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Thread: Ph controller

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    Ph controller

    Greetings, all! I'm brand new to the board and new to keeping up my pool on my own. I've done a lot of recent work, including changing out my equipment pad with all new Pentair equipment -- a cartridge filter, Intelliflo VS pump, and today will be installing (having installed, actually) an EasyTouch 4 with Salt Generator. The salt water generator is the one sized for 40k gallons, but my pool is 20k. I was told it will perform better with the larger system.

    So here's my question (and I apologize because I know my answer is probably scattered about, but have had trouble getting a clear idea from the various posts). I am trying to create a pool that I can leave alone for months on end with extended travel, with my neighbor stopping by to make sure nothing terrible has happened in my absence. I am looking into a Ph controller for the pool because I understand that the salt water systems require careful Ph management. I was at first attracted to the C02 approach, but then say that TA is not adequately controlled and the C02 canisters do not last so long in most cases.

    So I'm now looking at an acid dispenser. I've looked at the Pentair Smart Ph but it seems to be very pricy and doesn't offer any integration into the overall Pentair system I'm installing (EasyTouch, for instance). I'd also rather not spend a fortune. Any advice on a good system for this? Experiences? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
    17,750 gal in ground plaster, Pentair DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Lana537's Avatar
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    Re: Ph controller

    Welcome to TFP~~

    I wanted to start to try to say something helpful, because our situation is similar in that we frequently leave our pool on its own--never for more than a few weeks though. Also, we have a pool-care person who comes by to clean and monitor our automation/equipment, which can see everything except TA. Our CO2 tank lasts approximately one month during the summertime, keeping the pH down at 7.45 with new PebbleTec.

    Get the TF-100 test kit or a Taylor K-2006. You and your neighbor will need to become expert at testing if he is going to be of any help to you.

    Where are you located? Tell us more about your pool. What kind of surface do you have; is it new?

    How about some photos?

    Lana
    23,600 gallon, refurbished 1960's inground concrete, Jandy sand filter w Jandy 2 hp variable speed pump, Pool Pilot Digital SWCG+Chemtrol 2100+CO2 tank; PebbleTec White Pearl with 10% Cobalt Blue Dark Beadcrete by Olympic Pool Plastering, Georgia. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit; Aqua Check Salt test; LaMotte borates test, and Jack's Magic Sequest test kit; SparklyPoolitis level: extremely high.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Ph controller

    Thanks for the reply. I'm in Chandler, Arizona -- near Phoenix. I don't know much about the construction of the pool. It was built in 1994, more or less, and was here when we moved in. Plaster, I suppose.

    What C02 dispenser system do you use?

    I was conflicted about going with CO2 vs muriatic acid to control pH since C02 seems more natural but leaves TA uncontrolled, whereas leaving a vat of acid in the backyard is a bit offputting. But it occurred to me that it could make sense to use ganular acid (dry acid) and some kind of a errosion feeder that has an automatic controller. Any thoughts on this?

    I'll look into the tester. That will be important. But if I have SCG and a pH controller will I really neet to fret so much about the numbers?

    Jeff
    17,750 gal in ground plaster, Pentair DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: Ph controller

    The most important question is, what is your price range?

    An all in one pump/PH controller setup like this is $1000 but will likely last a long time, you can program slope for deviation etc.



    http://www.drillspot.com/products/34...ontroller_Pump

    Another very similar...in price too;



    http://www.eseasongear.com/ro55rediphco.html

    It goes up exponentially from there.

    Something like this will do everything for you but the pumps and wiring is another expense, nice controller BTW and very common in industry so its robust.



    http://www.sbcontrol.com/pc7000.htm

    ...but its $19 000 dollars...for just the controller!
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
    Avatar is my pool!

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    Re: Ph controller

    Yes, there seems to be a wild range of prices!

    I've been surfing the net a bit more and came up with a better understanding of the Polaris Watermatic system. It looks like I could get a C1500 Watermatic controller ($670), an optional flow cell ($175), and granular acid feeder with hopper ($490) all for about $1335. That's worth considering, but I wonder if anybody has similar equipment or can offer comments on this set up. Thanks.
    17,750 gal in ground plaster, Pentair DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Lana537's Avatar
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    Re: Ph controller

    Jeff,

    Only to answer the question, we have a Chemtrol 2100; I'll have to check with DH to learn who makes the part of the system that is between the controller and the actual CO2 tank.

    You originally said that you wish to be able to take care of your pool on your own. Your having a rocking system on the pool pad means nothing without your having the ability to accurately test your own water! You need a top-notch test kit, and you need to become good at using it. Only the TF-100 or K-2006 will do. As you will find everywhere on this forum, no one tests as accurately as an educated Trouble Free Pool member, and it is SO important for you to be able to do this.

    Beware of being "pool stored" by your local pool supply store--inaccurate water testing and then the selling of unnecessary products. Beware of pool-care folks/services who can also "pool store" you. The pool care service/guy we inherited from our builder doesn't understand how to do an accurate Taylor TA test! Ugh.

    I am concerned for you that you are looking to assemble a collection of gear but that you may leave behind the monitoring of the quality of your water. You'll need to be able to test your water yourself to routinely calibrate/corroborate what your gear monitors are reading and telling you.

    Please don't rely on taking a bottle of pool water to the local store where some college kid is going to use some zip strip system to test your water. It won't be accurate.

    If you haven't already, read all of Pool School and visit around the other boards.

    Lana
    23,600 gallon, refurbished 1960's inground concrete, Jandy sand filter w Jandy 2 hp variable speed pump, Pool Pilot Digital SWCG+Chemtrol 2100+CO2 tank; PebbleTec White Pearl with 10% Cobalt Blue Dark Beadcrete by Olympic Pool Plastering, Georgia. Taylor K-2006 Test Kit; Aqua Check Salt test; LaMotte borates test, and Jack's Magic Sequest test kit; SparklyPoolitis level: extremely high.

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    Re: Ph controller

    Hi, Jeff,

    Welcome to the forum I don't want to damper your enthusiasm but.....
    I am trying to create a pool that I can leave alone for months on end with extended travel, with my neighbor stopping by to make sure nothing terrible has happened in my absence.
    that will be very, very difficult to do.

    Pools can be kept at minimum maintenance with proper testing and dosing to keep things in balance but it would be misleading to think you can return to a nice pool if it has been ignored for "months on end". I wish it worked like that but it doesn't
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: Ph controller

    I think the only safe way to keep a pool with zero maintenance for months on end would be a retractable cover and shock as if you were putting the pool away for the winter...timers could take care of daily recirculation. Don't forget there is a legal liability for having an open pit full of water in your yard unattended, a solid retractable cover would protect your liability.

    Trying to maintain a pool "ready to use" without a $20K controller and periodic attention from a skilled operator could be an exercise in frustration if months at a time is your goal especially if its open to the elements, keeping it clean is a job in itself. Not sure I would go the "granular/hopper" route either, they are not that reliable compared to a peristalic pump and a 20 gallon barrel full of liquid...not to mention the PH swings you get from Calcium chloride addition to the pool which would skyrocket your MA usage. Not sure how much you need to worry about TA, my pool requires adjustment twice a summer at best. It really depends on your local conditions and what needs attention all the time.

    You might get a better return on investment with a retractable cover and shocking the pool while your gone, easy enough to retract the cover and neutralize the chlorine from the shock and be ready to swim in a few hours with a dose of Sodium Thiosulfate. Maybe chemgeek has advice on what dosing a pool regularly with Sodium Thiosulfate does and if thats a safe treatment regimen.
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
    Avatar is my pool!

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Ph controller

    Thanks to all for the advice. Seems like I should indeed order a test kit and do the numbers.

    4JawChuck: I'm intrigued by the cover idea. Forgive me if the question is naive, but wouldn't the water need just as much care if covered if not? Won't a covered pool still develop algae? Are you saying that by covering it for the summer months when I'm gone and shocking it, I can essentially forget about it while away? I ask because my expectation would be that I'd come home to a mossy pit loaded with masquitos. Not so?

    If that would do the trick, then it would be very appealing.
    17,750 gal in ground plaster, Pentair DE filter, TF-100 test kit

  10. Back To Top    #10
    4JawChuck's Avatar
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    Re: Ph controller

    Covering the pool reduces the loss of chlorine by sunlight to very low levels, I find even a solar cover reduces my FC loss to below 1ppm/day where its 2ppm/day when uncovered. A completely opaque cover with a pool unheated and cool will drop FC loss to very low levels, if the pool is clean and you aren't fighting algae at the time raising the FC to above 20ppm could last a long time...of course you would need to experiment to find out how long that was.

    Consider this technique pool hibernation but I would use Sodium HypoChlorite (bleach) to raise the FC level to shock value not Calcium Hypochlorite (Shock) so you don't have such a large PH swing since chlorine becomes ineffective at high PH levels. If the pool was completely covered and kept clean you may even be able to reduce the pump time below one turnover since you really just need to agitate the water. How much less would require experimentation.

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2...ter-chlorinate

    A little algaecide might be a good idea as mentioned in the above article if you have issues, but I prefer to sanitize with chlorine and maintain it. Your guest caretaker can just add chlorine in a specified amount to maintain the shock while your gone when the pump is running to make it easier. It would be hard on a vinyl liner though and I wouldn't do it to my vinyl liner pool. If you have anything but vinyl, keeping the pool in shock will prevent anything from growing in there while your gone.
    55 Kilolitre in-ground 18'X36' vinyl lined kidney shape, 1HP pump, Jacuzzi 250lb sand filter, RayPak Delta T 200K BTU natural gas heater. New PoolWerks "Blue Diffusion" liner on May 26th-2011
    Avatar is my pool!

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Ph controller

    A simple acid pump running on a timer properly setup can maitain the pH to within 0.2 pH units over a period of one month. However it will take you several weeks to finely tweak the acid feed. You will also need an accurate electronic pH meter.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Ph controller

    Dschlic1,
    1. Can you recommend a good electronic pH meter?
    2. Regarding the acid pump. That's a good idea, and probably much cheaper than, say, the Poolsmith CO2 injector system which runs on a similar principle -- injecting a steady amount of CO2 on a timer. But at $1000 it seems like a bit much. How would the acid feed timer work, and I wonder if one could do the same with CO2 without coughing up $1000 for the Poolsmith system.
    17,750 gal in ground plaster, Pentair DE filter, TF-100 test kit

  13. Back To Top    #13

    EasyTouch

    Is it advisable to connect a chemical pump to an EasyTouch controller and use the controller to dispense acid in small daily doses? That would allow one to forego buying a separate controller.
    17,750 gal in ground plaster, Pentair DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    solarboy's Avatar
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    Re: Ph controller

    I just fitted an automatic pH adjuster from Italy (perestaltic pump and pH sensor) and it cost me with discount around 300$. It works well so far. I used to fit SWG from Pool Technologie that had an inbuilt system similar to mine but I do prefer the separation in case of breakdown.
    Self built 5500 gallon bare concrete (temporarily) pool with limestone coping, Pentair Swimmey 1/2 HP pump, Triton sand filter with DE, Simpool peristaltic muriatic acid pump with pH sensor and Monarch SWG. Home made solar heater with Pentair Compool control panel and 3 way valve. 1 skimmer, 1 main drain, 2 returns, 2" plumbing, Hayward auto fill valve.

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    Re: Ph controller

    Solarboy: Is that available in the US?
    17,750 gal in ground plaster, Pentair DE filter, TF-100 test kit

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    Re: Ph controller

    It could be Jeff, not sure what the postage would be to the U.S.

  17. Back To Top    #17
    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Ph controller

    ...or if there's a 60Hz option.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Re: Ph controller

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    ...or if there's a 60Hz option.
    The model I am looking at has a universal power supply from 100-240 volts and the frequency shouldn't cause a problem.

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Ph controller

    For the acid pump I am using a Hanna Instruments Blackstone diaphram pump. eSeasonGear has them for about $150. I placed mine on the top of a five gallon plastic bucket. The pump is connected to my pool controller that turns the pump on and off according to a time clock.
    7,500 gal, IG pool, L shape 22' x 15', 1.5 hp pump, cartridge filter, AquaPlus SWG/Controller, Pebble-Tec liner.

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Ph controller

    Quote Originally Posted by dschlic1
    For the acid pump I am using a Hanna Instruments Blackstone diaphram pump. eSeasonGear has them for about $150. I placed mine on the top of a five gallon plastic bucket. The pump is connected to my pool controller that turns the pump on and off according to a time clock.
    A time clock, not a PH probe?

    I can understand using a time clock for chlorine additions but not for PH adjustment.

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