A genuine T Cell 15 nearly costs an arm and leg, making most people consider generic T Cell 15 replacements for their chlorine generators instead.
There are several brands that manufacture generic T Cell 15 replacements. And sure, these after-market salt cells cost a lot less than OEM cells, but do they make a smart choice in the long run? Well, that’s the debate.
Generic T Cell 15 replacements are generally thought of as unreliable due to their underwhelming performance in the long run. But are they really that bad of a choice? If yes, then why don’t we see a decline in their purchases? If not, then what’s the controversy all about?
Let’s dig in a little deeper and find out what exactly is the deal with these generic T Cell 15 replacements.
Most generic T Cell 15 replacements start out pretty good and perform just like a genuine T Cell 15. As soon as you install a generic T cell 15, it will start producing chlorine and maintain the sanitization in the water. But over time, it’ll fail to perform consistently or at all, for that matter.
Most off brand cells claim to produce as much chlorine as the OEM cell, but not all of them live up to their claims. However, there are a few like the Aqua Pure, BlueWorks Salt Cell, Optimum Pool Technologies T Cell 15, etc. that pump sufficient amounts of chlorine, nearly equivalent to the capacity of the OEM cell.
Yet it is also important to note that most generic cells lack reliability. Sometimes the salt meter fails to provide an accurate reading and disturbs the chlorine production and at other times, there’s some manufacturing defect that hinders the performance of the cell.
Here’s what a user had to say about the aftermarket replacement cells:
With that said, generic T Cell 15 replacements can be really great or utterly disappointing depending on the brand you’re choosing for the replacement cell.
Construction and Build Quality
The construction and design of these generic replacements is almost always excellent. The biggest perk with these generic salt cells is their clear housing. Majority of them, including the Platinum Edition Salt Cell, BlueWorks T Cell 15, etc. have a transparent housing that allows easy monitoring of the chlorine production at all times.
Additionally, you’ll also find high quality titanium electrodes in these cells with platinum and iridium coatings for preventing corrosion. So, design-wise, even the most underperforming salt cells are impressive.
The quality, on the other hand, is another story. Most after-market salt cells lack quality control and are not designed for the long haul, which is why they don’t hold a good reputation after all.
I tried searching for generic replacements that were of high quality and I was able to come up with only a handful. Four such great options have been listed in my recommendations list Best T Cell 15 Replacements.
The biggest hitch with these generic T Cell 15 replacements is their short lifespan. The best salt cells are typically rated for a 10k hour operation. This capacity is hard to meet for the generic cells, and well, they’re cheaper so that’s understandable.
But the problem is these generic cells fail to perform after a 1 year mark, at best. This defeats the actual purpose of saving money because you’ll end up purchasing the replacement cell again after a year and the cycle will continue, costing you well over the price of the OEM cell.
Most people think they’re purposely designed to fail after the warranty expires and we may even agree because that’s what happens in most cases. But again, there are a few exceptional replacement cells that last 2 to 3 years, even 5 if you’re in luck like this person:
The OEM cell, in contrast, lasts for 7 to 10 years for most people so you can do the math.
In short, a generic salt cell can be a smart purchase if it lasts for 2 to 3 years, but there’s no point in buying a cheap cell that’ll need replacements over and over again.
The generic T Cell 15 replacements usually come with a 1 year warranty. Some of them even offer a 2 year warranty but that’s about it. In some exceptional cases, like the Platinum Edition Salt Cell, you can find a 5 year warranty, but who knows if they actually honor it or not.
“The warranty is as good as the company behind it”, as this person on Reddit says:
The Hayward T Cell 15 comes with a 3 year warranty so a 1-2 year period for the generic cells seems quite fair. And the best part is, these generic cells are no shady business so you can claim the warranty if you purchase from a reliable manufacturer.
We have actually made an entire review of the Platinum Edition Salt Cell where you can read all about it, in greater detail.
Price and Value for Money
A typical generic T Cell 15 replacement will cost you around 300 to 400 bucks, which is significantly cheaper than the OEM cell which is available for $900 or more, at some places.
But if you’re able to get a 6 to 7 year function out of the Hayward T Cell 15 (which is totally possible), it is absolutely worth it to spend that money. The generic cells, on the other hand, can be a good option too if they’re durable and you’re saving money in the long run.
If you’re purchasing from a reliable manufacturer, the generic T Cell 15 replacement can be as good as the original T Cell 15. If not in terms of life, definitely in terms of performance and quality. Since these off brand cells are twice as cheap as the OEM cell, we’re not expecting an 8 to 10 year life anyway. So if you can find a cell offering a 2 to 4 year life, it’s definitely a good choice.
To make the choice easier for you, I have reviewed four great replacement options in the article Best T Cell 15 Replacements.
Here are some other great reviews from our site: