Sadly when most people install a chlorinator they think there worries are over. In actual fact it’s only bgeginning. Let me start off by saying that the chlorinator makes the water softer – no doubt about it. Is it the best solution? – I doubt it. Chlorinators are expensive and need tender loving care. If you don’t have enough salt the chlorinator doesn’t like it. Too much salt and you don’t like it. One must adhere to the rules. Get a test kit and learn how to do a test. Properly. Don’t waste the pool man’s or the installers time unless you are 100% sure that there is a problem.
The best people to do the test are obvioulsy pharmacists or chemists. Pool people can tell you very quickly what the problem is by testing your water but sadly, again, most pool people aren’t a) pneumatics or hydraulics experts. Remember that the best circulation one can get is from one that is designed by an engineer – preferably a hydraulics engineer. b) physicians – pools carry some pretty suspicious bacteria. Try drinking water from a bucket of water that has stood outside for 5 days c) chemists – my friend, a chlorinator is only as good as the operator. Chlorine kills bacteria, no doubt about it. But if there isn’t enough chlorine you are only making the problem larger – don’t trust the chlorinator. Trust what you see, smell and what you have read from a reputed source.
Yet there are some brilliant websites offering free advice – from plumbing to safety to your personal health. If you don’t follow any of these you can be in serious trouble. A pool needs regular maintenance and a lot of TLC. The problem we have at home is that the titanium electrodes were shot after only two years. Indefinitely shot. The electrodes cost as much as a new chlorinator – don’t belive me? Go and price one. The power supply is mass produced but the electrodes are made from titanium – which is darned expensive. Unless you have a turbine from an old Boeing engine lying around somewhere it may be best to replace the whole unit. I have looked on the web high and low and cannot find a supplier of just the electrodes AND the reason why the ‘cell’ is bust. It was looked after. I loved it. Even more then the pool tself. But it still went bust. Others have run for years and never given a minutes problem I know a guy that doesn’t do maintenance at all on his pool – the chlorinator I believe does all the work – but why me then?
Cheap and nasty. Yes, there are sales people out there buying the cheapest so they can make the biggest. Not all chlorinators are the same. In my case I put it down to the profitability suyndrome. A cheap and nasty unit from the east – looks good, profits good – so slap it in. Pool people aren’t normally engineers and possibly they aren’t trying to rip one off. In my case I should have gone with instinct, gut feeling, the weather and doing a lot more research. Buy a unit which is reputed. Also don’t forget to read the books by your favourite algae reducers – they often tell you that chlorinators area waste of time. I personally don’t think so – when they work they are fantastic. But they aren’t the end of the maintenance cycle for your pool.
Two web sites I had to add because I found them to be very helpful
I think what makes these sites so good (along with a lot of others of course) is the time and trouble they take to give you a free service. You may not necessarily buy from them but remember in all liklihood it was them that put you on the right track.
Have a great pool day and think of us sucking on a chilled ale in front of a ‘braai’ (barbeque) in sunny South Africa