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Thread: New to forum-copper and ozone

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    New to forum-copper and ozone

    This forum looks like a great resource. I've already learned a lot!

    But, may I should find another forum if I have a copper ionizer with ozone injection? The pool equipment I have installed came with this equipment and I want to fully understand the pros and cons of using the equipment.

    I understand the risk of staining and the need to shock the pool weekly to disinfect. But, I have the ionizer and ozone injection equipment already and want to understand and make informed decisions on how to use the equipment in the best way.

    I read somewhere that algae control requires more chlorine than the need for disinfectant? So, if a low level of copper can reduce the amount of chlorine required to that needed for disinfection and quick elimination of fecal matter, that seems like a good thing.

    PH should stay fairly tightly controlled with the Intellichem. So far (five winter months), I'm using no chlorine,except shocking about once a week. But I think it might make sense to keep a low FC concentration, maybe lower than what would be needed without the copper ionizer.

    What would really help would be some quantitative information along with supporting references:

    1) What level of copper can cause staining? References?
    2) Same question for green hair? Doesn't that only occur if shampoo with high ph is used before hair is rinsed?
    3) How is maintaining copper concentration in the desired range any different than maintaining chlorine concentration? It seems reagents and color matching are required in either case.

    Reading of prior posts makes me think questions about copper are controversial on this forum. I have no desire to cause that or "religious" debates. I just want to figure out what to do with my pool. Please just delete the post if it's going to cause issues.

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    bobodaclown's Avatar
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    Re: New to the forum

    Hi,
    I'm sure others will chime in, but here's my two-cents.
    If you're shocking weekly you're using chlorine. That's what shock is. But shocking here is a procedure. Raise the chloride level, hold till all is dead, then let it come down SLAM (Shock level and maintain) Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    I don't like to add anything unnecessary to the pool. If you maintain a proper chlorine level you don't need to add any additional chemicals to kill algae.

    For your specific questions I'm sorry I don't have the answers, but copper isn't as effective as chlorine.
    Here's some additional information that may be helpful: CDC - NCEH - Healthy Housing Reference Manual - Chapter 14: Residential Swimming Pools and Spas
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    Re: New to the forum

    Welcome. Others will chime in with their expertise on the matter and I will second bobodaclown. Hope you enjoy the forum.
    I'd bet you my bikini you'll never get TFP water from a pool store!

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    Re: New to the forum

    Thanks,

    Another factor I forgot to mention. We have dogs that love to swim in and drink the water in the pool.

    When I shock, I do it before bed and only worry about keeping the dogs out the pool until the next afternoon. Otherwise, they can drink water safely. This was the reason our pool builder set us for copper + ozone + shock weekly versus constant chlorination.

    But, I'm thinking there might be a low level of chlorine that won't be harmful for the dogs to drink (after all, city water is chlorinated) that I could maintain between weekly shocking.

    No "chiming" so far.

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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    I totally get it with the dogs. Keep fresh drinking water by the pool for the dogs to drink.
    The more informed you get on pool care the more you'll see/understand the disadvantages in copper/mineral based systems. Sorry you haven't gotten more response.
    17K Kidney Shaped Pool Concrete (Diamond Bright) Pool, 3/4 hp 2 speed 115V Sta-rite Duraglas PEA5D-180L/P2R5D-181L (Impeller C105-92PS Diffuser C1-216P), 1.5 piping, Pentair CC100 Filter , Heat Siphon 100K BTU Heat Pump Pool Heater, Flow meter Blue White Flowmeter Model No. F-30150P, Hayward Astrolight SP0581N, SWCG CalimarTitanium Edition TE45 , Dolphin Nautilus Plus with CleverClean, Lakeland Florida

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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Welcome to TFP, Knowing is half the battle

    What we usually deal with is the after effect of using copper, silver, and ozone (and Iron) metals in pool water is about the worst thing that can happen to a pool, why you ask Because there is no way to get said metals out besides draining all the water, and even then there is a chance the stains will remain on your pool surface so when you fill again, bring your pool to the correct chlorine levels and PH levels it can precipitate back into the water, now you have the metal back in your water...

    So your next question should be, at what levels do metals become bad, we have seen 0.3 PPM copper, 0.5 PPM iron is about where problems start (some less, some more), There are treatments that can kind of work but it is a very fine line before you get stains and problems... The next problem is how to test for metals, some pool stores can test for them but they are not usually correct and there are some strip tests but they are also not correct most of the time..

    We almost always recommend stopping systems that put metals into a pool before anything happens, that way you get ahead of the pain that is coming, it is not if, it is when...

    I hope this helps a little
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    It took me three days to train my dogs to not ever drink from the pool. Even when they get in, they will not lap at the water. That said, a properly maintained chlorine pool will not harm dogs if the water is consumed. We strive to keep levels within a certain safe range, rather than letting the levels get low then hitting it with an unusually high concentration of chlorine, which is what you are doing with your shock additions.

    So what is the difference between copper and chlorine, I want to answer that one really quick for you before we get into heavy discussion. Chlorine burns off and is easy to maintain the proper level. Once you have copper in the water, if the level is too high, it doesn't burn off. Other methods must be employed to remove the copper from the water.

    By the way, when you add your shock stuff, what is it? Is it liquid chlorine, trichlor, or dichlor, or maybe calhypo? Each of these except for liquid chlorine adds more than just chlorine (and salt). Trichlor and dichlor add CYA, which over time will cause the CYA level to be so high that your chlorine is ineffective. CalHypo adds calcium, which over time will cause CH to go too high and then you risk scaling.
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by davethomaspilot View Post
    This forum looks like a great resource. I've already learned a lot!

    But, may I should find another forum if I have a copper ionizer with ozone injection? The pool equipment I have installed came with this equipment and I want to fully understand the pros and cons of using the equipment.

    I understand the risk of staining and the need to shock the pool weekly to disinfect. But, I have the ionizer and ozone injection equipment already and want to understand and make informed decisions on how to use the equipment in the best way.

    I read somewhere that algae control requires more chlorine than the need for disinfectant? So, if a low level of copper can reduce the amount of chlorine required to that needed for disinfection and quick elimination of fecal matter, that seems like a good thing.

    PH should stay fairly tightly controlled with the Intellichem. So far (five winter months), I'm using no chlorine,except shocking about once a week. But I think it might make sense to keep a low FC concentration, maybe lower than what would be needed without the copper ionizer.

    What would really help would be some quantitative information along with supporting references:

    1) What level of copper can cause staining? References?
    2) Same question for green hair? Doesn't that only occur if shampoo with high ph is used before hair is rinsed?
    3) How is maintaining copper concentration in the desired range any different than maintaining chlorine concentration? It seems reagents and color matching are required in either case.

    Reading of prior posts makes me think questions about copper are controversial on this forum. I have no desire to cause that or "religious" debates. I just want to figure out what to do with my pool. Please just delete the post if it's going to cause issues.
    Hi. You are asking the right questions, especially for quantitative data. I don't have that unfortunately. With copper if the levels are maintained at the correct levels no staining will occur. My daughter has blonde hair and it never turned green. Copper is less work to maintain than chlorine levels in theory because you're not checking it as often. But the reality is you still need chlorine so you need to check for it frequently anyway (so same work/time). Bottom line is all methods of caring for a pool will work so long as the method is strictly followed. With the copper you still maintain levels of chlorine that the cdc states are needed for proper sanitation so sanitation is not an issue. See this cdc info page for such levels. IMO, when people think alternative methods they assume no chlorine is used almost like when people hear a salt water pool they think no chlorine. Of course not true in either case. One note if using copper, if you have high calcium levels the water can turn cloudy with some products (pristine blue).
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Since we are talking quantitative data, to be clear an SWG is a chlorine pool, but the FC can be maintained at a much lower level for the given CYA level. I keep mine at about 4ppm FC with CYA of 90. The reason is that when the water passes through the SWG cell, the water is super-chlorinated, which takes care of sanitation.
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    My white dog turned green from swimming in my pool so we can take shampoo out of the equation. lol
    .3-.5 will affect hair and white surfaces on humans, clothing and animals (I experienced this firsthand) over 1ppm can cause staining of pool surfaces.
    I'm not a fan of copper, ionizers or the like. My 2 cents.
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Good point re cya. When I read of recommended chlorine levels they don't explain the relationship cya and sunlight w it. Which could easily lead to an unsanitized pool for those who are not aware.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yikes pool mom. Poor dog.

    By the way to the OP, my daughters hair is a darker blonde. I have friends w kids who are platinum blonde. They might not fare so well if they swam in such a pool.

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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    I understand your concern for your dog. Ours is a member of the family. Health concerns is why I won't look into borates for the pool. But, when it comes to chlorine I'm not worried about him drinking form the pool. I have a chlorine injection system that keeps my free chlorine in the 5 - 6 ppm range all the time.

    Research I have done shows that chlorine (I use household bleach, same substance) is not as highly toxic as folks imagine.

    Here is an article that goes along with most of what I've found: What if you drink bleach? | HowStuffWorks

    My 5 - 6 ppm is way lower than drinking straight from the bottle, but here is a quote:
    Returning to that late-night scene in the kitchen, should you worry about drinking a mouthful of bleach? You'll probably be fine. Most household bleaches contain fairly low concentrations of sodium hypochlorite -- about 3 to 6 percent. That's not an endorsement for trying it, but for the average adult, you shouldn't expect anything worse than an upset stomach.
    Everyone must make the choice on how to maintain their pool and it's not my place to change your mind. I will just say that mineral systems are approved by the EPA as a "Supplemental sanitizer", meaning you need a minimum of 1ppm residual of an EPA-registered sanitizer in the water at all times. These sanitizers include chlorine, bromine, or hexamethylene biguanide.

    Pool builders sell the "dream" of less chlorine, but in practical use low chlorine levels are quickly depleted and allow algae to get a foothold and you loose control of the pool.
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Out of convenience, I'll often refill my dogs' outdoor water bowl directly from the pool. Of all the things they end up ingesting, this is one that I worry the least about.
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    I understand your concern for your dog. Ours is a member of the family. Health concerns is why I won't look into borates for the pool.
    What little your dog might ingest from a pool at 50ppm borates will not harm them. But either way, it's still best to train them not to drink from the pool if possible.
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffchap View Post
    Out of convenience, I'll often refill my dogs' outdoor water bowl directly from the pool. Of all the things they end up ingesting, this is one that I worry the least about.
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    What little your dog might ingest from a pool at 50ppm borates will not harm them. But either way, it's still best to train them not to drink from the pool if possible.
    Yea, I'm in Jeff's school, of all the places he drinks from the pool is the one I worry about the least.
    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: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Thanks for the replies! Sorry I'm just now reading them--the email notification isn't working for me for some reason.

    I think it takes a high PH along with a high enough copper concentration to get the green hair or pool staining--at least that's what I've read. Shampoo provides the high PH, or pool water if it's out of range.

    There's been no issue with my pool so far--I've been keeping the PH around 7.4 and copper between .3 and .5 ppm for five months. Just shocking weekly (yes, I know shock is chlorine). This is the maintenance advised by the pool builder and it seems to be working.

    But, keeping track of the PH with the reagents so frequently is a hassle, so I bought Intellichem. The plaster pool is still taking a lot of acid to keep the PH in range, so I'm still testing daily.

    I got the two pump (canister mounted pumps) option so I could inject not only the acid for PH, but also chlorine.

    I know the difference between copper and chlorine--I was asking what the difference was between testing for FC versus testing for copper concentration. Both have reagents you add to a water sample and color match to a reference. So, I don't understand the comments about the difficulty in measuring copper concentration. It's really no different than testing for FC or ph. Maybe I'm missing something?

    So, I'm thinking I'll keep a minimal amount of chlorine (1 - 2 ppm) in the water and also use the ionizer and ozone injection. Keeping the ph on the low side and copper concentration on the low side(extra margin to prevent staining). Low chlorine level to reduce cost and hassle of refilling the canisters and since less should be required with algae control being provided by the copper.

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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Great theory.

    Problem is, because my pool also had low ph due to chronic puck addiction, the low ph did nothing (as you mentioned related to green hair or pool staining) lol. Did a great job corroding the heater!

    Water replacement changes your copper level, thats about it. Testing via a drop kit is what I ended up doing as I fought to reduce the levels, still use a drop based tester for new clients where I suspect copper issues.
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by davethomaspilot View Post
    3) How is maintaining copper concentration in the desired range any different than maintaining chlorine concentration? It seems reagents and color matching are required in either case.
    You did ask for the difference... And the answer I provided matched your question.

    So what is the difference between copper and chlorine, I want to answer that one really quick for you before we get into heavy discussion. Chlorine burns off and is easy to maintain the proper level. Once you have copper in the water, if the level is too high, it doesn't burn off. Other methods must be employed to remove the copper from the water.

    In other words, if you continually add copper, you can't maintain it because it accumulates. You have to drain.
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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    In other words, if you continually add copper, you can't maintain it because it accumulates. You have to drain.
    That doesn't seem to be the case so far. The copper concentration continuously drops when the ionizer is off or the pump is not running (based on the drop kit results).

    Blue color in the drop test vial will be almost gone in a few days if the ionizer is off. Restores to about .3 ppm in a day or two of 24/7 pump running.

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    Re: New to forum-copper and ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by davethomaspilot View Post
    That doesn't seem to be the case so far. The copper concentration continuously drops when the ionizer is off or the pump is not running (based on the drop kit results).

    Blue color in the drop test vial will be almost gone in a few days if the ionizer is off. Restores to about .3 ppm in a day or two of 24/7 pump running.
    The only way I can think of that occurring is if you have a leak somewhere.
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