December 31st, 2010
The ColorChlor/TechniChlor has been updated with the following changes on 12/1/2010. To determine if you have a ColorChlor with these changes the serial number starts with 81 instead of 80.
- Tap Technology: The tap location has changed from in the direction of the lights to the sides. Since the ColorChlor is round there are theoretically no sides so the sides means next to the side of the visible internal circuit board. Remember to gently tap on the white rubber cap.
- Light show duration has been changed from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- The power cable has been increased from 10 feet to 15 feet.
- There was 5 flashing light shows on the ColorChlor, this has been changed to 2 flashing and 3 of the fading between colors with a 30 second time on each color.
December 17th, 2010
The tap technology used in the ColorChlor and TechniChlor eliminates the need for any buttons or knobs and allowing the chlorinators to have the ability for some advanced features like adjustable power levels and salt level indication. The tap technology measures acceleration and works best by gently tapping on the white rubber cap with the lights pointing at the tapping surface.
If there are problems with tapping it is easy to practice on the ColorChlor as it has light shows so each tap will change the lights for an easy indication of proper tapping. On the TechniChlor this isn’t the case, when it is taken out of the water it will appear to be off and tapping will have no effect as it doesn’t have the light shows. To diagnose tapping problems please follow this procedure:
Leave the TechniChlor in the water
Turn it off, and then back on
Verify that it is producing chlorine, should see bubble leaving the cell
With it is the water (do not remove from the water or it will shut off) tap it one time and if it turns off (stops making chlorine) then tapping works.
Now remove it from the water and try the double tap and it should flash blue the number of the power level.
December 17th, 2010
When preparing the water for a saltwater chlorine generator the water is usually replaced to start with fresh water and then salt is added. For a salt concentration of 2000 PPM that is about 1.5 pounds per 100 gallons of water. Then the water should be balanced which entails at a minimum bringing the pH to 7.5 and the chlorine to 2 PPM.
If the water isn’t balanced with chlorine then a typical problem is the chlorine generator can’t break from a 0 chlorine reading even after a couple days. This type of problem typically only happens at start-up because the fresh water typically has more organic material content and can be high in phosphates leading to a higher chlorine demand than a hot tub chlorine generator can produce. Once the organic material is removed and the phosphates are lowered the chlorine demand of the hot tub water will be reduced and the chlorinator can now make chlorine faster than the spa is consuming it.
Even the salt contributes to the chlorine demand as the salt will most likely have a powdery coating on it unless it was rinsed first. The water should be balanced after the salt has dissolved to also remove any organic material introduced by the salt.
When the water is replaced and after the salt has been added the water should be shocked and a suitable phosphate remover used. If the hot tub chlorine generator will not be on for a couple days then a chlorine based shock should be used. If the chlorinator will be used during start-up a chlorine free shock can be used. When adding phosphate remover simply add a cap-full and if the water gets a white tint to it like a white fog there are phosphate so then add the recommended amount of phosphate remover per the directions on the bottle. After the filter has cleared up the water repeat the process until the water doesn’t turn white when adding the phosphate remover.
December 10th, 2010
The ColorChlor and TechniChlor hot tub and spa chlorine generators have 10 power levels that set the amount of on time in a 6 hour cycle. When in the off part of the 6 hour cycle (standby mode) the lights will flash green every 10 seconds.
Power Level 1: 2 minutes
Power Level 2: 15 minutes
Power Level 3: 30 minutes
Power Level 4: 1 hour
Power Level 5: 1.5 hours
Power Level 6: 2 hours
Power Level 7: 3 hours
Power Level 8: 4 hours
Power Level 9: 5 hours
Power Level 10: 6 hours – always on
To find the current power level double tap the unit and count the blue flashes.
October 24th, 2010
You have decided to get a chlorine generator for your spa to help make your spa easier to take care of and for the benefits of soft water. Now, which spa chlorine generator to you get.
Convection: This type usually has the chlorinator cell in the main body of water with the low voltage power cord draped over the side.
Inline: This type is plumbed into the existing spa plumbing and requires flow through the cell to work
Both types have the advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the personal preference of the spa owner as to which are more important so here is a list of the pluses and minuses of each.
Convection Spa Chlorine Generator: Drape over the side:
- Power cord drapes over the side and is visible. Not suitable for commercial applications
- Chlorine producing cell is visible in the spa
- Can be installed in minutes if there is a suitable outlet near the spa
- Does not require the spa to be on to operate, can make chlorine 24 hours a day if needed
- Does not require any modifications to the spa
Inline Spa Chlorine Generator: Installed in the existing spa plumbing
- Requires spa circulation to operate. Damage can occur if chlorine is produced in the cell without water flow
- To achieve a consistent level of chlorine from day to day, the flow through the cell must be the same every day
- Can be a challenge to install, You need to deal with the plumbing, flow, and where to plug it in
July 23rd, 2010
Chlorine generators make chlorine slowly and are not capable of shocking the water. If you want or need to shock the water then you will need to manually add the shock treatment.
When you get a saltwater chlorine generator you are making a statement that you are going to be buying and using fewer chemicals, and part of the reduced maintenance is that you don’t have to check your pool chemical balance very often. This isn’t entirely true, you may still need to periodically shock the water and you should measure the chemical balance prior to use if it is a spa and at least once a week if a pool. Over time the chlorine demand of the water will go up as more and more organic material enter the water. A point may be reached where the chlorine demand for the water is the same or exceeds the chlorine output from your electronic chlorinator. You will notice that when the chlorine is low it takes longer over time for it to bring the chlorine levels back up. You may also have to increase the power level to make more chlorine as the water is consuming more chlorine than your chlorine generator can make at the lower power level. This is more likely to happen in a Spa that is used often and if you have a spa chlorine generator. A Spa chlorinator is designed to make much less chlorine than a pool chlorinator as you do not want to over-chlorinate your spa which could lead to corrosion.
Pool or spa shocking is the addition of a sufficient dose of chlorine: calcium hypochlorite (cal-hypo), liquid chlorine, sodium dichlor or non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate or MPS). The purpose of a shock treatment is to break-down organic waste contaminants which cause odor, cloudy water, and a decrease in the efficiency of saltwater chlorinators. After treatment, water quality and clarity are often completely restored and you may be able to lower the power level of the saltwater chlorine generator.
When a spa is used every day there can be a quick buildup of organic material, and the water may look just fine and not smell, but the spa chlorine generator is having a harder time keeping up as the days go buy. If you increase the power level of the spa chlorinator that will also decrease the life span of the chlorinator as it will be on longer each day. Shocking the spa is a better alternative and you have to decide on a chlorine or chlorine-free shock.
» If you don’t want to add chlorine, then the chlorine-free shock is the way to go. Just follow the directions on the container.
» If you don’t mind adding chlorine the spa chlorine generator will not mind. This will shock the spa water, and give it some chlorine which is less chlorine that the electronic chlorinator has to make.
July 1st, 2010
I (Scott Lenney) started ControlOMatic after selling Acu-Trol to Pentair in 2006. At that time I was aware that there were many companies making saltwater pool chlorine generators, but no company was making a small one specifically for spas. When I started Acu-Trol in 1989 I wanted to make something for the pool industry that would really stand out as at that time I didn’t know very much about swimming pools. So I invented the AK1000, the worlds first two pool chemical automation controller with a built in modem. It made sense that the primary market for the AK1000 was hotels and many that have a pool also have a separate spa, so one AK1000 could take care of both.
I had the same type of idea with ControlOMatic and spa chlorine generators, what can be done to make our product stand out. So I invented the ColorChlor, the only chlorine generator in the world with built in light shows. By night (night means the cover is on the spa) the ColorChlor makes chlorine, by day (meaning the spa is being used) the ColorChlor has 13 light shows with many different colors. We also have a version without the light shows called the TechniChlor. The ColorChlor is great if you have an older spa without lights, has boring lights, or if you have kids.
by Scott Lenney, founder of Acu-Trol and ControlOMatic