So if you use the warranty when the cell wears out at 15 months, you'll wind up paying $435 for a two year cell.
Obviously , I'm biased when it comes to which generic cell you should buy but the THREE most important things you should consider are the length of time the company has sold the cell, the warranty of the cell (and whether it's going to be honored), and the plate life of the cell (rated hours).
Many buyers are going to be surprised at the new flavor of the year generic cell on eBay , Green & Clean, that only has a 3000 hour plate life for $289. Explains the 1 year warranty (plus another year at 50% pro-rata). How do I know? They told me. So if you use the warranty when the cell wears out at 15 months, you'll wind up paying $435 for a two year cell.
Chlorinator Pro has been around for six years and warranties it's cell for two full years. Our cells have a plate life that is 2.5x the Green & Clean cell. And we usually answer all questions within 24 hours. We had to increase our price to $324 (and may have to go higher) to account for a 400% increase in the price of Ruthenium over the past six months. Ruthenium is the main precious material that is coated on the titanium plates. This dramatic price rise is the main reason for the price increase of ALL salt cells, generic or OEM. However the only way to keep prices low, which a some generics are doing but not disclosing, is to cut the plate hours. A buyer can't tell the thickness of the coating, especially when the housing is embedded within the mold.
CircuPool is a good brand as well. They communicate with their customers too. A little expensive imo but it was customized from the ground up.
Sorry I had to pull back the curtain a bit but I'm sure many on this board will find it interesting.
Well some of this raises a question in my mind. As you state, and we have generally said, cells have a certain number of hours that they should be able to generate. What I'm wondering is if it makes a difference in how that time is distributed. Meaning is it better or worse to run at 50% for 12 hours or 100% for 6 hours or does it really make no difference?In a perfect world everybody would use their cell the exact same way. But the climate differs from Florida to California and thus the cell use is different. Simply put , rated hours is optimum life if EVERYTHING goes perfectly. Pump time/salt system x duty cycle = hours. If you are running 24/7 at 100% = 8760 hours per year. If you run pump/salt system 12 hours at 50% = 2190 hours per year. It's finding the right balance between running the pump longer or setting the duty cycle higher. The cost of electricity vs. wearing out the cell faster.
But rarely does everything go perfectly.
Hard water, extreme temperatures and humidity, heavy rain, failure to maintain CYA levels, algae blooms, lack of salt. too much salt, improper acid washing are some examples of what can go wrong if pool owners are not paying attention. As many have said on this board the salt cell is a chlorine maintainer. If you lose control of your pool and algae is present, you'll usually have to add liquid chlorine to bring it up to levels where the salt cell can maintain those levels as you eliminate the algae..
I know that is what we always say and makes sense, but I wanted to hear what the pro "in the know" thinksThe cell doesnt care. It cycles on and off based on the percentage you select. If two choices like the ones you mentioned are equal, then it doesnt matter. It will deplete its guts in approximately 10k hours.
When I replaced my cell I check here as well.. The consensus was to replace with the same I had before since the last one worked well for me. I got 9 years out of my first T-Cell-15 so I just got another one. If my controller had been on the fritz I might have been inclined to shop around for different systems, but I stayed with the same controller and just got a new cell. If you keep an eye on the sales and coupons you can get a good deal. I got an OEM Hayward Tcell15 for just under $400 with my various discounts.