How To Clean a Compupool Salt Generator Cell


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During normal operation a white calcium residue will build up on the plates of the electrolytic cell within your salt generator. The cell operates most efficiently when the cell is clean so the manufacturers recommend cleaning these cell at least once a year. This guide describes how to dismantel and clean a Compupool cell. Note: some cells such as this Compupool cell have an auto cell cleaning process that significantly reduces a calcium buildup. This in turn reduces the need to clean the cell as often. Under normal conditions, a cell should be replaced after 12,500 hours of use.


Step by Step


Step 1

Before removing the cell for cleaning or replacement, make sure that you TURN OFF POWER to the pump and salt generator. For maximum safety turn off the power at the circuit breaker box. Be sure to RELIEVE THE PRESSURE at the filter's relief valve.

Step 2

Gently pry off the cell plug on the end of the cell.

Step 3

Generally the Cell can be extracted from the Cell Assembly without removing the Cell Assembly from the piping. If, however, your work space is tight and you have to remove the Cell Assembly, loosen the barrel unions that connect the Cell Assembly to the piping and lift the Cell Assembly off the piping. Check the O-rings for wear and replace is required.

Step 4

Remove the outer blue cover surrounding the cell by pulling the two halves apart. You may have to press down gently at the latching points with a screwdriver to help release them. Start at the cell head end.

Step 5

Shows outer blue cover halves after being separated.

Step 6

Unscrew the grey locking ring at the end of the housing cylinder to remove the cell plate assembly.

Step 7

Start the removal of the cell plate assembly by inserting a screwdriver at the collar and gently prying it from the housing.

Step 8

Pull the cell plate assembly out of the housing.

Step 9

Immerse the cell plate assembly into a solution of five parts water and one part muriatic acid. DO NOT SUBMERSE THE CELL HEAD when cleaning. After a few minutes remove the cell plate assembly and hose it off until the cell plates are clean.

Step 10

Replace the cell plate assembly back into the housing cylinder. Make sure the tab on the housing lines up with the slot on the collar of the cell plate assembly.

Step 11

Replace the grey locking ring.

Step 12

Replace the outer blue cover. Make sure the ribbing fins line up as shown in the picture.

Step 13

Press the two halves together. You will hear them click. Make sure that all latches are connected. They may need some pressure to engage completely.

Step 14

Picture shows fully joined cover on the cell head end.

Step 15

If you removed the Cell Assembly from the piping, lubricate the O-rings and place the cell assembly back onto the unions that are glued to the piping.

Step 16

Reconnect the two barrel unions. Hand tighten only.

Step 17

Reattach the cell plug. Make sure it is pushed on completely as shown at left.

Step 18

Your salt generator cell is ready for operation. TURN POWER ON to the pump and salt generator.


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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/30/2017 

Christi - I have an email into Compupool's base office in Australia on this and other questions. If I get a response from them, I will let you know. If you'd like to try reaching them on your own, their email address is Please let me know if they respond.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/27/2017 

bob h - If the hole is by the red male terminal coming out of the cell, I would be concerned with the system shorting out and possibly causing more damage. I would replace the cell.

 Posted: 3/25/2017 

The cell is clean but there is a burnt hole next to the red terminal. I am unsure what caused the burn hole, possibly lightning? Shall I put it back in operation and hope for the best?


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/16/2016 

scott - Yes, dilute the acid purchased further with water by a 5 to 1 ratio.

 Posted: 5/13/2016 

In the above instructions, you say to use a 5:1 solution of Muriatic acid. The Muriatic acid I got at Home Depot is a 20% solution of HCl. Is this 20% solution to be further diluted or should I use it "as is"?

 Posted: 8/5/2014 

We have had our pool for 3 yrs and need to do this cleaning with our cell. thanks u

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 1/13/2014 

James- You could try welding the detached plate back on, but the manufacturer recommends buying a new cell if any of the plates get detached. If the resulting amperage in not the same, you can overheat the controller.

 Posted: 1/10/2014 

On the CPSC24, I removed the cell plate to clean it. One of the fins is not attached ( worn away?).Any chance that by repairing by soldering this missing metal bridge the unit will again work properly? (Pool water salt reading is -+ 3800 ppm) Unit is apparently bubbling, but turns it self off due to this condition.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/23/2013 

pearl - It depends on your cell manufacturer. Some recommend reversing the cell when you reinstall it. If you have a Compupool cell, however, they specifically instruct you to install the cell so that the plug end of the cell is always nearest the input port.

 Posted: 9/21/2013 

My pool cleaning service did the first cell cleaning this week. He reversed the cell 180 degrees when he replaced it back into the plastic sleeve. Thus the water flow thru the cell is reversed. Is this ok?


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/26/2013 

Ashley - A couple of point: Sounds like you have a leak around the cell head. Check steps 10 and 11 of this guide and make sure the cell was lined up with the notch when you put it in and that the locking ring was twisted on securely. Also check that the O-ring just behind the cell head is in place and intact. On the Cell plug, crimp the female terminals slightly to make sure you have a tight connection. See our guide on "How To Clean a Corroded Salt Chlorine Generator Cord Head". Also you might want to replace the old cell plug with an improved design. See our guide on "How To Replace the Compupool Salt Chlorine Generator Cell Cable". If you still can't get a display to light up, give Compupool a call at 888 989-7258. It's possible that you may have shorted out the control board.

 Posted: 5/25/2013 

We cleaned the cell out today & when taking the cell plug off from the cell housing, we noticed some corrosion/gooey stuff around 1 of the 3 connectors. When we finished cleaning it & put cell plug back in, as the water started going through, it was also going through to the cell plug. Now our compupool computer reading will not even turn on. Any advice on what we need to do to fix this please? We are desperate!

 Posted: 4/30/2013 

I just started servicing a new pool that has one of these salt generators but doesn't seem to be working.....all led lights on front of control panel are working's not indicating to lil or to much salt and I took unit apart to clean today and there was no build up on plates at all....any advice?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 4/22/2013 

James - Try tightening up the cable connections at the head of the cell. You might have to crimp them slightly to get a tighter fit. If that doesn't fix your problem, give Compupool a call at (888) 989-7258.

 Posted: 4/20/2013 

my cpsc24 had buildup of calcium.Low chlorine level.I was in the winter mode.Used a solution of acid (Five to One). Lightly tapped off larger scale . Re installed. Put on Super Chlorinate. Upon start up following day got a message about "??? not being an original part".Turned off power to unit. Re-Start. Same message.No power light coming on.Just briefly on start up. How do I reset this ?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 2/11/2013 

RobertH - Good suggestion. The manufacturer says that method is fine and will not hurt anything. However he said you may have to replace the acid a couple of times to get the cell clean because of the limited size of the tube. And of course, if you have hard scale that needs to be brushed or scraped off, you would still need to pull the cell out.

 Posted: 2/10/2013 

Is there anything wrong with just removing the unit from the plumbing, flipping it over and adding a solution of muritic acid and water (1:5) directly into the water tight container housing the cell fins? This is a lot easier than extracting the fins... I've done this a few times and it seems to work fine... Please let me know!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/13/2012 

Joe - Check to see that the terminal head that plugs into your cell is tight. Sometimes these push off or need to be cleaned. If that isn't the problem, call Compupool at 888-989-7258. These sill be happy to assist you.

 Posted: 8/12/2012 

My unit needs to constanty be reset. Any ideas? I've checked everyting... the unit has worked fine for three months, but all of the sudden it powers off about twice a day. Now the reset button only works for about 30 minutes, then no power. Help!

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/18/2012 

Simon - If one of the plates is disconnected from its mounting, there is no way to reattach it.

 Posted: 6/16/2012 

Thanks a lot, it now works better even if I got it four years ago (about 5 months a year), but one the plate is disconnect. Should I crimp with something to make polarity #2 work again ?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 6/1/2012 

Jack - I have no idea why the white residue would build up that quickly. Give Compupool a call at 888-989-7258. They should have an answer.

 Posted: 5/30/2012 

Thanks for the easy instructions on cleaning the cell. I cleaned the unit and removed the white calcium build up but within a couple of days the white build up returned. The add salt message no longer appears. What is your suggestion on what my next step should be?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/22/2012 

Steve – The “Water Fault” light can come on for a number of reasons: the salt level is below 2500 ppm; your pool’s water flow is inadequate. Check that filter and skimmer baskets are clean and make sure debris in not clogging the impeller: Make sure the cell plug is securely attached to the cell head. If your unit is pre-2011, crimp the female connectors slightly to create a tighter fit around the connection terminals.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/22/2012 

Stephen - Call the salt chlorine generator's manufacturer on this one. You could have several problems like water chemistry is off, insufficient salt level, the generator was not installed correctly.

 Posted: 5/22/2012 

After starting my system a week ago, the control is now reading "water fault" despite the unit's being filled with water. I had cleaned the unit at the end of the season last year. Shall I clean it again or are there other suggestions? Thanks

 Posted: 5/21/2012 

My pool has gotten away from me - completely green with algae growing rapidly - which means my man card is officially violated.
The generator does not seem to be generating any chlorine and by that I mean the output has a cloudiness to it which should mean chlorine is being produced (from what pool guy said) but when I put a "test strip" in front of the jet going into my pool, no chlorine is registering. Pool store just now told me to put Copper into it which will - fingers crossed - do the trick. Could my brand new generator have something wrong with it? It works as advertised however I wasn't able to fully clamp the blue plastic cover that covers the cell - it is fully wrapped around it just not fully clamped.
This forum rocks by the way!!!


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/10/2012 

heccar - Have a pool store check you salt water level. If it's too low, the cell will not produce chlorine.

 Posted: 5/10/2012 

the screen show every thing good bud the test water no have chlorine

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 3/26/2012 

RCKELLY1954 - I'm assuming that this unit is a Compupool Salt Generator. Your best bet on this one is to call the manufacturer, Compupool, direct at (888) 989-7258, Ext. 401. Their technical staff will be glad to help you

 Posted: 3/23/2012 

I installed a new system last year and now the system does not turn on. Stays off when filter turns on. It used to work fine before.
why is it showing off and what dod i need to do to make it work again.


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/7/2011 

We recommend that you call Compupool direct on this issue. They will have more information on this specific problem. Their number is 1-888-989-7258.

Anonymous  Posted: 10/6/2011 

We bought this system 12 months ago and I already had to clean it twice, is that normal? The water temperature shows only 69 degree on my LCD dipslay, but my Jandystsem in the living rooms has 84 degree. Could it be that there is something wrong with the cell? My poolguy explained me that since the Chlorinator is installed at the back of the wall in the shade and my indoor system measures the solar temperatrue. What could it be? It does not make sense to me. Thanks for any comments

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 10/2/2011 

Sounds like your O-rings are missing or not seating properly. Check the O-rings for breaks or tears. Make sure you lubricate them so that they seat easier. And make sure the barrel unions are lined up when you screw them back on. Hand tighten only. If you use too much force you may break the union.

Anonymous  Posted: 9/30/2011 

I cleaned my cell as instructed but when I replaced it onto the piping I couldn't stop it leaking. Please help.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/26/2011 

If you do not see a part in our system, give us a call. 1-877-372-6038. We can generally add a part to our system in a couple of days to make it available to you.

 Posted: 7/25/2011 

One of the three electrical nut/flange fittings broke off while I was pulling it apart. I removed the pin in the plug and unscrewed the flange nut from the generator. Do you sell these flange nuts? Can I get a few spares?

 Posted: 7/2/2011 

Great instructions. My cell was completely covered and by following the directions I was able to clean it. Now my "Add Salt" indicator is off now. Thanks again!!!

 Posted: 6/14/2011 

I just finished cleaning my cell following these instructions and it was quite easy. I did't have a suitable container to soak the unit in the acid so I made one out of 3" normal PVC pipe (not schedule 40 pipe as it is too thick). Just cut a length of about 8 1/2 inches and cap off one end. the cell fits nicely into it and the head sits on the rim of the pipe so it doesn't get immersed in the acid.

Anonymous  Posted: 5/25/2011 

Hello There - I have Purchased 3 Compupool 2 24 & 1 48 - Finished installing the 48 unit went I noticed the Cable black cable that goes to the Cell is Extremely Hot - I even follow the cable back to the unit and is Also Extremely Hot -- IS this normal'?

Please let me know in this regard if this is normal so I can Turn Back On My Unit - I shut It Off just in case

Thanks For Your Prompt Response to this issue..Thank