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Bigger IS Better

DiverWhen it comes to sizing a peristaltic chemical pump for chlorine and acid (such as Rola-Chem, Stenner, Mec-o-Matic Dolphin, Bule-White), that is combined with pH and ORP controllers, the old adage, Bigger is Better is actually true.

Chemical automation installers are responsible for helping to maintain balanced pool water chemistry. Installers often make the mistake of looking at the total gallons per day rating of a chemical pump, instead of thinking about the ounces per minute. Whether feeding to a Spa or Pool, the goal should always be to get the body of water back to the desired chemical levels as quickly as possible.

Spas are considered a small body of water when determining sizing. The combination of a heavy bather load and hot water (102-104 degrees F) means the sanitizer will be used up more quickly which creates compromised water chemistry. With pool and spa pH and ORP controllers, the peristaltic chemical pump needs to be able to respond to this demand quickly in order keep from falling too far behind. For this reason, we do not recommend anything less than 22 gallons per day (GPD) for Spas.

Swimming pool bather loads can quickly overwhelm the swimming pool water chemistry. Because pools are a larger body of water, it takes more chemical to balance the water chemistry. When pool pH and ORP controllers are installed, we recommend the peristaltic chemical pumps are sized to deliver 35 – 50 GPD for up to 80,000 gallons swimming pools and 75 GPD + for pools over 80,000 gallons.

Quick service tip: Make sure the squeeze tubes are changed frequently to maintain the rated output levels (6 months on commercial pools and spas is not uncommon).

Questions? Comments? We'd love to hear from you.

boy in waterWaterpark Chemistry Has Unique Challenges

This is the time of year when waterparks experience the highest bather load. It¹s good to take a few minutes to remember that waterparks present unique risk challenges Related to contamination because of the size of the facilities, high bather load and instances of reported fecal contamination. Thus, staying on top of the Water chemistry and continuously monitoring for adequate disinfection is critical.Installing automatic pH and ORP chemical controllers at waterparks should Be routine and budgeted to reduce risk for recreational water illness. Operators need to have a complete understanding of the complexities surrounding Recreational water illness (RWI). IPS Controllers recommends the M820 and M920 for these facilities.


A little bit about Title 24 California Building Standards and Title 22 Energy Code

swimmerBuilders, installers, and facilities are required to have pools and spas meet the standards established in the Title 24, Part 6 of the California Building Standards, also known as the California Energy Code (Title 22). That includes automatic chemical controllers. Title 24 of the California Building Standards Code requires chemical feeders to meet the requirements established by NSF/ANSI 50-2010 performance standard. IPS Controllers has met the standards since the Standard was first adopted. Using IPS Controllers assures you that you are complying to the highest level of code requirements.

The standards are in process of being updated with an effective date of January 1, 2017. According to their website, The California Energy Commission is opening a public process and rulemaking proceeding to adopt changes to the Building Energy Efficiency Standards contained in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 24, Part 6 (also known as the California Energy Code Title 22), and associated administrative regulations in Part 1 (collectively referred to here as the Standards). [Docket #15-BSTD-01] The updated standards were proposed for adoption in 2015 with an effective date of January 1, 2017. Concurrently, the California Energy Commission is opening a public process and rulemaking proceeding to update the Energy Provisions of CALGreen contained in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 24, Part 11. [Docket #15-CALG-01]

Here is a link to the California Department of Health's website for more information.


Help customers enjoy healthy, safe swimming this summer

poolThe second release of the Model Aquatic Health Code will be released this summer. And this May 23-29 will celebrate the 12th annual Healthy and Safe Swimming Week, just before Memorial Day. Healthy and Safe Swimming Week focuses on simple steps swimmers and pool operators can take to help ensure a healthy and safe swimming experience for everyone. It focuses on the role of swimmers, aquatics and beach staff, residential pool owners, and public health officials in preventing drowning, pool chemical injuries, and outbreaks of illnesses. It highlights swimmer hygiene and the need for swimmers to take an active role in helping to protect themselves and prevent the spread of germs. A part of that is following the voluntary guidelines outlined in the Model Aquatic Health Code.

The first Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) was published in the summer of 2014. Unlike legislation, the MAHC is voluntarily adopted, wholly or in part, and driven by volunteer expertise. It is free, accessible to all, and backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It took over 150 volunteer experts seven years to develop the Model Aquatic Health Code, which is the only all-inclusive, science-based, data-driven model pool code in existence. The MAHC guides aquatic facility, design, construction, operation, maintenance, policies and management of public aquatic facilities.

Here are the current MAHC recommendations for automated controllers.

All IPS Controllers conform to these requirements.
Automated Controllers
AUTOMATED CONTROLLERS shall be installed for MONITORING and turning on or off chemical feeders used for pH and disinfectants at all AQUATIC VENUES.
AUTOMATED CONTROLLERS shall be required within one year from adoption of this CODE.
NSF Standard
All automated chemical controllers for pH and disinfectant MONITORING/control shall be listed and labeled to NSF/ANSI 50 by an ANSI-accredited certification organization.
Operation Manuals
Operation manuals or other instructions that give clear directions for cleaning and calibrating AUTOMATED CONTROLLER probes and sensors shall be provided in close proximity to the AUTOMATED CONTROLLER.
Set Point
A set point shall be used to target the disinfectant level and the pH level.



Automated Chemical Controllers Help Reduce Risk

VideoControlling and reducing chemical fluctuations are the driving reason to install chemical controllers. Reducing risk from recreational water illness is a compelling reason to install a complete automated control system. Some aquatic professionals may shy away due to initial costs of chemical sensors and control systems; however, reducing risk of disease outbreaks will increase facility use, therefore worth the initial investment. IPS provides 4 different controllers to meet your needs, and your budget.

How Chemical controllers work:
Chemical controllers operate using microprocessors, which are designed to recognize low sanitizer levels, low or high pH levels, and make adjustments accordingly. Depending on the model you choose, your system can also relay messages through remote control monitoring. The communication can log data on a continuous basis through digital readouts and alarms to warn of any problems. You'll want to be sure to regularly schedule calibration to avoid corrosion or scale buildup on the probes.


What happens to pH and pool water chemistry when it rains (or snows)?

poolRainwater itself can change the pH and chemical balance of pool water and is exacerbated by the fact that across the United States, most rainwater is acidic; this is caused by industrial gasses, and this can change the balance of pool water chemistry, including pH to alkalinity levels.

Rainwater can also cause run-off from landscaping, and the pool deck, and rooftops, which add another source of water that can negatively affect pH, and other chemical balances such as calcium hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), alkalinity. This also brings in dirt and debris and other contaminants, which also change the pool chemistry.

Thus it's important to monitor the pool water chemistry at all times, and pay special attention when it rains. The combination of acid rain and other chemical imbalances can cause corrosion to pool equipment and damage the plaster.

Testing often during and after the rain will help manage pool water chemistry imbalances. Automatic pH and ORP controllers make it easier to stay on top of these issues, so you are monitoring 24/7 and can quickly make adjustments as needed.