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Thread: Advice needed about Rola-Chem Digital controller

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    Advice needed about Rola-Chem Digital controller

    Hello everyone, I'm the HOA President at a five-acre condominium community in Los Angeles, with 86 homes and a central pool and spa area. The spa is heavily used, especially during the summer, and the water is often green and/or foamy, and our pool man, who seems to be doing a good job, has been struggling to keep the balance of chemicals correct, given the heavy usage patterns.

    He's recommending that we install a Rola-Chem 55400 digital controller for automatic chemical control:

    http://www.rola-chem.com/digital_controllers_gen_2.html

    His bid is $2500 installed. He is saying that this will result in a much improved spa experience for our homeowners, and also less wear-and-tear on the spa plumbing and other equipment (heater, filter).

    I'm interested in any comments you all may have on whether this would be a good investment for our community.

    thanks, Dave

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    Re: Advice needed about Rola-Chem Digital controller

    Still hoping that someone who knows more about pool chemicals than I do will weigh in on this - Thanks!

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed about Rola-Chem Digital controller

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Sorry you have not gotten any response, and I am not going to be too much help either.

    TFP generally does not recommend the use of ORP controllers for outdoor pools as the ORP can fluctuate too greatly to be useful. This is in part due to our recommendation for the use of stabilizer (CYA).

    I assume the pool and spa are separate and have separate equipment?
    How are they sanitized?
    Is CYA used (or allowed in your application)?

    This forum focuses much more on teaching owners of private residential pools how to maintain them. So our usual recommendation may not be as applicable to your situation. That said, the chemistry is all the same and if adequate chlorine was being maintained in your pool and spa, you would not be having algae problems.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Advice needed about Rola-Chem Digital controller

    Thank you Jason. I'm not familiar with the acronyms ORP and CYA. Yes the pool and spa are separate and have separate equipment. The spa is sanitized with chlorine, and I don't know if CYA is used (apart from not knowing what it is).

    - Dave

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed about Rola-Chem Digital controller

    Have you discovered Pool School yet? Start with these so we can speak the same language:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool

    How is the chlorine added?

    ORP is the type of probe in the automation system that tries to estimate how much chlorine is in the water since there is no way to measure it directly. As mentioned before, it does not very well for outdoor stabilized pools.

    The automation system also has a probe for pH which can be used to make automatic adjustments.

    Depending how the pool and spa are currently chlorinated, I would almost rather suggest getting a saltwater chlorine generating system (SWG) along with a pH automation system.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed about Rola-Chem Digital controller

    I suspect any controller is going to have a problem maintaining the spa given such sporadic use. However, if your CYA (stabilizer) is low, it will probably help keep the spa chlorinated during heavy use.

    What size is the spa?
    How often do the spa chemicals get checked?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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