When Chlorine Feeder Valves Go Bad
I've never been a big fan of either calcium chloride or the in-line chlorine feeder but have to acknowledge the simplicity of dropping a measured amount of sanitizer into a feeder once a week.
It's when you open the feeder to drop in your weekly tab and realize that last weeks tab is still sitting there that you know you have a problem.
Sticks and tabs use calcium as a chlorine carrier and animal fat (Elmer's glue) is what holds it in that convenient shape. It's the glue and calcium that gum up everything from the feeder to the filter. It's an irony that the more chlorine you add, the more you slow things down.
Eventually, either the calcium or the chlorine will render the feeder valve inoperable. A valve that runs about $35 wholesale to replace.
The valve, of course, affects the amount of water that is forced through your feeder. But you have two other means to control your chlorine level. The number of sticks or pucks you put into the feeder and the number of hours you run your system will also determine how much chlorine gets into your pool.
Do you need this valve?
There are two ways to bypass this valve with 1/2" PVC pipe and valves.
(photo above)The simpliest way is to open the hose adapter at the front of the valve and then unthread the valve from the feeder stud. A female threaded X slip coupling glued to a short section of pipe connects to another 1/2" threaded X slip female couping and the valve alone has been replaced with a similiar length of fittings and pipe.
(photo right) Or, knowing the feeders flex hose will eventually leak, you can replumb the entire pressure-side of the feeder with a handful of fittings.
You may find that removing the valve does not completely correct your flow problem. Remove all tabs from the feeder and rinse out any visible residue with a garden hose. Fill the feeder with a 50/50 solution of muriatic acid and water. Give this mixture 5 minutes to work and briefly turn on the system to help push out any remaining glop.
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