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Three different sources of goo accumulation in chlorinators have been identified. These three sources and treatment of the goo from each source will be detailed.


1. Goo can form and accumulate when oil-based contaminants encounter a strong oxidiser. Oil-based contaminants include suntan oils and lotions, naturally occurring body oils, deodorants, hair spray, body and hand lotions as well as some soaps. This goo tends to be a light brown to tan colour and is found along the sides of the chlorinator from top to bottom. Removal of this goo can be accomplished with warm soapy water and a brush and lots of patience. Some success is also found with use of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Extreme caution should be used when using the alcohol. First empty the chlorinator of all product and water. Remove the chlorinator from the plumbing system of the pool and rinse thoroughly with water from a hose. Use a brush and soapy water to remove some of the goo. Rinse again, then use the alcohol to help dissolve the remaining goo. Avoiding the formation of this type of goo is accomplished through pre-swim showering, longer filter run times, shocking with chlorine-based shocks at least once every two weeks (more often if heavy bather loads occur) and the use of a clarifier.


2. Goo also forms in chlorinators which do not completely drain at times when the pump is off. This may occur due to the design of the chlorinator, installation method used or a blockage in one of the lines of the chlorinator. This goo is caused by oversaturation of the water within the chlorinator with the trichlor compound. The pH of the water is very low, chlorine gas escapes, leaving behind the cyanuric acid portion of the trichlor. The result is an oversaturated solution of cyanuric acid which begins to deposit cyanuric acid on the chlorinator. This goo generally is around the water line area of the chlorinator rather than on all side surfaces. This goo is also more of a light yellow to ivory colour than the light tan of the oxidised oils. Removal of this deposition is very difficult. Warm soapy water and a brush are the best method, but this will not be very easy. Soaking the chlorinator in warm water several times may allow a slight removal. Avoidance of this goo is accomplished through insuring the proper operation and installation of chlorinators to avoid the holding of water in the body of the chlorinator when the pump is not running.


3. The third type of goo is usually not encountered now that most manufacturers do not use stearate-based binders in the production of compressed trichlor products, but some product could still be encountered which contains these fatty acid compounds. The goo created by this situation varies depending upon which binder is used, but generally this is similar in colour to the goo described in Item 2. This goo is practically impossible to remove as the fatty acids are very insoluble. The deposits could be on any portion of the chlorinator. No really effective method for removal is known. Warm water and brushing would be the most likely to yield acceptable results. Avoidance of the formation is accomplished by using current product from reputable manufacturers. None of the products manufactured by Bio-Lab contain any of the stearate or other fatty acid type of binders.


Note: Pool and Spa News, Sept. 7, 1994 contains an article "Coping with a sticky mess" by Robert W. Lowry (page 44). This article contains valid information on this problem.


The above information is supplied by Bio-Lab and represents its best interpretation of available technical information at the time of preparation. The sole purpose is to supply factual information to Bio-Lab customers. It is not to be taken out of context nor used as support for any other claim not made herein.