Understanding Chemical Feed Systems

Chemical feed systems can be a computerized and set-up to sanitize your swimming pool or spa automatically. Most of these feeder systems can analyze your pool water through specially designed sensing probes and make the necessary chemical adjustment accordingly. These industrial type chemical feeders can be of a simple makeup or they can be of a very complex makeup.

These feeders have controllers that can be set up to monitor the chlorine content, your pH levels, and also the temperature of your swimming pool or spa. Some of them can even be set up to turn your swimming pool pump on and off as well as control your pool lights.

Once your pool parameters are set on any type of automatic feed system, they will automatically make the necessary chemical adjustments as needed and shut the system off to avoid over feeding.

These adjustments can be in the form of chlorine addition, acid-base addition, or any other form of chemical treatment that is required for proper water sanitation.

However simple or complex your computerized feed and control systems may be, you will be required at some point to physically or manually handle your pool chemicals.

So, there are certain rules that must be followed when you are manually handling any type of pool chemicals. As a safety precaution, make sure that you read, follow, and understand the instructions that are printed on the labels of the chemical containers. It is a must that you wear the required proper protective gear at all times.

A lot of the chemicals used in the swimming pool/spa industry today, are very dangerous and should always be handle with extreme care. For your added safety, you should never mix any two pool chemicals together. This safety precaution applies to all types of pool chemicals - no matter if they have the same name.

The main reason for this is - that not all manufacturers use the same ingredients in their products; thus, mixing pool chemicals together can be very dangerous. Feeding of chemicals that is done by hand is usually acceptable for home swimming pool and spa (treatment) dosing.

Manual chemical dosing of commercial swimming pools is only allowed when the pool or spa is closed to its users. This is usually when you have to carry out a shock treatment. This we usually referred to as Super chlorination.

You must always allow sufficient time for the pool chemicals to dissolve and disperse before re-opening any commercial recreational facility. The pool water should also be tested to ensure that it meets industry standards.

Swimming pools and spa chemicals usually have some characteristics that can be harmful to your pool operating equipment. For this reason, your pool chemicals should be added downstream from all your swimming pool or spa equipment.

Choosing the Correct Chemical Feed System

It is extremely important that your controlled chemical feed systems be of the correct size for the pool or spa that will be treated. This is vitally important due to the amount of pool water that it will be dosing or treating chemically. If you use an industrial chemical feed system that is over-sized, there is a huge possibility that you can over-feed your pool sanitizer or disinfectant.

If you use a feeder system for your chemicals, that is too small, chances are that your pool water may be unsanitary or it may develop an undesirable pH level.

Reason for this is that the feed system cannot keep up with the load demands of your pool or spa systems.

The correct sized mechanical feeders that you will need for your chemicals, is often determine by the public health code for your individual state.

Many of the automatic feeders that are used in pool sanitation or dosing, are governed by these health codes. They are capable of delivering chlorine at a constant rate...once they are set up correctly. This allows you the operator, the capability for providing a specific volume of pool chemical/s for a giving volume of water.

Ensuring That Your Chemical Feed System is Approved and Tested

Adding chemicals to pools or spas manually can be a very time consuming task. Nevertheless it has to be done for safety reasons. This will ensure that you are providing a safe water environment for your pool bathers and that your pool water chemistry is properly balanced. Using an automatic feeder that is of the correct size, makes this task a whole lot easier.

How do you recognize a good feeder from the start? Firstly, a good feeder is tested and then listed with the NSF® International (NSFI). Further indication that your chemical feeder is approved and tested by the NSFI, is a copy of their logo on the name plate of the device.

Their logo will also be printed in the manufacturer's installation and operational manual. The information on the name plate of your positive displacement feeders or any type of chemical feeder for that matter, should also indicate the amount of chemical that the device can release at any one given time.

This information is usually listed or recorded as GPM (Gallons Per Minute) or GPH (Gallons Per Hour).

As a rule of thumb, whenever a chemical feed system has an NSFI listing, it means that the materials used to construct the feeder system have been tested.

Why is this important to you? Easy!

It means that the materials will not deteriorate or break down in the presence of the pool chemical being fed through your pool or spa system. Chlorine, Cyanuric acid, water clarifiers or flocculants, and Diatomaceous Earth (DE) are just a few of the known pool chemicals that can be delivered through an automatic chemical feed system.

A chemical feed system automatically helps with pool water chemistry!

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