Swimming Pool Chlorinators and chlorine feeders make introducing a sanitizer into your pool or spas water simplistic. Just fill the chlorine feeder with chlorine tablets or sticks, and select a setting on the dial. Regulate the chemical feeder to the desired setting and allow the chemical reserve to be depleted before refilling. A reliable chemical feeder will limit your maintenance. The type of pool chemical feeder you use depends on the type and size of pool or spa you have. Below is a summary of the major types of chlorinators available for the residential swimming pool market.
Erosion Chemical Feeders
The most common type of chlorine feeder is the erosion feeder. Solid, compressed chlorine or bromine, (In the Chlorine stick or tablet form) are placed into the feeder. Water flows over the chlorine pucks or tabs and dissolves it for a slow release. Chlorine or bromine in the form of Hypochlorous acid, is then released into the water. Erosion chlorine feeders are adjusted by a dial, to regulate the amount of sanitizer introduced into the pool water.
One of the common types of erosion chemical feeders is a free floating chlorine/bromine puck or tablet dispenser commonly called a "floater". Floaters are offered in various forms. Some are larger and hold larger 3" stabilizer tablets while smaller spa floaters only accept smaller 1" tablets. All chlorine and bromine dispensers will have an adjustable collar or similar design to allow for the user to control the amount of the chemical being introduced. The most common floaters will have a series of slits that can be open or closed to determine the volume of water entering and exiting the floating vessel. Proper circulation is needed for a chlorine or bromine floater. If the feeder remains on the surface of the pool structure for an extended period of time it could potentially cause a brown stain on plaster or bleach out part of a liner. Furthermore you will want to make sure that the floater does not dispense highly concentrated chlorinated or brominate water directly into a skimmer as the water will damage the equipment and plumbing over time.
Another type of erosion feeder is installed at the filter system. In the shape of a cylinder, clorinators (unlike a floating chlorinator), requires a certain amount of pressure supplied by the circulation system to dissolve the clorine or bromine tablets or sticks. The flow and amount of chlorine introduced into the water is regulated by a flow control dial, and also by how many tablets (or stix) are in the chlorinator at any given time.
This type of feeder is plumbed directly in line on a horizontal pipe after the filter system, and after any pool heater, or can be installed off line. The off line models are supplied by a hose that feeds untreated water from the pump discharge, into the chlorinator. The water is then "pushed" over the chlorine or bromine tablets, dissolving them slowly. The newly clorinated water is then "pushed" out of the chlorinator, through another hose, and is injected into the return line. The freshly sanitized water is then returned to the pool through the return line.
Placement of any pool chemical feeder is very imperative. Pool water with a high concentration of any chemical should not run through suction pipes or any of the pool equipment. All feed lines coming from a chemical vessel with chlorine or bromine should be introduced just before any return valving so the water can reach the greater body of water to be dispersed. Any swimming pool heater is highly subject to the corrosion that can be caused by extreme levels of chlorine. A copper or cupronickel heat exchanger will develop leaks with the presence of merely fumes. Typical heater installation will call for an additional check valve which can also be plumbed in when adding a pool chemical feeder.
It is very important that granulated chlorine is NEVER added to an erosion feeder, and never mixed or come in contact with chlorine tablets/stix. This could cause injury or even death!! Fast dissolving chlorine granules regardless of concentration will build up pressure within a chemical feeder and create a home-made bomb. Avoid an unwanted explosion and potential injury or death by reading instructions and only using the chemical feeder for the intended purpose in conjunction with the correct chemicals. Also important is to use caution when opening a chlorine feeder or bucket of chlorine tablets; strong fumes can escape and cause problems if inhaled. Storing all chemicals correctly is a safe practice.
Liquid Chlorine Feeders
Probably, the most commonly used type of chlorine in the world is liquid chlorine (Sodium Hypochlorite). This chlorine is primarily used on commercial pools that require a large amount of chlorine to maintain a safe sanitation level. Liquid chlorinators are usually mounted over a 50 gallon vat filled with liquid chlorine, and pumps liquid chlorine from the vat into the pool's plumbing by way of an injector. Sometimes called peristaltic pumps or metered chemical pumps, with an output control dial and a time clock incorporated into these chlorinators, it is easy to regulate the amount of chlorine injected into the water. Liquid chlorinators are rarely used in the residential swimming pool market.