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Thread: Do I need another chlorinator?

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    Do I need another chlorinator?

    Hi. I am new here so, hopefully I am in the right place.

    I live in an HOA that has a large outdoor pool (specs below in sig). I took over the pool 2 years ago, when I joined the board. From what I can tell about how the pool was treated prior to me taking it over, the old person that did the day to day management, just had the head lifeguard dump 5 gallons of liquid chlorine in each week with no other chlorine throughout the week. The pool was an absolute disaster. The DE filters (2) were never cleaned. It was nearly a solid block of DE when I opened it up. The pool surface was stained. Algae growth. Etc. Basically everything was wrong with this pool.

    I set out to first get the chemicals correct. It was a not stop battle with 10 year old "broken" water. I realized the old chlorinator didnt work, so purchased a new chlorinator. We use a 2" stick chlorinator. So with the new chlorinator running I realized the water was so bad, that it wouldnt hold or register chlorine.

    This year we got some work done to the plaster work done, drained the pool and after the work was completed, finally I got new water.

    Everything started out perfectly. I took my water samples to the local pool store, and for the first time, I didnt need to add any chemicals (minus the preventative stuff i do weekly). Chlorine was holding, Ph was good, everything was perect. It was the first time that out test notes said "OK" next to each column.

    In the past two weeks, I have completely lost chlorine. I am going through about 25 2" sticks every 5 days. So the chlorinator is working, but it isnt holding in the pool.

    With no FC in the pool, I am now a breeding ground for algae, which promptly grew. As soon as i saw it (apparently the yellow furry looking stuff on the bottom of the pool, didnt catch our lifeguards eyes and they did nothing) I had the water tested. Minus the 0 chlorine and the algae, everything was perfect. I brushed the algae loose and waited a few hours for the water to turn over. Then i vacuumed, backwashed, shocked and added the copper algaecide.

    My concern is obviously the 0 chlorine. That is the root of my algae problem, so I am trying to fix it. Would a second chlorinator help?

    I have asked the staff at the local pool store and they said probably not and that the reason that it is reading zero is the heat and the use (about 85 - 115 people throughout the day) is causing the rapid drop. I am in Pennsylvania and it has been hot, rainy and the pool has a ton of use this year. So the odds are stacked up against me to begin with.

    I am a volunteer and had zero experience prior to becoming a board member. We have had a few pool companies through the year and they were all a waste of time, because our pool is "too big" for them to spend enough time on. Excuses. I keep our pool cleaner and clearer than any of our pool guys ever did, but I am learning on the go.

    Any advice would be appreciated. im trying to figure out which direction to go. my end goal is to have an automatic feeder system for our chemicals, but that wont be for a few years.

    Thank you for your time and I apologize for the length, just figured I'd give as much info as i could.
    120,000 Gallon
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Welcome to the forum.

    There is a very good chance you have w-a-a-ay to much CYA in your pool. If so, another chlorinator is the LAST thing you need, as the stabilized chlorine is the root of your problem.

    Can you post test results to include CYA? We'll go from there.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Welcome to the forum.. STOP adding algaecide. Read pool school for a better understanding of the chemical relationships. We suggest you order one of the test kits recommended there. Read the section on SLAMming your pool to fix your recurring problems. Bather loads, heat, water temps all contribute to FC loss is why you have an algae bloom. We recommend using plain old bleach to SLAM with. Are the sticks you are using cal-hypo or dichlor based?
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    There is no way to manage that pool without having a good test kit and doing all your own testing. You cannot depend on any test results from a pool store. Just to see what would happen, when I first got my test kit, I took water to three different pool stores. No surprise, I got wildly different "test results" from each store. Most bore very little similarity to the readings I got from my own tests.

    If you want to know what to do, you need to know what is happening in the water chemistry. The only way to know is to test. Without a GOOD test kit you are operating blind.

    Short answer:
    You don't need a chlorination. You need a test kit and you need to spend some time in Pool School. (Upper right button on the page).
    chiefwej
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Thanks for the quick responses. Below is a summary of my test done yesterday. My CYA isnt high at all.

    FAC - 0
    TAC - 0
    CH - 220
    CYA - 30
    TA - 120
    pH - 7.6
    TDS - 650

    The chlorine sticks we use are this http://www.lesliespool.com/Home/Pool...abs/12234.html Dichlor based.

    Quote Originally Posted by chiefwej
    Short answer:
    You don't need a chlorination. You need a test kit and you need to spend some time in Pool School. (Upper right button on the page).
    The test kit I use is this one. http://www.lesliespool.com/Home/Pool...its/81329.html
    So the issue isnt my test kit. I have a good one and have learned how to read it correctly. I take my water to the local pool store to get a secondary reading, since no one else on my board knows how to read it or what the pretty colors (or lack there of) mean. Also, they use the same kit as me. The only variance would be from how they see the color reading compared to how i see it.

    The algae isnt a recurring problem (yet anyway), it just started this week. So i will wait until a few weeks go by to label it a recurring issue.

    Pool readings are exactly the same today, with a free chlorine level of 1.
    120,000 Gallon
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Can you tell us your procedure for testing CYA?
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Welcome to tfp, bophus

    That is a large pool! What are the surface dimensions?

    How much use does it get?

    The test kit you have is a good one (and hard to find).

    As has been said, the sticks (they are trichlor not dichlor) you are using will eventually, cause you to need to do another drain refill since they add cya to your water. Are able to test and add chlorine daily? If you are then liquid chlorine might be an option for you and it does not add cya. Other more automated options might be a liquid chlorine injection pump or a saltwater chlorine generator (swg)...

    I really don't know what regulations you are required to operate under.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    Can you tell us your procedure for testing CYA?
    not sure which part you want me to go through, but ill give it a shot.

    Take my water sample bottle and wash out my squeeze bottle. (I use one of the leslies sample bottles for my whole test. I fill it from about elbow deep water, in the deep end. It saves me from having to continue to go back and fourth to the water and also protects me from the kids seeing how wet they can get me while i am doing my tests.)

    Filly my squeeze bottle to the 7ml mark with water, fill the squeeze bottle to the 14ml mark with reactant, shake well (test calls for 30 seconds), squeeze into tube until black dot disappears, read result number. I do it twice to make sure i get the same result.

    Hope that's what you were looking for and i didnt write that for nothing lol.
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Yes that was what I was looking for. Are you doing it with your back to the sun, test vial in shade created by you body, and vial held at waist level?

    You may find these helpful. extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html

    You are not by chance near Woodstock GA?
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Lighting is very important. You want to hold the tube at waist level with your back to bright sunlight. That's the question he was getting at.
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    That kit looks to be the Taylor K-2006.

    Yes, what you describe is the method used in the K-2006, and the TF-100, for CYA test. The only difference between them is the amount of water/reagent, and view tube.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Quote Originally Posted by linen
    Welcome to tfp, bophus

    That is a large pool! What are the surface dimensions?

    How much use does it get?

    The test kit you have is a good one (and hard to find).

    As has been said, the sticks (they are trichlor not dichlor) you are using will eventually, cause you to need to do another drain refill since they add cya to your water. Are able to test and add chlorine daily? If you are then liquid chlorine might be an option for you and it does not add cya. Other more automated options might be a liquid chlorine injection pump or a saltwater chlorine generator (swg)...

    I really don't know what regulations you are required to operate under.
    you are correct, it is trichlor, not dichlor. I wish we could drain/refill every few years, would save a lot of trouble, lol. ultimately I would like to switch to an automated or salt water system, but that is a lot of money and a hard sell to the residents of my HOA. I do test the chlorine daily. I test in the morning, before work and in the evening, when i get home from work. I also have the lifeguards test every two hours. Not that it needs to be done that often, but i want them to learn what the water does and how fast it can go south. They use the strips for their testing and are not allowed to touch my test kit lol. I dont remember how we got that test kit, but i just replace the chemical a few times a season, because my pool store doesnt have that kit in stock anymore.

    The pool used to be on liquid chlorine but they got away from it quite a few years ago, long before I was on the board. Since we are an HOA, we are technically a private pool, but there are fine lines that even the state cant tell us where they are. We are sort of private and sort of public.

    Our pool is used from memorial day until labor day. When i was down there today, there were about 100 people there with about 40 in the pool. i would guess we will have about 200 bathers today. We are a pretty large community.

    i believe the surface dimensions are around 72' x 35' (i'd have to go and measure it again to be sure though.
    120,000 Gallon
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    Yes that was what I was looking for. Are you doing it with your back to the sun, test vial in shade created by you body, and vial held at waist level?

    You may find these helpful. extended-test-kit-directions-t25081.html

    You are not by chance near Woodstock GA?
    Yup, back to the sun, waist level. I am not near GA, I am in SE PA.
    120,000 Gallon
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Yep, that is a big pool and a lot of swimmers. Do you think it is feasible to add liquid chlorine once a day manually? I would guess (total guess) you would need to add 5-6 gallons/day of 12.5% daily. Assuming you ran at 50 ppm cya, you could dose up to say 10 ppm FC in the late evening or early morning, then redo that the next late evening or early morning. The hope would be that you wouldn't drop below 4 ppm before you next dosing. I suppose you could still have the lifeguards spot check, but it might be better to do it with an drop based OTO kit with the instructions to dose with another 5 gallons if they measure below 4-5 ppm, although you it sound like the strip approach for spot checks was working for you?

    I am not sure what the best way to do this is without chlorine automation (swg, injector, etc.) or a puck/stick feeder (then drain/refill).
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    I know automation is where the pool is headed, but it may be a few years out. The members of the HOA do not see value in the pool 9 months out of the year and only care about it when it is hot out, lol. They think that I fill it with water and then walk away for the summer.

    What about a powdered chlorine, like a power powder, instead of a liquid. The problem with liquid is space. i would have to do a 55 gal drum, because of price. The 5 gal bottles would just be too much money over the summer. Since I havent used liquid chlorine too much, i dont know if there is a difference.
    120,000 Gallon
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Powdered chlorine is either Cal-hypo or Dichlor (or possible Trichlor powder). The first adds calcium the second adds cya. See: http://www.troublefreepool.com/pool-..._chlorine_pool
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    harleysilo's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    What is your budget?
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Just throwing this out there, you may want to try to sway the board on automation based on cal-hypo costing more and thus automation could save money over the long run. Using cal-hypo powder would involve something like 30 lbs of powder a week.
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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson
    Just throwing this out there, you may want to try to sway the board on automation based on cal-hypo costing more and thus automation could save money over the long run. Using cal-hypo powder would involve something like 30 lbs of powder a week.
    I wouldn't be surprised if it was twice that amount with the size and usage stated.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Do I need another chlorinator?

    Quote Originally Posted by harleysilo
    What is your budget?
    I have no firm budget for pool cost for the year. that being said, all money spent must be approved by a majority of the board, minus regular day to day operational costs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson
    Just throwing this out there, you may want to try to sway the board on automation based on cal-hypo costing more and thus automation could save money over the long run. Using cal-hypo powder would involve something like 30 lbs of powder a week.
    I dont think i would have a problem with the board, it is the rest of the HOA that would have the problem with it. The board knows how much time I put into the pool and how much money is spent on it. it isnt my time they worry about, it is the money though lol.
    120,000 Gallon
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