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Thread: No more pucks, no more problems. Liquidator is my solution

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    timthek's Avatar
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    No more pucks, no more problems. Liquidator is my solution

    [Note: I've changed the title now that I went with the Liquidator]

    I've been posting my algae problems over HERE, and the pucks have caused me more headaches than their convenience offsets. I'm going to have to half drain my pool again this year to cut my CYA levels to a manageable level so my chlorine can do it's job against the relentless algae.

    I was leaning towards a Liquidator as it seemed the easier solution, but I've been warned about some issues with the LQ. The Stenner sounds like a nice option, but requires the addition and wiring of another timer (already running one for the pump and one for the Polaris), plus the cost of the pump and tank. Adding another intermatic timer will add $100+ to the cost to begin with, though in theory I could put the polaris on a manual switch I guess. Is a standard Intermatic Mechanical timer precise enough to run a Stenner accurately?

    I think the non-mechanical LQ is probably my preference because of the simplicity, and that any problems tend to be with the valves which can be replaced pretty easily. The downside being it probably requires closer management. My wife has given me the green light to make the decision, but that hasn't helped. I wish she said the pump was too expensive!

    Help.
    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    Well, as a Stenner user I guess you can figure my recommendation.

    Yes, a standard Intermaric timer will control either a fixed rate or adjustable rate Stenner. I just slaved mine off the timer that runs the pump. Easy, if the pump is running the Stenner is running. Mine is adjustable rate, so I can change the injection rate as my pump times change or as the summer heats up I can turn up the rate to compensate for more sun.

    You say the Liquadator is simpler, but I disagree. When I look at my tank I know the level is going down. When you look at a LQ it is a mixture of water & chlorine, so,I'm not sure what I'm seeing.

    Now, I'm in the middle,of a SLAM right now, but it's my fault - not the pump. It has an on/off switch. Most time when we swim at night after the pump has shut off I will turn the pump back on and just leave the Stenner running to compensate for the bather load. But, sometimes I turn the pump off for these after hours swims. A few weeks ago I turned it off for one of these swims and I did this time - unfortunately it was the night before we headed out for a four day weekend. When we came home I discovered we had four days of 100 degree weather and no chlorine additions. The water was clear, so I just brought it up,to target and let it go. But, for the past few weeks my chlorine demand has been slowly going up. Sparkly clear water, no or .5 CC. I finally did an OCLT last night and I guess you know the rest.

    So, an on off switch can bite you if you do stupid things.....

    Keep saying to yourself, Stenner, Stenner, Steenner.......
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    I had a Liquidator. It works. The big downside is the calcium deposits that occur (in some cases, but not all) in the chlorine tank. Cleaning off the floats and mechanisms got to be too much hassle for me so I removed it. If it weren't for that "white stuff" issue (yes, google white stuff), I believe mine would still be on there.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    Ok, I'll admit that at first I was little envious of all of the people with Stenner pumps, but over the two and a half years that I have been using my Liquidator I have have grown to appreciate it and no longer have a craving for a Stenner pump system. I don't have the calcium (white stuff) precipitation problem that some have complained about and the notion that you can't tell how much chlorine is left is just not true.

    The Liquidator uses a bed of chlorine at the bottom of the tub (see photo) with the pool water sitting on top of it. The chlorine defuses into the pool water creating a low level concentration of chlorine at the top of the water. This low concentration is drawn off the top ~3 inches of water into the suction side of the pump. Pool water is continuously added from the pressure side, again in the top 2 or three inches. These flows, into and out of the Liquidator, are controlled by two float valves.

    The chlorine and pool water are not mixed, but rather there are two distinct layers of liquid. The chlorine bed, depending on the concentration of chlorine used, is a shade of yellow which results in a clear line where the chlorine and pool water meet. This allows for the visual observation of how much choline is in the Liquidator. The Liquidator instruction says to maintain a minimum of a two inch bed
    for proper operation. In order to avoid mixing the chlorine and pool water, the Liquidator has a funnel with a tube that goes down to the bottom quarter of the tank. You add chlorine, which is heavier than water, through this funnel forming the bed at the bottom.

    The Liquidator is somewhat like a SWCG system, where is continuously dosing the pool when ever the filter pump is on. The results in a constant low level injection of chlorine throughout the on cycle of filter system with no spikes in FC levels. After my first full season, I added a pinch valve to better control flow. This allow a finer and more consistent adjust-ability than the valve provided with the system. Using this pinch valve I can dial in the flow to maintain 4 to 5 ppm FC level (CYA of 40 PPM) without much day to day variation. I found that once dialed in, I only need to make slight adjustments maybe once a week.


    I use 12.5% chlorine because its the best value around here for chlorine/bleach and it allows for longer operation between refills. So about twice a week I haul out a couple of gallons and fill it up. I have gone up to eight days between refills without problems and believe that I could have stretched it to 10 days if needed, but unless I know I can't get to the pool, I never fill it to the max preferring to keep the chlorine store in my cool basement.

    I do have a single speed pump, so dialing in the feed rate is relatively simple. I'm sure a variable speed pump would be more of a challenge to dial in, although if there is a consistent daily run schedule then I believe it is doable. It's true that the feed rate will change with pump pressure changes, but I found that following the TFP method, my pump pressure doesn't really change that much. All you need to do is to monitor your FC regularly and adjust the flow rate accordingly.

    I seen where some people suggest that the Liquidator would not work for large pools (>20K) but I obviously found that that is not true. As you can see from my signature, my pool is around 30k gallons I have successfully managed my pools' chlorine with a Liquidator for two full seasons (this is my third) here in the New England. In these two season and a half season. I have never had an algae outbreak nor have I had to SLAM my pool.

    WP_20150719_06_58_01_Pro.jpg
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
    1 HP WhisperFlo pump, 60 sqft Pentair Quad D.E., Liquidator(8 gallon) with 3/8 upgrade,TigerShark cleaning robot
    TFTestkits TF-100 with SpeedStir,WS
    A proud practitioner of TFP since 2013

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    laprjns,

    That is a great post. My SINGLE issue with LQ was the frequent removal of calcium I had to perform.

    It surprises me, too because my CH in my pool is marginally low at about 200 ppm. What is yours?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    My CH is low, at 100 to 140 ppm
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
    1 HP WhisperFlo pump, 60 sqft Pentair Quad D.E., Liquidator(8 gallon) with 3/8 upgrade,TigerShark cleaning robot
    TFTestkits TF-100 with SpeedStir,WS
    A proud practitioner of TFP since 2013

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    Dave,
    How often would you find yourself having to do a cleanout....and what did the cleanout entail? Draining the LQ? Removing and hand washing parts and the tank? How much work was it?
    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by laprjns View Post

    The Liquidator is somewhat like a SWCG system, where is continuously dosing the pool when ever the filter pump is on. The results in a constant low level injection of chlorine throughout the on cycle of filter system with no spikes in FC levels. After my first full season, I added a pinch valve to better control flow. This allow a finer and more consistent adjust-ability than the valve provided with the system. Using this pinch valve I can dial in the flow to maintain 4 to 5 ppm FC level (CYA of 40 PPM) without much day to day variation. I found that once dialed in, I only need to make slight adjustments maybe once a week.

    My Calcium Hardness is much higher at the moment, probably from all the Cal Hypo shock I had been using (Around 280), but with an impending 1/2 drain and fill I'm not too worried about that.

    Are you running the 3/8 tubing? Care to share what you are using as a pinch valve?
    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    Yes, I use 3/8 tubes. Here is the pinch valve that I'm using
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
    1 HP WhisperFlo pump, 60 sqft Pentair Quad D.E., Liquidator(8 gallon) with 3/8 upgrade,TigerShark cleaning robot
    TFTestkits TF-100 with SpeedStir,WS
    A proud practitioner of TFP since 2013

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    So, I'm no closer to making a decision. The LQ is obviously a simpler setup and install but its use is tied to the pump time (if I want to run the waterfall for a few extra hours I have to manually shut off the LQ). The Stenner is a more costly and complicated install, but once it is running I can run the pump as much as I want without worrying about overdosing my pool or remembering to shutoff the system. Either system will require monitoring and tweaking. Argh. I was hoping for a clearer solution.
    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by timthek View Post
    ... but its use is tied to the pump time (if I want to run the waterfall for a few extra hours I have to manually shut off the LQ).
    I sweated this at first also, and was always shutting off the feed from my Liquidator when running after normal pump hours. One time I forgot to turn the Liquidator back on and ran the next day with out any chlorine being feed into the pool. It wasn't a big deal but it did get me thinking that if I was going to screw up, I would to prefer to overdose than under dose. I have a water slide so I run my pump for 7 hours between 10 am and 5 pm. I target my FC to between 4 and 5 ppm and get that level consistently day to day. So if you assume that the daily FC demand is 2 to 3 ppm the that means that the Liquidator is dosing around 0.3 to 0.43 ppm per hour. Running the pump an additional two hours is going to add less than 1 ppm; well within any reasonable day to day variation. Heck , if the Liquidator is running 4 ppm per day rate and I keep the pumping running an extra 4 hours it only adds 2.3 ppm ending up at around 7.5 ppm. Considering that I've got my cya at 40, per the Chlorine / CYA chart my target should be 5 ppm and shock level at 17 ppm so running at 7 for a short time is not big deal. So I stop shutting off the liquidator and am no longer worried about over dosing my pool.
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
    1 HP WhisperFlo pump, 60 sqft Pentair Quad D.E., Liquidator(8 gallon) with 3/8 upgrade,TigerShark cleaning robot
    TFTestkits TF-100 with SpeedStir,WS
    A proud practitioner of TFP since 2013

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    That's good to know. I appreciate the math as I wasn't sure how much "extra" a few hours of run time would generate.

    How does one determine the output of the liquidator? I've got a single speed pump and I run it about 6hrs a day. Is it really just a matter of running it for a few days and dialing it in, or is there an actual method to determining dosage and timing?
    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    I ordered a Liquidator today. Hopefully it makes my life a little easier...
    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    Quote Originally Posted by timthek View Post
    How does one determine the output of the liquidator? I've got a single speed pump and I run it about 6hrs a day. Is it really just a matter of running it for a few days and dialing it in, or is there an actual method to determining dosage and timing?
    The only way I have done it is by dialing it in. Manually dose the pool to get up to around target FC base on the cya level, set a nominal flow rate as indicated on the flow meter ( ball half way up) then measure FC and adjust from there. My pump runs during the day, so I measure FC at the end of the day around 6 or 7 pm and adjust the valve according. If you are using the stock valve to change flow, you may want to have the pump running so see the effects of your adjustments using the flow meter (it's really a flow indicator) to provide relative flow changes. I should take three or four days to dial it in. After my first year I stopped using the stock valve to adjust flow and added a pinch valve. The pinch valve made it much easier to make adjustment.
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
    1 HP WhisperFlo pump, 60 sqft Pentair Quad D.E., Liquidator(8 gallon) with 3/8 upgrade,TigerShark cleaning robot
    TFTestkits TF-100 with SpeedStir,WS
    A proud practitioner of TFP since 2013

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    Re: Tired of pucking problems. Liquidator or a Stenner solution?

    Installed the Liquidator today. Install was pretty easy, aside from finding a good spot and leveling it. Tucked it back in the hedges to try to give it as much shade as possible.

    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: No more pucks, no more problems. Liquidator is my solution

    I've been running the Liquidator about 6hrs a day since I installed it on Friday. I've also drained and refilled half the pool to drop the CYA down from the 120+ it was to around 70. The LQ is maintaining a steady 8ppm FC with no tweaking required thus far. I will say that the 5 gallon jugs of CL from my pool supply store are a BEAST to pour into the LQ. I'm going to try the 2.5 gal jugs next. If that doesn't help I have a little hand siphon that I may try.

    Any tips for adding CL to the liquidator? It's not the pour that is so hard, it's really the pace of the pour and trying to keep it even with the funneling.
    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: No more pucks, no more problems. Liquidator is my solution

    I used 5 gallon jugs in first year, and soon learn that it was a PIA. I switched to 1 gallon jugs once I found that Ocean State Job Lot sold them for $2.99 a gallon, which is the best value per available once of chlorine around here. If filling when the pump is on, I shut off the fill line to the Liquidator.
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
    1 HP WhisperFlo pump, 60 sqft Pentair Quad D.E., Liquidator(8 gallon) with 3/8 upgrade,TigerShark cleaning robot
    TFTestkits TF-100 with SpeedStir,WS
    A proud practitioner of TFP since 2013

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    Re: No more pucks, no more problems. Liquidator is my solution

    My Pool store sells 13% jugs at $8.99 for 2.5 gal or $15.99 for 5 gallons. I need to do more research on other local sources of 12.5/13% Chlorine. I don't care if I could save 15 cents a gallon by using 6% bleach. I know some people stock up at Walmart, etc, but it's not worth the hassle for me. I estimate I'll be going through about 4 gallons a week and I don't want to haul 8 bottle home from the store every week.
    Tim

    20,000 Gallon In-ground - PebbleTec pool surface
    DE Filter with Pentair Whisperflo WF-23
    Pool Season: May 1 - Sep 30; Full Sun

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    Re: No more pucks, no more problems. Liquidator is my solution

    Quote Originally Posted by timthek View Post
    My Pool store sells 13% jugs at $8.99 for 2.5 gal or $15.99 for 5 gallons. I
    That's a good price. Definitely want to use the hand siphine though
    30,000 gal, 20 x 40 ft vinyl, IG, installed 2006
    1 HP WhisperFlo pump, 60 sqft Pentair Quad D.E., Liquidator(8 gallon) with 3/8 upgrade,TigerShark cleaning robot
    TFTestkits TF-100 with SpeedStir,WS
    A proud practitioner of TFP since 2013

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    Re: No more pucks, no more problems. Liquidator is my solution

    I'm on day 27 since the new Pebble Sheen finish on my old pool was installed.

    On day 3, I installed LQ and haven't looked back. I've found that setting it around the 3 and then fiddling with it from there has yielded a nice 4 ppm for FC.

    I do check my FC daily and so far in messing with the feed rate, I've gotten as low as 1 and as high as 5 but I think I've finally found the magic spot and it seems to be a steady 4 now for several days in a row.

    Time will tell if I get any calcium deposits. My CH is at 230 right now (city water was at 40 upon initial fill-up) and CYA 40ish.

    I lived on pucks with the old pool and still have some. I even plumbed in the old Pentair inline puck feeder just in case and as a back-up in case I need it. I plan to not need it but it sits there empty regardless so no biggie.

    Home Depot sells a drill pump for about $11. You chuck up a drill to it and crank the drill. Works great to move liquids around although it isn't the speediest of transfers, it works perfect for moving chlorine into LQ. Find it around the irrigation section of HD.
    ----Chris----
    25k IG/Spa Figure 8, 18x36, Pebble Sheen Blue Granite, Sta-Rite S8M150 Cartridge Filter, Pentair 460805 400k BTU Heater & 011018 IntelliFlo VarSpd
    Liquidator, Fafco Solar Heat, Polaris PB460 Booster Pump w/280 cleaner, Katchaleaf Cover, TF100 Test Kit, FAKE MAIN DRAIN

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