Today I hate pools, but need help buying a Cleaner + Chlorinator

so I have a 65,000 litre pool that came "free" with the house 10 years ago. Cause I wouldn't build a 65,000 litre, 10m long, 5 m wide 2m deep pool today.

Converted it to a salt water pool a few years ago with an ebay deal LM40 chlorinator (Clearwater + a Zodiac 40 gm/h cell for $670). Also replaced the kreepy with a Zodiac MX5 (too small, but it was a gift from my folks, so we're using it).

Well, 5 years in, the Zodiac has blown two circuit boards at 250 - 300 a pop, and it looks like the cell is not holding up so well anymore…. Pool has now been green 3 times in 6 weeks from chlorine output levels fluctuating on the LM40…. So I need something to replace that can do the size of pool I have. I have a chemigem that does the pH just fine. Just need the salterwater to Chlorine machine.

…and the zodiac mx5 is a PITA. it keeps getting caught on the odd needle and stops moving… thinking of going back to a sucker… any suggestions?

as to why I am so over-joyed, in the last 12 months I also had to re-surface the pool (found a great guy in WA for about 50% cheaper, still a few k - PM me if you're looking at this major expense) and the pump packed up and had to be replaced. I also had to replace 65k water,… so except for the sand filter and the concrete shape, I have now replaced everything in this pool (blanket 2 years ago).


  • Need a salt water chlorinator for 65k pool (40 g/h levels)
  • Need a pool cleaner. Have a hose (Zodiac). Can convert to pit others.




    Our pool is a more modest 50k litres.
    What type of rubbish does the pool attract? We have a Zodiac per the link below and mostly happy except it does not do well with fine dust like silt.
    The grey round exit port seen at 20 seconds thru the video blows silt off the pool floor as the robot reverses.
    The robot works well with stones, sticks, leaves, millipedes and frogs.
    I use the manual vac when large amount of silt.

    Can't help with salt chlorinater as we have magnapool

  • +1 vote

    Time to convert it to a pond, or a giant sandpit


    Why not fill it in and be done with it?

    • +1 vote

      its actually surprisingly expensive to fill up a pool with sand! and during these corona times (as much as I winge) with 3 younger boys the pool is a good distraction.


    pretty similar story with us. Bought a house that came with a pool, although werent really looking for a pool.
    55k liter.
    Converted it to salt, and got an old used chlorinator for $200, which is going well.

    We got a Zodiac CX20 robot. Its the base model, i think. Does an OK job but definitely should upgrade if i wanted to spend the money. It's motor died about 1year in, but luckily was still under warranty so got it fixed for free.

    Regarding chlorinators, all you need to do is to buy a new cell and replace yourself (just need a screwdriver), dont need to buy a whole new unit. You can get "off brand" cells pretty cheap online. I got mine from

    Btw, do you get calcium build-up on your cells? Dont know if yours is self cleaning. Mine gets a solid layer of calcium on them every 2 months or so and i need to give the cells a hydrochloric bath to clean them, otherwise the chlorine output is very low.


      yes, the LM40 is self-cleaning, meaning it has three wires (rather than just 2) and reverses polarity 100s of times a second periodically to shock the plates… but now after a few years I have a thin white film building up at the ends, and surprisingly a few needles and seeds gets through the basket, pump basket and sand filter into the cell, where they sprouted! That was hard to get out.

      I used the pool asset to clean, but not everything came off.

      My problem is more likely that the third circuit board is about to be fried, which means the cell output is variable and unreliable from the controller, so I will likely have to replace both. I did the whole upgrade DIY at home, so handy with the tools… just not sure about which unit to go next. Will check out MR Poolman. They had a rough and ready unit in there that looks a bit more robust.


    My pool is a fair bit smaller - but I've finally got it under control.

    I had an Astral VX9 cell and chlorinator combination in the pool and I wasn't getting good results and the chlorine levels would regularly go low and the water go cloudy.
    I had cleaned the cell in Acid a few times to remove calcium deposits - but it still wasn't right. I couldn't work out if there was an issue with the cell, or if it were the chlorinator itself. The low salt light would come on regularly even though the pool had lots of bags of salt. Finally the no-flow light started coming on and the pump would just turn off.

    Given the age of the unit, I wasn't keen to throw good money after bad by paying a 'service' professional to tell me it was broken, nor risk $400 or whatever to buy a new cell and it turn out the problem was the chlorinator.
    So I ended up pulling the cell completely apart and seeing if there was any plate issue or connection issue. Upon closer inspection I could see the middle plate had some basic corrosion around the contact area to the electrical connection and depending on which way I rotated the connection, contact with the plate could be lost. I decided to move one of the outer plates to the middle, and sort of rejigged the connection to ensure contact was made and reinstalled the thing.
    I fired it up and to my great delight, the no-flow light stayed off. After a mini (chlorine) shocking - the chlorine levels over the coming week started to stay consistent.

    I think the reason for the plate corrosion was probably PH related. Salt Water pool PH levels will continually rise and you need to be constantly dosing every week or so with appropriate amounts of HCI. As I didn't have an automated acid dosing device, the PH fluctuated continually - and when I manually added acid to the pool I no doubt sometimes put too much in and got the ph too low causing the water to be quite acidic.
    Points 2 and 4 of the following article whilst over exaggerated do ring some truth:

    Anyway - it looked like I would need a new cell, but before committing to this, I just checked out gumtree for a couple of weeks, and sure enough up popped a full pump / chlorinator / cell combo that was relatively new and the seller had no idea how much the gear was worth as Astral hide their prices. I didn't need the pump, so negotiated and ended up picking up a newish Astral viron v25 chlorinator and cell for a couple of hundred bucks, and sold my old gear on gumtree as-is for for $100.

    Since switching over I've had no problems with the pool water. I do wish though I had an auto-dosing HCI unit.

    As far as pool cleaners, I've had the entry level E10 Dolphin / Maytronics powered pool cleaner since 2016 and it is still going strong. We don't get much leaf matter, so the cleaner only goes in the pool once per week. It is nice not having the crawly style plastic hosing in the pool constantly - particularly with smaller pools.


      Yes, my "no salt" light comes on every now and then, and the whole LM power box gets very hot. I run it now regularly on the 24 hour "Super chlorination" cycle.

      my connections may well have corroded away.

      I had an old analogue chemigem liquid acid and liquid chlorine. The chlorine measurement was way off when I used a blanket, which was another reason I swtiched to salt. When I converted to salt I switched off the chlorine and just use the acid. It is a winner and zero $ extra cost… So the Salt Clorinator powers up, starts the chemigem which is "alaways on" state which starts the pump daisy chain.


    Ive got an Autochlor reversing machine (Autochlor Classic RP25T) which works a treat. Benefit I found was when I had an issue, the head office was local in Brisbane, so could just drop it in to them to diagnose and quote to fix it. While I was there I noticed they had a cheaper model called Chrome, which had a plastic housing which I was a bit suspect on, but was fairly cheap.

    Sounds like most of the chlorinators use transformers to do the conversion, which have a limited lifespan, particularly if they are reversing ones.

    I would go for a new unit, something like an Autochlor or Saltmate. Try to find one that has local support. Ive never been a big fan of pool brands that do multiple products (pool cleaner, filters, chlorinators, pumps).


      will try them out - yeah, the pool companies that get too big get gross margins and transport cost in the way of quality engineering.

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