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Thread: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

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    Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    I've been fighting with a new Rainbow 320 for more than a month

    I have the one with clear cartridge and I use 3” tablets.
    The valve is set to the MAX 5

    There is the problem:
    The tablets do not dissolve well and my chlorine level is low, very low.

    Some information :

    Water is 63 degrees and I run the pump for 3 ½ hours a days during winter
    When pump is on, I can see the water going thought the clear canister.
    When I turn the solar system ON, the water drain from the canister and do not enter from the top again.
    Filter is clean; pressure is 14 psi when not using the solar and 19 psi when using the solar system.
    This is what he checked so far :
    When using the solar (pump is ON) no water runs to the canister ,I removed the tube going from the pipe to the canister ,water is running with good pressure ……I put the tube back on and water run in the canister again .
    I can't think of any reason why the canister will not fill back up with water when the pumps turn on in the morning. Any ideas?
    Thank you

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Hi Pat,
    I cannot answer your questions, but want to say Welcome to TFP!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Some more details about your pool, equipment, etc... are needed.

    How well do you understand the mechanics of how the 320 works?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    It sounds like the 320 is plumbed incorrectly. If you post a photo of your plumbing we can probably figure out exactly what is going on.
    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

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Some more details about your pool, equipment, etc... are needed.

    How well do you understand the mechanics of how the 320 works?

    Scott
    yes I do understand some of it ,probably not all of it .

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    It sounds like the 320 is plumbed incorrectly. If you post a photo of your plumbing we can probably figure out exactly what is going on.
    Thanks ,I will do tomorrow ,I really hope you can help .
    I place the feeder in the same place where the old one was but I may di something wrong .
    I will post pics

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    You might need to pull apart the pieces that the 5/8" hose hooks up to and soak them in an 2:1 water to muriatic acid solution because the glue that holds the tabs together can clog the chlorinator over time. Most of the time this works and will give you better flow through the chlorinator otherwise you might need to get new pieces.

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    The chlorinator is new .
    I check all the parts everything looks fine
    There is some pictures[img][attachment=2:1jf069lr]pool%202010%20001.JPG[/attachment:1jf069lr][attachment=1:1jf069lr]pool%202010%20002.JPG[/attachment:1jf069lr][attachment=0:1jf069lr]pool%202010%20003.JPG[/attachment:1jf069lr][/img]
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    The Rainbow 320 depends on a water pressure difference between the inlet tube and the outlet. In the default install, with the inlet hose connected to the T just below the 320, the pressure difference comes from a special shaping of the inside of the T. That configuration requires a minimum flow rate to produce enough pressure difference to work properly. There is an alternative setup, using the HI FLO FEEDER KIT #R171099, that allows the feeder tube to be connected somewhere else that has a higher pressure difference.

    You might be able to get it to work in the current configuration by allowing more of the water to bypass the solar system. That will increase the overall flow rate. Perhaps that will be enough to take care of the problem.
    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

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Thanks for your quick response .
    So, please , tell me why, when the solar is ON ,I do not see water coming from the hose in the cartdrige ,i disconnect the tube who goes in the cartdrige ,I do have good pressure from that hose ,I reconnect the tube and the water flow again until the pump turn off.

    When you are talking about bypassing the solar ,can you tell me how ,I do no get it here . Sorry

    thanks for your help

  11. Back To Top    #11
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    As I said, the 320 works on a pressure difference between the inlet and the outlet. Both the inlet and outlet are under pressure relative to the air. If you remove the fill hose, there is a large pressure difference between the water in the pipe and the air, so lots of water comes out. But the canister is under pressure also. At lower flow rates the canister pressure is nearly equal to the pressure in the inlet hose.

    The solar system is normally hooked up via a three way valve. In one position the water goes to the panels and in the other position the water goes to the pool. That three way valve can actually be in an intermediate position, where some of the water goes to the panels and some of it goes to the pool. If you have an automated valve controller, that controller can be setup to stop at any of several different intermediate positions, varying how much water goes to the panels. Unless you have a very large number of panels, you never want all of the water going to the panels. Most panels need between 4 and 8 GPM of water. Most pumps put out 40 to 80 GPM. If you have fewer then about 10 panels, you want some of the water going straight to the pool, or the total flow rate is reduced. The exact details depend on the number and brand of the panels, but the principal is always the same.
    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

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    1) It appears the Rainbow is installed prior to the Ray-Pak heater. It should be after the heater and solar heating systems so freshly chlorinated water is not reacting with the copper heat exchanger or the panels. The way it appears you are plumbed now to send pool water through either system when the chlorine is at it's highest concentration.

    2) Top mounted feed is good if your pool is large. Water washes over all the tabs, causing them to erode a bit faster and gets more chlorine in.

    3) Verify the 320 is not mounted backwards.

    4) In addition to the water pressure, there is air pressure in the cylinder. When the pump is on, the incoming water from the feed tube compresses the air inside. When the pump turns off, the compressed air forces the water out of the chamber and the tablets are not left soaking in water.

    5) The base has a check valve that is a bit of an operation to get at. If the unit was installed facing the wrong way, the check valve can fail under the pressure of being installed backwards.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    As I said, the 320 works on a pressure difference between the inlet and the outlet. Both the inlet and outlet are under pressure relative to the air. If you remove the fill hose, there is a large pressure difference between the water in the pipe and the air, so lots of water comes out. But the canister is under pressure also. At lower flow rates the canister pressure is nearly equal to the pressure in the inlet hose.

    The solar system is normally hooked up via a three way valve. In one position the water goes to the panels and in the other position the water goes to the pool. That three way valve can actually be in an intermediate position, where some of the water goes to the panels and some of it goes to the pool. If you have an automated valve controller, that controller can be setup to stop at any of several different intermediate positions, varying how much water goes to the panels. Unless you have a very large number of panels, you never want all of the water going to the panels. Most panels need between 4 and 8 GPM of water. Most pumps put out 40 to 80 GPM. If you have fewer then about 10 panels, you want some of the water going straight to the pool, or the total flow rate is reduced. The exact details depend on the number and brand of the panels, but the principal is always the same.
    I have 10 panels 4x12 Advantage plus from Natural Energy
    I do not know if I have 3 positions valve but i use 2 only (i think)
    I put 2 picture ,the first on is when the water go in the pool and the # 2 is when the water do not go in the pool .
    can you show me from the picture ,where the valve must be .
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    1) It appears the Rainbow is installed prior to the Ray-Pak heater. It should be after the heater and solar heating systems so freshly chlorinated water is not reacting with the copper heat exchanger or the panels. The way it appears you are plumbed now to send pool water through either system when the chlorine is at it's highest concentration.

    2) Top mounted feed is good if your pool is large. Water washes over all the tabs, causing them to erode a bit faster and gets more chlorine in.

    3) Verify the 320 is not mounted backwards.

    4) In addition to the water pressure, there is air pressure in the cylinder. When the pump is on, the incoming water from the feed tube compresses the air inside. When the pump turns off, the compressed air forces the water out of the chamber and the tablets are not left soaking in water.

    5) The base has a check valve that is a bit of an operation to get at. If the unit was installed facing the wrong way, the check valve can fail under the pressure of being installed backwards.

    Scott
    Scott,
    Just to tell you more about the pool system
    The pool was built about 13 years ago and is about 30000 G
    The original system has 3 pumps (pool,fountain and booster for the spa) , filter ,chlorinator and filter .
    4 years ago ,we intall a solar system with 10 panel 4x12 on the roof .
    In 2009 ,I notice my Chlorine level was very high and even with setting the valve to zero .
    I do not remember what brand of the chlorinator we had but it was an in line chlorinator at the same place where I install the 320 (so I guess the water go to the pool and not to the heater) .The parts were so expensive to fix the unit so I decided to put a Rainbow 320 .
    Since ,I do not have chlorine level and can not raise it and when I use the solar I do not have water running inside the unit.

    320 is mounted the right way but I remember the first time I mount the unit ,I mounted wrong way ,so I cut everything back and mount the system with union so I can remove the unit for service .
    If the valve is damage ,How can I see it ?
    Thanks for your help and happy easter .

  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Pat,

    In the picture with the 320, does the pipe closest to the wall feed or receive water from the 320?

    Does the JVA in the same picture direct water to the pool or spa, depending on the mode? (Mode = Pool/Spa, Spa Fill/Drain) or is it feeding the solar?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

  16. Back To Top    #16
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    1) It appears the Rainbow is installed prior to the Ray-Pak heater. It should be after the heater and solar heating systems so freshly chlorinated water is not reacting with the copper heat exchanger or the panels. The way it appears you are plumbed now to send pool water through either system when the chlorine is at it's highest concentration.
    I don't think this is true, though there is some ambiguity. First, RayPak heaters usually have the outlet on the right. Second, the outputs of both pumps go directly underground, so I would expect the feed for the heater to be coming from under ground, which the left side does. Third, the automated pool/spa return valve is before the 320, so I am assuming the 320 is only on the pool return. Fourth, the entire setup wouldn't make much sense if water ran from the 320 to the heater, while it makes total sense if water runs the other way.

    patinsd, in your new pictures I see a black automated 3 way valve right next to two white with red handle two way valves. That black automated valve is the one I was talking about. In the two pictures, the upper one appears to be in the all solar position and the lower one in the all pool, no solar, position. The valve can be set in various intermediate positions. To explore how that works you need to adjust the automated valve to allow manual operation, and then try different positions to see if one of them balances things out correctly or not. You have 10 panels, which together require a fairly high flow rate, so this approach may not work, but it probably will.
    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

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Pat,

    In the picture with the 320, does the pipe closest to the wall feed or receive water from the 320?

    Does the JVA in the same picture direct water to the pool or spa, depending on the mode? (Mode = Pool/Spa, Spa Fill/Drain) or is it feeding the solar?

    Scott
    I just add a pic from the top .
    So ,in the picture closest to the wall is the pipe who water from the 320 .
    The JVA direct water to the pool or spa just like you said ,I do have another valve for the solar .
    Thanks Scott and happy Easter
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    1) It appears the Rainbow is installed prior to the Ray-Pak heater. It should be after the heater and solar heating systems so freshly chlorinated water is not reacting with the copper heat exchanger or the panels. The way it appears you are plumbed now to send pool water through either system when the chlorine is at it's highest concentration.
    I don't think this is true, though there is some ambiguity. First, RayPak heaters usually have the outlet on the right. Second, the outputs of both pumps go directly underground, so I would expect the feed for the heater to be coming from under ground, which the left side does. Third, the automated pool/spa return valve is before the 320, so I am assuming the 320 is only on the pool return. Fourth, the entire setup wouldn't make much sense if water ran from the 320 to the heater, while it makes total sense if water runs the other way.

    patinsd, in your new pictures I see a black automated 3 way valve right next to two white with red handle two way valves. That black automated valve is the one I was talking about. In the two pictures, the upper one appears to be in the all solar position and the lower one in the all pool, no solar, position. The valve can be set in various intermediate positions. To explore how that works you need to adjust the automated valve to allow manual operation, and then try different positions to see if one of them balances things out correctly or not. You have 10 panels, which together require a fairly high flow rate, so this approach may not work, but it probably will.
    Ok ,when you say " To explore how that works you need to adjust the automated valve to allow manual operation"
    You mean running the pump with solar OFF and then open manually the valve (I know how to do it) to the ON position until I loose pressure ?

  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    Right. There should be a valve position most of the way towards the solar side where the panels prime correctly and the water coming out of the panels is just a few degrees above the pool temperature and yet the 320 is still working correctly.
    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

  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Problem with rainbow 320 clear

    The Top Down Wider Field Of View shot helped a lot.

    Side Note: Since the actuator closes entirely on on the spa side, I assume there is a pool return in the spa so it gets freshly chlorinated water.

    It also looks like the return side of the solar also goes to the heater.

    The flow path from the filter hits a "T". One port is the solar intake. The other continues on. Next is a 3-Way valve with an actuator. When the valve blocks the port from the previous "T", water is forced to go to the solar. It is here that the 320 stops functioning.

    When it isn't blocking this port, the resistance of the solar system becomes enough to cause the vast majority of the flow to go directly to the heater. In this configuration, the 320 does function.

    If this characterizes things accurately, we need to understand what it is about the solar that has reduced the flow.

    When the 320 was designed, it's ports we expecting water to pass at about 7 fps. It scoops some water and the valve controlled how much went into the vessel with the tabs. As pressure built, the check valve released chlorinated water into the return flow because the pressure in the 320 rose above its threshold to hold pressure.

    The cap for the 320 is air tight. As water filled the chamber The air inside becomes compressed. Water is heavier than air and is non-compressible. Water sank because of gravity so it is the only thing passing the check valve. As long as the water has the velocity to generate the pressure, the 320 works great. When the pump shuts off, the air pressure in the 320 pushes the last of the water out and the tabs stay dry and stop dissolving.

    In the OP's configuration, turning on the solar is slowing the flow enough that enough pressure cannot be developed. I liken this situation to a variable speed pump running too slowly to satisfy the flow switch of a salt cell or a heater.

    That leads us to figure out if the pump inadequate or can the solar system allow some of the water from the filter to bypass and provide sufficient flow velocity for the 320 to function. The latter is a very difficult balancing act.

    Pat, I hate to ask so many questions but...
    What size and model pump do you have?
    Are the panels 1.5 or 2" plumbing?
    Are there any other restrictions? From what I saw, everything appeared to be 2" above ground.
    How high are the panels?
    Are they all in parallel and on a single level?

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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