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Thread: Winterizing IntelliChem and Acid Tank

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    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Central, NJ
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    Winterizing IntelliChem and Acid Tank

    Hi all,

    Over the past year I had an IntelliChem and acid tank installed. The installer is a certified Pentair installer, and has a very good reputation. However, after seeing him do the install and having some issues along the way, I have a strong feeling that (prior to my install) he's most likely never done this install before. He worked out all the kinks during the pool season and the unit eventually operated correctly. Once it did it was really a pleasure to have (much less maintenance on my part, which is good with my work schedule).

    My current problem is that he closed the pool and winterized everything according to what he thought should be done, but I know that he didn't do it right. For example, he at first didn't remove the ORP and pH sensors from the IntelliChem's flow cell, and he didn't drain the flow cell (instead he added some kind of pool antifreeze in there). I looked at the IntelliChem's manual and saw that it says to definitely drain the flow cell, and it's related plumbing, and to remove and store the sensors.

    He also didn't drain the acid tank, which I wasn't sure was correct. Per Pentair's recommendation, I was using a 50/50 water:acid mix in there, and about 1/3 of the tank is still full. I questioned him about this and he's saying that I shouldn't worry about draining the tank because (according to him) the water+acid mix won't freeze - is that true?

    Does anyone have a IntelliChem and/or acid tank that is winterized? If yes, I'd truly appreciate it if you'd let me know what is done to winterize them.

    As far as the flow cell goes, I figured out how to remove it so that I could drain it, but there's a U-shaped tube inside of the flow cell that I'm not sure how to drain (or if I need to). Also, since the ORP and pH sensors are removed now, there are openings where they used to be screwed into, meaning that water will get in over the winter and freeze. Any thoughts on what to do to seal those openings without causing any damage?

    Also, what about the electrodes that run from the IntelliChem and connect to the top of the pH and ORP sensors? Are those okay to just leave disconnected and outdoors during the winter?

    Thanks so much for any info!
    In-ground 47'x25' free-form gunite pool w/ spa w/ waterfall. 35,380 gallons. 3' to 8' deep. 96 sq ft 6" deep sun shelf. SunStone Select Quartz Finish (Graphite). 2 Hayward skimmers. Jandy DEV60 DE Filter + Pro Series Plus 2HP Pump. Polaris PB4-60 Pressure Cleaner Booster Pump. Raypack P-R406A Heater. EasyTouch 8. IntelliChem w/ Acid Tank. IntelliChlor IC60. Techo-Bloc bullnose coping + Blu 60 mm paver patio. Merlin SmartMesh cover. TF-100.

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    Oct 2016
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    Kenmore, WA
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    Re: Winterizing IntelliChem and Acid Tank

    Following.
    19,300 gallons, IG, plaster, sand. Built ca. 1982. Taylor High. Spa: IG 830 gals.

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    Aug 2015
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    Central, NJ
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    Re: Winterizing IntelliChem and Acid Tank

    So I heard back from Pentair and all they responded with so far is that the acid+water mixture should not be left in the tank, as it can freeze over and cause damage to the container. Good thing I didn't listen to the "certified" installer. I wonder how much training a company has to do to become a certified installer - seems like this installer doesn't know much when it comes to the IntelliChem and acid tank.

    I'm still waiting on them to get back to me regarding how to properly winterize the IntelliChem.
    In-ground 47'x25' free-form gunite pool w/ spa w/ waterfall. 35,380 gallons. 3' to 8' deep. 96 sq ft 6" deep sun shelf. SunStone Select Quartz Finish (Graphite). 2 Hayward skimmers. Jandy DEV60 DE Filter + Pro Series Plus 2HP Pump. Polaris PB4-60 Pressure Cleaner Booster Pump. Raypack P-R406A Heater. EasyTouch 8. IntelliChem w/ Acid Tank. IntelliChlor IC60. Techo-Bloc bullnose coping + Blu 60 mm paver patio. Merlin SmartMesh cover. TF-100.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Winterizing IntelliChem and Acid Tank

    50/50 water and 20 baume HCl is about 15% HCl. The freezing point of that mixture is ~ -30C (-22F). Does your area of NJ get that cold for sustained periods of time?

    You could simply add more concentrated acid and the freezing point will rapidly drop below -60C.

    The probes should be stored in doors with the tip typically submerged in a solution that protects them from drying out. For pH probes, that's typically a saturated KCl solution. I don't know what the ORP probes use. Do not use straight distilled water as that can often damage the probes. Contact the probe manufacturers to know what to do.

    Find a plastic threaded plugs at the hardware store. My guess is the flow cell simply uses standard tapered pipe thread.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Central, NJ
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    Re: Winterizing IntelliChem and Acid Tank

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyfulNoise View Post
    50/50 water and 20 baume HCl is about 15% HCl. The freezing point of that mixture is ~ -30C (-22F). Does your area of NJ get that cold for sustained periods of time?

    You could simply add more concentrated acid and the freezing point will rapidly drop below -60C.

    The probes should be stored in doors with the tip typically submerged in a solution that protects them from drying out. For pH probes, that's typically a saturated KCl solution. I don't know what the ORP probes use. Do not use straight distilled water as that can often damage the probes. Contact the probe manufacturers to know what to do.

    Find a plastic threaded plugs at the hardware store. My guess is the flow cell simply uses standard tapered pipe thread.
    Thanks so much for this information. No, we definitely don't get as cold as -22F, so its sounds like I can leave the acid+water mixture in there as is.

    I have already removed the probes and screwed them back into plastic storage caps that they came with. I noticed a sponge inside the storage caps - I didn't wet them sponges as the winterization instructions from Pentair only mention storing the sensor tips in liquid if I don't have the containers.

    The manual says: Store the sensors with the included plastic sensors storage caps if removed from the Flow Cell for more than one hour. If the storage caps have been misplaced, store the probes individually in small glass or plastic containers with clean water covering the sensor tips.

    Great suggestion about the threaded plugs. The only thing is that the plug will have to be long, as the thread location is somewhat deep in the top sockets of the flow cell.

    Here's a picture of the flow cell, so you can see what I mean:


    I'll try to find something at the hardware store tomorrow.

    The only other thing I'm not sure about is what to do about the sensor cables (not the sensors). I'm not sure if leaving them out in the elements is okay or if I should be disconnecting them from the IntelliChem's control board. This is the part I'm referring to:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    In-ground 47'x25' free-form gunite pool w/ spa w/ waterfall. 35,380 gallons. 3' to 8' deep. 96 sq ft 6" deep sun shelf. SunStone Select Quartz Finish (Graphite). 2 Hayward skimmers. Jandy DEV60 DE Filter + Pro Series Plus 2HP Pump. Polaris PB4-60 Pressure Cleaner Booster Pump. Raypack P-R406A Heater. EasyTouch 8. IntelliChem w/ Acid Tank. IntelliChlor IC60. Techo-Bloc bullnose coping + Blu 60 mm paver patio. Merlin SmartMesh cover. TF-100.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Winterizing IntelliChem and Acid Tank

    Maybe a short piece of threaded PVC pipe with a cap glued on one end might work. A cheapo solution would simply be rubber stoppers or cork.

    As for wires I would just coil them up and zip-tie them closed in a plastic bag. No need to disconnect them from the control board.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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