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Thread: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

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    "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?


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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Scraped from the web page:SILVER/COPPER / U.V. MULTI-STAGE PURIFICATION SYSTEM

    My Opinion: Metal warning. Lack of Oxidizer warning. Stain formation Warning. Slow Kill Time Warning.

    Scott
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolGuyNJ
    Scraped from the web page:SILVER/COPPER / U.V. MULTI-STAGE PURIFICATION SYSTEM

    My Opinion: Metal warning. Lack of Oxidizer warning. Stain formation Warning. Slow Kill Time Warning.

    Scott
    I have a customer who is adamant about having me install this unit on her pool. I've led her here (don't know if she has visited or not yet!), and have explained to her that I am not a fan of metal (except Van Halen, ZZ Top, etc. ). I also have a call in to the owner to see if he can make me a believer....

    Question for those smarter than me (which just about covers everybody!): I am under the impression that salt does not become corrosive until it surpasses 7,000 ppm. Is that correct (I ask because one of the "facts" listed on the web page is the corrosive nature of salt)?

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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Salt is always a little corrosive, the more salt you have the more corrosive it is. However, the effect is not linear. At salt levels below about 6,000 ppm the amount of additional corrosion from salt is minimal. Somewhere between 6,000 and 7,000 the amount of corrosion jumps up significantly and continues rising more quickly from there.

    One factor that sets me off about that web site is that they say it is NSF certified. NSF doesn't certify swimming pool chemicals, the EPA certifies swimming pool chemicals. In any case, all the usual arguments apply. That is just yet another copper/silver system making totally unsupportable claims. Throwing in UV doesn't help make it any safer. They go on to lie about various things, like cyanuric acid containing cyanide, which it doesn't. All of which really out to be illegal to say, but seems to be impossible to stop in practice (at least in the US).
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    There is so much bunk on that website, it's unbelievable. The NSF certification is solely for specific pieces of pool equipment such as UV, chlorine/silver ionization and filtration systems. Specifically, NSF Standard 50 does have standards for UV systems and copper/silver ionization systems, but NSF does not "approve" no-chlorine systems -- they only certify specific equipment to specific standards and NOT to whether a system produces a sanitary pool (i.e. they test for specific kill times in the UV part of the system, but don't check the bulk pool water for kill times). The standard for sanitation/disinfection is EPA DIS/TSS-12 and metal ion systems even with UV in the circulation system are NOT EPA approved disinfectant systems without a residual EPA-approved sanitizer (e.g. chlorine, bromine or Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB).

    The reason is that you have to have a fast-acting disinfectant in the bulk pool water to kill pathogens quickly to prevent person-to-person transmission of disease and also to prevent pathogen growth on pool surfaces. Metal ions simply do not kill fast enough by themselves. It takes chlorine (at an FC of around 10% of the CYA level) less than one minute to do a 99% kill of most bacteria, but takes silver ions 10-20 minutes and copper ions 40 minutes. Though UV is very effective at killing pathogens, it only does so when the water passes through the system and it takes 2.3 turnovers to have 90% of the water pass through and 4.6 turnovers (i.e. many, many hours) to have 99% of the water pass through.

    Also, metal ions are not effective (at pool concentrations) at inactivating viruses. For example, this paper shows that copper ions do a 90% inactivation of Herpes Simplex Virus in 30 minutes at 100-200 ppm, but that is far, far higher in concentration than found in pools (copper is usually < 0.3 ppm in pools). This paper shows that silver ions have virtually no effect on vacciniavirus, adenovirus, VSV, poliovirus, HVJ, but that with herpes simplex virus there is a 5-log kill in 60 minutes (roughly a 90% kill in about 5 minutes), but at over 3200 ppb compared to the usual limit of 20 ppb to prevent silver staining. [EDIT] More detailed data comparing chlorine against copper and silver ions is in this post. [END-EDIT]

    Then there's all this baloney on their website about cyanide coming from cyanuric acid. Cyanuric Acid can be produced from cyanide precursors and under combustion of solid CYA one can get cyanide, but Cyanuric Acid in water does not produce cyanide, not even under oxidation by chlorine. The oxidation pathway is just a slow version of what bacteria do to CYA and is shown here where you can see there is no cyanide.

    As for nearly all of the reports of problems with chlorine disinfection by-products, these are mostly with indoor chlorinated pools that most likely do not use Cyanuric Acid and many have very high bather loads and poor air circulation. This isn't the same as an outdoor chlorinated pool where the active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) level is 10-20 times lower (or more) due to CYA in the water and where the bather loads in residential pools are far, far lower. There is no question that commercial/public pools with higher bather loads should use supplemental oxidation systems such as UV or ozone and also have good coagulation and filtration programs since this reduces organic precursors that can lead to disinfection by-products. However, using CYA in the pool reduces the active chlorine concentration to slow down all chlorine reactions and (theoretically) significantly lower nitrogen trichloride (see this post) which is something the website explicitly mentions and that is legitimately tied to irritation of the airways. THMs (such as chloroform) are also an issue, but are directly related to bather load which is very, very low in residential pools.

    I would think that any rational person looking at the website would see that the use of very bold text and obvious scare tactics wouldn't be a particularly trustworthy site.

    Richard
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Thank you, gentlemen. I had bad experiences with the Nature2 system many years ago, and can't seem to shake it! While I try and keep an open mind, I am still a skeptic on most things of this nature. I did have a conversation with Doug (the owner?) a couple hours ago, and he seemed nice enough, but was not able to convince me that this was something I could get on board with at this point. I did invite him to the forum if he wished.

    Richard-Please correct me if I am wrong, but I have been led to believe that even if each individual piece/component of an item has received NSF certification, and you make any changes (nut, bolt, clip, etc.) to the whole of the components the certification is void. Is that your understanding as well?

    Thanks again for the info!

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    stev32k's Avatar
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Wow! After reading that site it makes me want to fill in my pool. Why would anyone want to swim in cyanide - isn't that what they use to kill people? Who wants their kids getting cancer from swimming in an unsafe pool or even just sitting on the side.
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    I also have a call in to the owner to see if he can make me a believer....
    Bruce, it is important to understand that even if he makes you a believer, it will still won't work.

    If you want a sanitized pool, the practical answer is always chlorine. Baqua, any metal, etc. etc. may have some basis in theory but the practical reality is that they either won't work, won't work by themselves, or don't work well enough to justify not using chlorine.
    Dave S.
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Richard-Please correct me if I am wrong, but I have been led to believe that even if each individual piece/component of an item has received NSF certification, and you make any changes (nut, bolt, clip, etc.) to the whole of the components the certification is void. Is that your understanding as well?
    No, that is not my understanding. As noted here:

    The registered NSF Certification Mark on a pool, spa, or hot tub system component confirms that NSF has assessed - and certified - its conformity with the relevant section of NSF/ANSI Standard 50 and/or other product standards.
    In other words, it is a certification of a component such as a filter, a UV system, or a copper/silver ionization system. There are standards for components, not for combinations. You can get certified for your system that contains various components that each have some certification standard, but not everything in your system is necessarily going to have a standard. As for whether any minor change requires recertification, I cannot say.

    In this document you can see more details about certification and note especially the following:

    NSF Standard 50 contains a disinfection efficacy test procedure for process equipment that is intended for supplementary disinfection of water such as UV, ozone and ion generators. The procedure requires a three-log reduction in challenge organisms.
    where I have put in bold the most relevant words "supplementary disinfection". These UV, ozone and ion generator systems cannot be used by themselves. They are supplementary because a fast-acting disinfectant in the bulk pool water is still required and there are only three that are EPA-approved for pools: chlorine, bromine or Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB. For spas, Nature2 with MPS is also approved, but only for spas since hot water temperatures are also required.

    On the other hand, there are no regulations regarding how residential pool homeowners sanitize/disinfect their pools. You could swim in raw sewage as far as the government is concerned. It's your pool, it's your life, you can do whatever you want. What are you going to do -- sue yourself if you get sick?

    Richard
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Dave-I say that tongue in cheek, as I don't have the confidence that I will be made a believer. I try to keep an open mind about stuff, but I am happy to be using bleach and knowing when I have enough and how to maintain it. I'm pretty much done with the "easy" way of doing pool care (SWCG, ionization, ozone, etc.) as it don't get much easier than this!

    Thanks Richard! Just trying to get the truth, which isn't always what we are told!

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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Bruce,

    If they are insistent, let them know you'll be happy to right after they sign a waiver absolving you and your company of any issues regarding its use including support, staining, and health related issues that will occur as a result of this product without the use of an EPA certified sanitizer.

    Sometimes people want to shoot themselves in the foot even after being told it will have serious consequences. You have to cover your @$$ or walk away thanking them for offering the opportunity but it's best that they find another to serve their needs. It sounds harsh, but so are lawyers.

    Scott
    Owner of - PoolGuyNJ LLC
    Expert Pool and Spa Repairs, Renovations, and Augmentation. Helping people decide what is the right gear for meeting their needs. Expectations Set, Expectations Met, No Surprises.

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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Simi,
    Changing any part of an NSF component to a non factory part does void the NSF certification. It doesn't mean that it will not work, just that IF the Environmental Health official knew what they were looking for and was looking for it, they "can" shut the pool down.
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Thanks guys! I hate to just repeat things I hear without checking the facts first! Seems there is way too much of that going around these days, and I'd rather be informed or say nothing at all

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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    FYI -- I just saw a recent NSF/ANSI 50 document and section 19.10.1 says "Water sanitation via chlorine and bromine" that has to use an EPA approved sanitizer while section 19.10.2 says "Supplemental water sanitation and treatment" that includes such things as ozone, UV and copper/silver ion generators, but note that this is supplemental and cannot be used for primary sanitation. In addition, section 19.12.6 says "Water quality and maintenance instructions" where the water quality instructions must include methods for testing the water, for adding chemicals to the water, for maintaining the proper water chemistry, recommended water quality parameters, basic chemical safety guidelines, recommended test frequency, a statement specifying use of EPA registered chemicals for sanitation and a statement reading "Maintaining your sanitizer at the recommended levels at all times will decrease the occurrence of unsafe bacteria in your water".

    This page on the NSF website explicitly describes how copper/silver ion systems that have been NSF approved REQUIRE chlorine or bromine. A list of NSF approved copper/silver ion systems is here where you can see that ALL approved systems require at least 0.4 ppm chlorine or 0.8 ppm bromine. Note that there is no certification for the HealthCare system described on this website. Note also that in the NSF list, footnote (2) for the "Carribean Clear" product says

    "Chlorine-Free" logo only applicable when unit used with bromine or bromine compounds that do not contain chlorine.
    In any event, the claim that the HealthCare system is "THE ONLY NSF CERTIFIED 100% NO CHLORINE SYSTEM APPROVED FOR ALL POOLS AND SPAS" is incorrect.
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Thanks Richard (you really spend your time reading some weird stuff ).

    Here's another question for you: Have you ever seen any information regarding the effect of high levels of CH and sanitizer levels/ability to function/not function? I've heard that high CH levels impede chlorines ability to be as effective as it is at lower CH levels, but I've never seen any substantiating paperwork to back it up.

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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    I've never seen anything about a high CH having any effect on chlorine. High CH can of course result in scaling (depending on other components of the saturation index), but it should not affect chlorine in any way.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    I've never seen anything about a high CH having any effect on chlorine. High CH can of course result in scaling (depending on other components of the saturation index), but it should not affect chlorine in any way.
    Got this from a chemist I know. What are your thoughts?:

    While TDS is a useless measure of what is in the water, it is the only measure that pool companies use to determine the pollutant levels in swimming pools. Monovalent ions may be harmless to pools while divalent ions are troublesome. Swimming pool companies measure water quality based on TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), which they measure via electro conductivity. This is the wrong way of determining TDS, but neither here nor there; that is the way it is done.
    We have to assume that the total of all conductive ions (whether good or bad) will be measured by way of electro conductivity.
    Example: a swimming pool with conductivity (TDS) reading of 8000 ppm represents the total ionic activity of the water. Unless you are a Chemist with sophisticated instrumentation or knowledge of especiation techniques, you can not tell the invasive from the noninvasive species in said sample! With that said, can we assume that there is a considerable amount of invasive, chlorine impeding species in the water that conduct electricity? I will assume that you acknowledge that minerals accumulate in said pools along with the long list of sundries that people toss into these same bodies of water for reasons of sanitation; pH control, algae embayment, turbidity clarification, Phosphorus removal, alkalinity adjustment, CYA over stabilization, etc…
    With all this aforementioned sundries as well as human fluids such as urine, is it safe to say that at least 50% of the TDS in the water is invasive to normal chemistry? All these factors play a roll in the homeostasis of ideal chemistry.


    Sorry for its length! Maybe I should have PM'd it to you!

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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Maybe I should have PM'd it to you!
    No, this is interesting.
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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by frustratedpoolmom
    Quote Originally Posted by simicrintz
    Maybe I should have PM'd it to you!
    No, this is interesting.
    Cool! I try to follow board rules so I sometimes tend to overthink things. I just didn't want to be taking up valuable space if this was not the proper protocol!

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    Re: "Chlorine Free Pool"-Anyone have any experience?

    As FPM said, this is interesting! ........and, TFP has plenty of room.
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