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Pool Room Condensate

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Brad White_9
Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
Chloroamines build up in the system. There may be a way to filter them out but the biological contaminants but I just do not know. Chloroamines are rather corrosive to metals.

The work I got from Pat Reynolds at PoolPak in York, PA, is that such condensate never be re-introduced. Take a look at the PoolPak web site and see what you find.

Make up water is one of the expenses. Pools are expensive to operate.

I suppose if bromine or ultraviolet sanitizers are used, the chloroamine issue may go away.

Comments

  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 554
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    The best way to.....

    I installed a dehumidification system for an indoor pool last year. The system works fine. My condensate currently goes down a floor drain. At the time of installation I told the homeowner and the pool equipment service contractor that we should reintroduce the condensate from the dehumid. unit to the pool.

    The best scenario TWO pool contractors came up with was this:

    Right now there's a 3/4" water fill that discharges at a permanently installed spout into the pool. To add water to the pool (which is often now there is humidity control) they open a ball valve and fill. They want me to pipe my 1" PVC condensate (from 12ft above) into the copper line after the ball valve and let it "drip" into the pool. The pump room is actually in the basement below the pool so I will be creating a trap, always filled with water, with the chance it might back up to the evaporator coil pan above.

    I can pipe it with the appropriate check valves, isolation valves, etc, but it seems to me there's a better way. Does anyone know of a feed system which will collect and inject condensate back into the pool via the pump/filter setup. A constant drip from the "fill" spout seems awful backwoods to me.

    The HO is adding a lot of water so there definitely is a need. Any input is appreciated.
  • [Deleted User]
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    Automatic pool filler...

    Called Levolor I think...

    http://www.doodlebugpump.com/faq/default.html?cid=6#7

    ME
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 554
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    Thanks Brad and Mark

    Thanks for the input. I will explore, analyze, and recommend. Brad, you know which job I'm talking about. You helped me on this one before. I thought the condensate was nearly distilled. Cloro-bromi-what? Should I (we) be concerned? The pool loses 4" or so every couple of weeks at 60%RH. It would be nice to recoup some water losses. They leave it uncovered except in extreme cold outside which really pushes the evaporation rate. It's used daily.

    I will contact the equipment mfgr. and see what they say. I thought I'd go here first to gather some ammo and info. Thanks
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
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    I knew it was that project...

    Yes, you would think that the condensate is nearly distilled, but the water still has residual chlorine. Rather than thinking of it as "condensed evaporation", remember that there is no separation of free chlorine at that level. The amines (proteins from skin mostly- forget peeing in the pool, that is gross enough), remain.

    What I would do is capture the condensate you are getting now and measure it. See how much you would save in gallons per day before making a decision. You may be losing some losses to the ventilation side and may not have as much to put back as you think. Just a hunch. But it may persuade you not to dump back the water.
  • Peter Groenewold
    Peter Groenewold Member Posts: 11
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    Check your codes...

    I can understand the desire to return the condensate to the pool. After all, we're talking 50 to 100 gallons a day for a "typical" residential pool without a cover.

    Before you accept the responsibility for installing this return plumbing, check your state and local codes. Many of the codes I've seen will not allow you to dump untreated condensate back into the pool.

    Don't automatically assume that the pool contractor has an encyclopedic knowledge of these codes, either. I've seen far too many mistakes and code violations in this area to have blind faith in other trades.

    Some contractors or pool owners will do it "under the radar" anyway. I was servicing a dehumidifier in the NE Wisconsin area and its evaporator coil badly needed cleaning because it was so matted with dirt. So I get out the coil gun and have at it. A few minutes later, I notice this plume of black sludge billowing out into the pool from one of the sidewall jets. Oops... guess the dehumidifier didn't drain into the sanitary sewer after all!

    Anyway, I hope this info helps somewhat. Good luck with the project.

    PG
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
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    \"Distilled\" Condensate

    Here's my understanding of condensate.

    At the moment a water molecule is formed by condensing, it is pure water--e.g. "distilled".

    In real-world processes that condense vapor into water however that pure water molecule immediately begins to act as the "universal solvent".

    The surfaces on which that water molecule condensed are far from sterile. The [forced] air passing across the condensing surface is generally far from "pure".

    In a space like a chemically treated indoor pool, chlorides, salts and I'm sure a host of other things are constantly being transferred to the air by a number of natural processes. These will be transferred to the "distilled" condensate and it would not surprise me if that "distilled" condensate has high affinity for some of the least desirable components.

    It sounds as though you have nicely controlled the climate of an indoor pool to avoid damage caused by undesired condensation. In this case I can say that a significant contribution of fresh make-up water is required and I would not consider using any of the condensate recovered from the dehumidification equipment.
  • Mike Thomas_2
    Mike Thomas_2 Member Posts: 109
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    My Specialty

    The pool needs to be covered when not in use. This will drastically cut the humidity problem. If you are able to keep the humidity at 60% without a cover you must have one heck of a system in place. My congratulations on the design and install! An automatic cover is the easiest to use. Cost about $9,000. Sounds a little expensive, but consider the 70% savings on heat, and chemicals and it will pay off pretty quick. Also, the chlorine is extremely hard on the building, and all the dehumidification equipment you installed. It will literally eat everything up. With good water chemistry it might last 15 years. With poor chemistry, 2 years. Just walk in to the nearest motel with an indoor pool. Anything over 5 years and the you will find everything metal is eaten up in the room. Next best option, use a Solar Pill or Solar Fish. It is a biodegradeable, clear liquid that forms a layer on the water to help stop evaporation. Works at about 30%. You can get a peristalic pump to add several ounces a day. Any questions e-mail me!
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    The voice of reason,...

    When not in use pool to be covered, AND when did the owner's of indoor pools get concered with water conservation.
    And yes an automatic system is nice but a floating tarp pulled into place by the cleaning kid works too.

    Second UNDER no circumstances is condensate from air handlers of any type to be re-introduced into the pool. There are a multitude of reasons for this and every reputable air-dehumidification/ pool air handler manuf. is aware of this. Trane and others have reps that can answer this if you must delve further.
  • GREG LAUER
    GREG LAUER Member Posts: 103
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    condensate from dehumidification system

    We work close with Poolpak and there are many of their units recover the condensate and reintroducing it to pool.It is one of their selling points. In the ones I have seen it goes into the filtration system i.e. large commercial pools using a d.e.filter system.This would be hard to do in a closed loop residental indoor pool. You must check the code (to see if you could drip it)it may cause staining. I would double check the clorimine statement. Clorimines are released from the pool as vapor and not in the condensate water.The result of high clorimine levels is corrosion of the room and equipment and is caused by pool mismanagment and or bad design or both. Most pools will have high combined clorine levels when tested.
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 554
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    Great Input....Thanks

    The dehumid unit is a DryAire out of Milwaukee. Great people and good tech support. I haven't contacted them yet. Thanks for all the good info. I'll forward this link to the homeowner. I love well informed customers. It makes my job that much easier.

    They like the fact that they don't HAVE to keep the pool covered all the time. They have a roll out cover and had to use it before to control the humidity. The man of the house is disabled and works out in the pool early every day. I'm sure he would rather not have to roll it up. As you all said, to have an indoor pool is in itself a luxury. Add to that the expense of installing and operating the dehumidification system. At this point I'm not sure if adding water is an a cost issue or just an inconvenience. Reintroducing the condensate was something I suggested early on. The system will be in operation for a year in a month or two. It's well built and well installed. I haven't noticed any corrosion issues to date in and around the evaporator or drain pan. If I spot anything this summer we may rethink the pool cover scenario. They already know the equipment will operate more efficiently the more the pool is covered.

    I'll keep you posted. Tom G.

    Some of you have seen these pics before but I'll post them again for the gents who were kind enough to respond to my concerns.

    0088: old 100% OS air reheat system in adjacent attic

    0610: new DryAire

    0580: how we got it there

    0617: pool room. We return high and 3 side soffit supply

    1337: pool and new Knight boiler

    1346: new HX and pump room in adjacent basement. This is where my condensate drains
  • Paul A.
    Paul A. Member Posts: 7
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    Pool Condensate

    I'm continually amazed at peoples willingness to blindly offer advice without research. Mr. White's time would have been better spent taking his own advice. Quoting from PoolPak publication M52MK-NATAT0502, page 10 "Moisture collected during the dehumidification process can be returned to the pool via the filter system(if allowed by code) or drained to the sewer." Notice it says filter system, not pool, where it can be filtered and disinfected by UV or chemical injection i.e. chlorine or bromine. Or for Chris, how about another reputable pool dehumidification manufacturer. From Desert Aires publication TB80895 " A dehumidification system can recover between 15,000 and 25,000 gallons/year depending on the pool size. Condensate is considered soft water with some small traces of suspended dust. If your local code permits,this water can be returned to the pool by draining to the inlet skimmer. In this way the water can be filtered and chemically treated BEFORE re-entering the pool". Large commercial units can remove over 300 lbs/hr. That's over 35 gal/hr. As a side note, why would pool owners be any less concerned about water conservation than anyone else?

    Secondly, as a mechanical contractor, I'm wondering how many people are blindly spraying chemicals on coils without knowing where they are going to drain? I understand you're trying to make some point, but I think the moral of this story is, if you are unfamiliar with the equipment or location, take a little time and investigate. Just because you made the mistake doesn't mean someone did it "under the radar".

    Third, why spend a mere $9,000 on a cover when you can spend far less by keeping the space air temp. 2 degrees above the water temp. thus preventing the water from giving it's heat up the the air, thus lowering the evaporation rate,thus lowering the amount of chemicals you have to use, and finally, lowering the amount of condensation you have to return to the filtration system.(again notice I said filtration system, not the pool).
    Lastly, on the topic of covers, keep in mind this not an outdoor pool. Covers on indoor pools, especially one's that have enclosures with lots of glass, will cause your water temp. to slowly climb well beyond desired setpoint thus exceeding the space temperature, thus increasing evaporation,thus increasing humidity etc., etc.

    There are so many more important issues with indoor pools. Are you introducing any minimum outside air? Are you exhausting? Are you keeping the enclosure in a slight negative to prevent exfiltration to other structures? Are you keeping humidity between 40% and 60%? Are you washing the skylights with supply air? Are you getting the proper number of air changes/hr? Why are you not returning low. The return air should be swept across the surface of the pool. This aides in removing the nitrogen blanket that develops when "shocking". Blanketing can slow or even halt the super-chlorinating process thus wasting time and chemical.
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    There are thousands of manufacturers out there but in NY there is a backflow code and a health code that says no!

    Condensate is considered condensate, but you do whatever yo want because you obviously know better?
  • Paul A.
    Paul A. Member Posts: 7
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    You obviously missed the part that says "IF LOCAL CODE PERMITS". NY has a multitude of codes that do not apply to the rest of the country. If the installer who originally posted this thread isn't in NY then he may be allowed to return his condensate to the filtration system. There is no backflow issue when the condensate is returned via an air gap.
    Indoor natatoriums are an application unique to their own and unfortunately there aren't thousands of manufactures producing environmental control equipment for them. There are three major manufactures (PoolPak, Desert Aire and Dectron) and maybe a handful for residential applications. As a contractor, I do know natatorium dehumidification. I service many public, school and university pools. I also hold a Certified Pool Operators Licence.
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 554
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    Pool Room Condensate

    Thanks for your input Paul. Your comments are very imformative. As the original post stated, I wanted to reintroduce through the pool pump/filter system. I figured the pool guy would have an answer but it was tosse3d back in my lap.

    The homeowner has decided to put this on hold for a while. Your right...just because someone spends mega thousands on an indoor pool doesn't mean they aren't environmentally concious and want to reclaim the water. The installation is in northern Illinois. The municipality has nothing in the books regarding this specific issue. Good point about the coil cleaning. A bypass piped into the drain would be a must.

    If and when we come up with a plan to safely reintroduce the condensate to the pool water I will post again.

    Tom Goebig



  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
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    Paul A.

    Paul-

    Thanks for calling me on my advice, seriously. I had spoken to Pat Reynolds (founder and president of PoolPak even when York owned it), but that was years and several pool designs ago. The literature, if current, reflects a departure from the company line back then. I will have to call and ask what the history of the change was.

    At the time, the advice (call it "conventional wisdom") was that to return the condensate to the pool would concentrate chloroamines. Much of this was a reaction to pool structure collapses, one not far from me in West Roxbury, MA. Other manufacturers (Dectron, Dumont, Dussault Engineering -got enough D's here?) also had the same caution at the time. Structural engineers also took me aside to warn of the chloroamine issue, reinforcing the "no return policy" as well as the basic ventilation good practices that we do anyway.

    This was as recently as the mid 1990's and, shame on me, I had not thought much about it since to revisit it.

    Until that time, I had returned the condensate to the pool and yes, through the filter system (balance tank actually). The pendulum has apparently swung back and with good reason (meaning research) can support it. I think it is a good thing because we know how much that water volume can add up.

    As for covers, here in MA at least, even indoor pools require covers under the energy code. As far as overheating, that is a control issue (PID control is essential, IMHO).

    We do design pool air temperatures for the "2-degree above pool temperature" but that gets tossed aside where elderly use the pool or where NCAA want a cooler pool but want to keep divers warm between meets, etc. We fight that all the time. We still keep to the "0.50 CFM of outside air" for all pool, deck and spectator areas. We do find that this is overkill as far as dehumidification is concerned, in winter. We have trouble keeping 30-40% some days with that much OA coming in so cold and dry.

    I value and appreciate your input; I learned something that might not have crossed my path otherwise.

    Thanks!

    Brad
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • GREG LAUER
    GREG LAUER Member Posts: 103
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    help this guy Paul

    I think Mr. White needs a lesson in Chlorimines. Please advise him.
  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
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    Leak Test

    Has a leak test been done to determine how much is evaporation and how much could possibly be leaking?
  • Paul A.
    Paul A. Member Posts: 7
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    Brad



    My intent for posting was not to necessarily call anyone out (except maybe the coil cleaner, which should concern us all), but to encourage people to use caution when giving advice to those seeking it. As with anything, times and maybe conventional wisdom change.

    The question is, is pool water considered potable? If not than there is no reason to not reclaim the condensate. Neither the IMC, IBC or the IPC address this issue. They only specify that the pool be filled with potable water thru a device that prevents back-siphonage. If water can run off the pool deck and back into the pool to be filtered and treated then why not condensate? Pool water is required to meet a testing standard lower than that of potable drinking water. In a tightly controlled state like NY, from their department of health section 6-1.19 Coliform bacteria levels should not exceed 4 per 100 milliliters in more than one sample examined each month and total bacteria shall not exceed 200 per milliliter.

    My experience with pool covers and overheating water seems to be limited to those that have enclosures with large amounts of glass. Had a small private pool do this very thing. Water temp. was well over 90 with no pool water heating available for almost a month due to repairs waiting approval.

    A thought on concentrating chloramines. If proper SI balance is maintained and super-chlorinating is performed when the level of combined chlorines require, that what does it matter? If break-point is reached and chloramines aren't allowed to convert to tri-chloramines, they will convert back and your levels will be maintained. Concentrations in the air should be expelled and fresh air brought in thru ventilation.

    A question on your low humidity levels in winter. Do you have a cold surface sensor? Are you sure it's due to outside air or is your unit resetting humidity to maintain a dewpoint lower than that of the cold surfaces, thus preventing condensation?

    Conversation and sharing of ideas is a good thing!
This discussion has been closed.