Shutdown and Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting Procedures

The  Hydro Instruments  gas chlorinators, when installed and operated according to instructions, require little service. The following is a concise summary to aid in reliable service when it is required.

REMEMBER! Hydro Instruments factory assistance is readily available and an inventory of spare units and parts are always kept on hand for immediate shipment.

 Before removing the chlorinator from the chlorine tank, for any reason, the device must be evacuated of residual gas. Please consult with the Shutdown section for further information.

Pressurized Chlorine Leaks

Leaks external to the chlorinator device:

Safety Rules

Pressurized chlorine leaks are a safety hazard to life and equipment and have to be corrected immediately.  When searching for pressurized chlorine leaks, certain basic safety rules must be followed:

  • A working air breathing pack (SCBA) should be readily available.
  • The exhaust fan turn-on switch should be located near the outside entrance with an alternative outside turn-on switch.
  • The chlorine cylinder wrench should remain on the cylinder.
  • Several plastic squeeze bottles 1/3-full of household ammonia must be readily available. Leaks can be detected by squeezing an ammonia bottle around the area of a suspected leak and looking for a white vapor.
  • The buddy system should be used.
  • Leaks external to the chlorinator device can come from two sources: the gas cylinder valve and the lead gasket between the cylinder valve and the chlorinator inlet assembly.  If such of an external leak is suspected:

    • Squeeze an ammonia bottle several times around the gas cylinder valve. If a leak is detected there, perhaps you may be able to tighten the valve connection to correct it, but you may need to close the valve,  evacuate and remove the chlorinator, remove the cylinder, and contact the chlorine supplier.
      You may try to remove the cylinder to a safe outside location, but never put it in water!

    • Squeeze an ammonia bottle several times around the chlorinator inlet assembly on the back of the unit. If a leak is found here, the lead gasket between the chlorine cylinder valve and chlorinator inlet assembly can be secured by tightening the screw used to fasten the chlorinator to the valve. It should be apparent if this screw needs tightening, so do not over tighten it. If you feel the lead gasket needs replacing, use only those supplied by  Hydro Instruments  with the original equipment. If you need more, please contact us.
      REMEMBER: Before removing the chlorinator from the chlorine tank, for any reason, the device must be  evacuated. Please consult with the  Shutdown section of this document before proceeding.

  • Leaks in the actual chlorinator unit, although rare, do occasionally occur. If such a leak is suspected, squeeze the ammonia bottle several times around the unit, especially around the back and the meter parts. If a leak is found, evacuate  the unit, close the cylinder valve, remove the unit and return it to  Hydro Instruments  for repair or replacement. Please accompany the unit with an explanation of the problem and identify where it came from. If a replacement is required immediately, please contact Hydro Instruments.

Internal chlorinator leaks:

  • There are two types of internal chlorinator leaks: leaks from the safety inlet shut off valve and leaks from the vent.
      • The purpose of the chlorinator safety inlet shut off valve is to control the flow of gas so that it is allowed only when the system is operating and supplying a vacuum from the ejector to the chlorinator. If the water supply to the ejector is turned off, or if the connecting line is disconnected, the valve is closed and the flow of gas to the system is then shut down. Over a period of time dirt can accumulate on the valve seat and cause it to malfunction and leak gas into the system, even though the system is shut off.
        To service the inlet safety valve:
        1. Evacuate the system.
        2. Turn off the water supply to the ejector.
        3. Remove the chlorinator from the gas cylinder.
        4. Remove the two screws holding the metal yoke plate to the chlorinator body.
        5. Grab the metal yoke and with a slight turning motion pull it out of the chlorinator body.
        6. Grasp the plastic O-ring side of the inlet assembly and turn counter-clockwise.
        7. Insert a small screwdriver in the valve slot and hold the vent plug (it is shaped like a bullet) and unscrew.
        8. Examine the teflon valve seat and valve sealing plug. Use a soft, clean cloth with acetone to clean the valve plug, seat, and bullet. Never use a screwdriver or other sharp object to clean the valve or the seat!
        9. Assemble in reverse order. Do not use pliers to hold the bullet. Use your fingers and turn the slotted valve with a correct size screwdriver. Be certain to put the tiny silver washer on the valve plug. Also turn the seal plug back into the inlet adapter hand tight.
        10. Replace the filter material.
        11. After remounting the chlorinator with a new lead gasket, complete a vacuum test before turning on the cylinder valve. See  Start Up of Chlorination for further reference. 
    • The purpose for the chlorinator vent is to vent any gas that happens to escape from the inside of the chlorinator vacuum chambers. If leaking gas is detected here with the ammonia bottle and the leak persists, contact Hydro Instruments for repair or replacement of the device.

    No Chlorine Feed:

    First, check to make sure that you are not out of chlorine. When the chlorine supply is depleted the meter ball should be at zero and the RED indicator on the front of the unit should be showing.

    Next, check for suction at the end of the tube that connects the ejector to the chlorinator. It is this suction that "pulls" the chlorine from the cylinder and through the unit and mixes it with the water solution flowing through the ejector. The vacuum should be noticeable when feeling for it at the end of the tube. If little or no suction is there:

    • Check the nozzle in the ejector to be sure that it allows for a clear and unrestricted flow of water.
      • First turn off the water supply and remove the nozzle from the ejector.
      • It may be clogged with a stone or other foreign matter. Run a pipe cleaner through it and flush out with clean water.
      • There may be a build up of foreign substances such as rust, iron, or manganese. If so, place the nozzle in a mixture of muriatic acid for five minutes and rinse with clean water. If you see a black syrup substance you may find it necessary to clean nozzle on a preventive maintenance schedule.
      • If the nozzle appears to be damaged, contact Hydro Instruments for assistance.
    • Check the inlet water supply for:
      • Reduced water pressure.
      • Y-strainer needs to be cleaned out.
      • Booster pump is cavitating (lost its' prime).
      • Booster pump is providing insufficient boost due to wear or single phasing due to loss of one leg of power.
      • Booster pump has flooded suction.
      • Take corrective action with any of the above deficiencies. If, necessary,contact Hydro Instruments for assistance.
    • Inlet filter material could be dirty and would need to be replaced. NOTE: first you must close the chlorine cylinder valve and evacuate the chlorinator before removing it from the cylinder.

    Rate Valve O-ring Seal Replacement:

    1. First, turn off the gas cylinder valve and evacuate the chlorinator.
    2. Turn off the water supply to ejector.
    3. Unscrew the rate valve from the top of the meter and remove it.
    4. Place a piece of tape or cloth around the monel bonnet, grip firmly with pliers and turn counterclockwise.
    5. Under the bonnet you just removed, is an O-ring. Remove and replace it with a new O-ring, seating it with the eraser end of a pencil.
    6. Replace the monel bonnet, hand tighten it, and replace the rate valve
      HINT: Now would be a good time to clean the rate valve by sliding a piece of paper or business card through the groove in the bottom of the valve.
    7. Turn on the water supply to the ejector, and then turn on the gas cylinder valve.