level.
Why a Salt Chlorine generator?
Salt is a natural element found in the earth, in our body and in our homes. It is used to season and preserve our food, rinse out contact lenses and soften our drinking water. Salt is a very economical commodity. When the ions in salt are passed over specially coated blades and induced with a low voltage electrical charge it is converted into chlorine. It is the same process that is used to convert seawater into laundry bleach. When this process is incorporated into your swimming pool you have your very own “chlorine generator”.
Why an AutoPilot® Salt Chlorine Generator?
AutoPilot® has been the technological leader in the chlorine generation process for swimming pools since 1978. There are over a half million satisfied AutoPilot® owners worldwide. In fact over 90% of the swimming pools in Australia are sanitized with chlorine generators. AutoPilot® sets the standard for dependability, features and performance … and has a unit to fit every need and budget.
1. Increased Pool Ownership Satisfaction:
- Never buy, transport and store chlorine again
- Softer, silky feeling water – Better on your skin and hair
- No more red eyes – No staining of clothing
- No chlorine odor
- Automatically solves most of your water chemistry problems
- Sanitizes your pool every day – No vacation worries
2. Protect your pool finish investment by:
- Better water chemistry management – day in day out
- No algae growth to stain your surface
- Continuous super chlorination eliminates need for harsh chemical shocking
- Produces close to neutral pH to prevent radical shifts in water balance
3. Increase safety for your family:
- ETL approved for swimming pool application
- No handling or storage of harsh chlorine products
- Continuous in-line super chlorination guarantees healthy water
- No caustic by-products
4. Easier pool maintenance:
- Ease of operation – chemical regulation at your fingertips
- Economical to operate – less electricity usage than a 200 watt light
- Water balance is more stable – virtually eliminates the need for super chlorination, algaecides
and other support chemicals
Do I eliminate the need to add chemicals?
The Pool Pilot® does one thing, generate chlorine. However, the purity of this chlorine has less effect on the overall water chemistry balance, therefore, LESS chemicals are needed to re balance the water. Your Pool Pilot® recommends periodic (weekly or bi-weekly) testing of stabilizer levels (60 – 80 ppm), Free chlorine (2 – 4 ppm for pools and 3 – 6 ppm for spas), pH (7.2 – 7.6), and salt levels (2,500 – 3,500 ppm). Since we do not affect the Total Alkalinty or Calcium Hardness, a monthly check is sufficient.
Will I have to run my equipment more?
The Pool Pilot® allows for multiple configuration set-ups so that you can generate sufficient amounts of chlorine during your current pump circulation time. For regions that have short circulation times, you can increase the output power of the Pool Pilot to compensate
How long will the cell last?
There are many variables that have a profound effect on cell life.
- Pool size
- Swim load
- Water features
- Pool temperature
- Power setting on power supply – maintain proper residual, not higher than 3 ppm for max life
- Cyanuric levels must be maintained
- Proper run time settings on power supply
- Maintaining proper water balance to prevent scaling and lower reversing cycles
- Use and size your cell properly for max life.
PPC1 Cell will produce the equivalent of 200 lbs. of pure gas chlorine in its lifespan.
PPC3 Cell will produce the equivalent of 300 lbs. of pure gas chlorine in its lifespan.
PPC4 Cell will produce the equivalent of 575 lbs. of pure gas chlorine in its lifespan.
PPC5 Cell will produce the equivalent of 1,000 lbs. of pure gas chlorine in its lifespan.
100 lbs. of pure gas chlorine equals:
- 100 gallons of liquid chlorine
- 112 lbs. of trichlor tabs
- 150 lbs. of cal hypo
What replacement cell do I have?
How do I clean my Cell?
WARNING — Always use safety precautions when handling acid by wearing rubber gloves and safety goggles.
Clean your cell if the cell blades have any calcium build up as shown below.
Please note: You cannot always see Calcium unless the blades are dry.
Please click here for a video tutorial on how to clean your cell.
The Cap method
1) Turn off your water pump
2) Loosen the unions as indicated on the cell manifold
3) Remove the cell and place a cap or plug on the end of the cell as shown
Plugs are available at any pool supply warehouse or home improvement store. Ask for a 1.5″ MPT clean out plug
4) Fill the capped cell with water 2 inches from the top of the cell blades.
5) Fill the rest of the cell with Muriatic Acid. This allows for an approximate 1 to 4 solution.
Always add the acid to the water. If you do it the other way around it can cause the solution to spray back at you and cause serious injury.
6) Allow the solution to sit in the cell for up to 20 minutes.
7) Safely dispose of the solution. (Putting it back into the pool is recommended)
8) Remove the cap and rinse the cell with light water pressure, inspect, and repeat acid washing if the cell is still scaled.
Once the cell has been cleaned, dry off the cell electrical terminals, reassemble the manifold, and return the system to service. Warning: The electrical terminals must be completely dry to avoid corrosion and failure of the cell or cable.
Are you wondering about putting salt in your pool?
The AutoPilot® Salt Chlorine Generator requires a salt level of 2500 to 3000 parts per million (ppm) for operation?
Compare that to:
- Sea Water – 35,000 parts per million (ppm)
- Human Body – 4,000 parts per million (ppm)
- Saline Solution for contact lenses – 6,000 parts per million (ppm)
Four parts per million of Chlorine is ten times as corrosive on stainless steel than 4000 parts per million of salt. AutoPilot® Salt Chlorine Generator operate at only 2500-3000 parts per million (ppm). Your taste level for salt is approximately 3500 parts per million. That is 20% higher than the normal AutoPilot® operating range!
AutoPilot® Salt Chlorine Generator offers all the advantages of salt.
- Softer feeling water… Feels silky to your skin
- More compatible with eyes, NO MORE RED EYES!
- Low Cost
What kind of salt can I use?
Acceptable salts include Food grade salt, Water softener pellets, Solar salt flakes, Water conditioner salt, or Brine blocks. Avoid Rock Salt as it contains too many impurities!
Where do I add the salt?
What is most important when adding salt is to brush it around until it is dissolved. This is accelerated by turning your pump on, opening the bottom drain and adding the salt over the drain, rather than walking around the perimeter while adding the salt. It is recommended that you continue to run the pump for 24 hrs so the salt can spread evenly throughout the pool.
With Granular salt, 60-70% will have dissolved before hitting bottom. The remaining salt can simply be brushed into the drain which will then complete dissolution. With all other forms of salt, it will take longer to dissolve but the same process will accelerate the dissolve rate. Simply brush the salt in a pyramid over the drain to increase dissolution.
How much salt do I add?
Enough for 3,000 ppm (parts per million) as a starting point. So depending on the initial salt level of your water, you only add the amount needed to establish 3,000 ppm. For new pools or freshly filled pools, the salt level will most likely be zero. In this case, 50lbs of salt per 2,000 gallons of water will establish 3,000 ppm. For existing pools, the previous usage of chlorine bleach or tablets will have already introduced a level of salt into the water. Have the water tested first then add the appropriate amount to establish 3,000 ppm.
To help you with the math, you can go to the Pool Calculator
What happens if I add too much salt?
Oversalting will not harm your Pool Pilot system, but will lead to salty tasting water. For some, this is not undesirable as it will more closely match our bodies natural salinity level, making it more comfortable to swim in. If it is too excessive (over 6,000 ppm), you can sustain corrosion damage to metallic equipment such as stainless steel handrails, ladders and filters, light rings, or copper heat exchangers. To reduce the salt level, dilution is the solution. Drain some water and refill with fresh water.
How often will I need to add salt?
After the initial dosage of salt, you will only need to add salt when necessary. The most common ways salt is lost is through leaks, rainwater overflow, filter back washing, and bather splash out/carry out. Normal water evaporation does not lose salt, it increases the concentration. The make up water added to bring the water level back to normal will then reduce the salt concentration back to 3,000 ppm.
The Nano, Nano+, Digital and Soft Touch units also provide low salt indicators, with the Digital going further to provide the proper salt amount needed to restablish 3,000 ppm (based upon the programmed pool volume input).
When I need service, whom do I contact?
If service is needed, you should contact an Authorized Service Center. You may do so by calling Customer Service at 727-823-5642 and we will recommend someone or you can use our online Service Center Locator to find service centers in your area. However, we stipulate in our warranty terms that if an authorized service center is not available in your area, the part(s) must be shipped back to the factory and repaired/replaced at our discretion.
How long is the warranty?
Your Pool Pilot® is covered at 100% for the length of your warranty, no proration. Click on the Warranty link for specific terms