My $25 auto chlorinator DIY project

RonsPlc

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May 31, 2015
803
Gaylesville, AL
I JUST set my little lift pump up this afternoon... will report back with pictures after I see how it is going to work... I'm figuring on a bit better than 1/2 bottle per day, so I have it set to run for 10 minutes 9 times a day, and from what I calculate, that should equal right at 80oz ... just about right.

Tomorrow will be the first full day of operation.
 

gary300

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Dec 15, 2014
531
Riverside California
gary300

2 things that come to mind right away with your setup...

1- as the chlorine gets depleted, there is less weight pushing ergo, less going into the pool at a set time frame.
2- with the container being air/liquid tight, as the chlorine level gets lower, how do you replace the volume with air? ... if you don't, the valve opening will allow air back through to equalize the effect of the vacuum left from the liquid draining out, and you are going to end up with the valve acting in a "gulping" (for lack of a better term) ... liquid out, air back in to compensate for the pressure difference. ... in my mind, I couldn't work out what the timing would be for it.
I tried this out with 4 gallons in the tank, and with 1/2 gallon in the tank and surprisingly a 3 minute run delivered just about the same amount of liquid (1/2 Gallon)

I drilled a 1/4" hole in the top to vent the tank. In retrospect I will plug that hole and drill another hole in the side of the tank near the top. In case it rains, I do not want water draining into the tank. The hole equalizes the air pressure.

I just tried this out this morning after interfacing to my Easy Touch. So far so good. As I mentioned before, this is just a temp setup while I am on a weeks vacation. If this works out, I might invest in a more chemical resistant solenoid valve and a bigger tank and try this as a permanent addition.

I like this, because no motor is involved and the solenoid is rated for at least 100000 operations.
 

RonsPlc

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May 31, 2015
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Gaylesville, AL
Well, I FINALLY got it all dialed in! :D

For the past week now my FC has remained perfect without me having to manually dose the pool... It looks a bit redneck at this point, but now that I have the placement of everything worked out, as well as the dosing schedule for the pump to run... I'll be working at a better permanent placement for the components this fall... going to re-level the pool, install a new liner, and build a deck at the same time.

5Gal bucket to hold the bleach with the 1/4" feed line running from the bottom of the bucket to the pump (Hanging from the post behind the pool filter)


The yellow bucket is acting as a cover so the timer stays dry (I am using an indoor timer that can do up to 28 separate on/off settings )


Under the bucket, I placed an empty flower pot upside-down to keep the timer from resting directly on the pad (In case of flooding during a hard rain).


here is a pic of it dosing the pool.


All in all, I have it set to dose the pool 5 times a day, for 5 minutes each time... seems to be just about perfect!
My pool pump runs on low 24/7 during the season, and the volume of bleach that gets dispensed at any time is small enough that I don't see any problem running it directly into the skimmer. (But I might be wrong on that).

Many thanks to the OP for this idea! ;)
 

PrivatePilot

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2013
190
Awesome, glad to see someone going with the original little pump I experimented with. Do followup and let us know how it continues to work.

Might want to waterproof that timer somehow. I discovered the hard way that my efforts to keep the rain off mine were unsuccessful, and suffice to say...it was not waterproof. ;)
 

RonsPlc

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May 31, 2015
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Gaylesville, AL
The timer sits on top of the overturned flower pot, and under the overturned 5gal yellow bucket... it SHOULD be safe from getting wet.
I'll keep you all informed as to how well it stands up to the chlorine, at this point, I am impressed.
 

poolfool1961

Active member
Jun 22, 2015
30
Tallahassee, FL
Hi everybody!

I decided to try the diy method and here are my first thoughts.

Purchased:
Aqua Lifter: but not the one in the first OP. Small print says 30" lift and 3.5gph.
First trial in the sink with water resulted in ~1 cup/min.
Next I took it to the pool (Intek 18X48), poked the tube down the pool store chlorine 2.5gal jug and the other tube routed to the return.
It does not like chlorine.
Since I have a cheap plastic storage shelf at the pool I moved the jug and pump up to within 10" lift. A little bit better. Will see how it goes.
I might have to use a 5 gallon bucket and dilute with water and double times. But that puts everything back on the ground. Will wait and see.

Timer is a Woods heavy duty outdoor, model 50015. Very easy to program and has a built in rechargeable battery.
I think it will work out well, even if the pump doesn't.

If the pump doesn't, I'm going to try the cheap 12volt Chinese peristaltic pump on a cell phone charger or something. I have wall warts of all voltages everywhere, it seems.

Will update when I know more.

PS. Liking the timer real well so far and will most likely buy one for the sand filter.
 

poolfool1961

Active member
Jun 22, 2015
30
Tallahassee, FL
Hi again.

The pump likes chlorine better now. I have now set the timer to just 3 minutes, for 2 cups dosage.

I also purchased a second Woods timer for the Intex sand filter/pump and have is set for three 2 hour intervals.

As someone else posted, I cut off the ground fault plug and used a ground fault receptacle I already had.

Everything seems to be working perfectly so far.
 
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RonsPlc

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May 31, 2015
803
Gaylesville, AL
Well, so far, so good... My little pump is keeping the pool RIGHT in the middle of my FC range... I haven't had to manually dose the pool with chlorine in over 3 weeks!
To say that I'm impressed is an understatement! :)
 

poolfool1961

Active member
Jun 22, 2015
30
Tallahassee, FL
I too am impressed. I have a small pool and only need dosing for about three to four minutes each day.

That little $15 pump and the Woods timers make my pool as care free as anything I've ever maintained.

I highly recommend spending some beer money before a high dollar investment.

But then again I only have a small AG pool. YMMV

I also find it hard to believe that there are only three of us that are experimenting with this technology.
 
Last edited:

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
It seems you 3 all have AG pools. I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out how to make it work with an IG pool. I could inject into the suction side of the pump, but no idea if the suction on the pump would cause an issue or not.
 

poolfool1961

Active member
Jun 22, 2015
30
Tallahassee, FL
Hi Rangeball,

I wish I could help out.

As silly as it sounds, could you run the line to the pool and 'hide' it somehow with something decorative?

Maybe a different type of pump, the ones with rollers, can't think of the name, would handle the pressures encountered with a pool pump better.

Good luck and keep asking questions. Plenty of people here smarter than me when it comes to this stuff.
 

frbruno64

Bronze Supporter
Since pumps have drain plugs, how about something like this for suction side injection on IG pools?

Remove the drain plug on the pump pot. Screw in a chlorine resistant 1/4" nipple connected to a 1/4" chlorine resistant ball valve, (brass might work). The below photos show how I am using such a configuration to simplify the winter blowout process.


IMG_2087.jpg IMG_2090.jpg


Into the ball valve, plumb in a suitable chlorine resistant one way valve to prevent backflow out of the pump.

Into the one way valve, plumb in the output from the solenoid based bleach bucket setup.

Use a timer to open the solenoid valve for the required amount of time when the pump is running.

The ball valve connected to the pump drain can be used to seal the pump if the bleach delivery system requires removal. It also can meter the flow of chlorine during pump operation.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
Thanks.

All of the chlorine resistant solenoid valves I've found are very expensive. Peristaltic pumps are about half, and the idea discussed in this thread is about $40 for the install, making it very attractive.

I had though of setting it up with the line into the suction side of the pump, timer would turn the lift pump on to run for the selected interval, suction would pull it through, but I have no idea what the affect of the suction still present would be on the lift pump when it's not pumping. Would it be enough to cause bleach to seep through? I don't know.

I have wracked my brain about trying to find a way to hid the line but all I can come up with is cutting a trench in the concrete and running it into the skimmer, which sounds like a hassle and an eyesore.
 

gtemkin

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2008
738
Seattle, WA
If you want to make a "hidden" install, yet still inject from the air above the skimmer, drill and tap a hole in the suction side skimmer line before your main circulation pump, that will accept a compression fitting that will tighten down on the outside of your plastic feed tube. You may have to modify the compression fitting slightly by drilling through it's entire length to match (or slightly oversize it for) the outside diameter of your tubing. That way the tube can be fed completely through the compression fitting.

Then feed the tubing "co-axially" through the compression fitting and down the inside of the suction side skimmer pipe until it emerges out at the skimmer. There you could use some miniature tubing elbows to bring it above the water line and then point back down.

Having a small tube like that wouldn't harm the suction side flow however you might have to modify your skimmer basket or vacuum plates with small side grooves to allow the tube to pass through those parts.

Having the dispense tube injecting in the air above the skimmer would eliminate having the cheap pump under any suction forces that could cause it to "leak" even if it was off.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
Took me a few reads but I get exactly what you are saying. That's actually pretty ingenious. Only issue I'm left wondering about is it's about 20' from where the pump will be to the skimmer. Will the drop pump push chlorine this far?

I'd also have to get creative for how I can run my vacuum hose in the skimmer outlet.
 

gtemkin

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2008
738
Seattle, WA
Yeah, I've always thought about running a tube coaxially on the return side, which would work well to keep chemicals away from sensitive equipment (heater). It would be well mixed by the time it entered the pool.

Don't have an idea if that tiny pump would push 20', but if I had to guess I'd say it'd be fine as long as the CL bucket and pump were above the skimmer height. You could mock it up without drilling anything, to see if it would.
 

Rangeball

Well-known member
May 25, 2007
785
Actually I wonder if injecting it into the return side might not solve the suspected problem. I suspect return flow would possibly create a slight suction affect but not near what the suction side would. Wouldn't even need to run the line to far into the return.

Hmmm...
 

Bub

Member
Aug 4, 2015
5
Abington, Pa.
First post here but I have been lurking for awhile. Finally made the the switch to the BBB method about 5 weeks ago and man my water has not looked this good in a long while. Just got fed up with those pucks and battling the green algae along with the pink bacteria I usually get about this time in August.
Manually dosing the pool w/bleach everyday was just getting to be more of a chore with working different shifts and sometimes missing a dose, I had to give this a try and boy does it work great. My total cost with everything was $55.00 and well worth it.

The woods timer is plugged into the pump circuit so it will not come on until the pump does and the timer has a battery backup so it does not lose the program setting while the circuit is de-energized
For a weight on the vinyl tubing, just took a piece of 3/4 pvc about 4" long capped on both ends filled with BB's.
Grabbed a bracket from Lowe's which worked out great to mount everything including the pump. Picked up the pump bracket when I ordered the pump. Ran the tubing to the skimmer cover and just stuck it in about 3/8 of an inch.
I am getting 2 ounces of bleach a minute. Have the pump set to come twice a day for 5 minutes and everything is good.
Just want to say thanks to PrivatePilot for this great idea and inventionView attachment 42309View attachment 42310DSC00239.jpgDSC00242.jpg
 

PrivatePilot

Well-known member
Jun 13, 2013
190
Slick install, Bub! Nice to see people still poking away at this years later, it certainly does have a good bang for the buck factor. :)

I thought about plumbing to suction or return lines, but well...suction and pressure were the problems. This little pump will NOT have enough pressure to be able to overcome pressure so it wouldn't inject if the pump was running, and on the suction line...I suspect the suction would just cause chlorine to be freely drawn from the reservoir as the flimsy little pump valves in this thing would be easily overwhelmed. The latter would be catastrophic to your liner.... I would recommend neither option unless you go with a peristaltic pump, and even with those some people reported issues with getting them to build enough pressure to overcome pressure-side injection....although they would probably work fine with suction side injection as a peristaltic pump can't be "sucked" through.