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Thread: The Circulator

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    The Circulator

    Anyone ever hear of this or have any comments? The jet actually rotates to give you a more even distribution of chemicals, heat, etc.


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    This is not unlike the 'wave maker' devices used in aquariums that work on water pressure. I have never had luck with them operating properly after a certain amount of time because they get scale deposits on them and stop moving. I suspect the same could and probably would happen with this device. It might be worthwhile but I would keep my old eyeballs handy, just in case!

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Not to mention it turning your water all red like that..who wants to swim in red water ???

    (I know it's just dye...it's a joke... )
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    I put one on one of my deep end returns a couple of years ago. It's still going strong. It does really stir the water up quite well. I don't think it's magic or anything, but the theory behind it makes sense to me.
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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    The only problem I would have with one is that with the returns I have now, the circulation pretty much pushes all the **** to the middle of the pool which makes for easier cleaning. Not to mention the nice rotisserie effect you get when you're floating and baking. So, for me it'd be a tradeoff - better circulation, or cleaning convenience.

    If I had a freeform inground, I might be tempted.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
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    I ordered two and they should be in before the end of this coming week. I'll post after I've installed them and have had an opportunity to see how they work.
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    IG VL, 18'x36'x5', Hayward S220T sand filter, Hayward gas heater, MagneTek 1HP pump, Hayward automatic chlorinator, solar cover, Kreepy Krauly. Pool was hole in the ground that I put my money into for the past 5 years but thanks to TFP that changed and I'm enjoying being a pool owner.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Rapid mixing isn't that big of an issue for swimming pools. A typical return setup takes something like 10 minutes to throughly mix the water. 10 minutes really isn't a problem when you are running the pump for 4, 6, 8, 12, even 24 hours. Everything gets mixed in a small amount of time relative to the length of the pump run time.

    One advantage is that some people don't know how to setup their returns correctly. This device doesn't require any setup, it just works (assuming that it doesn't break).
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Water_man's Avatar
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    Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    One advantage is that some people don't know how to setup their returns correctly.
    I don't. My pool is an old pool and doesn't have eyeballs. They didn't make them when it was built. I need to add them now.
    I have one return in the deeper part of the pool, between the skimmer and the side wall, and two other returns on the other side of the skimmer.
    How to set up my returns?
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    Re: Re:

    First 24 hours with my circulators and because I'm one of those who doesn't properly know how to set up the eyeballs, I really like them (bought 2 because I have 2 returns). I agree with water_man, would someone please explain how to properly set up the eyeballs?

    Thanks!
    ____________________________________________________________ __________________
    IG VL, 18'x36'x5', Hayward S220T sand filter, Hayward gas heater, MagneTek 1HP pump, Hayward automatic chlorinator, solar cover, Kreepy Krauly. Pool was hole in the ground that I put my money into for the past 5 years but thanks to TFP that changed and I'm enjoying being a pool owner.

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    Re: The Circulator

    I have installed circulators in a number of pools and must admit that there are some very good advantages. Firstly when the bather load is light there is very little mixing of water in the corners and the deeper depths of the pools.. Prior to installing these the eyeballs were set up correctly.. IE a strong flow across the surface of the water without a single bubble.. If you are making bubbles the the eyes are set to high..

    Vacing a pool is a breeze now, no need to turn the jets down and then back up on every vac.

    Another big advantage is that you run your pumps a lot less so are in fact saving money. I've been testing my pools by running them 33% less and also measuring the chlorine at depth on pools fitted with and without the circulator.. No two ways about it liquid chlorine gets round your pool far more efficiently with these fitted.. I must point out that I'm using the 2010 version which circulates a lot slower than the old model, I also have flo-controls fitted to all jets to prevent airation. If you look at the videos you will see quite a bit of cavitation (bubbles) the newer model you do not see anything.. It's like the pump is not switched on.

    For heated pools these are great, they really do mix the water and reduce the time taken to heat a pool. I have a customer who lives in Sweden, when he is going to come out I have to switch his heater on 2 weeks prior to his arrival to get his outdoor pool heated to 30 celsius. Now it only takes 8 days..

    Finally on really hot sunny days when evaporation levels are high the mixing of the deeper cooler water with the hot surface water helps in reducing the water loss. Yet another financial saving.

    These are just my personal opinions and observations from using the circulator.

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    Re: The Circulator

    Freelancer,

    Respectfully, I disagree with several things in your post.

    I see no way this item can distribute chlorine more significantly than without. Chlorine mixes evenly in the water simply by being circulated through the system.

    They cannot heat the pool faster. Your example doesn't make sense. You are saying it used to take two weeks for the colder water on the bottom to get warmed up?

    Colder water evaporates at essentially the same rate as warmer. I see no advantage having them to prevent evaporation loss.

    Frankly, these examples seem more like a commercial than valid, first-hand evidence.
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    Re: The Circulator

    Freelancer,
    duraleigh

    Respectfully, I disagree with several things in your post.
    There was nothing respectful about your final comment.

    I see no way this item can distribute chlorine more significantly than without. Chlorine mixes evenly in the water simply by being circulated through the system.
    Just because you can see no way does not mean that it does not work.. My personal experience does show that Chlorine distributes more effectively and in a much shorter time. Not a commercial but first hand observation.

    They cannot heat the pool faster. Your example doesn't make sense. You are saying it used to take two weeks for the colder water on the bottom to get warmed up?
    The Pool has a thermal cover, the jets from the heater are 2/3 from the top of the pool. They used to just pour heated water straight out, now with the circulation the heated water is mixed more efficiently resulting in less time to heat. Not a commercial but first hand observation.

    Colder water evaporates at essentially the same rate as warmer. I see no advantage having them to prevent evaporation loss.
    Temperature does affect the rate at which water evaporates.. Fact

    Frankly, these examples seem more like a commercial than valid, first-hand evidence.
    Frankly your comments seem more like opinions based upon what? Your vast knowledge? Your experience of using these? You voice an opinion on a product having never tested it and and yet feel qualified to make such comments? You do not know me nor have you any experience of this product.

    Edited for politeness. JasonLion

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    Re: The Circulator

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Freelancer,



    Colder water evaporates at essentially the same rate as warmer. I see no advantage having them to prevent evaporation loss.

    Frankly, these examples seem more like a commercial than valid, first-hand evidence.
    Not endorsing the product, but this statement is inaccurate, temperature most definitely DOES affect evaporation rates.

    http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5194613_fa ... rate_.html

    Also, salt water evaporates slower than fresh.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: The Circulator

    Clearly having a water flow that moves around in direction is going to mix water up faster. The issue is whether this makes a practical difference if using a regular return still ends up mixing the water in a reasonable amount of time. This is something one can only readily determine through measurement of parameters such as chlorine level and temperature at various depths after varying amounts of time.

    I know that I don't have this sort of circulator device and have measured both chlorine level and temperature at different depths (getting the chlorine sample at lower depth wasn't easy) and I've also done dye tests. In my own pool, the water mixes (circulates) quite well even at depths, but I have 3 returns, a skimmer, and 2 floor drains in my 16'x32' pool. Yes, I know that floor drains are said not to make much of a difference, but I think it's just relative to the efficiency of returns. That is, a return pointing downward is going to move water near the bottom more efficiently than a floor drain, but having a return only one foot below the surface pointed horizontally may not do much in the depths without a floor drain. My pool is diagrammatically as follows:
    Code:
    |---R----------------------S---|
    |                              |
    |                              |
    |                         F    |
    |                         F    |
    R                              |
    |                              |
    |--------------------------R---|
    In the above, the "R" returns (eyeballs) are one foot below the surface and pointed mostly horizontally perpendicular to the wall on which they are placed. The skimmer "S" is obviously at the water surface while the floor drains "F" are at the 6 foot deep end (the shallow end is 3 feet). I don't show the ramp in the pool where technically one of the shallow end returns exists. A picture of my pool is here. The returns most certainly produce a counter-clockwise flow pattern (from the top-view above) that is primarily to move surface debris to the skimmer and to get mixing from the shallow to deep-end and vice-versa. Were it not for the floor drains, it is not clear that the deep end of the pool would get good circulation unless I were to point the deep-end return downward. I suppose if I get a chance I can do another set of tests closing off the floor drains to see.

    As for temperature heating efficiency, it is better to mix the water thoroughly during the day since hotter water evaporates faster and also loses more heat through convection/conduction as well. At night, however, it is better to shut off the pump and let the water somewhat self-insulate so that the surface layers get colder thereby slowing down the rate of heat loss. Of course, use of a pool cover at night would be the best; during the day it depends on humidity, temperature, wind and transparency of the cover as to whether a typical cover helps or hurts with net heating.

    The bottom line is that doing experiments with and without The Circulator are the best way to determine its efficiency. When not using The Circulator, one can experiment with different orientations of returns, especially if there is no floor drain as with many above ground pools. We know we've seen algae develop even when chlorine levels were presumably OK in such pools and it usually has been due to poor circulation which was most easily fixed by pointing the return diagonally downward to produce a combination rotating swirling and down-up bounce pattern.

    Freelancer's experiences are certainly real and if we get reasonably consistent positive reviews of this product then it would clearly be an alternative in pools that might otherwise have poor circulation. I like the fact that they have fixed the problem with aeration since that was something that bothered me about their initial design. It would also be better not to have the rotating pattern point as much upward during its rotation as it does downward because you don't want to break the water's surface very much or else that will contribute to pH rise from outgassing as well (to some extent, this product will increase this anyway due to better mixing, but keeping the surface tension of the water's surface mostly intact helps slow down air/water interchange).

    Richard
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    Re: The Circulator

    I have seen some of the differences Freelancer describes (having never looked for the others) when comparing pools with what I call bad circulation to pools that have what I call good circulation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freelancer
    Firstly when the bather load is light there is very little mixing of water in the corners and the deeper depths of the pools..
    This is absolutely true in many pools with bad circulation. I have never failed to solve this problem by adjusting the returns, but sometimes it took a fair bit of fiddling. Once I'm done the circulation has always been excellent, as confirmed with a dye test, with through mixing at depth and in the corners within ten to fifteen minutes.

    Using a dye test to confirm circulation made a big difference for me. It is very easy for me to imagine that people who don't confirm the circulation with a dye test don't always achieve good circulation, even if they think that they have.

    The other differences Freelancer describes are not things I have tested for, but they make sense to me if you are comparing a pool with particular patterns of bad circulation to a pool with good circulation. Likewise, it makes sense to me that the circulator could be an easy way to get good circulation without any fiddling or dye tests, though I haven't tried it.

    Returns that "used to just pour heated water straight out" sounds like a recipe for bad circulation to me.

    What doesn't make any sense to me is how a pool with what I call good circulation, provided by properly aimed returns, as confirmed by a dye test where the dye spreads to all parts of the pool in ten to fifteen minutes, could be significantly different from a pool with a circulator.
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    Re: The Circulator

    "It would also be better not to have the rotating pattern point as much upward during its rotation as it does downward because you don't want to break the water's surface very much or else that will contribute to pH rise from outgassing as well (to some extent, this product will increase this anyway due to better mixing, but keeping the surface tension of the water's surface mostly intact helps slow down air/water interchange)."

    Richard this was one of my biggest concerns regarding this product.. However it does come with a rather clever flow control which prevents any surface break whatsoever.. I'm off out shortly to start work, two of the pools that I am visiting today have the circulator fitted so I'll take some photos of them as they are all fitted with the flow controls and post them here later on today.

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    Re: The Circulator

    Here is a picture of the old style circulator with the flo-control fitted... It is extremely effective at preventing any aeration whatsoever.[attachment=0:fpk6c2s0]!cid_image003_png@01CAE069.png[/attachment:fpk6c2s0]
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: The Circulator

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Using a dye test to confirm circulation made a big difference for me. It is very easy for me to imagine that people who don't confirm the circulation with a dye test don't always achieve good circulation, even if they think that they have.
    This may be a dumb question, but how do you perform this test and with what type of dye?

    It sounds like a fun experiment if nothing else. I have my returns set to facilitate maximum skimming action and rely on the Polaris 280 to provide deeper water circulation. It would be interesting to see how my current setup really performs!
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: The Circulator

    Paramount has a similar product that is an accessory for their in floor cleaner systems. It replaces the return eyball(s) with a special pop-up nozzle that only moves 90 degrees. Designed to clean the pool walls. Pretty much does the same thing as the circulator, and probably better built.
    http://www.paramountpoolproducts.com/products/swingjet/
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    Re: The Circulator

    You do a dye test by introducing some food coloring right near one of the return jets and then watching how it spreads through the pool. How much food coloring you need varies somewhat depending on the color of the food coloring and the size of the pool, but is typically about an entire bottle of the small size sold in grocery stores. It will use up a little chlorine, as the chlorine breaks down the dye, but not usually enough to be an issue.

    You want to see dye everywhere within a couple of minutes, 15 minutes at the longest. The dye gets lighter as it spreads, so it sometimes takes a sharp eye to spot it towards the end of the test.
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