Best Salt Water Chlorinators

5 Best Salt Water Chlorinators for Crystal-Clear Pools and Spas

Find out how saltwater chlorinators work, what they can do for you, and the right one to choose if you’re on the market for a new pool/spa cleaning system.

There are lots of great reasons to choose salt water with your backyard swimming pool.

Saltwater swimming pools are generally easier on the skin, swimwear, and produce less of the overly stinky chlorine smell.

Saltwater pools also require less maintenance and cleaning. Part of this is thanks to saltwater generators, which provide a more consistent concentration of chemicals in your pool.

Saltwater generators are a great option for backyard swimming pools as they are easy to use, require less maintenance, and take a lot of the guesswork out of chlorinating your pool.

Below is a breakdown of the best saltwater chlorinators on the market, key features including price, and much more.

Let’s dive right in.

How Does a Salt Water Chlorinator Work?

First, a quick intro to what a salt water chlorinator is and how they work.

A salt water chlorinator is a device that converts sodium chloride (the same stuff you find in the salt bottle in your kitchen) into chlorine.

Water runs through the cell of the chlorinator, which has blades covered with iridium or ruthenium and a control board that provides an electrical charge, splitting the salt molecules in the water and creating chlorine.

The resulting chlorine helps to kill algae and other organic contaminants, keeping your pool water sparkling and clean.

Saltwater chlorinators can end up saving you a lot of money in maintenance over the years. They also require less work to keep your pool clean. And as mentioned, for people who aren’t overly fond of the smell of chlorine, saltwater chlorinators clean your pool and spa without the potent smell.

Let’s take a look at the best saltwater chlorinators for every kind of pool and budget.

Hayward Aqua Rite Pool Salt System

Hayward is one of the best-known names among pool and sap enthusiasts. They make a wide variety of killer stuff for backyard pools, including some of the best heaters for above ground pools, automatic pool cleaners, pool skimmers, pool filters, and so on.

Their flagship salt chlorination system is the Hayward Aqua Rite and is the best-selling saltwater chlorinator on the planet with over a million pools worldwide using it to pump clean, chlorinated water.

The Aqua Rite works by converting just a teaspoon of salt per gallon of pool water into a continual supply of chlorine. The result is clean pool water at tremendous savings, while also leaving your skin and swimwear less damaged.

Oh, and of course there is the automation and convenience—no transporting heavy buckets of chlorine or constantly worrying about whether or not your pool is being sanitized.

The Aqua Rite comes in a variety of pool sizes, including 15,000, 25,000, and 40,000-gallon pools, and has an easy-to-use digital display that makes it easy to configure and use.

Hayward Aqua Rite Pool Salt System


Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Chlorination System

Best saltwater chlorinator for above ground pools

Intex is another huge name in the backyard pool business, with a focus primarily on above ground swimming pools. They make some of the top accessories for above ground pools as well, including pool vacuums, swim pool covers, and pool ladders.

The Intex Krystal Clear takes a lot of the guesswork out of properly chlorinating your above ground pool (Intex or otherwise), pumping fresh and clean water through a sleek compact casing that attaches to your pool pump (sold separately and requires a flow rate of 700-3,000 gallons per hour).

The cell of the unit has a self-cleaning feature for extended life and reduced maintenance. Salt usually only has to be added to the system in the event of water loss in the pool, otherwise, the system and filtration pump continually dissolve the salt into chlorine, resulting in clean and sparkling pool water day after day.

Reviewers love the ease of installation and reduced maintenance that comes with using the Krystal Clear Saltwater Chlorinator, and Intex backs it with a two year warranty.

Intex Krystal Clear Saltwater Chlorination System


Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump and Chlorinator

Best saltwater chlorinator and pump for above ground swim pools

Another entry by industry-leading Intex. This time, we’re looking at a salt water chlorinator that also has a sand filter pump.

The chlorinator and pump combo come in two flow rate options, up to 8,500 or 15,000 gallons per hour. The pump runs on a 0.75 horsepower motor and a digital timer can be programmed to automatically run the pump each day for up to 12 hours at a time.

The Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump and Chlorinator is a perfect upgrade for above-ground pool owners who want to take the guesswork out of chlorinating their pool with a quality sand filter pump.

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump and Chlorinator


ChlorMaker Salt Water Chlorinator for Hot Tubs and Spas

ControlOMatic makes a line of salt water chlorinators for spas and larger pools (we will get to that one next). The ChlorMaker is a saltwater chlorinator designed for small spas and hot tubs (up to 1,000 gallons).

One of the best parts about this chlorinator is that there is no expensive install or installation process involved; simply plug and play and off you go.

Instead of itchy red eyes, burning skin and that all-consuming smell of chlorine on your skin and swimwear, the ChlorMaker quietly cycles through every three hours, producing up to 30 grams of chlorine per day.

Pricewise, the ChlorMaker definitely ranks as a low-cost option with Amazon selling them for around $300 (check Amazon for current pricing and availability).

ChlorMaker Salt Water Chlorinator for Hot Tubs and Spas


MegaChlor DO Saltwater Pool Generator

MegaChlor—a lot of fun to say and sounds like it could be the name of a Transformer. Which, in a way, is what it does, quietly and consistently transforming salt into chlorine to keep your pool clean and healthy.

Unlike its little brother, the ChlorMaker, this fella is built for larger pools, up to 17,000 gallons in size. The control board has ten different power levels and has a self-cleaning mode that makes maintenance few and far between. The MegaChlor produces up to 110 grams of chlorine per day for crystal-clear pool water.

This chlorinator is very easy to install, and given that ControlOMatic has been doing this for over thirty years, you can count on the device to keep your swimming pool clean far into the future.

MegaChlor DO Saltwater Pool Generator


Recommended Reading

5 Best Chlorine Tablets for Keeping Your Swim Pool Sparkling. Nuke bacteria and algae and keep your pool clean and sparkling with the best chlorine tablets for swimming pools. Let’s do this.

6 Best Pool Shocks for Keeping Your Pool and Spa Crystal-Clear. Make the most of your swimming pool with the best pool treatment shocks for keeping your backyard pool crystal-clear this summer.

5 Best Pool Algaecides for Backyard Swim Pools. Looking for the right algaecide for your swim pool? Get ready to take the fight to algae with a detailed look at the best algaecides for backyard swim pools.

6 Best Floating Chlorine Pool Dispensers. Keep your pool balanced and clean with our hand-picked selection of the best floating pool dispensers.

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Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

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