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Thread: Type of Pool?

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    twinkiesmommy2009's Avatar
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    Type of Pool?

    I wasn't really sure which section to put this after looking around, so moderators, please move it if you feel it necessary.

    My son has severe eczema and I have some sensitivities to chemicals that result in migraines and asthma attacks. We're looking to build but I'm not sure what the best option for us is. I've heard negatives about the chlorine pools, and drawbacks to saltwater. I've heard mention of UV pool systems, and ozone. I'm on information overload and looking for input. For now we've just been avoiding the pools but we live in Texas and it's hot. Would rather build our own than continue to avoid.

    Thoughts on good, and reasonable options? We'll probably be building on a lower budget as well.
    Started 5/31/16. 38'x23', 618 sqft., <14,000 gallons, 8' spa.Travertine coping. Raised beam w/3 sheers. Large sunshelf w/3 bubblers. SWG IC40, Pentair VSP, 520 cartridge, color LED lights, Easy-touch, screen logic, Maytronics S300i robot, and Wet Edge Prism Matrix finish (Deep Sea Blue with Indigo plaster). Build Thread: Another in Texas - Cypress Texas | MUD District | HOA Approval | Great Escapes Pools

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    Mod Squad YippeeSkippy's Avatar
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    Almost everyone I know with eczema actually does very well with a salt water chlorine system.

    UV and ozone are not worth a bean in a residential out door pool. You need chlorine to sanitize, and a SWG can provide this at constant low levels.
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    --This is only based on what I have observed on the forum and second hand from friends, I am not a doctor.--

    Most people that have come to the forum that has skin issues or believes that they have a chlorine allergy has shown very positive reactions to pools managed to TFPC specs. I know a few people personally that run their SWG pools that way and find their own pools very comfortable and even go so far as to say they feel it improves their skin conditions. Again, this is just their statements.

    I will really recommend against alternative systems or using UV or ozone in an outdoor pool. At the very least try the TFPC way first. If you don't find the results satisfactory then it is not too difficult to switch to something different. Also, if it helps sway you, TFPC is very easy on the budget compared to most pool management techniques.
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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    Welcome!

    A well-balanced pool actually has less "harsh" chlorine in it than tap water. Pool water has stabilizer in it, which buffers it. Tap water doesn't have any of that, so it hits full strength. A salt water pool is a chlorine pool. It just has more salt in the water and it generates the bleach onsite rather than in a huge factory somewhere. It's exactly the same process Clorox uses just on a much smaller scale.

    The alternative sanitizers aren't really sanitizers. They're more algae killers. Metal ions don't kill bacteria and viruses fast enough to be considered safe for swimming pools.

    You can try the search box for Eczema and probably get a lot of hits.
    This article might also enlighten you
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    What they all said, while such systems may have their place (high bather load commercial pools, etc) they are no substitute for Chlorine, the problem here is that Chlorine gets a bad reputation as it is so often associated with out of balance poorly managed pools. That "Chlorine smell" that everyone complains about is not really chlorine, it is combined Chlorimines usually caused by too LOW of chlorine level so that there is not enough Chlorine in the water to fully oxidize bather wastes. As a simple test, go carefully sniff a jug of common household bleach which is 6-9% chlorine by weight, thousands of times stronger than the chlorine level in any pool. What you smell is not an overpowering "chlorine smell" instead it is a mostly fresh smell with just a hint of that "chlorine smell" which is actually a byproduct of the Chlorine reacting with your sinus passages to form combined chlorimines.
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    twinkiesmommy2009's Avatar
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    What about someone with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity? Do they usually tolerate saltwater pools pretty well?
    Started 5/31/16. 38'x23', 618 sqft., <14,000 gallons, 8' spa.Travertine coping. Raised beam w/3 sheers. Large sunshelf w/3 bubblers. SWG IC40, Pentair VSP, 520 cartridge, color LED lights, Easy-touch, screen logic, Maytronics S300i robot, and Wet Edge Prism Matrix finish (Deep Sea Blue with Indigo plaster). Build Thread: Another in Texas - Cypress Texas | MUD District | HOA Approval | Great Escapes Pools

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    Re: Type of Pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by twinkiesmommy2009 View Post
    What about someone with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity? Do they usually tolerate saltwater pools pretty well?
    Saltwater is pretty much identical to any other chlorine pool with a little bit of salt added in.
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    What about someone with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity? Do they usually tolerate saltwater pools pretty well?
    As pool owners, we would have little information on that. I suggest you consult a physician.
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    Swimming in chlorinated water actually tends to help with eczema (google eczema and bleach bath for medical references - something you are already likely to be aware of as the parent of a child with eczema). One of my kids has eczema (not severe, however), and his skin always looks great after a summer of daily immersion in our pool; then things always go downhill after the pool season ends - we do put a little bleach in his bathwater, but it isn't nearly as frequent or consistent as the summer dosage in the pool. Now, with severe eczema, if that involves a lot of open skin, it would be good to get a doctor's opinion about applicability of bleach baths and/or swimming pool exposure to chlorine.

    As for multiple chemical sensitivity, that is a rare enough beast that you should really talk to a medical expert you trust... hopefully you have someone who can advise you.

    I'll echo what a previous poster said about saltwater pools - you should realize that that is not a fundamentally different chemistry than a chlorine pool - it IS a chlorine pool, just using a different strategy to get the chlorine into the water.
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corleone View Post
    Saltwater is pretty much identical to any other chlorine pool with a little bit of salt added in.
    Yes, but generally at a lower level or perhaps due to the higher CYA level it affects folks less? And I've always been a fan of salt water for skin issues because of old wives tails about people doing well when visiting the ocean. Just my hunch....
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    twinkiesmommy2009's Avatar
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    People with MCS seem to be different in what they tolerate and react to so the doctors tell you to ask around. There are varying levels of severity and I asked just in case anybody had come across someone with it as an owner of a pool.

    Eczema is a medical issue too but every parent has their experiences to share. Chlorine affects my son pretty badly. He tends to scratch and claw at his arms in his sleep and it breaks open the skin. Doctor said to check into less harsh chemical options so I'm checking! It sounds like saltwater may be the best of our options, as feedback seems to be that its not as bad on the skin as the straight chlorine pools. Bleach was NOT a good option for him though. Added that to his bath once and never again! He seems to have some mild sensitivities to chemicals as well. They did allergy testing and he isn't having a histamine reaction to anything. Doctor said it could be auto-immune like with chemical sensitivities. Thinking we need to go swimming in a saltwater pool and see how he reacts compared to chlorine.

    Thanks for the help!!
    Started 5/31/16. 38'x23', 618 sqft., <14,000 gallons, 8' spa.Travertine coping. Raised beam w/3 sheers. Large sunshelf w/3 bubblers. SWG IC40, Pentair VSP, 520 cartridge, color LED lights, Easy-touch, screen logic, Maytronics S300i robot, and Wet Edge Prism Matrix finish (Deep Sea Blue with Indigo plaster). Build Thread: Another in Texas - Cypress Texas | MUD District | HOA Approval | Great Escapes Pools

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    Re: Type of Pool?

    I've had eczema on my hand for the last 15 years and at times I wished the hand was cut off due to the burning, itching, and bleeding. Not all eczema skin conditions react the same and must be researched by the patients over time as to what triggers the symptoms. In my case, doctors are clueless and all they want to do is offer steroids to help the breakouts. In my case I've learned that my eczema is triggered by food and drinks which contain wheat products, acidic foods, any type of soap or hand sanitizers that contain alcohol, and if I leave my hand in any type water for too long of a period. Now when I swim for an extended period of time I coat my hand in vaseline which keeps the hand moisturized and keeps the eczema from flaring up. I can now swim in a public pool for an hour without the eczema flaring up.

    As far as testing which type of pool is best on the skin you need to know how well balanced the pool water is. Once chlorine is in the water it makes no difference on the type of chlorine used as it is all the same. A salt pool might have slight advantages due to the healing nature of salt on the skin, but at the low salt levels in pools it doesn't make a large difference. What matters is how much chlorine is in the water, how high the stabilizer level is, the pH and alkalinity of the water, and the hardness of the water. If these items are not in our suggested range they could increase the harshness of the water.
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    If chlorine bothers him than a saltwater generator would probably also bother him.

    I know CYA can reduce the sensitivity to chlorine. Perhaps see if anyone you know has a salt pool with 60-80 ppm of cyanauric acid and see how your son responds.

    My daughter has had issues with eczema over the years, but our water doesnt cause issues. We follow the tfp pool method and love it. With that said, I doubt my girl is anywhere near as severe as you describe your son.

    Good luck.
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: Type of Pool?

    Keep in mind that the chlorine concentration recommended by doctors for doing a bleach bath is MUCH higher (by orders of magnitude) than the active chlorine concentration in a well maintained pool. I don't know what other responses to chlorine you have seen in your son... ?

    As far as saltwater pools, several people have pointed out that a saltwater pool IS a chlorine pool. The salt used is sodium chloride, and the saltwater generator converts some of the chloride into chlorine. Chlorine is chlorine, whether it's dumped out of a bleach bottle or pulled out of table salt. Swimming in a saltwater pool is not like swimming in the ocean, which is what some people seem to picture.
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