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Thread: Mr. Frog pool chlorinator......Is it worth using?

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    Mr. Frog pool chlorinator......Is it worth using?

    It appears that most users of this site do not like the frog system which my builder installed on my pool. I never negotiated on it since the price for an in ground pool in Staten Island is kind of price fixed. I look at it as a freebie although I know I paid for it dearly. Should I ditch it? My research shows me that it is an easy, but expensive way to run the pool. With 2 young children, I'm looking for easier way to maintain a pool vs. the costlier.

    Is there any harm in using the mineral and chlorine pacs? Does it increase CYA levels to a point of requiring draining the pool? Most importantly, should I and can I use the system to add chemicals other than Mr. Frog chlorine pacs , i.e. bleach, 3 inch tablets, etc.?

    It appears adding chemicals to a pool can be tricky. I am no expert but the manufacturers of the pumps, filters and heaters warn not to add chemicals into the skimmer due to corrosion. Using floating chlorinators can sit too close to a liner and fade it especially when it gets stuck behind a ladder, etc. Pouring in front of a return seems like a good option (if using a liquid) but wouldn’t that be just as good as adding the bleach to the Mr. Frog?

    I hate to ditch it when I am hoping it is a good system or at a minimum, has more to offer than its intended use.
    -400 sq ft ingroung Fiji (straight back kidney) ~ 13,500 gallons - Vinyl Liner - 3 to 6 Feet
    -Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump
    -Hayward Perflex DE Filter EC65A
    -Hayward H 250 Heater

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Welcome to TFP.

    Most here will say if you are willing to spend a few minutes a day on your pool, you can have sparkling water all the time. If you test with the little OTO tester (1 minute) add bleach daily (another minute) you will not GET the problems that take loads of time to correct. Preventative maintenance, ya know? A little more time once a week to brush or vac, and to backwash, and that's it!

    If you keep your chlorine levels in check, you also will not get the problems that cause you to need to shock the pool, thereby preventing downtime waiting for the Cl to go down! Most here shock a couple times a season.

    The Frog adds things that you just don't need in your pool, or worse, don't want. It is $$, and eventually (when your CYA gets too high) will be ineffective. Just let Froggy sit there empty... won't hurt a thing.

    The mineral pacs are copper or silver based (or both!) if I remember correctly, and copper is the main cause of green hair! These systems give you a false sense of security, as you really need a higher level of Cl for sanitation than they recommend. the 3 inch tabs to which you refer (commonly known as pucks) will eventually raise your CYA to unacceptable levels. I expect the bacpacs are stabilized chlorine, so they will also raise your CYA.

    Someone that knows more than I do will be by shortly to fill in the gaps, or correct my mistakes!

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Craig,

    Grace pretty much covered it. Froggy isn't cheap to refill and adds things that could be problematic. I'd have frog legs for dinner!

    Read some of the stickies at the tops of these forums and it will give you a little better grip on your pool water. You'll save some money and you'll find the routine of checking your water every now and then will become effortless..."You will become as one with your pool, grasshopper"

    I'm curious where you read that manufacturer's don't recommend pouring most things in the skimmer. Everything that goes in my pool, except acid, goes into the skimmer.....pump running. I've always been pretty comfortable with it
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Mr. Frog pool chlorinator......Is it worth using?

    Hi Craig,

    Been there done that.... Our frog was "included" in our package. (We have been told repeatedly by the frog manufacturer and the pool stealer never to put anything in the skimmer - or the frog, "the only thing to go in the frog are the frog products" but I don't know if that's a sales technique.)

    We thought the frog was great at first, and yes it is convenient. But this was our 6th season.

    The pool stealer has never explained the relationship to CYA to chlorine, and as a result of low chlorine levels via the frog, it allowed Black Algea into our pool. We also deal with green headed children and a green dog, and we have never added copper algeacide, so where is the copper coming from? Either the heater or the frog... as we have not added new water to the pool for the last two summers until this year.

    What was convienent was vacations, we could leave with our pump running and the frog working and not have to worry about coming home to a green pool.

    However, the expense was an issue for me. The mineral cartridge is $100+ and "must be replaced every six months or once a season" depending on locale. The bac-pacs are $17 (the cheapest I've seen.) I found an online source that sells the mineral cartridge for $66.

    The pool stealer experts NEVER told me after I bought a skimmer cover so as not to have to drain the pool each fall, that not draining the water will eventually lead to high levels of CYA because the bac-pacs use Tri-chlor which raises your CYA. So if you don't mind the expense, and you do plan to drain/refill the pool to keep the CYA down, and you don't mind having to then again balance the fresh refill water, and you like the convience of sticking in a pac and that's it, you may do O.K. with the frog.

    That being said, I would recommend you ignore their recommendation of chlorine below 1pmm and I would keep your chlorine up above that by increasing the dial setting. Even though they say the "advantage" is reduced chlorine needs, other forum postings I have read is that 0.5 pmm chlorine is not "safe" to kill the potential critters that could enter the pool via children and birds and whatever else. In fact depending on your CYA, I wouldn't go below a 3pmm. If you do plan to use the frog, monitor the CYA levels yourself because we always had trouble reading the chlorine and the pool expert said "you won't read it with a frog" or some other malarky....the CYA was too high and the chlorine was to low, there wasn't any in the pool....duh....

    My frog is still connected but empty. I wish I did not throw the new cartridge away that I just ordered in April because I would have kept in in there for vacation. Shocking the pool with mucho liquid chlor before I leave with the pumping running over the minerals would likely prevent green water.

    Its a choice you must make, but I will tell you I know my brother-in-law started with the frog the same year as us and he gave it up 3 years ago, too many problems and too much money. I wish I had listened to him then. I have tried for 3 years to get the pool store "experts" to explain the frog to me, which they never did. I learned about it and how it works from this and other forums.

    On a side note the last two summers we had a bac-pac malfunction once each summer and the entire pac of tri-chlor was released in one week, as opposed to lasting 3-4 weeks, according to the instructions. Can you imagine the CYA readings??? As a result, we ended up with low ph trouble...the list was endless. I'm still trying to kill the black algea. Good luck if you have any questions I'll answer what I can, I'm a newbie to BBB but an old pro with the now-retired pool frog.... 8)
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
    24' round AG pool, 52" high, Raypak heater; Waterway 2 spd Pump;
    150 Sq ft. Clearwater Cartridge Filter; Former and DISSATISFIED "Pool Frog" owner
    http://www.PerfectlyClearPoolService.com

  5. Back To Top    #5

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    I've never used The Frog but I wanted to say that I don't always have to put additional chlorine in my pool every day to maintain my chlorine levels and I live in sunny Arizona. If you keep your CYA in the right range and the rest of your readings, too, it's really very easy.

    I work 10 to 14 hours a day during the week and then have at least an hour commute, so don't have a lot of time to do things every day. My pool has been very easy to maintain. I "try" to check my levels every day with test strips - takes 15 seconds. If I need to, I add a small amount of chlorine or acid as required.

    On the weekend, I use a real test kit and test my water - takes all of about 5 minutes to do Cl, pH, TA. If I want to check the rest of the readings, it only takes another 5 minutes or so. You get faster at it after you do it a few times.

    I never add anything to the skimmer unless the directions indicate to do so. While the pump is running, I drizzle the chlorine or acid as far as I can reach out comfortably as I walk around the pool.

    When you get your pool in balance it's really not much time to keep it that way, but if you let it get way out of whack, it's a lot more time consuming and costly to fix it.
    Buggs

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

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    Thank you Buggsw, frustratedpoolmom, duraleigh and The mermaid queen!

    As suggested, once I learn how to maintain my pool, (Newbie), I hope & believe it will take little time to maintain. Sounds like the frog is a short term gain on time but provides for long term headaches, i.e. draining the pool, rebalancing, etc.

    Also as suggested, I believe I will only use the frog pacs for vacations.

    DURALEIGH - Unfortunately I do not remeber where I read adding chemicals to a skimmer is bad for the equipment (possibly other submissions on this site or the Hayward owners manual) but it went something along the lines of: if the pucks or sticks are placed in the skimmer, and do not fully dissolve, the chorine concentration becomes too high in the skimmer and can corrode the equipment when the pump is initially started.

    Thanks for the feedback and get off line and enjoy your pools!
    -400 sq ft ingroung Fiji (straight back kidney) ~ 13,500 gallons - Vinyl Liner - 3 to 6 Feet
    -Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump
    -Hayward Perflex DE Filter EC65A
    -Hayward H 250 Heater

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    Frogger Hacks

    New to the forum too, but have had experience with Froggy.

    We had one installed about 7-8 years ago as part of a refurb - new vinyl liner, new filter, new pump...we never had problems with green hair using the mineral pacs but most of the other problems mentioned here we did see (chlorine too low to prevent algae, etc).

    The dirty little secret: the manufacturer (at time, anyway), seemed to vary model numbers, and thus part numbers for the pacs,
    based on dealer and/or geography! Our work was done by the original pool builder (pool was here when we bought the house), who is quite a distance away, but
    there's a local supply place close by. Doesn't carry the same refills - isn't allowed to. A little research showed the only difference was the way the
    mineral pac was "keyed" - a cutout or a notch - so the local dealer's refill couldn't be used! A little trim work with an exacto fixed
    that problem.

    We don't use the mineral pacs now. But we did save a couple of the chlorine pacs and slit it, across the diameter of the cylider - not all the way
    through...it's like a little flap. We fill it with mini-chlorine tabs at a lot less $$ that the frog pacs.

    I notices there's a big discussion of CYA on this board, and while I know it is important, I'm not sure what, if any affect our approach has.
    22,000 Gal IG Vinyl
    Sta-rite SD75 DE filter
    Solar Cover

  8. Back To Top    #8
    John,
    in using the tabs, which contain CYA (stabilizer), your CYA level will eventually get so high that the amount of chlorine in the tabs will no longer be effective in keeping your water clean and clear. There are several threads here that discuss this.

    Welcome to TFP!

    8200 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, manually chlorinated with 10% liquid, salt added to ~2000, 12" sand filter, 1600gph pump, TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, Chlorine/CYA Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    Honey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Everything that goes in my pool, except acid, goes into the skimmer.....pump running. I've always been pretty comfortable with it
    you just pour the bleach in the skimmer?
    Sorry if this seems a silly question, but i have been running around the pool or pouring it in buckets and trying to throw it in the middle hehehe.
    I really can see the bottom of my pool now!
    13,500 gallons
    AG 24ft Round
    Vinyl
    Sand Filter
    I will be a pro soon :wink:

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Many people pour bleach directly into the skimmer, slowly. There is some debate about this. In theory it could damage the pump or the heater, but many people believe that it is dilute enough by the time it gets to the pump.

    A more serious risk is if you have a puck chlorinator in the plumbing. It is a bad idea to mix bleach and trichlor tabs. The same argument applies here, it should be dilute enough. But with the pump/heater worst case it takes a few weeks off the life of the equipment. With a puck feeder worst case is an explosion. Best not to risk that.
    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

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Honey
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh
    Everything that goes in my pool, except acid, goes into the skimmer.....pump running. I've always been pretty comfortable with it
    you just pour the bleach in the skimmer?
    Sorry if this seems a silly question, but i have been running around the pool or pouring it in buckets and trying to throw it in the middle hehehe.
    Absolutely. That said, I'm pulling water back to the pump thru three sources.......two skimmers and a secondary intake. That means (in theory) that whatever I put in a skimmer is already diluted by 1/3. If I only had a single skimmer to pull water into the pump, I might have some reservations but I doubt it. I would simply pour it in slowly diluting it safely by taking a minute or two to get it in the system.

    I do the same with borax, baking soda, CYA...virtually everything I put in my pool. Acid is the exception. Because acid disperses so readily in water, it makes sense to me to put acid into the return stream and let it distribute itself from there. Done slowly, acid could go straight into the skimmer, too

    Pool maintenance is not difficult unless you overcomplicate it. (Either that or I am completely naive....which is a possibility)
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Honey's Avatar
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    hehe explosion sounds dangerous

    I have only one skimmer... I won't risk it

    Thanks for the response guys =)
    I really can see the bottom of my pool now!
    13,500 gallons
    AG 24ft Round
    Vinyl
    Sand Filter
    I will be a pro soon :wink:

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh

    I'm curious where you read that manufacturer's don't recommend pouring most things in the skimmer. Everything that goes in my pool, except acid, goes into the skimmer.....pump running. I've always been pretty comfortable with it
    DURALEIGH - See page 21 of the attached Hayward Heater Owners manual (right side). It states that :

    "Do not place chlorine tablets or bromine sticks directly in to skimmer. High chemical concentrations may result when the pump is not running. High chemical concentrations will cause very rapid corrosion of the heat exchanger"

    [quote="JasonLion"] It is a bad idea to mix bleach and trichlor tabs.

    Is this true? I thought chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. I am only a newbie but I think Trichlor is stabilized chlorine and bleach is unstabilized. The stabilized is only stabilized because it has CYA in it. Perhaps I'm wrong but I do not see the harm.
    -400 sq ft ingroung Fiji (straight back kidney) ~ 13,500 gallons - Vinyl Liner - 3 to 6 Feet
    -Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump
    -Hayward Perflex DE Filter EC65A
    -Hayward H 250 Heater

  14. Back To Top    #14
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Never mix any full strength chlorine product with anything but water! Once it is diluted in the pool it is quite safe, prior to that it is only conditionally stable. Disinfecting chlorine is extremely reactive. That is why it makes such a good sanitizer, it reacts with the nasties destroying both it's self and the nasty. Once mixed in the pool at low concentrations chlorine is chlorine is chlorine and is reasonably safe. Prior to dilution chlorine has a very high energy density, high enough to make bombs out of.

    Each commonly sold form of chlorine uses a slightly different approach to stabilizing the chlorine enough to keep it from spontaneously reacting. These different stabilizing approaches are not completely compatible with each other. Do the wrong thing with them and you get some kind of fast reaction, anything from heating pad heat to a full explosion, accompanied by highly toxic chlorine gas.

    If you follow the directions and use reasonable caution all of the commonly available forms of chlorine are reasonably safe. Bleach, both because it is mixed in water and because it is at a lower concentration, is slightly safer than the others. But even bleach is not completely stable.

    Have some respect for chlorine. It can kill you (by blowing up or by breathing the gas) and it can save your life (by keeping your pool water safe).
    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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    Thanks JasonLion! I misunderstood. I thought you meant once you chlorinate a pool with one you could not convert to the other like chlorine and salt water systems. You just meant don't put in a pail together and then add it to the pool.
    -400 sq ft ingroung Fiji (straight back kidney) ~ 13,500 gallons - Vinyl Liner - 3 to 6 Feet
    -Hayward 1.5 HP Super Pump
    -Hayward Perflex DE Filter EC65A
    -Hayward H 250 Heater

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