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Thread: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

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    In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    Hey All,

    I recently had a pool built with an ozonator as my sanitation choice. As part of the package, the builder put in a in-deck auto-chlorinator. Just drop a tab or two in there and let the Ozone do the rest...

    Anyway, the pool is only about a month old, and already there is etching coming from the chlorinator outlet. I had my wife's friend come out to look at it. She checked the chemical levels and she said my chlorine was a little low (intentional) but everything else was perfect. She did some research and told me that in-deck chlorinators are not supposed to be used with Ozone systems and you're supposed to use a floater. Supposedly, the chlorine is too concentrated with Ozone when it sits in that thing and slowly leaks into the pool.

    Since you guys are my internet go-to guys on pools, I wanted to get your opinion. Are in-deck chlorinators bad for an Ozone pool? If they are, I am going to demand they fix it (and the staining that occurred when they decided to start filling my pool in the middle of a massive dust storm), but I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight before I came at them. If not, why is the chlorine etching down my wall?
    In-ground pebble tech pool and spa. Cartridge filter pump. Chlorine sterilization. In-floor cleaning. Waterfall. Spa jets. Jandy pumps. Jandy Colors lights. Jandy control box with iLink PDA v3.

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    Is this an indoor or outdoor pool? I am not sure what an in-deck chlorinator is....got a pic?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    It's an outdoor pool. Here are a couple pics. It's just a compartment built into the deck where you drop chlorine tabs in. As they dissolve, the liquid chlorine is automatically dispensed into the pool through some sort of siphon it seems. I really don't know anything about it, myself.


    In-ground pebble tech pool and spa. Cartridge filter pump. Chlorine sterilization. In-floor cleaning. Waterfall. Spa jets. Jandy pumps. Jandy Colors lights. Jandy control box with iLink PDA v3.

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    I think the answer to your original question is I can't see how there is any correlation between the chlorinator and the ozone.

    The chlorinator puts chlorine (and CYA) in your pool based on how you adjust it. Once it's in the pool chlorine is chlorine so I can't possibly see a connection to the performance of the ozonator.

    (That pic must be of an incomplete unit....I don't see anyway for water to get in)

    You didn't ask but the whole issue of ozone in an outdoor pool is available in several discussions on this forum. I'll let you research those to get an idea of your best path to keep your pool sanitary.

    What city and state do you live in?
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator Etching Problems

    I'm not having problems with the ozone. I hardly use any chlorine and I have no algae problems whatsoever. The cons of ozone are grossly exaggerated. I live in Phoenix, AZ where the summers here average over 110F. I have grass and trees all around my pool (much to my displeasure) and no issues.

    My problem is with the chlorine. As the chlorine slowly leaks into the pool through the outlet/inlet of the in-deck chlorination, it runs down the side of the pool wall and is etching grooves into it. This shouldn't be happening. The pictures aren't the greatest, sorry, but it is clearly distributing chlorine into the pool, as I do have small amounts of chlorine when I test the water, and the main fact that it's eating away my pool wall where it comes in.

    I was told this was happening because the combination of Ozone and the concentrated chlorine is too strong of an oxidizer for an in-deck system and chlorine, if added to an ozone pool, needs to be distributed evenly via a floater or in-line system. I wanted to see if that was true or not. If that is true, my pool builder is going to have a nasty phone call coming.
    In-ground pebble tech pool and spa. Cartridge filter pump. Chlorine sterilization. In-floor cleaning. Waterfall. Spa jets. Jandy pumps. Jandy Colors lights. Jandy control box with iLink PDA v3.

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    I was told this was happening because the combination of Ozone and the concentrated chlorine is too strong of an oxidizer for an in-deck system and chlorine, if added to an ozone pool, needs to be distributed evenly via a floater or in-line system. I wanted to see if that was true or not.
    Yeah, I get what you are saying. It isn't logical to me that there is any correlation as I said in my post above.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    The problem is not related to the Ozone. Trichlor tabs are very acidic and corrosive. Having concentrated trichlor water introduced to the pool like that will damage any material it comes in contact with.

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    This just seems like a weird design that I have not heard of or really understand how it should work. I think it would etch any pool since it does not really mix into the bulk of the water. It also looks like where an autofill used to be and someone decided to call it a chlorinator.

    The only cons I have read about ozone are just the expense of the system for a piece of equipment that is not required for outdoor pools that requires a sanitizer also. They certainly function, just are not needed.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    Hmmm - My pool is being built and almost completed. I wanted to research all the pool options & systems that the pool company sales jock was selling.

    I'm a total noob with pools, and I ended up with the same thing - a deck-chlor and an ozone generator.

    After researching, I knew I didn't want the salt chlorine generator in Phoenix (too expensive to replace it every 3 years when it fails). They don't live very long here. I can buy a LOT of chlorine for that price.

    I also realized that the UV teatment was a pretty dumb idea here in the desert - outdoor pools here don't lack UV exposure.

    I also looked into the ozone generator - everything I read about it indicated that it makes for a pretty good water sanitizer, and will also reduce level of chlorine needed in the pool. But NOBODY ever mentioned that the combination of the deck-chlor and ozone generator was a bad combo ('till now)
    * 18.5 K Gallon, 8ft deep, IG, Pebble Radiance * Pentair VS 3050 Pump w/420 Cartridge Filter
    * Blue Square Q-360 In-floor Cleaning System * UltraPure UPP25 Ozone Generator
    * Pool startup: 09-04-2012 * TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    Welcome to TFP, kkendall!!!

    I don't think it is the combo of the ozone and deck-chlor that is bad. I just think the deck-chlor in general is bad ... how does that mix into the bulk of the water?

    As you will learn by reading around here, we do not advocate using tablets anyway without full understanding what they are adding to your pool. And being in AZ, they are an even worse idea since we do not have major drains in winter to lower the accumulated CYA from the tablets. I disagree about the SWG ... taking into account the replacement of the cells, the $$$ come out about the same as bleach.

    And regarding the ozone, that only affects the water going through the plumbing and does not provide any sanitation in the bulk of the water, so you have to use chlorine ... it is much cheaper to just use a little more chlorine than to buy and maintain the ozone.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    What I could find out - the salt systems are approx $800 (and in this heat, they live 3 years), whereas the the ozone repairs are approx $70 to replace the element inside. I may just forego the indeck system. Doesn't hurt to have it there with nothing in it.
    * 18.5 K Gallon, 8ft deep, IG, Pebble Radiance * Pentair VS 3050 Pump w/420 Cartridge Filter
    * Blue Square Q-360 In-floor Cleaning System * UltraPure UPP25 Ozone Generator
    * Pool startup: 09-04-2012 * TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    I've had some time to really study my pool and the system, so I feel comfortable posting this. The way that deck chlorinator works is at the bottom of that compartment, there is an inlet that pumps in water. The flow erodes the tablets and fills the compartment with water. That pipe you see is an inlet into the pool, and once the compartment is filled to the pipe's level, the chlorinated water overflows into that pipe and then into the pool.

    Because there is an inlet that is letting in a fair amount of water, the chlorine is getting added to the bulk of the pool decently enough... when the pump is on. I think what is happening is that the concentrated chlorine water makes its way into that pipe, and when the pump shuts off, what remains in the pipe is left to slowly leak into the pool and down the wall, causing the etching problem. Long story short, I agree that it is probably a poor design and should just be foregone and use a floater instead.

    As far as the Ozone not reaching the bulk of the pool - that's a common misconception. Most people who have negative opinions about Ozone have no idea how it even works, or formed their opinion from vague, sales-based articles who were trying to sell salt systems. The ozonator creates ozone and that gas is injected into the flow back to your pool. While it has a short shelf life due to its virtually instantaneous bond with other substances, a good ozonator combined with a good pump creates more than enough of the gas to make it into the bulk of the pool, where the extra oxygen atoms can bond with and oxidize anything it touches. I can stand at the edge of my pool and see all the gas bubbles coming from the inlets and disbursing into the pool where it shortly becomes regular oxygen thereafter.

    Because it is such a strong oxidizer (4,000 times stronger than chlorine), I strongly suggest not swimming in the pool with it running. Mine has its own power switch which I can turn off if I want to have the pump running and not have to worry about getting burned by the ozone after getting too close to the inlets (and it does burn).

    I've had this pool for three months and I stopped putting chlorine in it once I saw the etching problem over a month and a half ago. I haven't had a single issue with sanitation or chemical balance - PH is always perfect, alkalinity is always perfect, and I haven't had a single issue with algae, even with my stupid ficus trees constantly dropping leaves and fruit into the pool. Ozone ROCKS!
    In-ground pebble tech pool and spa. Cartridge filter pump. Chlorine sterilization. In-floor cleaning. Waterfall. Spa jets. Jandy pumps. Jandy Colors lights. Jandy control box with iLink PDA v3.

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    [quote=I've had this pool for three months and I stopped putting chlorine in it once I saw the etching problem over a month and a half ago. I haven't had a single issue with sanitation or chemical balance - PH is always perfect, alkalinity is always perfect, and I haven't had a single issue with algae, even with my stupid ficus trees constantly dropping leaves and fruit into the pool. Ozone ROCKS![/quote]

    What brand of ozonator do you have?
    24k gal 16x38, spa 7x6, Colorscape Caribbean Blue plaster, Pentair Intelliflow, Hayward jacuzzi air pump, Pentair 520 filter, Raypak 336k cu-ni heater, Aquabot Turbo T... pool remodel finished 8/2012.

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Fill in the Blank
    The ozonator creates ozone and that gas is injected into the flow back to your pool.
    Interesting - They installed mine into the return line - BEFORE the filter. I checked on some install docs and the manufacturer (for mine) says to put it before the filter so the O3 can slam-n-jam with all the nasties in the water as it is working its way through the filter and back to the pool.

    I think this way, the vast majority of the O3 will have already been broken down before the water gets back to the pool.
    * 18.5 K Gallon, 8ft deep, IG, Pebble Radiance * Pentair VS 3050 Pump w/420 Cartridge Filter
    * Blue Square Q-360 In-floor Cleaning System * UltraPure UPP25 Ozone Generator
    * Pool startup: 09-04-2012 * TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: In-Deck Chorinator with Ozone Etching Problems

    I see this thread has died, but I just caught up with it and wanted to add my experience with exactly the same system set up that the OP mentioned. We live in the Phoenix area and have a 15K gallon pool with an in-deck chlorinator, ozonator, in-floor cleaning system, cartridge filter, and two-speed pump motor. Our pool is now 12 years old and this system has worked well for us the entire time (other than the CYA gain problem of using tri-chlor tablets). We have never noticed any issue with the pebble finish beneath the inlet where the water from the in-deck chlorinator enters the pool. However, we do run our pump motor on low speed 24/7/365, so we have a constant water flow through the in-deck chlorinator, unlike the OP who has his motor going on and off with tablets sitting while the motor is not running.

    We tried a SWG for a couple of years and then went right back to ozone. The original cell in the SWG lasted about one year and was replaced under warranty. That warranty cell lasted about another year, but the warranty was expired so we had to purchase another cell for about $800. We said forget it and went back to ozone. And yes, we maintain our stuff properly so the cell failures were not due to neglect. I am sure the price of the replacement cells has come down (and maybe the longevity has gone up also), but we have had a much better experience with ozone.

    So in 12 years of pool ownership, we have been on ozone for about 10 of those years and the other 2 years were SWG. In the 10 years of ozone, we replaced the bulbs once in the original ozone unit (cost for replacement bulbs about $200, as I recall). Then in May 2009 we replaced the entire ozonator with a new, brand-name unit (A&A QuikPure 3 25K) for $225 installed. That was a great deal from a pool repair guy that had an extra ozone unit that he wanted to move. We have found our tri-chlor puck use to be lower in relation to other pool owners in our area w/o ozone, but I admit that is just based on conversation and not on any sort of rigorous analysis.

    I recommended the ozone idea to a friend at work that was fed up with replacing SWG cells. He switched to ozone and he has also been very happy.

    I am not banging the tub for ozone systems and I only have a sample of two pools that I am aware of using ozone in the Phoenix area. Nonetheless, this is my two cents for anybody that is researching these topics.

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