When it comes to effective biofouling control, there are few components more essential to your system’s processes than electrochlorination cells. These cells generate chlorine that can help prevent inefficient, expensive system downtime by controlling biofouling organisms such as barnacles, mussels, and film-forming microbes.
As electrochlorination cells do their work, they will produce byproducts called hydroxides. These can clog the cells , resulting in inefficiency and even failure.
To make sure that your electrochlorination cells can do their jobs correctly, you need to perform consistent maintenance. The most important part of that maintenance involves removing hydroxide deposits through effective cleaning practices. If you do, your electrochlorination cells and hypochlorite generator will be able to operate continuously for years.
The alternative? A very costly—and premature—replacement. Let’s discuss the best way to avoid that outcome through regular acid cleaning practices.
Cleaning Your Cells Effectively: The Importance of Acid Cleaning
Acid cleaning can sound intense. In reality, it’s an effective cleansing process that harnesses the scientific properties of acids to remove calcium, magnesium and other types of unwanted materials from metal surfaces without involving heat.
Your electrochlorination cells will benefit from this type of treatment. Regular, consistent maintenance will extend the life of your electrochlorination system. The recommended cleaning frequency will depend on the specific type of cell you have, the seawater composition in your area, and the concentration of hypochlorite that your cells produce. Generally speaking, 1-3 cleanings per month should be appropriate to maintain optimum cell life.
This might seem like a lot, but there’s good news. For any given electrochlorination system, the amount of time that it takes for fouling to occur and hydroxides to build up should be consistent. Over time, you’ll get to know your system and have a sense of how often you should perform a good acid cleaning. (see images for what a clean cell should look like)
Acid Cleaning: Your Process for Protecting Electrochlorination Cells
Wondering how to complete an acid cleaning for safe, well-maintained electrochlorination cells? Here’s a quick guide:
- Take your system offline. It is not recommended to power the cells while cleaning.
- Select a safe cleaner. If you’re making your own with hydrochloric acid, you’ll need to take extreme care when mixing to your desired concentration. Ultimately, it’ll be easier and more cost-effective to use a ready-made, biodegradable cleaner such as PEPCON Cell Cleaner RTU (Ready to Use). The wrong cleaner at the wrong concentration can damage your cell coatings; it’s best to avoid that possibility altogether.
- Circulate the cleaner through the cells for 2-4 hours. If your electrochlorination cells are badly fouled, you may need to soak the cells for a longer time.
- Flush the cells with seawater. Even if your hypochlorite generator won’t go back into service for a while, this is still an important step.
By making this process an integral part of your care routine for your hypochlorite generator, you’ll extend the life of your electrochlorination system, stay on top of your biofouling control processes, and save yourself money in the long run.
Completing this process properly is essential. If you have any questions at all regarding the correct acid concentration for your system, the best recurrence rate for optimal cleaning, or anything else regarding the state of your electrochlorination cells, H20 LLC is here for you.
Hypochlorite Generator Care Tips and More
Consistent acid cleaning constitutes one of the best care practices to keep your hypochlorite generator up and running properly. Doing it well is critical for the health and ongoing function of your system.
If you aren’t sure about your cleaning practices and would like to set up an effective, system-prolonging cleaning program, contact H2O We would be happy to discuss the details of what’s right for your system. We also offer convenient methods for sourcing the right chemicals to make your maintenance routine as simple as possible. You can also buy PEPCON Cell Cleaner through the webstore.