My in-line chlorinator just blew up..

Skenn81

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
145
Florida
So this is nice..



Woke up this morning like I have been for years, the pool turned on like it has for years, I get my coffee like I have for years, I looked out the window like I have for years..

OH NO WHAT IS ALL THAT WATER SPRAYING EVERYWHERE?!!?

I run over to the pool equipment and this is what I find. The side of the chlorinator has been blown off. Has anyone seen this before or have any idea what could have caused it?

Should I get it replaced or just have the pool guy remove the line? We don't use tablets so it's just been sitting there with water going through it. Is it worth having one in there for a just in case kind of thing or should I just have the pipes swapped to be straight through?
 

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
227
Port Orange, FL
So this is nice..



Woke up this morning like I have been for years, the pool turned on like it has for years, I get my coffee like I have for years, I looked out the window like I have for years..

OH NO WHAT IS ALL THAT WATER SPRAYING EVERYWHERE?!!?

I run over to the pool equipment and this is what I find. The side of the chlorinator has been blown off. Has anyone seen this before or have any idea what could have caused it?

Should I get it replaced or just have the pool guy remove the line? We don't use tablets so it's just been sitting there with water going through it. Is it worth having one in there for a just in case kind of thing or should I just have the pipes swapped to be straight through?
The Florida sun tends to destroy plastics, some types much more than others. They often get brittle and weak. I suspect that's what happened in your case. I removed the same feeder that was only 6 years old when I installed my SWG a year ago and the plumbing fitting broke-off the base during the process due to weakened plastic.

I personally wouldn't replace it with another tablet feeder, you can always use a floater if you needed to use tablets occasionally. I'd seriously consider adding a SWG system and maybe placing the SWG cell where that feeder was. You'll be glad you did.
 

Skenn81

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
145
Florida
I am going to get some quotes later, but as the stores are all closed now much does it normally cost to add a generator in?

I don't have the skills needed to do this myself.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
32,574
Laughlin, NV
Cost to install a SWCG can vary depending on pool service used, etc. If you have a friend with plumbing skills then buying a SWCG on your own and installing is not difficult. A SWCG rated for a 40K pool (you want one rated for more than 2X your volume) will be less than a $1000. If you call a pool store, it will cost close to $1500-$2000 installed, I suspect.

To maintain your pool, keep adding liquid chlorine and maintain your FC based on the FC/CYA Chart. Use a brush, robot, etc to mix the chemicals in.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,441
NY
Everybody is different of course, but around here places charge double the cost and it either includes installation costs or they tack on a nominal fee for installation because they already charged you a hefty markup.

In my case this year I was just replacing what was already there so swapping it out would have been included in the $1500 cost. They may have charged me $200 if it was new from scratch. Some people don’t have the ability to do either the swap or build from scratch so it makes sense to pay and they typically get a better warranty with the higher cost by having it ‘professionally installed’
 

Skenn81

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
145
Florida
I will add a swg to the list of things to do then. For now I will see what it would be to just cut out the broken unit now and replace with a straight pipe. I can save up for a new unit but don't want to drop a couple grand right now.

So this happened most likely just because? The Florida heat weakened it then and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it? The pool routine is pretty basic. Pump primes and goes on at 7, everything turns off at 11. Repeate every day forever. It doesn't freeze over night so this morning was just another usual morning for the pool.
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,441
NY
Bypassing it completely for now is very easy to do. And dirt cheap. You need 2 unions and a piece of pipe cut at wide as the unit. You’ll have to buy a 8 or 10 ft pipe so you will have plenty left over if you cut it too short a few times. Test fit it until you get the right length and then glue the bypass pipe to the new unions. Then just screw on Your new piece in place of the unit.

YouTube has videos to walk you through it, and If you go to an actual plumbing supply store (as opposed to Home Depot). you can bring the unit and they will pick you out exactly what you need. They might even make the pipe for you.
 

Leebo

Admin
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
9,944
Eastern Ohio

I too wouldn’t wait for quotes and all that jazz. I’d guess $20 and an hour of time will get your pool running. Once you’re back up THEN worry about upgrades and such.
 

Rancho Cost-a-Lotta

Silver Supporter
Apr 10, 2018
1,552
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like the line that exits the feeder is capped/plugged after the 90 (bottom of photo). Has the feeder been disabled or bypassed?

As others have said, PVC is easy to work with. Maybe a family member or neighbor can get you up and running.

Best of luck!
 

Fuldo

Silver Supporter
Nov 23, 2017
227
Port Orange, FL
I will add a swg to the list of things to do then. For now I will see what it would be to just cut out the broken unit now and replace with a straight pipe. I can save up for a new unit but don't want to drop a couple grand right now.

So this happened most likely just because? The Florida heat weakened it then and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it? The pool routine is pretty basic. Pump primes and goes on at 7, everything turns off at 11. Repeate every day forever. It doesn't freeze over night so this morning was just another usual morning for the pool.
You could have placed an enclosure or roof over the equipment pad to shade the equipment including the dispenser. I don't have one and I noticed that the filter housing is deteriorating and I wonder how long it will last. Running the pump more slowly 24/7 might have prolonged its life as well, that would result in lower pressure and no pressure cycling. The failure looks like what's called a "fatigue failure", it's caused by cyclical stresses. I suspect there was a weak "seam" in the body where it broke in a straight line or perhaps there was a deep scratch there that made it vulnerable. If you know what SWG you would buy you could have a "dummy cell" put in place when the plumbing is repaired so the real cell could simply be put in place later without any replumbing. However, that's probably impractical at this point and if you have plenty of pipe length to work with it's not necessary and won't save that much work.
 

Skenn81

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
145
Florida
Hard to tell from the photo, but it looks like the line that exits the feeder is capped/plugged after the 90 (bottom of photo). Has the feeder been disabled or bypassed?
There is a second PVC pipe that goes around the feeder, I am assuming for if it was turned off completely, but the unit itself doesn't look plugged or capped.

Here is an overhead view of the whole setup. It goes from pump, into filter, then into feeder/bypass line, then into the valves for the Polaris and returns.

 
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JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
20,360
Was the chlorinator left turned off with no flow?

Do you ever use calcium hypochlorite?

How far away were the broken pieces?

Did you hear an explosion?
 
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Skenn81

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
145
Florida
I looked at the flow and it was turned down to almost off, around the mark 1 or something but didn't look fully off. It was down to a minimum flow.

I only use liquid CL, this was from the prior owner.

It was one broken piece, the whole side shot off in one large piece, it was a few feet away and directly in front of the unit. Didn't measure or anything but its not like it just fell off, it shot forward and across the grass a good distance for what it is.

I didn't hear anything but it turns on early and I was not on that side of the house this morning when the 7am priming started.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
20,360
There's a sharp color demarcation between the bottom of the feeder and above.

I suspect that the feeder had a few tabs inside with no flow for an extended period of time causing the plastic to eventually fail.

What speed does the pump start/prime and then run?

If it starts at full speed, you should turn down the priming speed or turn off priming.

I would set a maximum rpm limit of about 2400 in the settings and you should not need to run at more than about 1725 rpm for any reason.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,179
Central California
Sorry to say, I'm not seeing this as an easy repair. Because of the way all the fittings are jammed together, too close to allow for couplers, there's quite a bit to do. If that three-way valve is the type that can mate to PVC on the outside of its coupler, then it won't be too bad: a larger pipe, then to a reducer, then to a new 90 and finally a coupler (or maybe there is a 90 to accommodate two different sizes?). But if not, then we're talking about replacing the valve, too, and there's not a lot of room to get a new one in there. There is what looks to be a threaded fitting entering the chlorinator, perhaps that could be reused, but I wouldn't want a threaded fitting like that in my setup...

IMHO, pool plumbers should allow 3" minimum between every single device and fitting, to allow for future replacement. But they never do...
 

Skenn81

Well-known member
Apr 23, 2018
145
Florida
What speed does the pump start/prime and then run?

If it starts at full speed, you should turn down the priming speed or turn off priming.

I would set a maximum rpm limit of about 2400 in the settings and you should not need to run at more than about 1725 rpm for any reason.
Start/Prime -- Not sure? Very high, I guess maximum of what the pump can handle. 3,000k+ maybe? Can't go tell now unless it's in the menu somewhere since I can't turn it on. It then drops down to 2200 for 4 hours. Much less and my return side Polaris won't really move or get stuck. I have tried dropping it but then the Polaris just sits.

There is an option to turn down the priming speed and what would that do? It has to prime for a reason, right? To clear out all the air and fill in the pump water container for flow purposes?
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
20,360
The priming control is described in the manual.

There's no reason to prime at full speed.

Full speed is putting excessive pressure on your system and it should be limited to a maximum of about 2,400 rpm.
 
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Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,179
Central California
I couldn't get my vac dialed in until I put in on a dedicated valve, which draws water only through the vac (in your case, sends). That's about 2200. Then the rest of the time, I can dial down the RPMs for general circulation and filtering and SWG (about 1400). Trying to do all at the same time didn't work in my pool.

Hmmm, better go check my prime speed, as I doubt the installer did anything with that. Good tip.