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Thread: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

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    SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    I have an Intex SWG with copper ionizer. I've been using it for 3 years now on an Intex Metal Frame Pool and have never had anything but clear, beautiful water with very little maintenance. I've been using HTH test strips to test for Salt, Free Chlorine, PH, Total Alkalinity, Total Hardness & Cyanuric Acid. I never test for copper and my FC is usually pretty low (low enough that I don't see anything on the test strips). But according to the pool store (I bring the water to the pool store in the beginning of the year to have them test it) it's fine for swimming.

    The SWG manufacturer recommends the following "Preferred Water Chemistry Reading":

    Copper Ions - 0.1-0.2 ppm
    Free Chlorine - 0.5-3.0 ppm
    Combined Chlorine - 0ppm
    pH - 7.4-7.6
    Total Alkalinity - 100-140 ppm
    Calcium Hardness - 200-400 ppm (mine is normally much lower but I have a vinyl AGP)
    Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) - 20-40 ppm
    Salt - 3000 ppm

    Once I get these levels right in the beginning of the summer, I really don't have to add anything for the rest of the summer. Since the chlorine is normally so low that it doesn't show up on the strips, I throw a bag of shock in about once a month, just so I feel a little safer, but that's about it. Everything else just pretty much stays the same all summer long (according to those strips).

    Last week we got a new pool. An all-resin 18'x52" above ground pool to replace the Intex metal frame. We are keeping our Intex sand filter and SWG. Since this pool is going to be around a long time, I want to do everything I can to take really good care of it. I joined this forum when I first got my Intex, but since I never really had issues, I didn't have to do much. This time around I'm trying to be more proactive. I'm about to purchase a TF-100 kit along with the K-1730 Taylor Copper Test, Taylor K-1766 Salt Test and Speedstir Magnetic Stirrer.

    I've done a lot of research on here and below are my questions:

    1. Is it possible that my water stays clear with such low chlorine levels because of the copper ionizer?

    2. Is it safe to swim in the pool when the strips don't indicate that any chlorine is present?

    3. Is it possible that the strips I use aren't detecting the chlorine, but there is still enough in the water?

    4. Is it better for me to use the recommended chemistry from TFP or from the SWG manufacturer? And why?

    5. Does the TFP proper water chemistry method take into consideration the fact that I have a copper ionizer? If not, how should the recommended levels changed based on that fact?

    6. Do you think it's really necessary for me to buy all of those test kits?

    7. Should I stick with just the test strips for copper and salt?

    I should also mention that one year my hair did turn green and I had no idea it was from the copper. Now that I know, I'd like to avoid that if possible.

    For the new pool, we brought the water to the pool store yesterday and they said it was ready to swim. When I tried testing with the strips last night, everything was good but the chlorine was non-existent. I'm starting to think I just need a more accurate chlorine test!

    I'm sorry for such a long post, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. Please let me know if I left out anything important.

    Thanks!!
    18'x52" All Resin AG 8,200 Gallons, Vinyl 35 Gauge Liner, Installed August 19th 2016
    Krystal Clear™ Sand Filter Pump 14" with 1,600 gallon (6,056 L) per hour flow rate,
    120v Krystal Clear Saltwater System Cg-28663 with ~UNPLUGGED~Copper Ionizer
    Located in NY - TF100 Test Kit - K-1730 Taylor Copper Test - Taylor K-1766 Salt Test
    **Learning more than I could have imagined here... Thank you!**

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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Welcome to TFP LynnDi

    Like a pool someone has to jump in first.

    If you're going to go with our method of taking care of your new pool you will need a TF100 or K2006. The strips just aren't accurate enough and don't read high enough.

    I personally wouldn't swim in your pool if you can't read any FC. The water may be clear but it likely isn't very sanitary.

    I don't know anything about the copper ionizer but I've read many threads on using copper in a pool and none seem to be a good idea as evidenced by your green hair. I'd wait for someone with more knowledge to weight in on that but my knee jerk reaction would be to unplug it and maintain a proper level of FC for your CYA level to keep the pools water not only clear but sanitary.
    Sanitary is far more important to me than clear but they do kind of go hand in hand. You have clear water but without FC I'd be worried someone could get sick from it.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ?° too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Welcome to TFP!

    Yes, copper can turn your hair and pool green, even your dog. It does help a bit with algae control but does nothing going to sanitize your pool. When FC is below minimum for your CYA, FC/CYA Chart, the pool is not sanitary. The kill rate for bacteria, viruses and pathogens is not sufficient to prevent person to person disease transmission.

    Test strips for copper and salt are fine. The rest needs a TF-100 or TF-50 from TFTestkits.net.

    Here is the water chemistry to aim for, Pool School - Water Balance for SWGs

    Since the copper ionizer does nothing to sanitize your pool TFP's recommendation does not factor it in. I would unplug it.
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    Kiss4aFrog's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    I understand you're following the instructions and I did go to the Intex site and go through the machines directions.
    It looks like you could unplug the copper ion generator just not sure if it's going to present a problem with the SWCG part ?? That and how to go about sealing it up should you unplug it so it's kept dry.
    Even though the directions from Intex say to run your CYA lower I would still aim for 70-80 and keep the FC no lower than 3 at 70 or 4 at 80 and then try to maintain a daily level of 5 at 70 or 6 at 80. It's a lot higher then what Intex is recommending but all I can say is these numbers have proven to work. FC/CYA chart - - > Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ?° too cold
    1979, 275gal Conway Emerald Spa P-100-2, ES-2 Spa Pack, bromine floater, indoor
    TF-100, Best test kit - TFTestkits.net
    Please help keep the lights on, become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    #1 - Copper can play a role in slowing algae growth. If you are keeping you CYA levels on the lower end (20 ppm) that would play a much larger role in keeping your pool clear. A low FC level works with low CYA

    #2 - Is it safe? Opinions might vary - but you really can't say. If you FC level is truely 0 and someone who is sick swims in your water you can easily pass bacteria and viruses.

    #3 - Strips are not particularly accurate. Anything is possible

    #4 - the chemistry found here is much much more thorough than anything you will find elsewhere. In fact I would go so far as to say the "chemistry" I hear about elsewhere isn't chemistry at all - just "pool professionals" repeating what others say. Also - if you are going to ask questions HERE people are going to expect you are following the chemistry HERE .

    #5 - The ionizer doesn't matter. Yes it can attenuate algae growth. But if you keep your FC/CYA ratio correct no algae grows in the pool anyway - so it doesn't matter. Copper does have downsides - so we avoid it.

    #6 - No it's not necessary. Neither is health insurance. It's just a good idea.

    #7 - Strips are fine for salt. You are shooting for a large range.
    16K Gal Plaster | Compupool SWG | Intelliflow VF | TF-100

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    Piolin's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Please disconnect the plug for the copper electrode, and leave it like that, I had that SWG before, it will not affect the production of FC, and will save you of having high copper in your pool
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

    The corner stone of TFP
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Wow! Thank you all so much for your replies!!

    Here's my fear - what if my SWG isn't producing enough chlorine? If I disconnect the copper ionizer, what if the small amount of chlorine isn't enough?

    Is there any way to test my SWG to see if it's working properly? Do I need to supplement with liquid chlorine?

    If I run my SWG for the manufacturers recommended time for my pool size, where should I expect the chlorine level to be?

    Plus, why would the pool store say the water was fine?!?!

    P.s. I ordered my TF100 today and I can't wait to get it!!
    18'x52" All Resin AG 8,200 Gallons, Vinyl 35 Gauge Liner, Installed August 19th 2016
    Krystal Clear™ Sand Filter Pump 14" with 1,600 gallon (6,056 L) per hour flow rate,
    120v Krystal Clear Saltwater System Cg-28663 with ~UNPLUGGED~Copper Ionizer
    Located in NY - TF100 Test Kit - K-1730 Taylor Copper Test - Taylor K-1766 Salt Test
    **Learning more than I could have imagined here... Thank you!**

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    Piolin's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Further looking at your swg model, and it seems that you don't have copper electrodes... Could you verify, in your manual?

    120v Krystal Clear Saltwater System CG-28663
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

    The corner stone of TFP
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

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    Piolin's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    I really think Intex is not longer making any swg with copper electrodes.
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

    The corner stone of TFP
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    This one definitely has them, the SWG is about 4 years old now. I'm wondering now if I just need a completely new SWG. I will try to disconnect the copper part. If I have to buy a new SWG it won't be connected until next season. Can I just use liquid chlorine for the rest of this season?
    18'x52" All Resin AG 8,200 Gallons, Vinyl 35 Gauge Liner, Installed August 19th 2016
    Krystal Clear™ Sand Filter Pump 14" with 1,600 gallon (6,056 L) per hour flow rate,
    120v Krystal Clear Saltwater System Cg-28663 with ~UNPLUGGED~Copper Ionizer
    Located in NY - TF100 Test Kit - K-1730 Taylor Copper Test - Taylor K-1766 Salt Test
    **Learning more than I could have imagined here... Thank you!**

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    Piolin's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Yes, you can, actually your CYA level is good for that also there are some posts about a good swg that Walmart have on sale for $50
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

    The corner stone of TFP
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Do you have the link? I looked online but I couldn't find it.
    18'x52" All Resin AG 8,200 Gallons, Vinyl 35 Gauge Liner, Installed August 19th 2016
    Krystal Clear™ Sand Filter Pump 14" with 1,600 gallon (6,056 L) per hour flow rate,
    120v Krystal Clear Saltwater System Cg-28663 with ~UNPLUGGED~Copper Ionizer
    Located in NY - TF100 Test Kit - K-1730 Taylor Copper Test - Taylor K-1766 Salt Test
    **Learning more than I could have imagined here... Thank you!**

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    Piolin's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Intex Krystal Clear SWG $50 at Walmart
    Intex Krystal Clear SWG $50 at Walmart
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

    The corner stone of TFP
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

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    Piolin's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    Actually, I was confused about your CYA level, I was looking at the recommened levels from Intex, sorry, could you post a full set of your chemistry... 😊
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

    The corner stone of TFP
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    I just ordered the TF100, copper test, salt test and magnetic stirrer today. I should have it by Saturday and be able to post a full set of chemistry. I'm hoping that it's the test strips that are off and that I won't have to get a new SWG - at least for now. I can't understand why the pool store would say it was fine if there was no chlorine. Any recommendations for a new SWG, just in case I need one? The intex one online is the same one I have with the copper electrode, plus they were sold out everywhere in my area.
    18'x52" All Resin AG 8,200 Gallons, Vinyl 35 Gauge Liner, Installed August 19th 2016
    Krystal Clear™ Sand Filter Pump 14" with 1,600 gallon (6,056 L) per hour flow rate,
    120v Krystal Clear Saltwater System Cg-28663 with ~UNPLUGGED~Copper Ionizer
    Located in NY - TF100 Test Kit - K-1730 Taylor Copper Test - Taylor K-1766 Salt Test
    **Learning more than I could have imagined here... Thank you!**

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Piolin's Avatar
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    Re: SWG with Copper Ionizer - So many questions!

    I think the best intex swg now is the one I have in my signature...
    8,400 gal Intex, 3K GPH pump, 16" sand filter, SWG CG-28669, TF100 test kit, speed stir, K-1766 Taylor salt test.

    The corner stone of TFP
    Pool School - Chlorine / CYA Chart

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