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Thread: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

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    diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    I'm switching over from tabs to bleach, and I like the idea of automating the bleach delivery. I've read through all of the posts in this section (at least all that looked relevant) and I didn't see anything quite like I'm envisioning. The setup starts as one I read about, where a bunch of inline pool drippers were used to drop the flow rate from a bleach reservoir into the drain plug on the skimmer basket. There were comments suggesting the use of a Hayward valve. All sounds good to me. The suction from the drain basket pulls directly from the bleach reservoir, and the Hayward valve meters the flow down to a very low level so the pump, etc, never sees a high concentration of bleach.

    Except.....

    Once the pump shuts off (I run mine six hours/day) even though the flow through the Hayward is slow, unless pressures are exactly balanced water is either going to siphon into bleach container or bleach is going to siphon into the strainer basket. Since the bleach level will fall in the reservoir during normal use, pressures can never remain balanced. Valves which can handle bleach are hard do come by (read very expensive) so that pretty much lets that solution out.

    So I was thinking.... I have a planted fish tank where I inject CO2 for the plants. I have a solenoid operated CO2 valve to shut off the flow at night. These are really cheap (just saw one on ebay for $17, shipped). I would install the bleach reservoir slightly higher than the skimmer drain with a T at the top of the reservoir. Connected to one side of the T is a tube running down into the reservoir. Connected to the other side of the T would be a tube run to the Hayward valve (and thence to the skimmer basket). The CO2 valve would be attached to the middle leg of the T several inches above it. When the CO2 valve is open, air can flow in breaking the suction. The bleach tube going down into the reservoir would empty back into the reservoir, of course, and as long as the reservoir is high enough water shouldn't be able to come back from the skimmer to the reservoir (it would just be a gravity thing since there would be no siphon effect). A check valve could be used as long as it could handle undiluted bleach, but I think gravity would be sufficient.

    Hopefully I explained what I'm thinking well enough.... When the pump runs, if the valve is open air will be sucked through the CO2 valve into the T, down the tubing to the Hayward valve, and into the bottom of the skimmer basket. No bleach flow. I've got an air leak now at the skimmer basket so I always have bubbles coming out of my jets -- so I know some introduction of some air into the basket is no particular problem. When the CO2 valve closes, bleach will then be sucked out of the reservoir, though the T, and down to the Hayward valve.

    If the air flow through the Hayward is small enough, simply opening and closing the CO2 valve while the pump is running would allow a simple control of bleach flow. Obviously this is at the cost of a constant bubble stream any time you are not adding bleach. If the timer on the valve (it is a 110v solenoid, so any simple plug-in wall timer would work) is set to the same times the pump runs this would be minimized to however closely the two timers could be synchronized.

    Does this make sense to anybody? The point of all of this, of couse, is to control the flow of bleach with a cheap non-bleach-safe valve. Amount of bleach flow could be adjusted either by lenght of time the valve is open or by the Hayward. If the stream of bubbles is not objectionable, the Hayward could be replaced by a simple valve that you only have to get approximately right because you could fine tune by the length of time the CO2 valve is closed (hence the length of time the bleach is flowing).

    thanks for any thoughts!

    geoff
    12500 IG plaster/exposed aggregate, resurfaced 2004, 3 jets, waterfall, kreepy krawly in vacuum port, 100 sqft cartridge filter, solar heat, trying to convert to BBB, single speed 115V/14.8A pump, borate

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    Interesting idea, although I am not keen on intentionally allowing air into the system which generally causes problems.
    What type of filter and backwash valve do you have? What is the layout of all your equipment?

    Any reason not to just get the peristaltic pump? Or is the cost difference the driving factor?
    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: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    Thanks for the reply. I basically am looking for something simple and reliable. Since I have a suction port on the skimmer available any time the pump is running, I only need a valve to control the flow of bleach. If the timers were to get out of sync while I'm out of town due to a power outage or some such, with a stenner pump I might be pumping bleach into the system when the pump isn't running. I'm gone for months at a time during the summer, so I want something simple to keep running. In that past my wife has just dumped in a bag of Aquachem Blue (dichlor plus copper) once a week, and that did a pretty good job -- until it didn't.

    Something like the metchlor (http://www.poolchlorinator.com/metchlor-caddy/) would work, but considering that is just a few pieces of pvc pipe with a valve for >$200, if I can figure something cheaper I'm all for it. Besides, it's interesting project to think about. A valve like http://www.wicvalve.com/1-2-Anti-Corros ... -1-2-D.htm might work out if it can stand up to the chlorine, and at $90 the price is right.... I've got an email into them to see if they think it would work. Add a cheap 12v power supply and electronic timer for 1min on/off control and it should be ready to go, I think.

    Has anybody tried something like this?

    geoff
    12500 IG plaster/exposed aggregate, resurfaced 2004, 3 jets, waterfall, kreepy krawly in vacuum port, 100 sqft cartridge filter, solar heat, trying to convert to BBB, single speed 115V/14.8A pump, borate

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    Re: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    Oh, I see I didn't answer your questions. I have a 12,500 gallon inground plaster (exposed aggregate) pool. I have Starite Posiflow filter w/100 sq ft media. Simple one-speed pool pump. Inlets are skimmer, main drain (usually closed or nearly so) and a side port which has a kreepy crawly plugged into it 24/7. I run the pump 6 hours/day. Outlet from the filter goes up to the roof through 8 solar panels, then down through a nature2 holder (which hasn't held nature2 in many years), thence through a hayward chlorine tab feeder then back to the pool through three side jets and/or a waterfall.

    I have never been able to keep chlorine in the pool. Every test at the pool store shows zero chlorine. I wish I had read this site a week before I did, because my calcium was at 190 (according to Leslie) so I added 15 pounds calcium increaser to supposedly bring it up to 290. According to Leslie's measurements, that is where it is now. I took a sample to Pinch a Penny on the same day as well to compare. Both had the same water. PaP 420 Leslie 290. PaP CYA 100 Leslie CYA 30. PaP TA 80 Leslie TA 120. pH 7.0 These numbers aren't even close to each other. That is when I read this site and ordered the TFT100. Again with no water changes, I got calcium 440 (one to PaP) CYA 20 (one to CYA) TA *20* (no points for either team) -- and probably why I'm seeing so many dark areas on the bottom. At the same time I bought the calcium I got a 50 lb pail of Calcium Hypochlorite. I specifically asked if it would affect the calcium hardness and was told only in a very minor way. As I read here (and frankly as I should have known) that was decidedly NOT true. I'll wait to add that until the summer rains come and I need more calcium. Until then, I have a bit of dichlor to use up (need more stabilizer anyway, especially with water temps of 90 and Florida sun) then its on to the bleach.

    I sure wish I hadn't added that calcium! Now my values are calcium 440, waiting on CYA after adding a pound and a half yesterday, TA 80 after 7 lbs baking soda -- then to 90 and pH 7.5 after a box of washing soda and half a box of borax. 25 pounds of boric acid ended the chemical bombardment. I did a partial SLAM before I had the test kit but I'm going to wait until everything is stable before doing a full one. Pool looks great.
    12500 IG plaster/exposed aggregate, resurfaced 2004, 3 jets, waterfall, kreepy krawly in vacuum port, 100 sqft cartridge filter, solar heat, trying to convert to BBB, single speed 115V/14.8A pump, borate

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    The reason I asked about the filter is to see if you had a multiport on the top of the filter which may have had less problems if you are adding air. If you did, the air may have been able to pass through the filter without issue.

    With the cartridge filter, the air added on the suction side will build up in the top of the filter (that is why there is an air valve to release this when you prime). The air will compress and when the pump shuts off it will force the water/dirt backward through pump back toward the pool.

    Ignoring this, now hearing you have solar as well, adding air if even more of a bad idea as it may build up in the solar panels reducing their efficiency.

    BTW, you MUST start maintaining adequate FC in the water and the best way is by using liquid chlorine and forgetting about the powders (although if you are careful, the dichlor could be used to raise your CYA some as you mentioned).
    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: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    The solar panels drain every time the pool pump shuts off. There is a checkvalve at the highest point to allow air in as the panels drain. Right or wrong, that is how it was installed. I will say that it is pretty spectacular when the pump cuts on in the morning as that huge volume of air trapped in the panels is expelled out of the pool vents....

    If that valve pans out (it is rated to 15% acid, so I would think there wouldn't be any metal parts in the flow) it might be the way to go. What kind of tubing should I buy that can handle bleach? I could just use 1/2" pvc piping, but I'm afraid that it would put too much strain on the skimmer basket.
    12500 IG plaster/exposed aggregate, resurfaced 2004, 3 jets, waterfall, kreepy krawly in vacuum port, 100 sqft cartridge filter, solar heat, trying to convert to BBB, single speed 115V/14.8A pump, borate

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    It is a vacuum release valve and it lets some of the air out when the panels are not pressurized, but that is not the main purpose ... this is normal. Once the panels are primed and pressurized, you do not want to be constantly adding air to them.

    I think you talking about the pump cleanout basket ... the skimmer is what is on your pool.
    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
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    Quote Originally Posted by gcsherwood
    If the timers were to get out of sync while I'm out of town due to a power outage or some such, with a stenner pump I might be pumping bleach into the system when the pump isn't running.
    geoff
    Just an idea but you could wire the stenner in such a fashion that it can only be powered when the pump is running (wire the timer just like a booster timer).

    Mine is all Z Wave sooooo.... speaking out of school here.
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
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    Re: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    thanks for your thoughts. after much cogitation I ordered a stenner.....
    12500 IG plaster/exposed aggregate, resurfaced 2004, 3 jets, waterfall, kreepy krawly in vacuum port, 100 sqft cartridge filter, solar heat, trying to convert to BBB, single speed 115V/14.8A pump, borate

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    Re: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    Post up if you need help. Bama was a huge help with mine, trying to pay it forward...
    TFP Moderator Chris V. ~16K Pool & Spa, 48NSF DE, IG Plaster Circa 2000, Intermatic PE653, Challenger pump with a 2 speed B2984, 20gal stenner chlorine injection, Houston, TX
    One cannot follow Islam and Christianity at the same time, nor can one follow pool store methods and TFP at the same time.
    Pool School -- Pool Math -- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: diy chlorine feeder with CO2 valve

    I realize you ordered a pump but did you consider the Liquidator?

    Simple, no moving parts, easy to maintain. Just add chlorine.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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