How to chlorinate?

repairman

Gold Supporter
Nov 2, 2016
175
Lompoc, CA (central coast)
Hi All,
I'm in the middle of replumbing my pool and spa and want to know what the best way to sanitize it is. I want to automate. I see a lot of people use chlorine salt. Is there an automatic chlorine liquid dispenser and what is the better way, liquid or salt?
Thanks
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,773
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Pool Size
44000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
For me, it comes down to getting the chlorinating liquid vs. making it at home. I don't want to carry liquid chlorine or drive to get it.

To be fair, even with an SWC, you'll buy a few jugs each year for top-ups, unexpected large bather load, contamination events and for chlorinating when the water is cold. I used 20 gals that way last year including one SLAM.

SWC users tend to consume more liquid acid than people without an SWC, and have to replenish salt. The amount of liquid acid will be much less than the chlorinating liquid would be, but enough that it's worth mentioning. I used 5 gallons of acid last year and three 55 lb bags of salt, while my SWC made the equivalent of 60 gallons of 12.5% chlorinating liquid.

Both systems require testing and adjustment to maintain the desired chlorine level. Chlorine depletion varies from day to day and week to week depending on weather and bather load, so that comparison is pretty much even. With SWC, you adjust a dial or push buttons. With a liquid dosing pump, you can change the setting to provide more or less chlorine for an upcoming period.

A salt water pool with a SWC is better for me, and I wouldn't own a pool without one. If SWCs weren't available, I'd have a Stenner pump for dosing liquid.
 

GaryT58

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 26, 2016
571
Monroe, GA
Both are good methods if you want to sanitize once you get them adjusted. Some SWG, like the autopilot, can automatically adjust the output level when the water temperature varies. You would only need to replace salt as a result of water loss, so many minor amount once/year unless you lose a lot of water. As for acid adjustments, maybe its because my pool is fiberglass, but I have only added acid for ph adjustment 3 times this past season that I recall, and one of those was the initial pool setup. So really glad that is the case for me.

The actual strength of liquid chlorine can be affected by age and the temperature when stored. So some will try to keep their chlorine tank somewhere cool and out of the sun.

As said, liquid chlorine does allow for quicker reaction if you need major adjustments. If going with SWG get one that is rated for at least 2x you pool size. Mine is rated for 52,000 gallons for my 19,000 gallon pool. This allows me to really boost production as needed. If I ever need to SLAM though, I would turn off the unit and go ahead and use liquid bleach.

I really like my SWG and would get it again. I like that I do not need to run out and pick up chlorine on a regular basis.
 

xyz

Gold Supporter
Sep 8, 2016
641
Escondido/CA
I like my new IC60 and it "seems" like it produces 2X more than the IC40 it replaces. I notice I run it at % levels that are less than 1/2 of what the 40 ran at, and for shorter durations.

A word of caution is, this may be because I'm taking better care of my pool so the FC demand is lower, AND/OR, it may be because I'm using only the FC I need [I may have been overdoing it before].
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
21,153
Bedford, TX
R-man,

No matter what brand name you use, it is best to buy all the electronic equipment from the same manufacturer. So, in most cases, the Automation, Pump, and SWCG, should all be the same brand. This ensures that there are no inter-unit communications, or control, issues...

Jim R.
 

needsajet

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 4, 2016
4,773
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Pool Size
44000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
... and you've got a Pentair heater :)

If it were me, I'd go the IC60. Larger will last longer so the long-term economics are better because it's not much more money. Plus, as they say... you can always turn 'em down, but you can't get more than 100%. This link has the nitty gritty on long term costs: Economics of Saltwater Chlorine Generators

This is just my own take, but I've not heard an economic or technical reason not to run a SWC hard. If I have a bunch of kids coming, I run it at 100% to build up the FC ahead of time, and leave it at 100% until the next day. Once you own the power supply and cell housing, you're only wearing down the plates, marginally hastening cell replacement (e.g. one day earlier than the 7 years expected). This is the cheapest FC you'll ever buy. On the other hand, if 4 of our precious grandies show up out of the blue, I'll add a couple cups of 12.5% from my handy blue jug :)
 
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