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Thread: want to install Pool Pilot -- where do I put it?

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    want to install Pool Pilot -- where do I put it?

    After reading several posts on this forum, I decided to order the Pool Pilot Digital SC-36 for our ~14k gal IG pool (we had it resurfaced 2 years ago and put down a nice Tahoe Blue Pebble Tec).

    I’m planning on this being a DIY install, so I have a few questions regarding location of the bypass manifold/cell with our current set-up.

    A little background: The pool has a spa with a spillway into the pool. we currently don’t have a heater (so we really don’t use the spa that much – after all, we are in florida ). I anticipate installing a heater sometime in the future however, so I need to take that into account when locating the manifold/cell.

    Below is a picture of my current pool/spa plumbing.

    As you can see, there is a chlorinator in the return line (red ‘Leg A’ in photo). Currently I don’t use the chlorinator – I use liquid chlorine. I plan on taking the chlorinator out and installing the Pool Pilot manifold in its place. My main concern is the branch-off line at the first Jandy valve (‘Valve 1’ in the photo) before the current chlorinator. I believe the valve controls return flow to the spa jets. The manifold will go in the return line (red ‘Leg A’) downstream of this valve if I put it where the chlorinator is now. Depending on the setting of the valve (Valve 1) I will have varying flow rate to the manifold – correct? How will I know if I’m getting 20 GPM to the manifold? Is this set-up acceptable? If not, where is the next best place to locate the manifold/cell? Perhaps at the ‘Leg B’ in the photo? Leg B (blue) is 13 inches long currently.

    If I can install the manifold where the chlorinator is now, that distance is only 11.5 inches. The current lines are 2 inch diameter. Will I have enough room for the manifold after I remove the chlorinator?

    Those are my main concerns at the moment. I’ll probably think of some more soon. And great forum -- I'm really learning a lot. Thanks for any/all advice.
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    12K gal PebbleTec, 1.5 HP 1-spd P2RA series Sta-Rite pump, Hayward cart filter, Pool Pilot SWG, spillway, no heater, sunny, Taylor K-2006 test kit.

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    Spriteman, thanks for selecting the Pool Pilot for your pool.
    The problem with placing the manifold in Leg B is that when you isolate the spa, you'll overchlorinate the spa, unless you manually reduce the output on the Digital. It's even worse when you have a heater, as the automatic temperature compensation feature will increase it even more.
    So, placing it in Leg A, pool return line would be recommended for the DIG-220 unit.

    With the system in spa overflow, there should still be sufficient flow through the manifold to operate.
    With a 1hp pump, splitting the flow should provide about 30 - 40 gpm to the manifold. The minimum flow required is approximately 15- 20 gpm.

    You can position the manifold assembly with the base vertically. That is, where the pipe comes out of the Jandy valve, 90 degree UP. Loop it up approximately 13", the height of the manifold base, with enough pipe to 90 degree back into the return line. Place the manifold on the downward side of this loop though.
    To try to give you a perspective, the base will be vertical, and the cell will lay horizontally.
    e-mail my work address and I can send a word doc that may be a little clearer (if you need this). sean@teamhorner.com

    If you have not yet purchased the Pool Pilot, you may want to consider the Total Control, which is more money, but allows you to place the manifold in Leg B, before the diverter valve. The Total Control will test and adjust chlorine and pH as needed. So whether you are in pool mode with spa overflow, or spa mode, or even after you get your heater, the cell will only generate chlorine when needed, and the same with the acid feeder for the pH level.

    Hope this helps.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    I would go for leg A. Firstly, i'm not sure if there is enough clearance for the manifold between leg B and the pipe above it.

    Another concern is that if you install it there, you'll be then asking the question: "My spa has too much chlorine in it, how do i make my chlorinator stop when i'm using the spa". It seems that a lot of people ask this question on different pool forums

    But you need to check if you will have enough space left there after you remove it.

  4. Back To Top    #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poolsean

    If you have not yet purchased the Pool Pilot, you may want to consider the Total Control, which is more money, but allows you to place the manifold in Leg B, before the diverter valve. The Total Control will test and adjust chlorine and pH as needed. So whether you are in pool mode with spa overflow, or spa mode, or even after you get your heater, the cell will only generate chlorine when needed, and the same with the acid feeder for the pH level.
    But it still would over chlorinate the spa in cases when chlorine is needed, since it measures the water coming from a pool, not from a spa, wouldn't it?

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    I have a very similar setup. I put mine in at leg B because my leg A was not big enough. However, I have the AutoPilot setup to run when the pump is on low speed. I use the spa on high speed so I don't get chlorine generated when using the spa.

    My heater is between leg B and the filter.
    15,500 gal, inground gunite pool with 7 ft spa, 2 speed pump 2hp/.33hp, 3/4 hp booster pump, Intermatic P1353 timer, AutoPilot SC-48, Sand filter with ZeoBest, Heater, that I never use . . .

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Strannik,

    No. The Total Control does not care where the water is coming from. Since the water sample tested by the ORP and pH sensors is taken from the manifold, prior to chlorine generation or acid injection, it is taking filtered and non-chemically treated water. Placing the manifold before the pool/spa diverter valve means that it is testing only whatever body of water that's circulating through the manifold.

    Therefore, drawing from the pool and spilling over from the spa into the pool, isolating the pool only, or spa only will always ensure that the water is maintained the same, regardless of use, or filtration mode.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    And that's exactly why it will still overchlorinate the spa when the water is drawn from the pool and spills over to the pool from spa.

    Think of the spa as just the bigger pipe. You wouldn't deny that the level of chlorine say one meter down from the cell is much higher than one meter before the cell? So before it gets to the pool it will chlorinate the spa.

    The bigger the volume difference, the more extreme will be the difference in chlorine level between them.
    Of course there will be no such problem when it runs either in spa or in pool isolation mode.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Strannik, in a spill over spa configuration the FC level in the spa must be higher than the FC level in the pool, but only by some very small amount. Unless the CYA level is at zero in direct sunlight the lifetime of the chlorine will be much higher than the amount of time it takes for the water to mix throughly throughout the system and so it will only be possible for there to be a very small increase in FC level in the spa.

    Say the lifetime of chlorine is averaging four hours (fairly short) and the water spends an average of five minutes in the spa before overflowing. Then the spa will be 2% higher in chlorine than the pool.

    A reasonably sized SWG cell can't raise the FC level by enough in a single pass to qualify as over chlorinated. You only get over chlorination when the cell is on at a percentage designed for the pool but is only circulating water through the spa. Then the water makes repeated passes through the cell and builds up to very high chlorine levels over a period of quite a few cycles through the cell.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    My logic was that if the SWG overshoots, to make sure that chlorine level is brought up faster to the preset level then the spa would get overchlorinated, because first the level of chlorine will be raised in a spa due to low volume, and then it will be spread around the larger volume of the pool. Kinda like you put a bucket on a pool step, and make all water from SWG flow there. You will get a high concentration of chlorine in a bucket, but the pool will be much slower to catch up.

    However if Total Control units only care that the water coming out of manifold is at preset level ( by measuring the incoming water and adding enough chlorine to reach preset level) then indeed it wouldn't make a difference where the the water is taken from and in this case it wouldn't overchlorinate. I probably misunderstood Poolsean about how Total Control units work.

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    The high concentration of chlorine from the cell is within the cell body and right after. The manifold also mixes in untreated water from the bypass check valve, which will lower the high chlorine from the cell. By the time it gets to the spa, it's no more than 1-5 ppm higher than the incoming water.

    As Jason said, there spillover will effectively cycle though the spa water and not allow an overchlorination condition.

    Remember, in a spillover mode, there is still some pool water cycling through the pool return jets too. It's not as if the only source of chlorine is from the spillover.

    Strannik, it really is a non-issue as e have not experienced any conditions to be concerned with overchlorinating spas.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Okay, thanks to all for the insight. I had to actually draw out a little sketch for myself to try and understand the spa/plumbing/chlorine scenario presented.

    If I understand Sean’s description correctly, the manifold can probably fit where the chlorinator is now by plumbing it as I have it rendered in the attached photo below. Is this correct?

    My motor is a 1.5 hp, single speed attached to a Sta-Rite pump. I’m not sure what the pump gpm’s are, but it’s a model P2RA series.

    If/when I add the heater, it will probably be fueled by propane since it will bring the spa up to temp faster than a heat pump. If I put the Pool Pilot manifold in ‘Leg A’ and want to use just the spa (no warm water going to the pool), there will be no chlorine being added to the spa – is that correct? Is this a problem? By using propane the spa will only be isolated for 1 to 3 hours (if you include warm-up time and usage time). Seems to me this short a period of time is minimal and shouldn’t expose the spa to low chlorine levels for very long – even at an elevated temperature.

    I haven’t purchased the Pool Pilot yet, and actually haven’t considered the Total Control version. I will look into it also.
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    12K gal PebbleTec, 1.5 HP 1-spd P2RA series Sta-Rite pump, Hayward cart filter, Pool Pilot SWG, spillway, no heater, sunny, Taylor K-2006 test kit.

  12. Back To Top    #12

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    Perfect. Great job.

    The minimal amount of time that the spa may be isolated will not affect the safety of the spa, and shouldn't affect the chlorine levels that much.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    okay, thanks for the encouragement. Not to be too anal (oops, might be too late!), but how do I re-plumb the ‘Leg A’ to accept the Pool Pilot manifold/90 degree elbow, if I only have half an inch of 2” pvc to ‘hook’ onto? I’ve attached a photo to illustrate. Once I remove the chlorinator, you can see that the red band of pvc is only .5 inches long coming out of the tee fitting (that goes into the ground).

    I’ve done my fair share of pvc yard irrigation mods, and I know a 2” pipe is going to need more than .5 inches to attach to. Any ideas?
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    12K gal PebbleTec, 1.5 HP 1-spd P2RA series Sta-Rite pump, Hayward cart filter, Pool Pilot SWG, spillway, no heater, sunny, Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    You might be able to use an insider coupler, which glues to the inside of the pipe instead of the outside. Otherwise you are going to need to replace the T and the 90 to get back to places you can connect to.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Jason is right,

    http://www.toolsforpools.com/Lass_desc.html

    Pipe Extender, Inside Coupling, Extend All Fitting, Fitting Extenders, are all possibilities.
    Sean Assam - Sean@teamhorner.com
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps www.aquacal.com
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators www.autopilot.com

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    thanks jason/sean. that's just what I was looking for -- and thanks for the local link! I'll swing by there next week.
    12K gal PebbleTec, 1.5 HP 1-spd P2RA series Sta-Rite pump, Hayward cart filter, Pool Pilot SWG, spillway, no heater, sunny, Taylor K-2006 test kit.

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