Liquid chlorine automation questions

jeams

Active member
Nov 19, 2013
33
Omaha
Split by moderator from HERE. This was getting a little off-topic. Please start your own thread for your own questions as it will avoid confusion. Thanks, jblizzle

Question for the experts: For a pool around 20,000 gallons in size, how many of those "99 bottles of bleach on the wall" are needed in an average week to maintain the pool?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
Re: How many TFP members are going with saltwater?

Question for the experts: For a pool around 20,000 gallons in size, how many of those "99 bottles of bleach on the wall" are needed in an average week to maintain the pool?
Most outdoor residential pools use around 2 ppm FC per day though some are less and some are more. For 20,000 gallons, that's 2.2 gallons of 12.5% chlorinating liquid or 3.2 gallons of 8.25% bleach per week. If your pool used 3 ppm FC per day, then increase these amounts by 50%. If you use a mostly opaque pool cover, then your chlorine usage could be half these amounts (around 1 ppm FC per day or less, depending on how frequently the pool is open).
 

jeams

Active member
Nov 19, 2013
33
Omaha
Re: How many TFP members are going with saltwater?

Thanks chem geek. So assuming the pool requires half a gallon a day of 8.25% bleach (3.5 gallons per week), is it easy to set a automatic chlorine injection pump to dispense the bleach at that level from a 5 gallon supply tank? So you would really only be manually adding chlorine every week and a half or so into the tank, instead of every day? How reliable are injection pumps? I'm hoping this is a good option for those who don't have/want a SWG but still want easier maintenance?
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
3,018
Long Beach, CA
Re: How many TFP members are going with saltwater?

A lot of pool owners use automation for liquid chlorine distribution. Check out threads in the Chemical Automation and the Liquidator section of the forum. I would use a Stenner Pump along with a 15 gallon container for my system if I ever got rid of the SWG.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
I use a Stenner pump and a 15 gallon tank. Works like a charm. First you guesstimate your chlorine demand and set the pump for a period that you guesstimate will meet that demand.

Note: Chem Geek gets his slide rule out of his pocket protector and calculates. I have a few sips of bourbon and guesstimate.

Then check with testing the next day. (generally bourbon is omitted from testing protocol)

You adjust the pump settings dependent on your test results. After a week you are fairly well dialed in. When the seasons change or other changes occur you will see the change in your chlorine use and adjust. You always have to stay well within safe limits. However, leaving it for two weeks is possible.

Five gallons is too small a chlorine tank. Fifteen gallons should give you at least a two week supply in the summer and maybe a couple months in the winter.
 

zethacat

LifeTime Supporter
My PB had never heard of a Liquidator before, so when it came time for the plumbers to install it, they did it wrong. Rather than deal with it now, I had them remove it (because I seem to have problems with every piece of equipment I own) and put it in storage for some future time. It is easy enough to manually chlorinate my 14000 gallon pool.
 

jeams

Active member
Nov 19, 2013
33
Omaha
Does anyone know of any good links to liquidators, stenner pumps & 15 gallon tanks, etc. that I could show my pool builder?
 

zethacat

LifeTime Supporter
Here is a link to the Liquidator. There is a 4 gallon and an 8 gallon model. Unless you are extremely restricted for space you should get the 8 gallon, though I imagine the 4 is a little bit easier to clean. I would recommend purchasing and install a liquid chlorinator on your own after your pool is done and don't even mention it to your PB. I can't speak for anyone else, but having it installed on startup was a poor experience for me. The plumbers hooked it up wrong, and it wasn't working properly, plus I was having problems with my pump and filter as well. Ultimately I had them remove the liquidator, as it's one less thing in the loop to have to troubleshoot. I may re-install it myself at some point in the future, but having it part of the pool contract was a mistake.
 

jeams

Active member
Nov 19, 2013
33
Omaha
So the "Liquidator" is a complete system in its own? A Stenner pump would be another option? Which is better in your opinion?
 

zethacat

LifeTime Supporter
I couldn't give you one, since I've never had a working chlorinator. Trust me, pouring some liquid chlorine into a measuring cup and then into the pool is hardly a chore in comparison to testing water, emptying skimmer baskets, cleaning filters or brushing the pool. Just think of it as more alone time with your pool. :D
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,880
Silver Spring, MD
Many people end up having minor problems with the Liquidator over the long run and you can have serious problems when running with a variable speed pump run on low speed all the time. They tend to clog up and require cleaning, annoying though hardly fatal. Variable speed pumps run on low speeds are a more serious issue, as it is between difficult and impossible to get them to feed enough chlorine in that situation. Various approaches have worked to adapt to two speed pumps run on low, but variable speed pumps on their lower speeds can often pose insurmountable issues. If a variable speed pump on low is not an issue and you don't mind cleaning regularly, the Liquidator can be a wonderful low cost approach.

A Stenner setup costs noticeably more, but seems to work more universally with fewer problems, and they aren't really all that expensive. They do require some minor annual maintenance, clean the tank once a year and replace the feed tube and other tubing as needed, but that doesn't seem to bother anyone. You get the most flexibility if you pair a Stenner with either an aux relay on an automation system or it's own timer, so you have lots of control over the chlorine feed duration.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
I have had a liquidator and now have a Stenner. All of what Jason says above is true. With low speed on a VS pump the Liquidator barely works if it develops a clogging problem -- even a minor one -- it stops working.

Also I have a solar system so my run times and pump volume vary a great deal. That means the chlorination varies a great deal with the Liquidator. The Stenner is not affected by pump volume or speed.

A Stenner allows you a great deal of flexibility as to the amount of chlorine and the timing. The Liquidator is fine with a single speed or maybe even a two speed pump, but solar and VS pumps are, in my humble opinion, incompatible with the Liquidator.
 

jeams

Active member
Nov 19, 2013
33
Omaha
Thanks for the info everyone. The last PB who came for a bid was showing me the automatic puck feeder system. I assume it is a good idea to let them install one even if I'm planning to use a Stenner pump system instead? and as zethacat recommends, maybe I don't even ask about this feature and just install it myself after the pool is up and running?
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
3,018
Long Beach, CA
Thanks for the info everyone. The last PB who came for a bid was showing me the automatic puck feeder system. I assume it is a good idea to let them install one even if I'm planning to use a Stenner pump system instead? and as zethacat recommends, maybe I don't even ask about this feature and just install it myself after the pool is up and running?
The Stenner is easy enough for me to install on my own but my pad is laid out so it can easily be integrated into my system. I have the space and all the electrical needs available to make a quick install, just make sure your pad is set up to install a Stenner system. Think about the space for the container, a mount for the pump if you do not get the integrated container that is made for the Stenner, electrical connection, and the timer to control the Stenner.

Don't install a puck feeder to make the PB happy, make sure you want one installed only if you ever plan on using it. A cheap floater will work in emergency situations also.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
10,395
Franklin, NC
Thanks for the info everyone. The last PB who came for a bid was showing me the automatic puck feeder system. I assume it is a good idea to let them install one even if I'm planning to use a Stenner pump system instead? and as zethacat recommends, maybe I don't even ask about this feature and just install it myself after the pool is up and running?
If you are sure you are going to add a Stenner I'm not sure I would even spend the money for the puck feeder, but having it can't really hurt anything - unless you get in the habit of keeping it full of pucks;)

Tell your PB that you want a "T" on the return line with a 3/4" threaded valve with a threaded plug in the end.

It should look like this (but not necessarily with the couplings I had to use to fit it in there):


Once he is done you can just add the Stenner to this spot and open the valve. In the winter you can close the valve and remove the Stenner tubing for cleaning and winter storage.

Go with at least a 15 gallon tank to give you plenty of feed time for vacations and such....

You can read about my complete install HERE
 

jeams

Active member
Nov 19, 2013
33
Omaha
Thanks tim5055! Once we get all the bids in and select our builder, I will talk to them about this. To clarify, put the T on the return line after the filter and heater, o it is the last thing before water is returned to the pool? And you have it set to run 6hrs a day at 65% power? I assume the main pool pump needs to also be running while the stenner pump is going? sorry for all the novice questions!
 

ping

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 24, 2011
3,018
Long Beach, CA
Yes, the Stenner line should be last in the return line.

Yes, the pool pump needs to be running at the same time the Stenner is running. That's the reason to make sure you have the timer figured out to sync it with the pool pump. There are several ways to do this depending on your equipement, so you will need to research on how to best sync it with the pool pump.
 

shuye

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 7, 2012
74
Missouri City, TX
I just saw this thread. I have had a Stenner for 2 years now and would not go back to daily dosing unless I had to. I followed this thread when ordering my materials and setting it up:

http://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/51224-Another-happy-peristaltic-pump-injector

I agree with the advice above, make sure you have a builder that will leave some room on the equipment pad for the 15 gallon tank. I also recently had an electrician run an outlet from my empty relay on my Prologic 8 control panel and I now have a built in timer for my Stenner, I just have it run 30 or 45 minutes during one of the times that I have the pool pump running. I had it hooked up to a cheap outdoor timer that I plugged into a standard outlet for a while, that worked well for the most part, but we have frequent power outages and I had to check it as it would reset itself on occasion.