Variable speed pumps and two speed pumps are becoming more and more popular. You may have noticed that one of the drawbacks of reducing the pump speed is that water circulation suffers. The reason for this is that the return jet orifices remain constant diameter thus not focusing the water jet into a powerful stream.
Enter some creative guys out of the states, and the iBall is created. Using a flexible silicone diaphragm encased in an over sized clear plastic case. They are able to keep the water velocity stable out of the return, much the same way that you create a jet with your garden hose by covering the open end with your thumb,
Previously, as the pump would reduce speed the water in the swimming pool would not circulate as efficiently. Normally you would have the jets pointed in such a way as to maximize water turn-over, surface skimming, chemical dispersion and heat retention. As the water velocity decreases, all these factors are affected.
Eco Blu's iBall fixes this problem simply and efficiently.
I have tried the iBall this season and it works as advertised. The added bonus is that on one speed pumps there is a benefit as the skimmer or filter gets plugged you continue to keep the same back pressure and eyeball flow.
- simple installation, remove your old eyeball jet and replace it with the iBall
- universal, replacing most standard return jets
- attractive design
- keeps water circulating in a stable way as the pump speed changes
- silicone material is more susceptible to degradation and tearing (I did speak to the manufacturer and there is an iBall 2.0 coming out that has improved silicone, is translucent and a slight change in the orifice. I will be getting samples and an updated review next season).
I like the iBall Velocity, it is a simple solution to help keep the pool with variable speed and two stage pumps running at 100% efficiency which helps the home owner save time, money and frustration. You may need to replace the iBall after a season or two of use but if that is the case it is a small inconvenience, similar to adding a maintenance clarifier into the pool (time, money, savings).
Manufacturer Website: ecobluweb.com
The Circulator is a rotating swimming pool return jet. It replaces the static eyeball type return to give the water entering the pool a dynamic flow of water and distribute the water direction. It is ideal for pools that have poor circulation either by poor plumbing, equipment or design.
The Circulator does what it advertises, moves the water entering the pool rotationally and creates varied circular patterns throughout the pool. It is easy to install, simpily remove your old return and thread The Circulator in its place.
Changes the water direction (which it is supposed to do) but stops any circular movement of the water if your regular jets were pointed that way. The skimmer will no longer skim debris from the surface.
Water will bubble up out of the regular surface level when the jet rotates and points upwards. A diverter is available which stops this.
If using an automatic cleaner, it will interfere with it.
Moving parts which will wear down.
Two things I noted in the product video (screen grabs taken from their website www.thecirculator.com ) that I did not like was
(1) They use two different pools to simulate circulation comparison (figure 1 has no slide, no sun ledge, it is a different shape)
(2) the return jet is pointing sharply to the surface in the regular die test (see figure 4), normally it should be straight or down. See the screen graps that I took:
|figure 1||figure 2|
|figure 4||figure 5|
If you have circulation problems or dead spots in the pool, then this will definetely help you. You may run into problems if you require good skimming action to clean the surface of the water or if you have an automatic cleaner it may get hung up on The Circulator. I also found that there was a constant creation of small bubbles, likely caused by cavitation and restriction of the water in The Circulator. By forcing the water in a perpendicular direction to the return port, you stop the water from circulating out to the opposite end of the pool and agitating the water there. To me, if your pool was designed properly, there would be no need for using this device.