Stenner installation with buried tank for AZ heat

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
I just completed this project today...I need to still upload my latest pictures but here was the status a week and a half ago.

In the back you can see a failed start for the hole...I decided I wanted it closer to the action (electrical and plumbing). The tank is a standard 15 gallon one that can be bought in many places, I got mine (actually 2) on Cragslist for $20 each. The pooper scooper and the dig bar were indispensable in digging the hole. No way I could get down in there to get the dirt out. If you look closely, the hole is sandwiched between two buried pipes on either side.



It fits...but I wanted the ability to take the tank out easily so I asked my brother-in-law for a pipe to put it in.



And did he ever give me a piece of pipe! I didn't know they made PVC 15" in diameter and an inch thick. This piece was 34 inches long, cut from a 20 foot piece he had in his construction yard. He owes me for a lot of things...haha.



I'll try to upload the remainder of the photos tomorrow.
 
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jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
Thx Steve!

Preparing the Tank

I added some openings to the tank before install.

1) The fill opening is the black one on the left (3" abs)...the "cap" for that is made from a 3" and 4" pvc cap, slides on perfectly.

2) The homemade gauge in the back fit into the existing hole on the tank. It reads from 3+ gallons to 12 gallons, modeled after a Krueger Sentry gauge: https://www.amazon.com/Krueger-Sentry-Gauge-H-2-20-Galvanized/dp/B00VWH4SEO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1534685658&sr=8-4&keywords=krueger+gauge+20"

3) The yellow/red 5" drum gauge at the bottom is one I got from Zoro to fill up the last 3-4 gallons if I need to without overflowing. I probably didn't need this since my 3" fill hole ended up being so large and I can rather easily see into the tank. Gav Drum Gauge-5 Length 08530 | Zoro.com

4) The last opening on the right is for insertion of the stenner pump fill line, 1" (I think) so that the Stenner weight on the end of the fill line could fit through it.

 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
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Next I built a hinged lid frame for the hole using pressure treated wood and a top made of plastic fence pickets. It is insulated to try and keep the bleach cooler.

I mounted the stenner pump on the wall and ran a conduit to the buried tank for the fill line. The other conduit is for the temperature probe for the tank (informational only)...I might also eventually add a "chlorine tank near empty" alarm through this.

The fill funnel fits in the top under the lid. That funnel is actually huge (WirthCo 6 quart funnel on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/WirthCo-32006-Funnel-Safety-Screen/dp/B000CQBNJY/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1534687529&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=red+funnel&psc=1 ), hard to tell from the picture. I got a kick out of the first review for this item: "I bought it to fill 6gal carboys for wine/beer/moonshine making but it will not fit in the necks of them. So I used something else and had some drinks and just wore this thing as a hat the rest of the night! "

Haha...so when I got it, it promptly went on my head (for my grandson)...and then he wore it for the next half hour even though it pretty much covered his head entirely.



 
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jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
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For control, I modified an Orbit sprinkler controller that I already had to fit inside my pool control panel. It has 24vac outputs so I added a 24vac relay inside to handle the power to the Stenner. That relay is wired in series to the pump control relay so both must be on for the Stenner pump to run. It can run up to 4 times per day.

This sprinkler controller has 4 outputs so I am thinking I might use an additional one for my eventual "automated aerator" and possibly (I hope I don't need it) an acid pump. I actually was considering some more complicated controls (using a raspberry pi) that would allow me to do wireless control and eventual monitoring (pool pump failure, bleach tank low alert, etc) but I pushed that to a future project.

For a quick 1ppm chlorine injection, I have wired my pool's AUX1 button (available on my remote as well, it was previously unused) to run the stenner pump for about 20 minutes, if and only if the pool pump is running.

 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
Hey tucsontico...I owe so many people on this forum for so many ideas, including many in this particular install! I'm just glad everyone is posting so that the ideas can be shared. Good luck!

- - - Updated - - -

ajw, it would not be worth it, haha. I don't think I could be paid enough to do this again.

Here is what the final install looks like. The stenner pump cover has many large holes on the front and other side (not seen in this picture), also an open bottom to slide it on...my stenner pump seems to run very hot, I don't know if everyone's is like that. This cover is simply for rain and west side sun protection.

 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
Hey Rob, the area around the pool equipment doesn't have much "drain" to it. I have never seen standing water back there after a rain, but it could happen. I have about 4-5" of gravel at the bottom of the tank. Worst case I figure that if the hole starts filling with water and if it gets really high, the tank would start floating up and probably open the trap door...nothing is holding it down. Actually I am thinking of running one of my landscaping drip heads over into the pipe to keep the pipe hole slightly moist and cooler. That would probably be next summer.
 

RonsPlc

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May 31, 2015
812
Gaylesville, AL
I also buried my bleach barrel to help keep it cooler here in Alabama.
When my stenner is running, I have felt the feed tube coming from the barrel into the pump, and can tell a BIG difference in the temperature. I didn't put a temp probe into the hole though when I dug it.
What does your probe show you for a temperature in the hole when you have not opened the door at all for a couple of days? I am just curious.
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
Ron, my temperature show 15 to 20 degrees cooler than our highs here in Arizona, currently reading 85 and ambient is 100. It has been pretty stable...but my hole was completely open to the elements for more than a couple weeks until I finished the project a couple days ago, so it dried out completely and I suspect heated up the surrounding earth. I'm hoping it will stay closer to 80 next year and why I will be experimenting with a drip system as well to keep the earth a little moist around it.
 

RonsPlc

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May 31, 2015
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Gaylesville, AL
Any time!

BTW, I also built an insulated cover for my tank this year... I was making a deck, and decided to use some of the cut-offs to build a drum cover. I will take pictures, and post them later, as the deck is still a work in progress.
 

shocka

Gold Supporter
Mar 12, 2018
34
Mesa, AZ
Very cool, Jon. I'm thinking about a Stenner setup as well. This is a great thread.

Where do you buy your liquid chlorine here in AZ?

Thank you.
 

jonpcar

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2016
423
Gilbert, AZ
Hey shocka, so far I have bought it at Home Depot...but I just started with the liquid version so long term I don't know. I did look at the dates when I bought it there and I made sure that it was very recently manufactured.
 

shocka

Gold Supporter
Mar 12, 2018
34
Mesa, AZ
Ok. Thanks.

In researching options for liquid procurement, I called A&M Pump and Pool supply yesterday in Mesa (Center/Mckellips) and they carry 2 and 4 gal pkg units. I believe it is 12% and the if I recall correctly, the guy quoted $16.99 for the 4 gal (+deposit +tax).

Thought I'd share. I think there are several TFP threads about where to buy liquid. This supplier happens to be on my drive home so it would make it convenient for me.
 

RonsPlc

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May 31, 2015
812
Gaylesville, AL
You might get better prices by contacting a janitorial supply company for bleach.
That is how I get mine delivered.... $150 for 55 gallons of 12.5%.
 

slickraft

Well-known member
Oct 7, 2016
219
Phoenix
Another cool solution (pun intended)!

A $5 Rainbird timer (6-stations) from a garage sale does all my pool valves and powers the 12VDC chlorine pump too. Bonus is I don't need anything else to program the system like a smartphone or a young brain to figure out all the downloads, upgrades and app settings. Easy peasy to add or subtract a + /- percent of normal CL flow for temporary changes using the timer dial.

My pump is a $16 Amazon peristaltic and it's been running just fine for close to a year. I found the small tubing at Goodwill new in the box. My reserve chlorine supply is in a frosty clear jug inside my shed and because I add new chlorine each weekend, burial was not needed in my case.

Home Depot Chlorine is all I ever use. Country Club and Baseline store rarely has it older than 1 month and often right at 2 weeks old. I'm there every weekend anyway and it's on the way home from work on weekdays. I can go one month in the worst of summer before I need a refill but usually only fill the container halfway so it stays extra fresh. :) Sometimes I get 8 gallons at a time for the further discount and store some in the laundry room. Price is $3.06 per gallon for their 10% when you buy 8 gallons at once.