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Thread: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    Hi everybody.

    This is my first post on this wonderful forum.
    I'm French speaking, from Quebec, Canada. Sorry for any error in my futures posts.

    To make it quick, my spouse is a nurse in a small 1400 habitants remote village in Northern Quebec. We are in the middle of the wood, 10 hours of car from the biggest city... This is a community of native people, like many others in Canada. This community has a sport complex with a pool. This pool is from 2006. I came here last July and the pool was closed. It was open the next week and closed again for maintenance, reopened in fall and it is closed since Christmas, water is still.

    I am myself an industrial maintenance technician, with more than 14 years of experience with many, many kind of system. (I am not a pool tech, but I learn fast!) I first noticed the sauna not working, showers not functioning well, ventilation stopped, etc. I offered my help to those "maintenance guys", who have a very hard time understanding those "new systems", since they have very limited resources and skills.
    So we fixed the sauna and the dehumidification system, witch was down for about a year!
    This breakdown has resulted in surface corrosion of many parts in the mechanical room, due to the high condensation rate of the summer months and chlorine environnement. I found pumps seized (mostly heating circulators), filters not backwashed for a while because of by-passed PLC, pump casing corroded and cavitated, impeller paper thin, pump motor with exploded bearings, chlorine feeder clogged, leaking valves, ORP in alarm, scale on piping and material, etc.

    This is obviously a case of neglected material and lack of knowledge.

    So they took me, since I'm in the village 2 months at a time, 1 month holidays in south, 2 month here, and so on, to help them restart the pool. Here I am, ordering expensive parts to replace and trying to plan the next move.
    The shower room is nearly restored, 5 shower on 16 where working, cold water due to a faulty circulation pump (replaced) and clogged shower head. Just this detail is bad for a pool. Sanitation of a pool begin in the showers I think. The less the bathers introduce in the pool, the better we are. So I ordered foam hair/body soap dispensers to welcome the users for using the showers.

    I am in the process of replacing the motor, pump, impeller, I rebuilted every valves on the system for the backwash (we use city water for BW), replaced corroded thermo-wells, many gauges, cleaning the chlore feeder (witch was run with granular chlorine instead of briquettes!), replaced circulations pumps for heating, etc. The parts take longer to come here and I'm still waiting for the pump.
    I think the water was out of balance very often and equipment was not cared for. The people of the first nation here has not the same view on material than us, therefore they don't take all the care we usually take for such installations.
    The people here are different than in the city and they also don't have the same assiduity to work and this is causing the maintenance of the pool to be neglected a bit. They have some training, but forget it quickly.

    What I would like to ask here is your experience in starting a pool. I am not a pool tech and never had to start a pool before, especially a big like this... As I said, I learn fast and I like this kind of system.
    I would like to have your advice about the steps to follow.

    I was looking for another way to sanitize the pool than chlorine, but I'm not sure anymore. The goal is to reduce the maintenance at a minimum, to reduce the chemicals dependency and keeping a sparkling water without too much work, because we cannot change these people. I looked a Ionization, UV, Ozone, etc. but they all have theirs drawback and you need chlorine anyway. I will stick to normal chemistry and try to teach them the easiest way to maintain their pool on the long run.

    My plans in the next weeks: Brushing the walls, vacuuming the bottom, soaking the sand with a detergent, backwashing, filling the system and checking for leaks, correct the water level, starting the pump and circulate the water for a day. I plan to shock right away the same morning I start the pump.
    I will then check the water balance and try to correct any bad parameter.
    I will check the acid and chlorine controller for proper reading vs the Palintest that we have, and see how it react.
    I will have to re-balance the bottom and skimmers ratio, since we closed the valves.
    Is 70-30 is okay?

    I will keep you in touch of my progress if you want.

    Thanks for reading me an and have a great day!


    Some pictures

    [attachment=0:2884supr]fil.jpg[/attachment:2884supr]
    [attachment=1:2884supr]FL127909.JPG[/attachment:2884supr]
    [attachment=2:2884supr]FL127904.JPG[/attachment:2884supr]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Indoor 160K gal. tile pool, Pentair 15 Hp Epoxy coated pump, 5 Vortisand 150 gal. sand filter tanks with PLC programmed BW, Pulsar 3 tablet chlorinator, acid injection, Strantrol 5F ORP controller, titanium heaters, level control, vaccum line.

    ...and a paddle pool.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    No matter what you do, you still need to test the water frequently and adjust chemical levels as needed. That said, a SWG system is about the simplest approach around. The SWG takes care of adding chlorine for you, which eliminates 1/3 to 1/2 of the chemical maintenance and greatly improves the odds of things staying under control when the pool is ignored for a couple of days.

    Many of the problems you describe sound like they might have been caused by the PH getting way to low for way too long.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    I was thinking of a SWG, but I am a little bit worried about the salty environment that this will create. The stainless steel here is 304 I think, not 316 and I think we should replace all the ladders.
    Is anybody here had made this kind of switch and if so, are they satisfied? The biggest improvement are less shipping, storing and handling of chemicals I think. For us here, it will be great but is the aggressiveness of salt water will make us regret the choice, I still don't know... We got so much corrosion and this, without any saltwater...
    For the bathing experience, I think SWG is better also, right?

    Thanks JasonLion for you reply and best regards!

    Here another picture of the damage.

    Old impeller and wear ring compared to the new one. 3 time less material on the old one...
    [attachment=0:1r92pzd1]Imp.jpg[/attachment:1r92pzd1]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Indoor 160K gal. tile pool, Pentair 15 Hp Epoxy coated pump, 5 Vortisand 150 gal. sand filter tanks with PLC programmed BW, Pulsar 3 tablet chlorinator, acid injection, Strantrol 5F ORP controller, titanium heaters, level control, vaccum line.

    ...and a paddle pool.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    Hi folks!
    I have now the two pool filled. During the filling, the Ph was around 8 at because I was running the pump to circulate the water trough the heaters and I think the aeration caused the Ph to rise. PH is now at 7.5 thanks to the acid feeder and the temperature is at 74 and still going up, Ta is about 130 (a bit high?) and the CH is about 200.
    Everything is running well but I have a question about the FC level.
    I added about 20 pounds of calcium hypochlorite at the startup to shock the 152K gal pool. This is 3 days ago.
    When I take the reading I still have more than 5ppm FC. Is this normal? (Nobody used the pool yet) I use a Taylor K-2005C.
    On the ORP controller, I have a reading of about 940mV.
    Since the pool is indoor and nobody is "consuming" the chlorine, I assume that the level will stay high but for how long?
    Is it normal to have chlorine staying high like this?
    We plan to open the pool for the public middle of the next week so what can we expect? I it safe to welcome public in the 5ppm range?

    The filtration system is working well, I just added 1 ton of quartz sand in those Vortisand filters are they are supposed to deliver 2 micron filtration. The water is more and more clear day after day. I think I have some iron in the water because on the calcium hardness test, I have a purple endpoint instead of blue. I will correct this with the method of putting reagent before the test. At the filling, the water (from a well) was a bit blue/green, but improved after the shock treatment.


    Thanks for any tips and have a nice one!
    [attachment=0:265v2yud]IMG-20120516-00410.jpg[/attachment:265v2yud]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Indoor 160K gal. tile pool, Pentair 15 Hp Epoxy coated pump, 5 Vortisand 150 gal. sand filter tanks with PLC programmed BW, Pulsar 3 tablet chlorinator, acid injection, Strantrol 5F ORP controller, titanium heaters, level control, vaccum line.

    ...and a paddle pool.

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    Are you allowed any CYA in the water.

    I think you're fine unless the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) stipulates a max level less than 5 ppm. The EPA allows 4 ppm in drinking water so you should be fine even without CYA in it.
    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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  6. Back To Top    #6
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    It sounds like you are getting there, I have a residential indoor pool, so understand some of your concerns on corrosion, etc. To ease in the need for daily hands on testing / chemical doses I opted to install an industrial style metering pump to dispense 6% bleach (liquid chlorine), this has worked fairly well for me, and in the summer when temperatures are stable, and bather load is fairly stable I can now get away with testing every 3 or 4 days, I may have to make a flow rate adjustment on the metering pump once every couple of weeks.

    I now maintain a CYA stabilizer level of 20 ppm and a target FC level of 3 ppm as suggested here for indoor pools, many places will tell you that you don't need CYA stabilizer for indoor pools, but I can tell you since switching to this advice a few years ago I have far fewer problems with combined chlorine smells and general bather happiness.

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    I don't have any CYA in the water since the chlorine is unstabilized. I never tested it also, but I never heard of adding CYA in a indoor pool. In witch aspect the CYA helps you, I'm curious! Less chloramines?
    I thinks the target here is around 1-3ppm FC, the controller that manage this is set to 750mV HRR setpoint. I will see how it's going in a few days, but now it is blocked in fail safe alarm since the reading is too high... But I'm glad to see that 5ppm is "okay to swim".

    Thanks,
    Ben
    Canada
    Indoor 160K gal. tile pool, Pentair 15 Hp Epoxy coated pump, 5 Vortisand 150 gal. sand filter tanks with PLC programmed BW, Pulsar 3 tablet chlorinator, acid injection, Strantrol 5F ORP controller, titanium heaters, level control, vaccum line.

    ...and a paddle pool.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Isaac-1's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    In my experience as a pool owner it helps with lower chlorimine smells, bathing suits don't fade as much, etc.

    If you search on this forum for indoor pools and cya you will find where Chemgeek and others have written about it from a scientific standpoint showing the buffering ability of CYA at low concentrations for indoor pools and how it improves FC availability by providing an in water bank of available chlorine.

    The suggestion for 20 ppm is mainly based on the fact that this is as low as the CYA test reliably goes, chemgeek has stated in the technical explanation that even 10 ppm of CYA would be helpful in an indoor pool as a buffering agent, the problem becomes one of monitoring it, in a situaiton like yours it would probably safe to add enough CYA to reach 20 ppm and then assume you are close to that level for the rest of the season, you could then invest in a CYA test kit later since CYA is generally only removed by water replacement, or through bacteria conversion in swamp like pools. (chlorine will also very slowly remove CYA at a rate of 10-20 ppm per year)

    Ike
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Advice for starting commercial pool in a remote area.

    Many thanks for this explanation Ike, I will check this in the next months. For now, I just want to have this pool running like this and maybe fine tuning it in the future. My test kit include a CYA test so this is good!
    I just jumped in the water today to check the bottom drain. I adjusted the ratio to about 30% drain and 70% skimmers so I wanted to check the suction at the bottom. It feels good to swim after about 4 months of work!
    My biggest goal right now is to train the guys here ...


    Best regards,
    Ben
    Indoor 160K gal. tile pool, Pentair 15 Hp Epoxy coated pump, 5 Vortisand 150 gal. sand filter tanks with PLC programmed BW, Pulsar 3 tablet chlorinator, acid injection, Strantrol 5F ORP controller, titanium heaters, level control, vaccum line.

    ...and a paddle pool.

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