My salt cell decided to up and die after 9 years, so I decided to find out a) what causes it, and b)if it is repairable.
For those who are too impatient to read to the end the answer to B) is Yes and No. Yes, it is *easily* repairable. No, because the cells have been designed so as make them non-serviceable. Quite frankly this makes me a bit perturbed as it makes ABSOLUTELY no sense to spend $500 when a $50 repair will suffice. Now, on to dissection.
EDIT: Apparently the forum crams all new posts together, so this may get a little hard to read:
The salt sell as it was removed. It was provided by the pool builder, and has been in service since summer 2003. The seam underneath the label is melted or welded together, and survived quite a few sharp blows that I was hoping would cause the seam to fail.
Cover removal is accomplished by flipping the unit and slipping a screwdriver into the gap. It simply snap over a plastic pin (bottom center) and comes off easily.
The black substance on the left hand sensor is hard, apparently some type of epoxy. The black stuff at the top, which can be seen running, is like cooled tar and can be dug out as we will see shortly.
The tar dug out, revealing three screw on connections. Two black (cathode) and one white (anode), with the blacks jumpered together. These correspond to connector pins 1,3 and 2,4 as seen with the connector facing you. Red and blue connect to pins 8 and 10.