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Thread: UV or Ozone

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    Napoleon's Avatar
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    UV or Ozone

    Hello. I am in the process of selecting a pool company to build our backyard oasis. One company suggests a UV sterilizer and the other an ozone ultra pure system in addition to the normal chlorine system. Which is better and would it be worthwhile to have both? Thanks!

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Welcome

    The general consensus here is that for the normal outdoor residential pool neither one is necessary.

    When you say "normal chlorine system" are you talking about a salt water chlorine generator?
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Welcome to the forum.

    +1 what Tim5055 said. Neither is needed nor effective. google searches on the forum will help you find discussions but the conclusions are pretty unanimous.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: UV or Ozone

    In a normally used residential pool neither will make an appreciable difference or save you any money. But they sound impressive.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Pool companies are the experts when it comes to construction, but I have seen time and time again that they fall well short when it comes to maintaining pool water. It doesn't help that they are usually getting their information from the companies that have a vested interest in their pushing these products.

    UV and ozone systems are useful in some specific situations. UV is good for indoor pools that get no sunlight, ozone is most useful in bromine sanitized spas, and either can help in public pools that have extremely high bather loads. Outdoor residential pools, however, are much better served by simply maintaining a proper chlorine level. So skip on either and spend the saved money on a quality test kit.
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: UV or Ozone

    To put it another way a typical outdoor residential pool gets more than enough UV from sunlight, and while ozone has its place (spas, therapy pools, etc) unless you are going to have extremely high bather loads every day your pool is not it. Neither one of these systems is a substitute for chlorine in a pool as neither provides proper residual disinfection. Also unlike the advertising propaganda both will actually INCREASE chlorine consumption in a properly balanced pool. *(this is a case of the advertising being a half truth not a lie, in an out of balance pool they can decrease chlorine consumption, but who wants an out of balance pool with stuff trying to grow in it)
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Thanks to all for the great replies! Tim 5055--no, not a salt water chlorine generator.Issac, either or both would not be a substitute for a chlorine pool but in addition to the chlorine system. Pool company is trying to say that by having one or the other in addition to the chlorine system, I will use much less chlorine.

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Pool company is trying to say that by having one or the other in addition to the chlorine system, I will use much less chlorine.
    That sounds like a good idea until you do the math. Ask them to calculate the difference for you and then offset that difference with the cost of UV or ozone.....it doesn't work out well.

    On top of that, trying to maintain the FC down to the 1 or 1.5 ppm they will suggest (in order to "save" on chlorine) is almost impossible if you chlorinate without an SWG and there is little doubt that you will experience periods where the pool is not really sanitized.

    The long and short of it is chlorine alone does a perfect job so why spend the money on UV or ozone when the return on investment is not there.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    Thanks to all for the great replies! Tim 5055--no, not a salt water chlorine generator.Issac, either or both would not be a substitute for a chlorine pool but in addition to the chlorine system. Pool company is trying to say that by having one or the other in addition to the chlorine system, I will use much less chlorine.
    We find that most pool builders are very good at building pools, but have very little knowledge in keeping the water acceptable after they are done.

    Even as an "addition" to chlorine, UV or Ozone are not necessary in a residential outdoor pool. I could even say in some situations they are actually detrimental to proper pool maintenance techniques. Now, if we were talking about an indoor pool or a stand alone spa we might be having a different discussion. Many make the claim that yo can reduce chlorine when using them, but they are misinformed.

    If not a SWCG, then what? A tab feeder? If so this is a very poor choice. The thing that many pool professionals don't understand or ignore is that each puck you use will raise thestabilizer/CYA level almost as much as it raises the chlorine level. Chlorine gets used up but the CYA remains in the water and builds up causing problems down the road. How much Pool School have you had time to read? Start with these:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    Pool company is trying to say that by having one or the other in addition to the chlorine system, I will use much less chlorine.
    Here's one way to look at it. Both UV and Ozone systems require much longer contact times with the water in order to disinfect. UV systems have both minimum and maximum flow requirements and, if designed properly, they should actually be installed in a bypass loop around the main water flow so that only a small fraction of the water flows through them. This means, in order for UV to be really effective, you have to run you pumps A LOT longer to ensure that enough water flows through the UV sanitizer. If you flow the water too fast, the contact time will be too short and decrease the efficiency of the UV disinfection. For ozone, they are problematic in that they produce very little ozone. They are often constructed to use ambient atmospheric air as the source of oxygen to generate the ozone. Atmospheric air is only 18% O2 and, unless you live in a really dry climate, there is a lot of water vapor (relative humidity) in the air. That drops the ozone production efficiency quite a lot. So, in order for ozone to be effective, the generator has to run for long periods of time to generate any substantial levels of O3.

    See where this is going? All of those systems require you to run your pumps a lot longer and therefore cost you money. Chlorine is dirt cheap when compared to electricity so all the "magical" low chlorine cost savings simply evaporate...
    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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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Thanks so much again! I have told the pool company I want neither the ozone nor the UV system.

    Thus far I am looking at 2.0 HP Jandy E-Pump filter pump; PB4-60 cleaner pump; 460 sqft Jandy cartidge filter (VP); Aqualink w/PDA PS-4 controller; Chlorine Feeder as "sanitizer 1;" they had me down for UV Sterilizer for "sanitizer 2" but I will scrap that. Pool is freeform 17.6 ft in width x 33 ft in length which along with spa is estimated at 18,100 gallons and change. What should I ask/demand/change?

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    What type of stone or concrete are you installing around your pool?
    JD - 28' Round Above Ground Pool, 17,000 Gallons. Dual speed Jacuzzi pump with cartridge filter. Dual speed 1 HP pump, Hayward S210T sand filter
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    Re: UV or Ozone

    You really don't want to use a chlorine tab feeder as your primary source of chlorine.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    search Stenner pumps on forum. A lot of members using with great results. About $350ish.
    8500 gallon IG Pebble Sheen with Spa. 3hp Pentair VS Intelliflo ( pool ), 3/4 hp WhisperFlo ( water feature ),Pentair Racer, 400K Pentair heater, Pentair 500sqft Cartridge filter, EasyTouch 8, Stenner 45mp2 15gallon wired to ET8

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Using a lot of stone around the pool, has a waterfall and weeping wall. The corrosive effect of salt (SWCG) on the rock and concrete has us concerned. If not a chlorine tab feeder then what should I look for?

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Sounds like you found this place just in time! And although I do not use an inline chlorine tablet feeder either, I allowed my PB to install one for the rare occasion I go on vacation and will actually need it. If you want ease of use the laziest approach possible, read on this forum about Saltwater Chlorine Generators (SWG's)
    15,000 gallon free form Viking fiberglass pool. Hayward Star-Clear Plus C12002 cartridge filter. Hayward Swim Pure Plus T-15 SWG. Testing with TF-100 Kit. 2 speed 1.5HP Supreme pump. Dolphin Nautilus robotic cleaner

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    Using a lot of stone around the pool, has a waterfall and weeping wall. The corrosive effect of salt (SWCG) on the rock and concrete has us concerned. If not a chlorine tab feeder then what should I look for?
    Staying away from a SWCG is not going to keep you from having problems with "salt" (chloride ion, Cl-). Any pool that uses chlorine as it's disinfectant will, by it's nature, build up chloride over time. This comes not only from the use of chlorinating products (bleach, dichlor, trichlor) but also from the use of muriatic acid (HCl) to adjust pH.

    Looking up your evaporation and precipitation data HERE (assuming I got your location right), you can see that you have an average annual precipitation of 38" but an annual average evaporation of 57". So, you can reasonably expect to lose 19" of water in an uncovered pool. That's not too bad (especially if you use a solar cover to control evaporation) but that also means that you will, on average, build up chloride in your pool water. In some of the more extreme climates and with new pools that typically use more acid and chlorine in the early years, pool owners have easily seen their chloride values go up by over 1000ppm per season. So, as you can see, it will not take too long before your pool becomes a salt water pool, whether you want it or not.

    As for stone degradation, that is a concern for soft limestone materials, travertine and, from user reports here on TFP, we see that Texas flagstone seems to be more susceptible to salt water induced spalling than in other regions. Concrete should not be an issue because your decking and mason subs can use concrete mixtures that are formulated for salt water exposure. True stones and boulders (granite, etc) used in the construction of rock waterfalls should be fairly stable to salt water. Stacked stone weeping walls should also be stable as well (although calcium scale will definitely plague you on that one). If you give us more information on the construction materials you will be using, others in the Texas area may be able to guide your choices to higher quality materials.

    At the end of the day, it is a good idea to consider sealing stone materials that will be constantly exposed to water. There are many different sealants on the market (DuPont, Dry Treat, etc) that are designed specifically to infiltrate soft stone and seal the pores against water infiltration. This helps a lot although it can add significantly to the cost of a build if there's a large square footage area of stone to be sealed.

    Good luck,

    Matt
    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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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    Using a lot of stone around the pool, has a waterfall and weeping wall. The corrosive effect of salt (SWCG) on the rock and concrete has us concerned. If not a chlorine tab feeder then what should I look for?
    You need to understand, everything we use in the pool brings something to the party we may not want. The links I listed above give all the details, but understand that in it's natural form chlorine is a gas. Thus, to stabilize it and make it solid something is added. Trichlor tabs and Dichlor shock use stabilizer. As I said before the CYA builds up and is eventually bad for the pool. The problem is, "eventually" comes very quickly unless you live in an area that requires the draining of substantial amounts of water yearly for closing. Liquid chlorine uses water, lye and a few other things and has the least impact on your pool of what it leaves behind which generally is a minute amount of salt. A salt water chlorine generator uses a chemical reaction between the salt you add to the water and the metals on plates in the salt cell to create chlorine gas in the return water going back to the pool. The problem with a SWCG is, as was noted above the higher level of salt in the water can be corrosive to soft stone, which many pools in your area use as the coping.

    The pool stores are going to tell you you want to use pucks. Why? Because they sell them. Many don't understand the process of the CYA building up in the water. They will tell you you can use liquid on a regular basis because it will ruin your pool. Why? It's really just a misunderstanding of the science. It is they way they are taught. Who teaches pool store employees? Generally they get "on the job" training and special classes taught by their chemical distributors; you know - the folks who sell them the pucks and powders.

    When it comes down to it chlorine is chlorine is chlorine. A Salt Water Chlorine Generator, Bleach, dichlor (powder shock), trichlor (tabs), cal hypo all deliver the exact same chlorine chemical - its just that each of them come along with a byproduct. Some you can live with easily, like the minor amount of salt that liquid chlorine leaves behind. Some you need to monitor and regulate, like the CYA dichlor and trichlor leave behind

    So, what do you do.

    You can go with the tab feeder, but understand you will be adding higher and higher amounts of chlorine as the stabilizer levels rise. Once you get to an unmanageable level you will be draining water out of your pool and starting over. This is not recommended by members here at TFP.

    The only other thing you can do is chlorinate using liquid chlorine. You can either add it each day by hand, like pouring some in each morning while you drink your coffee or you can automate the process of adding the liquid chlorine. I went with liquid automation using a Stenner Pump. Click on the link and you will see my install with pictures.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Thanks again to all. I do understand these issues and have owned a pool for the past six years. It came with the house I bought in 2009, so the seller had built it. Sold that and am now in a new house and will have a pool built. Great opportunity to "do it right" and so I want to make the best decisions. This has all been very helpful. From what I have learned here and researched on the web, I think my best bet is to seal my rock, coping, and decking and go with a SWCG. Thanks again.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: UV or Ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    From what I have learned here and researched on the web, I think my best bet is to seal my rock, coping, and decking and go with a SWCG. Thanks again.
    -A SWCG is a great choice!
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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