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Thread: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

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    Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    I have successfully moved from the pucks to liquid chlorine and finally have CYA under control (running about 55 right now) after being fed up with constant water changes. Under the relentless Texas sun I am consuming about 2 quarts + of 8.25% bleach a day, and I target my chlorine level every evening at 7-7.5. I have checked and the level doesn't change overnight, so nothing is in the pool that is consuming the chlorine. I attribute almost all of the loss to UV and temps (water is running 86 deg. right now at air temps are hitting 105 deg. F). My pool is about 18,500 gal, plastered. (and ... water is beautiful and clear)

    Here is my question. The up side of pucks is you can drop a few in a float and walk away from the pool for a week without worry that you'll return to an explosion of mustard algae. Right now I am nailed to the house. I can't leave! I have to test the water every day at least once and add the chlorine in the evening. Is there any kind of system that will add the chlorine "automatically," or is that called a "neighbor." Also, I have a Taylor test kit. The stand-in has to learn how to use Taylor testing system.

    Anybody out there solved this problem? How can I walk away from this thing for a weekend trip and not return to an algae pit?
    In-ground plaster pool, ~18,500 gal, Hayward single-speed pump, Pentair 60 sq. ft. DE filter, Polaris 280 robotic cleaner, SPA, heater (seldom used), use Taylor K2006 series test kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    I have an injection pump and a 15 gallon drum for the bleach. I would be confident in leaving it for a few days and maybe even a week if I had someone to clean the skimmer basket a time or two.

    It would take a week or two to get it fine tuned so you'd be comfortable leaving it, but you'd get there.
    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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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    Is that plumbed into your system, or does it dump into a skimmer basket? Is it something you put together yourself, or is it commercially available??
    In-ground plaster pool, ~18,500 gal, Hayward single-speed pump, Pentair 60 sq. ft. DE filter, Polaris 280 robotic cleaner, SPA, heater (seldom used), use Taylor K2006 series test kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    It's plumbed into the return line. I bought the pump and the drum and installed it myself. It runs on the pump timer and I have an adjustable injection pump. There are several others that have a fixed pump and it runs on it's own timer. I'd probably go that way if I had to do it over.

    I have a thread where I installed it. I've Defected to the dark side
    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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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    You might check the Liquidator thread. I built my own that siphons to the pump basket, no problems other than a recent algae breakout from a real dirty filter, and converting to a 2 speed pump - operator error . Once dialed in a suction feed system or injecting system works well. My pool takes about 30 oz/day (also Texas sun), left for 8 days and pool was still clear when I got back, my chlorine bucket level was right where I thought it would be.
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48” PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    Thanks, tact. I found the Liquidator section on the forum after I made my post here. I have been going through that. I may explore that route. The idea of drilling into my aging PVC gives me the willies, but it looks like the simplest solution. I notice the earlier incantations of the Liquidator plumbed into the pump drain plug, but the new instructions require a hole in the outflow line.
    In-ground plaster pool, ~18,500 gal, Hayward single-speed pump, Pentair 60 sq. ft. DE filter, Polaris 280 robotic cleaner, SPA, heater (seldom used), use Taylor K2006 series test kit

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    tcat's Avatar
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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    My system here: post494438.html#p494438

    Lots of ways to go. Just don't buy a polypropylene needle valve... chlorine will crack it
    IG pebble, 15,000 gallon
    48” PentAir DE Filter with backwash valve
    PentAir Whisperflo pump with 1hp 2-speed motor
    Aquabot 4WD, Poolskim
    Intermatic Dual Timeclock with freezeguard
    DIY chlorine feed
    BBB

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    How often are you traveling, and how long are the stretches of being away?

    I just bring my FC up to shock level, put the solar cover on, and walk away. With the cover on, I lose less than 1ppm FC per day, so I can easily go 7 days with no worries, and if I was careful I could do more.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    Haven't gone anywhere in months because I feel I can't leave the pool. 7-10 days would be nice.

    Don't have a solar cover, though.
    In-ground plaster pool, ~18,500 gal, Hayward single-speed pump, Pentair 60 sq. ft. DE filter, Polaris 280 robotic cleaner, SPA, heater (seldom used), use Taylor K2006 series test kit

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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    How big is the pool?

    A solar cover becomes a pretty good idea when you take into account that it
    A. Cuts down on evaporation which both saves water and
    B. Preserves temps and keeps it from cooling down at night, along with
    C. Blocks the sun so really helps protect your FC from being wasted to sunlight.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    Pool is about 18,000 gallons with almost no space on one side. Working a solar cover on the pools sounds like a chore. I have an almost zero lot-line house.
    In-ground plaster pool, ~18,500 gal, Hayward single-speed pump, Pentair 60 sq. ft. DE filter, Polaris 280 robotic cleaner, SPA, heater (seldom used), use Taylor K2006 series test kit

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    Have you never considered a Salt Water Chlorine Generator (SWG)?
    My Amazon Smile for November12K Fiberglass IG, Infinity 4000 automatic cover, SWCG, Hayward Sand Filter, Hayward 1.5 Pump, Doheny Discovery Robot, Savi Melody LED pool lights, outdoor speakers and other assorted doo-dads. Sundance Altamar Hot Tub.
    Our pool build--> Our Pool Solved Our Sloping Yard Skippy's Cheap Pool Cooler -->Skippy's New Fountain

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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    Well, I built my own. foobert-s-bleach-pump-automation-t67702.html

    About $160 worth of hardware and a healthy dose of tinkering. I'd be confident letting it run open-loop (autopilot) for a week once routine has stabilized.
    ~john
    24.5K G, pebble, SuperFlo VS 1.5, 48sq DE filter, Hayward H250FDN, Autopilot RC-52, Poolvergnuegen & 3 daily swimmers in season.

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    Re: Autochlorinator? What to do when on vacation?

    @foobert - That's awesome! I am a guy who used to build ham radios from scratch, grew up taking tube radios apart and fixing tube TVs. This has great appeal but I'm not sure I want to devote that much time to a project like this right now. But, I'll think about it. Awesome, man! Great job.
    In-ground plaster pool, ~18,500 gal, Hayward single-speed pump, Pentair 60 sq. ft. DE filter, Polaris 280 robotic cleaner, SPA, heater (seldom used), use Taylor K2006 series test kit

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