A chemical dispenser can be one of several things. There are traditional chlorinators, connected to the pool’s plumbing, that deliver a constant feed of chlorine into the water. A cheaper, simpler solution, is a floating chlorinator that actually goes in the pool itself. There are also automated systems that dispense liquid chlorine and muriatic acid. I want to focus on these automated systems today.
Who Needs An Automated Chemical Dispenser?
Commercial pools are required by the state of Georgia to have an automated chemical dispenser. Unfortunately, the proper functionality is something that the government doesn’t require or, at least, enforce properly. Many times, the systems exist, but do not function in any way. It is also important to have a properly sized system for the pool. I have seen incorrectly sized systems dispense so much chemical that you cannot keep the barrels full.
There are automated chemical dispensers designed for residential use as well. These are sized for small pools and usually incorporated with more technical control systems. Quite uncommon, I have only seen one or two of the automatic dispensers installed on residential pools.
Pros and Cons
The chemical dispensers monitor pH and chlorine levels, adding chemicals constantly to maintain proper levels. This way, if the pool experiences a heavy bather load, the automation will increase the chlorine being added and compensate for the extra swimmers. While some systems use liquid chlorine, most residential dispensers will actually produce chlorine from salt. The muriatic acid is dispensed as a liquid, however.
Constant adjustment of chlorine and pH. No need to add the most dangerous chemicals directly to the pool. System maintains the water automatically, even when the pool owner is away for weeks at a time.
Does not maintain all chemicals needed for proper water chemistry. Muriatic acid and liquid chlorine must be stored in tanks. Expensive to install and most pool technicians are unfamiliar with automatic dispensers.