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Thread: Just another new guy

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    Just another new guy

    Please bare with me as i try to figure this out, Glad to be with TFP,This site has to be the best one out there.
    We retired to Panama a few years ago from Canada. Had to have a pool here but did not know the black mould and algae was so wide spread here. Put in a copper ionizer, best move we ever made. Installed 10 more units. No more algae in water but still have growth of black and green on inferior grout that they use here. I have no growth on my painted surface.
    Sounds like borax is the answer for clients with bad grout. But is it compatible with the copper at 4 ppm. and could i use less borax? We use salt to bump up the TDS to 1000 ppm, will we still need salt or will the borax bring up TDS? (for EC) Sorry if this is in the wrong place. Thankyou.
    7500 gal. ingrd. cement, Pentair sand dollar SD60, Jacuzzi Century 1 hp. 2 year old, Pentair Rainbow model 320 puck feeder removed. 1 1/2" ,5 returns, 2 skimmers, 1 floor drain. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Lanco pool paint. Copper ionizer system, Location Panama.

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    GoGrabTheNet's Avatar
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    Re: Just another new guy

    Welcome! I just signed up too about 20 minutes ago! Welcome again!

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Just another new guy

    Copper is one of the worst things you can use as a sanitizer. It will not kill off algae, mold or bacteria like chlorine will. It can lead to horribly ugly staining and turn hair green. The only way to remove it from water is to replace with metal free water.

    We are glad you are here. Please, use the search engine and read up on copper and chlorine usage in pools. We'll be glad to help answer any questions you may have.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Just another new guy

    Good catch, Casey!

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    Casey's Avatar
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    Re: Just another new guy

    Quote Originally Posted by MarianParoo View Post
    Good catch, Casey!
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

    24' Sharkline Venture De Filter

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    Re: Just another new guy

    I can see i'm swimming against the current here so first let me put to rest the old wives tales of green hair and no disinfection properties of copper. On the contrary I would not be using it if it did not work. I have been using this system for over a year now and it has proven itself to be very effective in this extreme climate. Chlorine system did not work here ,most of the pools here are battling algae constantly.since going to copper i have never had , not once, an algae bloom, even after a 3 day power outage, No staining , no green hair,( ask my wife) and the most crystal clear water i have ever seen with very little maintenance. As long as the rules are followed, maintain Ph, shock weekly ( 4 cups bleach for 10,000 gal.) and no dry products. The result is chemical free pure water. No more burning eyes, bleached bathing suits, or white scaling. I have 12 clients that would back me up and not one would go back to chlorine. Copper has better disinfection properties than chlorine, thats why many countries are using it for public pools including the U.S. You did not answer my question but thats ok. And oh yes, Good catch, Casey!
    7500 gal. ingrd. cement, Pentair sand dollar SD60, Jacuzzi Century 1 hp. 2 year old, Pentair Rainbow model 320 puck feeder removed. 1 1/2" ,5 returns, 2 skimmers, 1 floor drain. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Lanco pool paint. Copper ionizer system, Location Panama.

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Just another new guy

    I'm sorry, but that is simply not true. Copper does not have more disinfecting properties than Free Chlorine. The "Chlorine system" did not work there because it was not properly maintained and the use of it will not fade swimsuits, or irritate eyes if you maintain it as we teach here. When FC is used in conjunction with correct levels of Cyanuric Acid these problems are non existent. Improper pH and high Combined Chlorine levels are the most common causes of eye irritation. Pathogens are taken care of by proper levels of FC and that is a primary concern. Copper does not address these concerns.
    TFP Moderator
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Just another new guy

    Well, let me add to chorus here - copper does kill algae, it's just not as good at it as compared to chlorine and it has very low kill rates (sometimes non-exitent) against bacteria and viruses. This is why, in the United States, copper is not registered as an approved pool sanitizer and it can not be marketed that way. Neither can any of the mineral systems (Copper, Cu & Ag, etc). They are simply not effective enough. And, as the OP admits, one MUST use chlorine in order to keep the pool sanitary.

    Look, this debate has been had on TFP for years now (just search with the phrase "alternative sanitizer" in the search box) and the evidence is clear - you can certainly use "mineral systems" to lower your chlorine levels for fighting algae but it often comes at a steep cost - increased cost of mineral-based products, monitoring and water exchange costs for metal ion concentration control, continued use of chlorine AND, should you encounter staining from the metals, you will spend boat-loads of money cleaning copper stains off plaster (vinyl liners tend to repel metal stains and instead precipitate minerals into the water volume). Also, if you do happen to get an algae bloom with the minerals systems in place, you MUST shock your water with high levels of chlorine to get it under control, minerals can not turn a green algae-filled pool clear.

    And finally, if you want proof of how tenuous the use of "minerals" is, try this experiment - throw a few handfuls of phosphate fertilizer into your pool and watch what happens. Chlorine pools can remain clear even when the nutrient levels for algae are quite high (well in excess of the industry standard of <125ppb); I sincerely doubt mineral pools will fair as well.

    Now, on to the question from the OP about borates - borates should have no significant interaction with Cu at 4ppm. If you add borates using boric acid powder that will be safest as boric acid slightly lowers pH. If you add borates using Borax (sodium borate decahydrate), then you need to be much more careful because borax will raise the pH of the water. You will have to drop the pH first using muriatic acid and then add the borax in slowly. It will likely need to be added in at least two batches with muriatic acid used to lower any pH rise but possibly more batches would be safer. High pH with Cu in excess of 0.4ppm is a recipe for a staining disaster.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Nectarologist's Avatar
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    Re: Just another new guy

    Sorry, I don't know the answer to the borax question for sure. I don't see it being a problem though.

    But I too use an alternate method and really like it. I tell people it's low chlorine (not chlorine free). It keeps algae out of the pool and I use chlorine to sanitize the water but I use less than I did when it was chlorine for sanitizing and algae control. Enough less that I no longer smell like chlorine. My daughter has blonde hair and it hasn't turned green. Green hair and staining are due to improper use. Just like algae blooms are due to improper chemical use with traditional methods. If I cared about cost I wouldn't have put the pool in to begin with or pay to heat it. The sun tan lotion causes me more headaches than chlorine or copper based chems ever did To each his/her own though. As long as your pool is clear and clean the swimmers will be happy.
    Inground, vinyl liner, 16 x 32 (approx. 21k gallons), roman end w/ bench, 2 Jandy LED lights
    Pump: Jandy Flopro, 1.5 hp Heater: Raypak, 266k btu (P-R266-A-EN-C; nat gas) Filter: Jandy C340 (cartridge filter) Robot: Doheny's Dolphin Discovery

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Just another new guy

    I agree with doing what you want to your own pool.....It's absolutely your own business, but when false statements are made about the functionality of different products we will point them out. Lord knows there are enough myths and misnomers about pool care floating around. We just do the best we can not to perpetuate any. Used in doses high enough to kill Algae, Dissolved Copper absolutely will stain a pool surface. If hasn't for you guys, that's fantastic, but we've seen countless examples of where it has.
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    Re: Just another new guy

    Hey, come on now, i do not make false statements, everything i have said is fact, In fact i have seen 3 or 4 pools over the last year that the home owners have given up on and contacted me to install a copper system. When i started the install they were as green as a frog swamp. In a 3 day period the system brought them back to clear. Sure i had to shock every day but only 4 cups bleach per 10,000 gal. And of course lots of vac and backwash. Not high doses of copper but between .3 to .4 ppm only. It has been lab and field proven that when copper ionization is used in conjunction with low levels of free chlorine, .2-.4 ppm, there is a synergistic effect (Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Dec. 1989, p.3045-3050). Which means copper in the presence of .3 ppm free available chlorine killed 1000 times more bacteria in 2.5 min. than water treated with chlorine alone. The system has proven itself here in this extreme heat for over a year now with absolutely no staining or re-occurring algae blooms. Unlike chlorine copper does not evaporate or weaken when exposed to heat or sunlight. Calling me a liar will not change these facts.
    7500 gal. ingrd. cement, Pentair sand dollar SD60, Jacuzzi Century 1 hp. 2 year old, Pentair Rainbow model 320 puck feeder removed. 1 1/2" ,5 returns, 2 skimmers, 1 floor drain. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Lanco pool paint. Copper ionizer system, Location Panama.

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Just another new guy

    2dog,

    You made the following statements in Post #6 -

    No more burning eyes, bleached bathing suits, or white scaling. I have 12 clients that would back me up and not one would go back to chlorine. Copper has better disinfection properties than chlorine, thats why many countries are using it for public pools including the U.S.
    Burning eyes have nothing to do with proper use of chlorinating products. Burning eye's are typically caused by the presence of combined chloramines, especial the very irritating nitrogen trichloride. High CC's indicate improper use of chlorine products and improperly maintained swimming pools. I have personally swam in my pool up to shock levels of FC (28ppm FC with 70ppm CYA) and my eyes never burned at all. Same is true for swimsuits - they get bleached out when people improperly chlorinate their swimming pools.

    White scale has nothing to do with chlorine use. White scale is typically calcium carbonate scaling and it is caused by pool water that is not properly balanced in terms of CH, TA and pH.

    Copper is NOT a better disinfectant than chlorine, quite the opposite in fact (links will be posted below to scientifically peer review data).

    In the United States it is absolutely false that mineral ionization systems (Cu, Cu/Ag, etc) can be used as disinfection systems. The only EPA-approved sanitizer for commercial/public pools are chlorine, bromine or the non-halogen biguanide (Baquacil) sanitizer. Commercial/public pools may install mineral systems if they so choose, but all commercial/public pools are required to maintain a residual sanitizer level (1-3ppm for Cl) and report both CC levels and track fecal coliform levels. If CC's get over a certain level, most commercial/public pools are required by law to shutdown until the CC levels return to normal. Mineral ion systems can do nothing to oxidize & remove organic bather waste.

    Now on to your claim that Cu is a better sanitizer and your use of single journal article to make a point. The fact is that copper ions can act as a sanitizing agent for certain pathogens and nuisance's such as algae. But, the facts are these - Cu alone is too slow a sanitizer (as measured by CT kill rates) and not broad-spectrum enough to be a reliable method for keeping water clean and healthy. The paper you cite specifically uses both Cu and Ag ions in conjunction with chlorine and it only looks at one pathogen - Legionella pneumophila. The paper also specifically looks at hospital drinking water systems as it's primary area of study since L. pneumophila is known to be difficult to kill with chlorine and is a major cause of preventable, in-patient hospital deaths. A hospital in-house water distribution system is an entirely different system (closed water system) than a residential pool. Therefore, the paper you cite, is at best an apples-to-oranges comparison.

    Now, if you want the real science on chlorine versus mineral systems, Richard Falk (aka, chem geek) has written many posts on the subject. You can find the two most informative posts HERE and HERE. If you are truly interested in the science of it, then I challenge to read those posts as they contain not only actual data showing that Cu and Ag ions are less effective than chlorine across a broad range of pathogens as well as links to actual scientific, peer-reviewed data.

    As I said, I'm happy minerals are working for you and the pools that you care for and I'm glad you find this site informative. You are free to take care of your pools however you wish, but, you are not free to make up or post misleading information. This site deals in facts and science and the facts are conclusive - pool water treatment through proper use of chlorine and chlorine-related products is the cheapest and easiest way to maintain a pool. Everything else is second-best and more expensive.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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