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Thread: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

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    soupy8728's Avatar
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    New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Hi all,

    I'm new to this. My girlfriend has an inground pool (see specs in my signature). I am taking over the responsibilities of maintaining it. Here is my question...

    there is a Rainbow 320 automatic chlorinator installed. Currently there are no tabs in it but I have purchased some. I was reading in the pool school section that these cause CYA issues? So I guess my question is, should I not use this thing? The pool school section said liquid bleach is my best bet. How much do I add and do I just pour it in the pool? Any advice is appreciated! I have plumbing and controller questions as well but I will ask those later when I can post the pictures. Thanks!

    Carl
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Welcome to TFP.

    The first thing you need to know is what your CYA level is now, and to know that you need a good test kit.

    In the long run you shouldn't use it or the pucks.

    In order to maintain your (her) pool you need to read Pool School and learn to use the Pool Calculator. It will make your life so much easier.

    Also go ahead and ask your other questions in this topic also. It's easier to know all the facts if you keep things together.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Thanks Dave!

    I should have prefaced this with the fact that the pool is not running at the moment. Her previous pool guy disassembled the DE filter and didn't tell her that he left it apart. She turned on the pump and the water overflowed out of the DE filter and spilled onto the motor which fried it. I have purchased a new motor (2hp, single speed) and will be installing it tomorrow (Thursday). Once I get everything circulating again, my plan was to clean out all baskets where debris collects then to scrub and vacuum the algae that is on the walls. Pool guy did shock the pool prior to disassembling the DE filter. I cleaned the DE filter grids and reinstalled them. Any suggestions on how to go about this process of bringing the pool back to life? Thanks.

    Carl
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    I should have prefaced this with the fact that the pool is not running at the moment. Her previous pool guy disassembled the DE filter and didn't tell her that he left it apart. She turned on the pump and the water overflowed out of the DE filter and spilled onto the motor which fried it. I have purchased a new motor (2hp, single speed) and will be installing it tomorrow (Thursday).
    STOP!!! If at all possible; before you install that motor it would be very helpful to know more about your plumbing and filter so we can help you size that pump if it is new and possible to return. If you bought it used and you are stuck with it - be aware that 2HP is likely oversized for a 10-12K pool unless you have a lot of water features like an attached spa or jets.

    EDITED BELOW HERE
    California has laws about pool pump sizes and I did not think a 2HP single speed was even legal to install there. Old pools may be grandfathered I am no expert in this area but I found information that I am linking below that confirms this.

    See this: http://www.pool-guy.com/CA%20LAW%20title_20.htm

    Here's an excerpt from another site:
    If your pool and equipment were put in before January 1, 2006, you may need to upgrade to meet the standards of the new law. California's Title 20 law was passed to help conserve energy by forcing pool owners to upgrade their equipment to more efficient systems. No longer rated by horsepower, these systems are rated by RPMs. As of January 1, 2008, any swimming pool filter pumps that burn out or break MUST BE replaced with either a two-speed or multi-speed motor. This means automated controls must be connected to them, so if one part of your equipment is outdated, it is likely that the rest may need to be replaced to make the new components work correctly and hold up to Title 20 standards.
    The rough part is that they now require automated controls in addition to the motor size change! I do think that if your pump is <= 1HP you may be able to avoid complex automation.

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    Once I get everything circulating again, my plan was to clean out all baskets where debris collects then to scrub and vacuum the algae that is on the walls. Pool guy did shock the pool prior to disassembling the DE filter. I cleaned the DE filter grids and reinstalled them. Any suggestions on how to go about this process of bringing the pool back to life?
    FIRST - Be glad you found this site.
    Second - Order a test kit! Details are in Pool School (see below)
    Third - Read Pool School (upper right hand corner of the page)

    On another note, how often will you be at the house - if it isn't daily - will your girlfriend be willing to learn how to do daily maintenance for the pool? (emptying baskets, getting leaves out with net, adding bleach/liquid chlorine, taking some chemistry measurements) If she isn't going to be involved daily and you are not there daily then bleach/liquid chlorine will be harder to use as a chlorination source since it needs daily adjustments.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    soupy8728's Avatar
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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    I purchased the motor from the local Leslies Pool store. I took the old burnt up motor in there and this was the replacement that they said I should use. Here are the specs from the motor label:

    CAT. NO. EB843
    MODEL: K63CXESF-4793
    HP 2.0
    S.F. 1.3Q
    RPM 3450
    VOLTS 208-230
    HZ 60
    SF AMPS 10.6-10.0
    PH 1
    MFG# C12C
    FRAME 56Y
    INS CLASS B

    not sure why they would sell me something that was "illegal" in California. Just saying.
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    I purchased the motor from the local Leslies Pool store. I took the old burnt up motor in there and this was the replacement that they said I should use. Here are the specs from the motor label:

    CAT. NO. EB843
    MODEL: K63CXESF-4793
    HP 2.0
    S.F. 1.3Q
    RPM 3450
    VOLTS 208-230
    HZ 60
    SF AMPS 10.6-10.0
    PH 1
    MFG# C12C
    FRAME 56Y
    INS CLASS B

    not sure why they would sell me something that was "illegal" in California. Just saying.
    First - the pumps are often oversized when installed (all over the country).
    Second - if you can supply the pipe diameter and filter specs we can tell you if this is a good match - if that pump is older but still new stock they may have some exception way to sell it - but the law seems pretty clear on this point.
    Third - please check your Private Messages at the top left of the site.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    soupy8728's Avatar
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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    More info:

    I will only be out there on the weekends so I'm not sure if she is willing to do the daily stuff (her old pool guy was only there once a week so how did that work??)

    Just a guess (cuz I'm in San Diego and not by her house) but the pipe diameter is 1 1/2 to 2 inches...not sure exactly. The only thing that has changed in this scenario is the motor fried. Everything else is the same. The system was working fine a couple weeks ago.
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    I will only be out there on the weekends so I'm not sure if she is willing to do the daily stuff (her old pool guy was only there once a week so how did that work??)
    Many pool companies and pool stores are a bit fuzzy on the relationship of CYA and Chlorine. Others understand it - but pragmatic reality intrudes. If you can only visit 1/week (pool service for example) then stabilized solid chlorine is a necessary double edged sword. On the one hand it allows you to add chlorine weekly that slowly distributes - but it causes the CYA to continually rise and makes the amount of chlorine required to rise because the effectiveness drops as the CYA goes up. Eventually this requires more chlorine than can be added and the water has to be partially replaced or treated with reverse osmosis to rid the pool of the CYA. In this model - weekly "shock" is added to kill anything starting to grow. This works to a degree but it is a kind of treadmill that leads to algaecides, phosphate removers, and a lot of $$$$ being spent on things that are otherwise not needed.

    I'm also an absentee pool maintainer. I am only a few minutes from my father-in-law's pool but I'm only really able to do maintenance weekly there. I typically take the time to do my tests over the weekend and now that I have a good handle on the daily use of chlorine I setup my Brother-in-law with pre-filled bleach bottles with just what he needs for each day. Daily he adds a bottle and removes leaves from the skimmer and fishes some leaves out of the pool by net. It's not as perfect as if I were there daily - but it works. I keep slightly higher chlorine levels to offset the leaves that don't get fished out and I worry over it more on the weekend than I would if I were getting there daily. So if your GF is willing to add bleach daily and if you are willing to setup the amount she needs premeasured and marked for each day you can do this without being there daily. The complication is when something goes wrong - an algae outbreak - and you need to shock for a days or even more than a week - this requires more attention to detail - more than 1/day (sometimes every few hours) measurement of chlorine levels, brushing 1/day or more, etc. This is when the absentee part may be an issue - but you can teach her what she needs to know if this becomes an issue. Also if you follow best practices here - once it's clean it should STAY clean.

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    Just a guess (cuz I'm in San Diego and not by her house) but the pipe diameter is 1 1/2 to 2 inches...not sure exactly. The only thing that has changed in this scenario is the motor fried. Everything else is the same. The system was working fine a couple weeks ago.
    How many suction lines (from skimmer(s) and any main drain(s) are there? How many returns (water outlets in the pool) are there? A picture of the plumbing would help - you can post to Flikr, Photobucket, etc.

    Remember that even if it "worked" it might not be the most efficient that it could be - and if you are already replacing the motor - NOW is the time to spend a tiny bit more to get a lot of benefit if a 2 speed pump can be added cheaply. This modest change is important because at 1/2 speed a pump consumes only 1/4 the electricity. Granted it can take 2x as long to move the same water - but that's still a savings of 50% - assuming that you cannot reduce the overall number of water turnovers needed.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    I will try to gather all of this information. I'm sure there is a single drain in the bottom of the pool, a drain in the spa, and a single skimmer (there are 3 inputs to the pump...labled cleaner, spa, and pool). So how much liquid bleach do you know how to add daily in order to pre-measure it for your brother in law? Once everything is up and running, I will do a water test and post the results. For now, I know the pool was "shocked" on Monday (10th) but nothing since then.
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    I will try to gather all of this information. I'm sure there is a single drain in the bottom of the pool, a drain in the spa, and a single skimmer (there are 3 inputs to the pump...labled cleaner, spa, and pool).
    Is that an attached spa that shares filter/pump with pool? That might explain the reason the replacement pump was recommended to be 2HP - it may also impact what is permitted. I think you should add that to your signature - BTW.

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    So how much liquid bleach do you know how to add daily in order to pre-measure it for your brother in law? Once everything is up and running, I will do a water test and post the results. For now, I know the pool was "shocked" on Monday (10th) but nothing since then.
    Honestly I just measured it every day for a while until I got a feel for the use. The largest swimmer loads we ever have are 4-5 kids or 3-4 adults and 2 kids.

    Once I had a feel for how the chlorine was getting used daily, and I had experience using the PoolCalculator.Com website to calculate the number of ounces of bleach needed - I just setup jugs of chlorine for my BIL. My BIL is mentally disabled so I don't give him partial bottles - I add water to dilute the bottle to fit the needed amount so he doesn't mistake it for a different purpose.

    I overchlorinate a little (there a lot of lattitude on the high side between recommended levels and too much) and I monitor on a weekly basis - if the levels are too high I have him skip a day or I redo the amount per bottle to bring things back down gradually.

    It's a labor of love and effort...

    If I were in your shoes - once I got the pool clean and clear I would spend a long weekend watching the levels and get the basic daily consumption down. Then I would make up the bleach bottles as I was saying - and check it again the next weekend. Chances are you'll be OK. But if you can convince the GF to learn some basic testing - things will be easier - she can call you with results and you can advise her if she needs a little more or less the next day. She can also test pH and you can plug in her numbers in a smart phone app or website to give advice.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Thanks UWV...you have been very helpful! I know this is a "process" and requires a lot of attention but I'm up for the challenge. I'm going to return the chlor tabs I bought and not use that 320 chlorinator. It's just her and I that use the pool...maybe her daughter occassionally so I think dosing with liquid daily (or every other day) will be where I start. My main focus is to get the system up and running first...then hit the chemistry lesson.
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    Thanks UWV...you have been very helpful! I know this is a "process" and requires a lot of attention but I'm up for the challenge. I'm going to return the chlor tabs I bought and not use that 320 chlorinator. It's just her and I that use the pool...maybe her daughter occassionally so I think dosing with liquid daily (or every other day) will be where I start. My main focus is to get the system up and running first...then hit the chemistry lesson.
    You are welcome!

    Also it may be worth having a SMALL supply of pucks (tabs) to keep on hand for vacations - when no one is tending the pool you may want them even with the CYA rise. You can always replace water over time as you backwash the filter (if it is that type of DE filter).

    Your plan makes sense so far.

    Sending you another PM.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    What do I do about a stripped out pressure gauge? I'm not talking about the threads on the brass pipe...I'm talking about the fiberglass lid that it threads into (the top lid of the filter). Any way to fix that?
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    You could try a heli-coil insert. It's a thread repair kit.

    Post a pic of the top.
    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
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    The threads are fiberglass. Will a heli-coil work on that?
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    I used some two part epoxy on it. Worked great. The filter and pump will changed out next year sometime so this will work for now. Next stop...water testing.
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Quote Originally Posted by soupy8728
    I used some two part epoxy on it. Worked great. The filter and pump will changed out next year sometime so this will work for now. Next stop...water testing.
    Be careful. The epoxy may only hold it until under pressure. Then you may have a projectile weapon.



    - Sent using Tapatalk
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator



    Seriously, though, a few pics of the pool/spa and the equipment pad can really help us give recommendations. Did you already install the pump?

    When you test the water, make sure that you use your own FAS-DPD test kit (i.e. the TF-100), DO NOT bring it to a pool store for testing. 99% of the time their recommendations are either wrong or unneeded.
    27,000 gal. vinyl in-ground pool w/ 1.5" piping, 1 HP Pentair SuperFlo pump, Hayward Pro Series sand filter

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator

    Pics will be here soon I promise....super busy right now. Everything is up and running. I vacuumed the pool three times already...stuff keeps settling to the bottom ( I presume it's the dead algae from shocking the pool). I drained and cleaned out the spa as well. Here are my initial water tests.

    Test kit is from leslies pool...Taylor 81-330

    FC- 5+
    Bromine - 5+
    PH - 8.0+
    Alkalinity - 270
    CH - it's off the charts. I put 100 drops of R-0012 and it never turned blue
    CYA - well over 100 (the dot disappeared at like 1/4 inch of liquid in the tube)

    Ok...have at it!
    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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    Re: New to this....question about Rainbow 320 chlorinator










    IG Plaster with raised spill-over Spa, ~26,000 gallons, Built 2001
    Cartridge filter
    Solar heated

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