Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator | Review


The IntelliChoir IC40 chlorine generator is a machine that safely and automatically produces chlorine for your pool using ordinary table salt. This article discusses the critical details of the IntelliChlor IC40, related components, and links to manuals and other helpful materials.

Checks salt levels, maintains cell cleanliness, boost water flow and sanitizer output.

Information in this article acts as a comprehensive guide to the Pentair IntelliChlor system (IC15, IC20, IC40, power center, acid washing kit, etc.). Backed by a three-year warranty, The IntelliChlor IC40 is a very reliable chlorine generator.

Pentair IntelliChlor IC40

This article is a review of the IntelliChlor IC40, but the IC20 and IC60 models have the same features made for use on larger pools. We have details of each type.

The idea of wanting a salt-water pool involves a chlorine generator, and the IntelliChlor IC40 is the best candidate.

How Does Salt Chlorination Work?

You should add salt (sodium chloride) to the swimming pool’s water in the ratio of one gallon of pool water to one teaspoon of salt. The dissolved salt passes through the IntelliChlor IC40 cell, which converts it to pure chlorine. The chlorine sanitizes the pool water from unseen danger like bacteria and reduces disagreeable tastes and odors in the water.

Selecting the Correct IntelliChlor Model

Selecting The Correct IntelliChlor Model
Available in four models: IC15, IC40, IC20, and IC60.
Selecting The Correct IntelliChlor Model

Pentair has a set of requirements to help ensure you are purchasing the correct salt chlorine generator for your pool size.

A cell hour meter is present in each Pentair chlorine generator, which reports your current usage and displays the hours remaining in the IntelliChlor unit’s life. Depending on the frequency of use and maintenance, the IntelliChlor chlorine generator will serve you for about five years.

TIP: Buying the next model up and running it at a lower level will prolong cell life.

IntelliChlor IC15 | Model 520888

  • Generates 272 grams (0.60 pounds) of chlorine every 24 hours.
  • Works in most small pools (up to 15,000 gallons or 56,800 liters).
  • Suitable for above-ground swimming pools.

IntelliChlor IC20 | Model 520554

  • Generates 317 grams (or 0.70 pounds) of chlorine every 24 hours.
  • Works in most swimming pools (about 20,000 gallons or 75,000 liters).
  • Works well in-ground and above ground swimming pools.

IntelliChlor IC40 | Model 520555

  • Generates 635 grams (or 1.40 pounds) of chlorine every 24 hours.
  • Suitable for small and large swimming pools (about 40,000 gallons or 150,000 liters).
  • Suitable for in-ground pools.

IntelliChlor IC60 | Model 521105

  • Generates 907 grams (or 2 pounds) of chlorine every 24 hours.
  • Suitable for large pools (up to 60,000 gallons or 227,124 liters).
  • Best for above-ground pools.

Advantages of the Pentair Chlorine Generator

  • Similar sanitation features as traditional chlorine systems and has few drawbacks.
  • Eliminates the need to handle dangerous and expensive chlorine compounds.
  • Odorless and prevents skin irritation.
This product is a renowned timesaver.

The IntelliChlor IC40 efficiently produces chlorine in your pool with far fewer chloramines responsible for irritated skin and eyes and the chlorine smell. The IntelliChlor IC40 reduces dissolved alkali minerals in your swimming pool, therefore softening the water.

The IntelliChlor IC40 is a smart solution, especially for persons that have chlorine sensitivity. Chlorine removes natural oils like body skin oil and irritates people with sensitive skin. Nevertheless, salty water is far more realistic.

The Pentair chlorine generator costs less to maintain since it uses salt, which is cheaper than chlorine. To realize this, remember a salt cell serves for an average of 5 years. A person who resolves to buy chlorine every year would have to multiply the price by 5 to compare with the generator’s cost.

Not only is time saved but also having healthier water to swim in.

How the best swimming pool should look.

The low-cost design of the IntelliChlor IC40 is its main disadvantage. Maintaining the correct pool water chemistry and cleaning the electrolytic cell within the IntelliChlor IC40 is essential to avoid damage.

However, here are two reasons why the IntelliChlor IC40 is worth the investment:

  1. Improves the quality of your swimming pool water.
  2. The convenience of maintaining your swimming pool water.

Furthermore, the IntelliChlor IC40 monitors the water chemistry, allowing you to make necessary adjustments. We have reviewed the control panel layout later in this article.

How does IntelliChlor IC40 work?

The IntelliChlor IC40 recycles salt continuously, therefore eliminating the need to add chlorine. The chlorine generator automatically cleans itself with a built-in reverse cycling feature to prevent scale buildup and preserve cell life.

It is necessary to check the cell frequently (every couple of months). Excessive scale buildup between the plates needs manually cleaning using either a high-pressure water hose or the IntelliChlor acid washing kit, covered later in the article.

Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 | 520555

Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 | 520555
Light 7 x 17 x 7-inch design – weighs less than eight pounds.
Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 | 520555

Now the intricate details, from the IntelliChlor User Guide:

The IntelliChlor Electronic Chlorine Generator (IECG) salt chlorinator uses electrolysis to generate chlorine gas, which dissolves in water (or any other solution) to create Hypochlorous and Hypochlorite acid water in spas and pools using a low concentration of salt. Hypochlorous and Hypochloriteacide kill bacteria and algae by oxidizing organic matter before converting to salt. The system reuses the salt several times to keep the pool clean. The IntelliChlor entails a Power Centre and an IECG. “

IntelliChlor Control Panel and Cell Description

To control the IECG, the IntelliChlor IC40 has a control panel with buttons and LED indicators. It measures salt levels and water temperature to create chlorine at a defined output. It also provides information about water chemistry if it is incorrect.

Suppose the salt level in the pool water is too low, then it displays a red on the salt level, and the cell is off until salt is added to the swimming pool. The IntelliChlor IC40 maintains itself using a self-cleaning cycle that reverses cell polarity. This reduces calcium buildup and, in the end, prevents damage.

Turning on and off the cell serves primarily to reduce calcium and scale buildup. The ability to self-clean is in place to extend the IntelliChlor chlorine generator’s life.

IntelliChlor Control Panel And Cell Description
Detailed image of the control panel layout.
IntelliChlor Control Panel And Cell Description

Bipolar electrodes and control electronics are contained in the IntelliChlor IC40 and are responsible for chlorine production when energized with DC current. To adjust chlorine production, modify the hours the generator is on each day, or change the control panel’s sanitizer output level. You can tune both to realize what you are comfortable working with.

As discussed earlier, the self-clean cycle that involves the IntelliChlor IC40 automatically reversing the cell electrode blade to help clean the electrolytic cell happens every few hours. The entire process happens incognito (behind the scenes) and does not interfere with chlorine production in normal circumstances. Pentair has created the technology that translates a complicated process of creating chlorine from salt into simple steps. With the IntelliChlor IC40, you do not have to hustle to keep a healthy pool.

The chlorine generator measures water flow by checking the amount of water passing through the cell for chlorination. It also measures water salinity and temperature via the IECG. Three (3) salinity ranges are on the control panel using LED indicators.

The IntelliChlor IC40 is 15 feet UL approved four-conductor 16 gauge cable for power connection.

IntelliChlor IC40 Sensors

IntelliChlor IC40 Sensors
Different configurations of the IntelliChlor Chlorine Generator.
IntelliChlor IC40 Sensors
  1. Flow Sensor: It measures the amount of water flowing through the IntelliChlor IC40. Improper set-up of the IECG or an inadequate amount of water hinders chlorine production.
  2. Temperature Sensor: Water temperatures below 52° F, ±3° F causes the IntelliChlor IC40 to turn off. The same happens in case the water is cold. All these happen to protect the unit from potential damage.
  3. Salt Sensor: Turning on the IECG activates two salt sensor probes within the IntelliChlor IC40. It activates them every 12 hours of continuous running of the generator.

More details on the sensors are in the user/installation guide.

Watch this video on setting up the IntelliChlor chlorine generator:

The Salinity Calculator from Pentair shows how much salt is needed in the swimming pool to get the ideal salinity (3,400 PPM).

IntelliChlor Plumbing Diagram

To install the IntelliChlor IC40 in a pool/spa combination system, it is crucial to install the chlorine generator before the pool/spa’s return valve, as shown in the diagram below. This allows the correct amount of chlorination for both the pool and spa and prevents gas traps in the pipes.

IntelliChlor Plumbing Diagram
IntelliChlor’s Plumbing Diagram.
IntelliChlor Plumbing Diagram

Install Bromine/Chlorine Feeders after the IntelliChlor Cell

CAUTION: The automatic in-line chlorine/bromine feeder (such as the Pentair Rainbow) must be installed after the IntelliChlor IC40 cell (as shown below) to prevent permanent damage.

Whenever you are using the IntelliChlor IC40 with an in-floor cleaner pressure system, you need a separate return line for the cleaner to lower water pressure stress on the IntelliCHlor IC40 cell.


Documentation for the IntelliChlor IC40:

NOTE: For a new pool set-up, you will need the IntelliCHlor “dummy” bypass cell (520588) covered later in the article.

This small chlorine generator has a technologically advanced design.


  • Cell life tracking and full diagnostic capabilities that shows the remaining cell life in real-time.
  • Captures performance data every day like production settings, hours of operation, chlorine output, cell cleaning cycles, salt readings, and the water temperature.
  • Easy operation using push buttons and clear display enables checking of salt levels, cell cleanliness, and sanitizer output and water flow.
  • The automatic power-off feature protects the chlorine generator from damage.
  • The cell hour meter reports current usage (determines the remaining life of the unit).
  • Recurrent cycling prevents calcium and scale buildup (extends cell life).
  • Communicates with the IntelliTouch, EasyTouch, and the SunTouch automation systems.
  • Designed to combine the cell and control panel.
  • Cell blades are a titanium metal base coated with a Ruthenium oxide coating.
  • Cell blades generate chlorine consistently for around10,000 hours if you set up and operate the IECG correctly.
  • You can install the IECG horizontally or vertically.
  • For easy AC wiring, a separate power center mounts to the wall at the equipment pad.
  • Runs cool for long.
  • Less than 1psi, head loss if you connect the IECG system to the main line.
  • Salt level LED indicators show the level of salt in the pool’s water.
  • Green and Red LED indicator lights depict the systems water flow, cell status, and cold water level accurately.
  • MORE and LESS output buttons control the production of chlorine.
  • BOOST cycle maximizes chlorine output in every 24-hour pump cycle.
  • UL listed (UL1081 standard) swimming pool chlorinator.
  • CE certified and approved NSF regulatory standards.
  • Includes 15 feet cable.
  • For pools up to 40,000 gallons.
  • Chlorine output of 1.40 pounds every 24 hours (635 gm/24 hours).
  • Power Output of 22-39 VDC at 6amps maximum from the power center.
  • Includes salt cell with 2-inch unions.
  • One year limited warranty.

Here are other beneficial videos and information about the Intellichlor Chlorine Generator:

Cleaning a Pentair Intellichlor Salt Cell:


  • Salt System Type: Salt System Power Center.
  • Application: Electrode.
  • Voltage: 120V.
  • Product Type: Salt Chlorinator.
  • Pool Type: In ground.
  • Manufacturer: Pentair.

Pentair Technical Support

You can contact them directly through their Pentair site or go to forums to learn from other customers and pool owners.

Is the IntelliChlor IC40 Right For You?

Is The IntelliChlor IC40 Right For You?
Pool cleaning will be simple with this system.
Is The IntelliChlor IC40 Right For You?

Ask yourself if your pool needs an upgrade from a salt to a chlorine water system. The short answer is yes. The technology that the IntelliChlor IC40 uses to maintain water quality is far more superior to the traditional chlorine system. Water quality is the main reason this must have upgraded because why have a pool if you cannot maintain the water?

You will be saving a whole lot of time and effort put in maintaining your pool with the IntelliChlor IC40. You only need to monitor and clean the cell every couple of months once you install it. This is far less of a hustle than having to replenish chlorine levels the old-fashioned way.

The forefront cost might be high, but the long-term cost will be lower than the cost you would incur on the old-fashioned method. This is a suitable upgrade for people who can afford it because it ensures you maintain water health, and it is easy to do so.

Protecting the water will be protecting your family and friends more, so if anyone has a known chlorine sensitivity problem.


A professional should install the IntelliChlor IC40 generator; otherwise, a 60-day warranty in case of an undoing.

One (1) Year Warranty a Pool Professional installs it, Sixty (60) Day Warranty if a Non-Professional install it, see Owner’s Manual for coverage details and warranty claims.”

You may consider the Hayward Salt Cell if you feel this chlorine generator is not right for you.

IntelliChlor Power Center | 520556

IntelliChlor Power Center | 520556
Standalone installation with a power center (PN 520556).
IntelliChlor Power Center | 520556

The Pentair IntelliChlor (520556) Power Center controls communication to and from the IntelliChlor cell. It also provides power and supports IC20, IC60, IC40, and IntelliChlor models.

NOTE: You will need a power center (PN 520556) to install it standalone.

It converts AC electricity to a low-voltage DC electric current at the IntelliChlor Power Center to produce chlorine. The pool circulation pump’s electrical source works with the power supply. For the best results, mount the Power Center vertically on the wall not more than 15 feet away from the chlorine generator.

The fuse, transformer, and connector to the cell and AC electrical current with DC electrical current wiring to the IECG are in the Power Center. For additional protection, it has a fuse holder on the bottom of the Power Center.

For information about installation and proper use of the Power Center, download this USER GUIDE.

Pentair Dummy Bypass Cell | 520588

Pentair Dummy Bypass Cell | 520588
Pass-through cell for start-up in winter.
Pentair Dummy Bypass Cell | 520588

IC60, IC40, IC20, IC15 Pentair InterlliChlor salt chlorinators, and the Pentair EasyTouch pool and spa automatic control systems are compatible with this dummy bypass cell. A pass-through cell designed for winter or start-up.

This product prevents debris from entering the IntelliChlor chlorine generator. Install the IntelliChlor chlorine generator “dummy” cell before installing the IntelliChlor chlorine generator.

Remove the “dummy cell” and install the IntelliChlor chlorine generator after the pool system has flushed the pipes’ debris.


  • Pass-through cell for winter or start-up.
  • Measures 4-inch diameter x 17-inch long.
  • Dummy bypass cell replacement.
  • Fits all Pentair InterlliChlor salt chlorinator sanitizers models (IC60, IC40, IC20, IC15).
  • Fits spa and the Pentair EasyTouch pool automatic control systems.

Pentair IntelliChlor Acid Washing Kit | 520670

Pentair IntelliChlor Acid Washing Kit | 520670
The kit includes one washer, an O-ring, and one cap.
Pentair IntelliChlor Acid Washing Kit | 520670

It is crucial to acid clean the IntelliChlor electrolytic cell if excessive scale forms between the plates. The kit includes one O-ring, one washer, and one cap.

This is the safest method for cleaning the IntelliChlor cell. It is unfortunate Pentair does not include this with the IntelliChlor IC40. Here is the most bothersome feature of the Pentair IntelliChlor Acid Cleaning Kit. Nevertheless, it is necessary to have to clean the electrolytic cell.

Pentair IntelliChlor Acid Washing Kit
Pentair IntelliChlor Acid Washing Kit

Download or view the Pentair IntelliChlor Acid Cleaning Kit’s MANUAL.

How To Acid Wash the IntelliChlor Electrolytic Cell:

Check this manual.

  1. Remove the IntelliChlor unit from your pool.
  2. Set up its acid cleaning kit as directed.
  3. In a plastic bucket, mix a quart of muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) with a gallon of tap water in a 5 gallon. Ensure that you add acid to water and not vice versa, and wear eye protection plus rubber gloves. Work in a well-ventilated area.
  4. With the cap end facing down, place the cell vertically in the bucket. Pour the acid solution gently into the cell until you submerge the blades. Allow the acid solution to clean the blades, and remember the acid should only be contained in the cell and not around it. A foaming action should occur, caused by scale (calcium carbonate) being dissolved from the plates. If rigorous foaming is not evident, then the IntelliChlor cell does not need cleaning; hence stop cleaning and proceed to step 5. Otherwise, leave the cell in the solution until the foaming stops. However, do not leave it in the acid for more than 1/2 hour. Excessive washing with acid will damage your electrolytic cell.
  5. Pour the acid solution back into the 5-gallon bucket. Rinse the cell with clean tap water. Inspect if deposits are still visible and repeat the process in step 4. You might have to top up the solution with acid.
  6. Rinse the cell with clean tap water again. Check if clean, replace the cell, and resume regular operation.
  7. An authorized IntelliChlor service representative should analyze a sample of pool water after the acid wash procedure is complete for excessive hardness and improper water balance.
  8. Bi-monthly inspections are not necessary if no scale or debris deposits collect in the cell after two bi-monthly reviews. You should remove the cell for inspection at least twice a year due to possible pool water chemistry and filtering effectiveness changes.
  9. Unscrew the cap with a washer and O-ring from the threaded end of the IntelliChlor unit. You can use these acid cleaning parts again for future IntelliChlor cell cleaning.
  10. Install the IntelliChlor unit in your plumbing system using two unions, connect the communication cable to the power or load center, then switch on the pump.

Pentair Intellichlor IC15 | Salt Chlorine Generator

Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator
Recommended for 15,000 Gallons above ground pools.
Pentair IntelliChlor IC40 Salt Chlorine Generator

The Pentair IntelliChlor IC15 works the best in above ground pools of up to 15,000 gallons. This model has its user guide, as it is unique from the other cells (IC20, IC40, and IC60). The other models share the same manual.

You can install it horizontally or vertically using two threaded couplings. It has a precise sliding cover to ease the access of diagnostic readings.

IMPORTANT: Connect the IC15 Power Supply with the power source. To ensures the IECG and pool pump switch on and off simultaneously. If the IC15 is in Europe, obtain the IC15 power supply fuses ONLY from the manufacturer.

CAUTION: Do not plug any other IntelliChlor cell into this power supply. The IC15 Power Supply works with the IC15 cell.

Download or view the user/installation guide for the IntelliChlor IC15.


  • Includes external power supply.
  • For up to 15,000 gallons above ground pools.
  • Connects to 2 inch PVC piping.
  • Titanium electrode cell blades.
  • Cell and control panel as designed into one assembly.
  • It produces chlorine for at least 10,000 hours when you use SCG properly.
  • For easy AC wiring, mount the power center to the wall at the equipment pad.
  • Has a cell hour meter that reports the lifespan of the unit.
  • The SCG works horizontally or vertically.
  • Cell blades have a titanium metal base coated with precious metal Ruthenium oxide.
  • IC15 produces approximately 0.278 kg of chlorine per day.
  • Less than 6.9 kPa (1 psi) head loss of the SCG system is in the main line.
  • Green and Red LED indicator lights show the system’s status for water flow, cell status, and cold water.
  • MORE and LESS output buttons control chlorine production.
  • BOOST cycle enables you to set the unit’s maximum chlorine output over a 24-hour pump run-time.
  • UL listed (UL1081 standard) for swimming pool chlorinators.
  • Salt level LED indicators show the concentration of salt in the pool.
  • CE certified and approved NSF regulatory standards.

Pentair Intellichlor IC20 | Salt Chlorine Generator

Pentair Intellichlor IC20.
Pentair Intellichlor IC20.

For smaller 20,000 U.S. gallons pools (75,000 liters), the IntelliChlor IC20 is the economical choice. It produces 0.70 pounds of chlorine every 24 hours.

Pentair Intellichlor IC60 | Salt Chlorine Generator

Pentair Intellichlor IC60.
Pentair Intellichlor IC60.
Pentair Intellichlor IC60.

Pools with a capacity of 60,000 U.S. gallons (227,124 liters) need the IntelliChlor IC60 chlorine generator. The cell males approximately two pounds of pure chlorine every 24 hours of continuous pool pump run time.

Determining Your Pool Size

Gallons of Water in Your Pool

  • Circular Pools: Diameter x diameter x average depth x 5.9
  • Rectangular Pools: Length x width x average depth x 7.5
  • Oval Pools: Length x width x average depth x 6.7
  • Sloping Sides: Total gallons x 0.85 = gallon capacity.

Liters of water in your pool

  • Circular Pools: Diameter x diameter x average depth x 785
  • Rectangular Pools: Length x width (meters) x average depth x 1000
  • Oval Pools: Length x width (meters) x average depth x 893
  • Sloping Sides: Total liters x 0.85 = liter capacity.

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