Prepare to Update Your Chlorination System
As the economy—and facility budgets—begin to recover, many are considering making renovations to their existing pools. But before you decide to upgrade your pool's chlorinating system, there are some things to be aware of. It's a perfect time to take stock of what deficiencies you may be experiencing with your present system and what improvements you would like to put in place. In addition, look for a system that is reliable for the long term. Consider the efficacy of the new system, as well as maintenance requirements. Local and state regulations also must come into play.
Here, for example, NSF/ANSI Standard 50 certification is likely to play an important part in what you consider. Systems that are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) provide assurances that there has been testing for safety, efficacy and reliability based upon system manufacturers' directions for operation and specified chemicals. The NSF/ANSI 50 Standard is mandated by a majority of states and referenced or mandated by health departments throughout the country. These standards are well-accepted as the go-to reference of reliability and dependability.
Finally, you should know who on your staff will be operating the system, their expertise and any safety concerns.
Q: What are some of the conditions of my pool that will affect my decision as I consider chlorination systems?
A: Do you have an indoor or an outdoor pool? Indoor pools should rule out Trichlor feeders. For outdoor pools, take a cautious approach when it comes to Trichlor due to the potential for CYA build-up. In addition, know that Bromine cannot be stabilized, making it impractical for outdoor use.
If your facility has a spa, many of the indoor/outdoor considerations still apply. In addition, if you have a spa and pool combination, you may want to consider a system that will sanitize both pools and spas. This will save money, time and storage space, as you will not need to stock two types of chemicals. It also will alleviate safety concerns around the potential mixing of different chemicals—a dangerous situation.
Q: Can the size and condition of my pump room affect what systems will work best?
A: Consider the space requirements of the new chlorination system you're considering as well as electrical requirements such as GFCI outlets. Tight quarters could make maneuverability difficult if you are trying to accommodate liquid bleach and muriatic acid drums not to mention back-up supplies. Large containment tanks are more typical in a bleach system setup for larger pools, so it's important to know if you can accommodate the system and any secondary containment. One other important consideration is the ability to ensure adequate space between incompatible chemicals.
The access route to the pump room is also important to think about. Transporting liquid can be difficult in some situations, such as going up or down stairs, which might make a system that utilizes a dry form of chlorine such as calcium hypochlorite more logical.
Q: What else about my existing equipment can have an impact?
A: If you're changing out your chlorination system, it's an ideal time to check your chemical controller. Calibration with a new system will be necessary, and given the many new technologies available, you might want to consider upgrading to a remote monitoring capability. If you don't currently have a controller on your pool, you should consider adding one to help ensure constant chemical feed rates.
Be aware of the return line pressure. This is crucial to ensure the right amount of pressure to feed the chemical into the return line.
Is your recirculation pump above or below water level? If below, you will need a chlorination system with a pump system, to overcome the pressure that occurs naturally. In addition, below-grade pumps require more protective measures because of the possibility of water backing up into the feeder and causing flooding when you're not pumping. A check valve along with a solenoid valve might be required.
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Accu-Tab® Chlorination Systems