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Thread: automatic pH controller

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    automatic pH controller

    I just learned that there is such a thing as something that adds pH to the pool automatically. I am thinking this would be especially good for when on vacation. Since my pool seems to need acid every 2-3 days and I already have some scaling this is of interest to me. I know I may have to change how much acid is being added to the pool if I am trying to adjust TA and still have to add acid to the controller, but I'm thinking the less I have to pull out acid from the locked shed and manage acid around my marbella stone along with vacations... this is sounding pretty good. Any postiives/negatives and info would be great. thx!
    40' x 12' IG shotcrete (3 1/2' 5, 4'), Hayward variable spd pumpSP3400VSP, Paramount PV3 in-floor, venturi skimmer, 14,400 glns, Hayward Turbo salt cell T Cell-15, UV, Hayward DE filter, model DE4820, 2 Hayward Color Logic 320 LED color lights, Hayward P4 w puck. 2" line to in-floor valve (46'), deck mount canister parascoping fountain, leaf canister, Marbella, pebble. new build 6-24-15

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    From what I've read the monitoring sensor can be finicky. One person found the device emptied the entire container of MA into the pool unexpectedly--> HUGE problem.
    Maddie- TFP Guide. 12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: automatic pH controller

    As Y/S points out, the automated ones have reported issues with the probe/sensor. They need constant cleanin, calibration and replacement to remain accurate.

    The other option is to use a Stenner pump to deliver a constant amount of acid to the pool every day.
    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: automatic pH controller

    I have one, no issues and i love it.
    Our Build 2016 14.5' x 26' IG Pebble, 14.5K Gal. 3.5' - 6.5' deep, 5 returns, 2 Skimmers, Hayward VS pump, Hayward 525 Cartridge Filter, Hayward E-Command 4, Heliocol Solar, Hayward LED Light, Paramount Ultraviolet, Polaris 280, AquaRite Pro, T-CELL-15, Sense and Dispense (HL-CHEM), Ph Dispense System (AQL-CHEM3) , Taylor K-2006 with SpeedStir

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    thanks! 2 really negative reviews and one great one. Yaniv, what kind do u have and what kind of maintenance do u do for yours? How long have u had it for? I guess any technology could go wrong at any point.
    40' x 12' IG shotcrete (3 1/2' 5, 4'), Hayward variable spd pumpSP3400VSP, Paramount PV3 in-floor, venturi skimmer, 14,400 glns, Hayward Turbo salt cell T Cell-15, UV, Hayward DE filter, model DE4820, 2 Hayward Color Logic 320 LED color lights, Hayward P4 w puck. 2" line to in-floor valve (46'), deck mount canister parascoping fountain, leaf canister, Marbella, pebble. new build 6-24-15

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    As Y/S points out, the automated ones have reported issues with the probe/sensor. They need constant cleanin, calibration and replacement to remain accurate.

    The other option is to use a Stenner pump to deliver a constant amount of acid to the pool every day.
    Tim, what would the benefits of a Stenner pump be? I looked it up quick but have never heard of them before. thanku
    40' x 12' IG shotcrete (3 1/2' 5, 4'), Hayward variable spd pumpSP3400VSP, Paramount PV3 in-floor, venturi skimmer, 14,400 glns, Hayward Turbo salt cell T Cell-15, UV, Hayward DE filter, model DE4820, 2 Hayward Color Logic 320 LED color lights, Hayward P4 w puck. 2" line to in-floor valve (46'), deck mount canister parascoping fountain, leaf canister, Marbella, pebble. new build 6-24-15

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    The Stenner pumps are a simple time based dosing pump for acid or chlorine. You control the amount that gets dispensed by the amount of time it is set to run.

    I'm in a similar situation as you. My pool takes a lot of acid very frequently to stay happy. I have Pentair's version of an acid pump - the IntelliPH. While I do like it, it does have a few frustrating safety features and requires yearly (or more often) pump head replacement.

    First things first, get your TA in check. The lower the better (50-60 with a pH of 7.6-7.8) and see if that helps at all. If you still find it difficult to keep up then it may be time to look into automated chemical dosing.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: automatic pH controller

    Along with checking your water chemistry and adjusting TA, test the fill water that your pool uses. If you have high TA fill water, that can be a big source of alkalinity and pH rise. I'm in AZ as well and the water here is both high in hardness (calcium) as well as alkalinity (carbonate). It makes managing the pH of pool water very chemical intensive.

    If you do have high pH/high TA fill water, then reducing evaporation and fill can greatly slow pH rise. With my pool covered, I get almost zero pH rise.
    Matt
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    Re: automatic pH controller

    Agreed with above the best thing you can do to control/reduce pH rise is lower your TA to 50-60, Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity then add 50 ppm of borates, Borates - Why and How. Also not running devices that aerate the water such as bubblers or waterfalls.
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    Re: automatic pH controller

    I second the use of a Stenner pump. I have one for adding acid and it works great. Now if I can just remember to fill the acid tank.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorsgal View Post
    thanks! 2 really negative reviews and one great one. Yaniv, what kind do u have and what kind of maintenance do u do for yours? How long have u had it for? I guess any technology could go wrong at any point.
    This is what i have:
    Sense and Dispense (HL-CHEM), Ph Dispense System (AQL-CHEM3)

    I have it for one session, I came to trust the system in a way that i check FC once a week and PH once every 2-3 weeks just to double check the probes are doing their jobs.
    So far no issues, it keeps the PH at 7.5 all day long and FC at 3ppm stable.
    Our Build 2016 14.5' x 26' IG Pebble, 14.5K Gal. 3.5' - 6.5' deep, 5 returns, 2 Skimmers, Hayward VS pump, Hayward 525 Cartridge Filter, Hayward E-Command 4, Heliocol Solar, Hayward LED Light, Paramount Ultraviolet, Polaris 280, AquaRite Pro, T-CELL-15, Sense and Dispense (HL-CHEM), Ph Dispense System (AQL-CHEM3) , Taylor K-2006 with SpeedStir

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    +1 on the Stenner.

    One of the main reasons they are so popular on this site is they are extremely reliable and parts like the roller tube, compression fittings and check valve are readily available. For MA my system cost me a little more than $300 to setup and I anticipate about $50 a year on average for replacement parts. $20 most years for just a roller tube and rarely a check valve or roller assembly.
    12,300 Gallon, IG PebbleFina, 3 ft sheer, 2 Jandy nicheless LED lights, Jandy Pro 1.5HP VS pump (A.O. Smith Motor), PB4-60 Booster pump, Polaris 280, Jandy cv340 cartridge filter, Zodiac Z4 control panel W/iAquaLink, Stenner pumps for chlorine & MA connected to WiOn WiFi switches, TF-100. You can support TFP with AmazonSmile just click the link!

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    I have been using the Pentair intellichem system. Ph readings tend to be quite reliable and stable when calibrated. Over a 6 month time frame I usually have to clean the probe once, or not at all. I keep a continuous but low flow in my sensing chamber. The ORP probe is a bit more finicky and readings will vary more , but also quite helpful to maintain FC in my situation. This year we re-did our plaster and having the Automation has been great because of the pools constant acid requirement.
    " A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"
    19,000 gallon sylvan pool, Easytouch 2 4p automation, Screenlogic interface, Intelliflo VF 3050 pump, Intellichem with Intellichlor 40 chlorinator/Muriatic acid, Raypac millivolt natural gas heater.Polaris pool cleaner with booster pump.Coverstar automatic cover hydraulic mechanism with PCS cover. Wet edge Luna quartz finish 2016. Northeast climate.

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    Quote Originally Posted by bdavis466 View Post
    The Stenner pumps are a simple time based dosing pump for acid or chlorine. You control the amount that gets dispensed by the amount of time it is set to run.

    I'm in a similar situation as you. My pool takes a lot of acid very frequently to stay happy. I have Pentair's version of an acid pump - the IntelliPH. While I do like it, it does have a few frustrating safety features and requires yearly (or more often) pump head replacement.

    First things first, get your TA in check. The lower the better (50-60 with a pH of 7.6-7.8) and see if that helps at all. If you still find it difficult to keep up then it may be time to look into automated chemical dosing.
    that sounds like a plan. thx!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    Along with checking your water chemistry and adjusting TA, test the fill water that your pool uses. If you have high TA fill water, that can be a big source of alkalinity and pH rise. I'm in AZ as well and the water here is both high in hardness (calcium) as well as alkalinity (carbonate). It makes managing the pH of pool water very chemical intensive.

    If you do have high pH/high TA fill water, then reducing evaporation and fill can greatly slow pH rise. With my pool covered, I get almost zero pH rise.
    great to know about the evaporation. pb recently told me we need to add extra pH in the winter so that theory wouldn't seem to make sense unless it's for another reason. I"ll be watching and I am considering a blanket or rings (safer for kids). thx!
    40' x 12' IG shotcrete (3 1/2' 5, 4'), Hayward variable spd pumpSP3400VSP, Paramount PV3 in-floor, venturi skimmer, 14,400 glns, Hayward Turbo salt cell T Cell-15, UV, Hayward DE filter, model DE4820, 2 Hayward Color Logic 320 LED color lights, Hayward P4 w puck. 2" line to in-floor valve (46'), deck mount canister parascoping fountain, leaf canister, Marbella, pebble. new build 6-24-15

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    Quote Originally Posted by pooldv View Post
    Agreed with above the best thing you can do to control/reduce pH rise is lower your TA to 50-60, Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity then add 50 ppm of borates, Borates - Why and How. Also not running devices that aerate the water such as bubblers or waterfalls.
    I'll have to read more about this. thx for the tip! when i skimmed the info on borates so far and it said it could be harmful to pets I was leary, but it said boric acid. I picture boric acid as being more like natural (not pool grade) DE where it dehydrates insects, but I'm not sure so I"ll have to look into this more. Great to know!

    - - - Updated - - -

    sounds like the Stenner is something to consider!
    40' x 12' IG shotcrete (3 1/2' 5, 4'), Hayward variable spd pumpSP3400VSP, Paramount PV3 in-floor, venturi skimmer, 14,400 glns, Hayward Turbo salt cell T Cell-15, UV, Hayward DE filter, model DE4820, 2 Hayward Color Logic 320 LED color lights, Hayward P4 w puck. 2" line to in-floor valve (46'), deck mount canister parascoping fountain, leaf canister, Marbella, pebble. new build 6-24-15

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    Re: automatic pH controller

    I called Hayward about pH automation a week or 2 ago and they said to have the pH at 7.5 the pump would have to be kept on (low speed is fine) 24 hrs/day. Is this the same with a stennar pump?

    Also, would someone mind showing me a picture of how u have it set up on your equipment? would i have the pool company install one or is this more outside of the box thinking? thanku!
    40' x 12' IG shotcrete (3 1/2' 5, 4'), Hayward variable spd pumpSP3400VSP, Paramount PV3 in-floor, venturi skimmer, 14,400 glns, Hayward Turbo salt cell T Cell-15, UV, Hayward DE filter, model DE4820, 2 Hayward Color Logic 320 LED color lights, Hayward P4 w puck. 2" line to in-floor valve (46'), deck mount canister parascoping fountain, leaf canister, Marbella, pebble. new build 6-24-15

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