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Thread: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

  1. #1
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    Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Hello to all and thank you in advance for your help. Ok, so my wife has been talked into buying the Perma Salt system. I just completed installing a new liner, and the pss this past week. Going on day three and the pool looks great. But when i took a sample of water in for checks, I was then bombarded with more items i needed to purchase to get the balance swim safe. My wife was shocked when i called her to say i had to buy other items such as calcium plus, total alkalinity plus stabilizer & conditioner. We bought the Activate and Klairate with the system, thus my qusition is is the later really nessary? Again thank you for your help?

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    You, my friend, have been pool stored. Actually your wife was, but you wind up paying for it.

    Look at the very bottom of the page and use the Google search to search for Perma salt. There's some mighty interesting reading.
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Welcome to TFP!

    You should also do some reading in Pool School when you have a chance.

    The Perma Salt system uses copper, which we never recommend using.

    DId they give you water test results? Or can you get them somewhere? With a full set of water test results we can give you much more specific advice.
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    I have had this system now for 4 years and it has been wonderful. You may need to add a 40lb bag of pool salt at first along with the 25lb bucket that came with your system. All That I ever done to my pool is to shock it every other week and add a clarifier every other week. I haven't even tested my water in 2 years and it has been nothing but crystal clear. I don't buy the perma salt shock and clarifier anymore. I just use off the shelf for this. A lot cheaper.

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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Agree myvols2002. I have also had the Perma Salt System for 4 years and the only thing I have had to do is to add Muriatic acid when first opening. Then, of course, balance it out and then add Activate and Klairate every two weeks. It has been great and no problems whatsoever with algea, cloudy water, etc. Oh, and my hair nor pool nor ladder or anything used in the pool has ever turned blue or green nor have I or anyone else been sick. It's a great system!

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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Copper is perhaps the most troublesome issue we see reported here on the forum. It's continued use and build-up can cause permanent stains on a plaster pool and semi-permanent stains on vinyl. For that reason alone, perma-salt is not a method this forum would ever recommend.

    Certainly, some pools can be kept looking good with perma-salt, as the testimonials above demonstrate. However, NOT testing your water on a regular basis is an absolute NO-NO and is a recipe for problems sooner or later.

    Using BBB (which is NOT a product but rather an accumulation of knowledge and testing) will allow you to give up the bi-weekly clarifier, bi-weekly shock, biweekly branded ingredients, etc. and use the single best thing you can put in your pool to keep it sparkling and sanitary. Chlorine.
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Could very well be but I have never experienced any staining whatsoever over the course of 4 years. I am sorry to hear that this is the most troublesome issue. If the copper levels are maintained properly, the ions released should not cause this problem. And Activate is a combo of Dichlor and Oxone. Works very, very well for me; sparkling and sanitary every year!

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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Not everyone gets copper stains. It is just that they look so terrible and are so difficult/expensive to remove that it hardly seems worth the risk. Copper levels high enough to be effective are high enough to cause stains. Stains normally occur when the PH goes up a little. If you keep very close control over your PH you can avoid stains. Of course PH tends to go up in most pools if it is ignored, so even relatively short periods of inattention, a couple of days, can lead to stains.
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    I haven't had any stains or any trouble what so ever. The copper level needed is only around .3 ppm. You just have to use one to understand I guess.

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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Quote Originally Posted by myvols2002
    I haven't had any stains or any trouble what so ever. The copper level needed is only around .3 ppm. You just have to use one to understand I guess.
    What kind of pool do you have? Plaster? Vinyl? Fiberglass? Do you make sure the pH doesn't get too high above 7.8, especially not 8.0 or higher?

    FYI for others: this link gives some info about the system where they say not to test the chlorine level but to test the copper level weekly. Sounds like they care more about preventing algae growth via the copper than they do about the level of sanitizer. There are also lots of videos online about the product.
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Quote Originally Posted by myvols2002
    I haven't had any stains or any trouble what so ever. The copper level needed is only around .3 ppm. You just have to use one to understand I guess.
    What kind of pool do you have? Plaster? Vinyl? Fiberglass? Do you make sure the pH doesn't get too high above 7.8, especially not 8.0 or higher?

    FYI for others: this link gives some info about the system where they say not to test the chlorine level but to test the copper level weekly. Sounds like they care more about preventing algae growth via the copper than they do about the level of sanitizer. There are also lots of videos online about the product.

    I got a 24ft above ground pool with a vinyl liner. My ph stays at 7.6 and alk at 120 and my clorine stays at or near 0. I never had to add anything in 4 years to adj this. I just add shock and clarifier every two weeks. The ionizer not only adds copper to kill algea but also silver to kill bacteria.

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    Senior Member dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Good luck with that. Chlorine of zero is not a sanitized pool. Copper and Silver do not kill fast enough to keep your family safe. Maybe you have just been lucky, but we have little ones that from time to time do have "accidents". When that happens, I want chlorine available and ready to kill anything that may be lingering

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  13. #13
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Quote Originally Posted by myvols2002


    I got a 24ft above ground pool with a vinyl liner. My ph stays at 7.6 and alk at 120 and my clorine stays at or near 0. I never had to add anything in 4 years to adj this. I just add shock and clarifier every two weeks. The ionizer not only adds copper to kill algea but also silver to kill bacteria.
    If the manufacturer is claiming that, I'd bet the EPA would be interested in hearing about that. You might as well swim in a pond as an un-sanitized pool with some metal in it.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Quote Originally Posted by myvols2002
    I got a 24ft above ground pool with a vinyl liner. My ph stays at 7.6 and alk at 120 and my clorine stays at or near 0. I never had to add anything in 4 years to adj this. I just add shock and clarifier every two weeks. The ionizer not only adds copper to kill algea but also silver to kill bacteria.
    Thanks for the info. The vinyl liner makes it less likely to have staining problems (plaster surfaces continue to be at higher pH due to continual slow curing) and in any event your pH is stable which is important. As for kill times, at least you have both copper and silver with your ionizer (where does it say that Perma-Salt uses copper and silver rather than just copper only?). That does at least help to kill fecal bacteria which copper doesn't touch at all at pool concentrations. However, see the chart in this post for the truth about kill times with copper and silver vs. chlorine (with CYA). So having at least a small amount of chlorine in your pool is still a good thing since it not only kills bacteria more quickly, but also kills viruses that copper and silver typically don't handle. So while your "near 0" as in a low chlorine level of even 0.5 ppm is one thing, having it at zero is something else entirely.

    That leaves oxidation of your bather waste so that you don't soak in the ammonia and urea of your own sweat and urine. It sounds like this is getting handled by the shock and possibly by the clarifier. Are you using the Perma Salt Klairate Natural Enzyme clarifier? Are you finding that the water gets too dull/cloudy if you don't? Why is the chlorine level ever at zero -- are you not adding any other than from the shock?

    Anyway, if one is going to be using a metal ion system to run at lower chlorine levels (not zero levels, however), then a copper/silver combo is the way to do it and if you are having a controlled pH and your shock doesn't have the pH rise then the risk of staining is lowered. What are you using to shock? With your TA level, it's probably not a hypochlorite source of chlorine like Cal-Hypo, chlorinating liquid or bleach. Is it non-chlorine shock (MPS) or Dichlor or Trichlor (granulated)? Or are you using Perma Salt Activate Shock Treatment which is a combination of Dichlor and Oxone (MPS). If it's Dichlor and Oxone, then that explains the fairly stable pH since these are acidic so compensate for any pH rise from the TA so eventually you get to a TA level where pH is fairly stable (though over time the TA will fall unless you have evaporation and refill to increase it).

    What you are doing is not allowed in any commercial/public pool because you said you are sometimes at zero chlorine. The lowest allowed chlorine level with a metal ionization system that can still be claimed as EPA approved is 0.4 ppm FC as shown by these NSF Standard 50 products which, by the way, does NOT include Perma Salt. If the chlorine gets below that level, even with the metal ions in the water, there can be person-to-person transmission of disease. In a residential setting, this is obviously a lower risk since one infected person entering your pool can't infect dozens or even hundreds of other people since the pool simply isn't that big.

    However, if you are only shocking once a week, then the Dichlor isn't going to last more than a few days so the rest of your time your pool does not have an EPA-approved disinfectant in it. One bag (which is one pound) of Activate in 10,000 gallons would be 6.6 ppm FC if it were only Dichlor so it's probably more like 3 ppm FC chlorine and the rest MPS. While having the copper/silver combo helps prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth, your pool is not safe from person-to-person transmission of disease and quite frankly you are ingesting far larger quantities of live bacteria from fecal matter than in a pool with even a very small amount of chlorine. You are simply fortunate enough to have a robust enough immune system to not get overwhelmed by your own or other's fecal matter. Remember that the kill time for copper/silver vs. chlorine for most bacteria, including those in fecal matter, is 50-200 times slower. While just fast enough to prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth of many of the bacteria (but Staphylococcus aureus is on the edge), it is certainly not fast enough to prevent person-to-person transmission of such bacteria during swimming and does nothing for viruses entering into the pool. Of course, realistically, you're probably just swimming with your own family and at least for the viruses have other more common routes of exposure.
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Quote Originally Posted by myvols2002
    I got a 24ft above ground pool with a vinyl liner. My ph stays at 7.6 and alk at 120 and my clorine stays at or near 0. I never had to add anything in 4 years to adj this. I just add shock and clarifier every two weeks. The ionizer not only adds copper to kill algea but also silver to kill bacteria.
    Thanks for the info. The vinyl liner makes it less likely to have staining problems (plaster surfaces continue to be at higher pH due to continual slow curing) and in any event your pH is stable which is important. As for kill times, at least you have both copper and silver with your ionizer (where does it say that Perma-Salt uses copper and silver rather than just copper only?). That does at least help to kill fecal bacteria which copper doesn't touch at all at pool concentrations. However, see the chart in this post for the truth about kill times with copper and silver vs. chlorine (with CYA). So having at least a small amount of chlorine in your pool is still a good thing since it not only kills bacteria more quickly, but also kills viruses that copper and silver typically don't handle. So while your "near 0" as in a low chlorine level of even 0.5 ppm is one thing, having it at zero is something else entirely.

    That leaves oxidation of your bather waste so that you don't soak in the ammonia and urea of your own sweat and urine. It sounds like this is getting handled by the shock and possibly by the clarifier. Are you using the Perma Salt Klairate Natural Enzyme clarifier? Are you finding that the water gets too dull/cloudy if you don't? Why is the chlorine level ever at zero -- are you not adding any other than from the shock?

    Anyway, if one is going to be using a metal ion system to run at lower chlorine levels (not zero levels, however), then a copper/silver combo is the way to do it and if you are having a controlled pH and your shock doesn't have the pH rise then the risk of staining is lowered. What are you using to shock? With your TA level, it's probably not a hypochlorite source of chlorine like Cal-Hypo, chlorinating liquid or bleach. Is it non-chlorine shock (MPS) or Dichlor or Trichlor (granulated)? Or are you using Perma Salt Activate Shock Treatment which is a combination of Dichlor and Oxone (MPS). If it's Dichlor and Oxone, then that explains the fairly stable pH since these are acidic so compensate for any pH rise from the TA so eventually you get to a TA level where pH is fairly stable (though over time the TA will fall unless you have evaporation and refill to increase it).

    What you are doing is not allowed in any commercial/public pool because you said you are sometimes at zero chlorine. The lowest allowed chlorine level with a metal ionization system that can still be claimed as EPA approved is 0.4 ppm FC as shown by these NSF Standard 50 products which, by the way, does NOT include Perma Salt. If the chlorine gets below that level, even with the metal ions in the water, there can be person-to-person transmission of disease. In a residential setting, this is obviously a lower risk since one infected person entering your pool can't infect dozens or even hundreds of other people since the pool simply isn't that big.

    However, if you are only shocking once a week, then the Dichlor isn't going to last more than a few days so the rest of your time your pool does not have an EPA-approved disinfectant in it. One bag (which is one pound) of Activate in 10,000 gallons would be 6.6 ppm FC if it were only Dichlor so it's probably more like 3 ppm FC chlorine and the rest MPS. While having the copper/silver combo helps prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth, your pool is not safe from person-to-person transmission of disease and quite frankly you are ingesting far larger quantities of live bacteria from fecal matter than in a pool with even a very small amount of chlorine. You are simply fortunate enough to have a robust enough immune system to not get overwhelmed by your own or other's fecal matter. Remember that the kill time for copper/silver vs. chlorine for most bacteria, including those in fecal matter, is 50-200 times slower. While just fast enough to prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth of many of the bacteria (but Staphylococcus aureus is on the edge), it is certainly not fast enough to prevent person-to-person transmission of such bacteria during swimming and does nothing for viruses entering into the pool. Of course, realistically, you're probably just swimming with your own family and at least for the viruses have other more common routes of exposure.

    I use Super pool shock with 73% Calcium Hypochlorite and super clarifier both from spp. The ionizer says in the description that it includes both copper and silver. I put in no chlorine other than the shock. I keep the salt level at 1500ppm using mortons advance pool salt that has a Stabilizer (Sodium Cyanurate/Cyanuric Acid) and a Pool Water Conditioner.

  16. #16
    Senior Member solarboy's Avatar
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    So you have a wildy fluctuating FC level cause by the shocking and rely on the copper system (with it's staining issues) to help when your FC is zero (and the pool is not sanitised).
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Perma Salt is a gimmick. See Nature 2 and Pool Frog posts. Of course, if you like stains and green hair, go for it.

    Of course, my apologies to the Perma Salt reps here. I know that you are doing your job and all but here at TFP, we're different as we have no product to push or money to make. Rather, we tell people how it is and we do so free of charge. Gratis! And that is what Perma Salt is and it offers nothing above what plain ol water testing and appropriate chlroination can give you.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Talked into buying the Perma Salt system

    Quote Originally Posted by solarboy
    So you have a wildy fluctuating FC level cause by the shocking and rely on the copper system (with it's staining issues) to help when your FC is zero (and the pool is not sanitised).
    That's it in a nutshell though at least with copper and silver it's better than copper alone since fecal bacteria are at least even a tiny bit controlled. As I've quoted before, it's like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry saying, "you've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?'". Even ignoring the BBB option, it would be so easy to use a low 0.4 ppm FC chlorine level and be equivalent to the NSF Standard 50 products and have fast disinfection -- so near and yet so far.
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