tab chlorinator

257WbyMag

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Feb 23, 2008
5,061
Denton, TX
Tablets are designed to dissolve very slowly. If the tablet feeder fills with water, you know it is working.
 

macgas

Active member
Jul 29, 2010
38
Houston,TX
about 2 weeks ago I was adding supplemental chorine with powdered shock containing cya, subsequently my cya was about 100. I have drained out some water and got it down to about 50( new tft kit, so I'm struggling with measuring cya). Of course I had algae on the walls. Followed the tfp system and shocked. Plan to add borates today. I will have to use the chlorinator though because that is what I have for now. I will keep an eye on the cya.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
I think that borates are best done when everything is really well balanced and stable, you may want to hold off until someone here says that it is time. I have no experience with that.

CYA of 50 is near perfect. I suggest taking the remaining tabs out of the feeder and letting them dry out for later use. Run to Walmart or Sams or the grocery store and get some unscented bleach. Use that going forward. Expect pH to jump up when you stop the tabs, so be ready to start monitoring pH and TA. Have Muriatic acid (or dry acid) on had to adjust pH.

Depending on your CH levels, you may be able to use cal-hypo. It is economical in the huge containers from a pool store, keeps a long time, so good to have on hand.

When I was using tabs as well as bleach, I found that when the FC in the pool was kept in range which for me was 3-7ppm, the tabs were very slow to dissolve. Maybe they go faster at low FC levels, I don't know. It suggests to me that you don't need to worry about some sort of malfunction in the equipment.

If you choose to keep using the tabs, you can at least calculate what the CYA will be after so many more tabs. Just know that there may be some CYA in the pool now that is too fresh to show up on tests yet. So your test of 50 may be 55 or 60 already, hard to say. Then you add whatever the CYA is in each tab in the feeder now. For my pool, each tab adds about 1 ppm of CYA, your pool is smaller and so will be a larger ppm per tab. Keep that predicted value in your notes and use it for determining FC for normal operation and for shock levels.
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
If you're serious about keeping your CYA low AND using the Tab Feeder at the same time then you are periodically going to be draining large quantities of water.

If you do add borates - then you'll loose some of them every time you drain.

It seems like that is more work than using liquid chlorine every other day.
 

macgas

Active member
Jul 29, 2010
38
Houston,TX
I was convinced by my pool builder that salt water would be harmful to my flagstone, I went with ozonator and puck feeder. If I had known then what I know now I would have gone with SW. I am out of town frequently so just liquid chlorine is going to be tough to maintain. Once the puck feeder is empty( not going to remove those already in it) I will see what kind of demand I have. Decreased demand for chlorine was one of the selling points for borates.
 

anonapersona

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Nov 5, 2008
2,598
lightingguy said:
If you're serious about keeping your CYA low AND using the Tab Feeder at the same time then you are periodically going to be draining large quantities of water.

If you do add borates - then you'll loose some of them every time you drain.

It seems like that is more work than using liquid chlorine every other day.
And when you drain and refill you will need to rebalance CH and probably you will refill with water that is very high TA (mine is 340) and so after a fresh fill I have to add acid constantly to lower TA to where pH is not a problem, it was running up to 8.0 all the time. I had to boost CH recently due to excess rain and I guess I spent over $30, that would have only been a fraction of what I'd need for a 50% refill.

And, depending on where you are in Houston, some areas will be on water restrictions in the summer. Maybe not this summer as we actually have had a lot of rain in July (vs sometimes having NO rain in July). So when your CYA is up so high that you have to replace water, you may not be allowed to. The neighbors will surely turn you in when they see thousands of gallons of water running down the street when their lawns are crispy.

If you get to understand what each chemical adds to the pool, you can vary what you use to keep the costs down and keep the pool in balance as things change without dumping water.

I hear what you say about being out of town, but you can still rely on bleach when you are there and tabs when you are gone. A pool cover helps as well, if your pool is shaped such that this is an option.
 

lightingguy

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 17, 2010
513
Glendale, CA
I feel your pain on the travel. I added borates for the same reason - to get my chlorine demand down and it's hard to tell how much it works. I've measured about .15 ppm per day drop in FC use but I only had a 3 month testing period without Borates and 3 months with. My water is much warmer now but a lot cleaner as well - windy in winter. So it's hard to say....

With CYA at 50 or 60 you may be able to switch between bleach when you're home and pucks when you're not and keep the CYA rise under control.

I'd switch to bleach while at home and keep good records. At least then you'll know how much FC you loose per day. With the tab feeder on it's anybody's guess.
 
May 6, 2010
6
Make sure you "fill" the chlorinator with pool water (open the valve) before closing the lid. If not the water will flow through the bottom without passing over the chlorine tabs. Fill the water to the top to make sure that the water exits down through the tabs. Then wait. If working, the tabs will dissolve, but only when the pool pump is on and water is flowing through the tabs. Also be sure your chlorinator's dial is set appropriately. When I first got the pool, I kept the dial on 5 all week (too high), then 2 all week (too low). I had to tweak and find the sweet spot.

I'm in Houston too and I go through 3 tabs per week (18,000 gal pool/spa with ozonator and borates) to keep Cl level at 3.5 ppm. Luckily, I haven't had a rise in my CYA, but we've also had a lot of rain in Houston this summer. (We have overflow drain so the excess water runs down the street after a hard rain...along with chemicals!)
 

Durk

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2007
654
New Jersey
Some puck filters set up differently for 1" and 3" tabs. My Rainbow (went in the trash a few years ago) needed the hose connected at the top for the big puckers and at the bottom for little puckers. Some may come with a flow reducer for smaller pools (rubber thingy in the center pipe when you unscrew the main body) that your PB may have mistakenly left in--this was my case. Finally, either the adjuster valve or the one-way valve in the bottom may be grunged up.

I only use pucks when I travel, and I decided a floater was a lot less trouble than the in-line feeder and I cut it out when I rearranged my plumbing for another reason.
 

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