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Thread: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

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    tgmb's Avatar
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    SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Hello, I'm Tom, and I just finished a complete overhaul. My set up is as follows:
    - 21000 gal, 36' kidney shaped pool
    -Mediterranean blue plaster finish
    - EP 6 EcoPump two speed pump
    - Pentair Triton II TR 60 3.14 sq ft. Sand filter running zeosand
    - SpectraLight SL-500 Ultraviolet system
    - Polaris 280 pool cleaner
    - G.E. 15087 mechanical D.P.D.T. timer box
    -RayPak 2100 pool heater.
    Plaster was done May 31st- I used a service for the break-in. Went live with the EP6 and the SpectraLight 21 June. Water clarity took several weeks to clear- I don't think zeosand is all its said to be. ( ZeoBrite Extreme is my next experiment.)

    As for the EP6 and the SpectraLight, they are both made by the same company. The manufacturer claims the pump is the most efficient made, and the Spectralight allows for a REDUCTION in chlorine levels, as well as the elimination of algaecide, and a greatly decreased shock schedule. With the pump on low speed, ( 53 decibels at 3 ft.) The Spectralight and the pump run continuously, switching to high speed 2 hours a night for the Polaris to clean. Thus far, the experiment is working; I am running my Chlorine at about .5 ppm, while my pH is about 7.6. The water temp is set at 83 F. Clarity is excellent. Electricity use is WAY down. Noise is gone- I cannot hear the pump from poolside. Running it 24/7, I get 3 turnovers a day at about 40 gpm.

    Plan to use the BBB method to simplify things further. Next question- Liquidator, or SWCG? ( My floating chlorine puck thing got lodged on my brand new plaster top step, and now I have a black stain. Not happy about that..)
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Ah, I wondered about that stain you reports in another post, so that's how it happened.

    This is an outdoor pool, I've wondered what value a UV light adds to a pool that gets sun. I know from my time spent with planted fish tanks that the wattage of the sun is darn difficult to replicate. Indoors it makes sense, and in my pond which was rarely clear it made sense. There having light upon the thin stream through the UV helped to kill diseases that always lurked in the nasty bottom of the pond. With a clean and clear swimming pool in sunlight, what does it get you? (please don't think I'm arguing, I really am curious.) I know that I am always concerned about chlorine levels getting too low, since I've found vultures lounging at my hot tub and the raccoons tend to poop on the waterfall while they hunt for the giant frog who lives there. I know those things can use up chlorine fast.
    And, welcome to the forum.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    I think it is the concentration of UV that matters; either that, or I just bought a REALLY expensive light bulb...The Spectralight website has the studies..

    And the stain on the step has me annoyed...
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    It sounds like you have been pool stored. The EP6 is not even close to the most efficient pump made. The Spectralight system provides no advantages for an outdoor residential pool and will not allow you to run at lower FC levels any more reliably than without it. Also, running the pump that much is wasteful of electricity.

    The purpose of UV is to get rid of CC. This is very handy in commercial pools, where CC levels from high bather load are a major issue. In residential pools the CC level almost never gets high enough for there to be anything for the UV system to do. UV can save a lot of chlorine in a commercial pool. In an outdoor residential pool it can help you recover from a large pool party more quickly, but otherwise does next to nothing. Many UV systems actually increase chlorine usage in a residential pool, since UV will break down chlorine as well as CC.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Jason,
    About the pump; perhaps.( It's still FAR better than the old pump.) As for the UV, it actually eliminates all organic material (viruses, bacteria, algae, urine,oil,etc.) , as well as CC. (Practically speaking, the water leaves the unit near sterile.) So we'll have to disagree on that.( And the science re water purification is going in that direction; I actually did do a bit of research on this; though the proof will always be in the pool.) As for running the pool 24/7, at LOW speed, it actually uses less electricity, as opposed to 12 on high, as I used to do. And three turnovers in 24 hours is not bad. As for chlorine use, it's a non issue, as I test daily. The idea was to create a steady state system; the next piece of the puzzle is a Liquidator vs. SWCG; the floaty has to go. Again, if filtration rate is essentially constant, controlling for other variables is easier. I approached this whole project as an experiment; I held no dogmatic opinions about anything. By the way- what IS the most efficient two or variable speed pump right now, FWIW?
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    BTW, regarding UV, There is a video on YouTube from an outfit called UVPools; it is interesting, if it is true....
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    That pump certainly is much better than a plain single speed pump

    UV systems can only act on things that pass through the plumbing on the equipment pad. Chlorine will have already killed all the viruses and bacteria, and killed or broken down the vast majority of any algae, urine, oil, etc, long before it gets to the equipment pad. Only CC is persistent enough to be around long enough to reach the equipment pad, if there is any CC to begin with. And as I said before, the CC level in an outdoor residential pool is essentially zero almost all the time anyway. Also, UV is useless against a full blown algae bloom, as the algae is still growing in the bulk pool water and only a tiny bit of it is getting killed by UV at any given moment.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    In an ideal system, yes. However, in a real world environment, especially one where the pump is off for 8-10-12 hours a day, there will be variability; therein lies the problem. Personally, my own experience has been one of cloudy water and high clorine levels; I suspect CYA levels may have played a role in this. Additionally, I would sometimes forget to fill the floaty- disaster followed.
    So, the biggest argument against UV is "it doesn't treat the water in the pool". However, if the pool is being turned over 2-3 times a day; the bacterial/algae load is being eliminated 2-3 times a day. And yes, in a PROPERLY chlorinated pool, the chlorine would do the job and this would be a null point; but even in properly chlorinated commercial pools, CC is a major issue. ( I have 4 kids, and they have many friends- in essence, it IS a commercial pool.) And again, that video on YouTube, IF TRUE, would argue against the statement that "UV can't clear an algae bloom". Again, the proof is in the water; I will be the FIRST one to admit it doesn't work, if I am wrong. Eventually, new technology, if backed by evidence, has to be tried. And so far, the water is pristine. (We'll see what I say at the END of the summer..)
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Another thing I am curious about- zeolite extreme. Does anyone have any real world experience with it?
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Many many people over many years have tried UV in residential pools. This is not a new technology. What it does and how well it works is throughly understood. By far the most common comment about UV systems is that years later they discovered that the bulb burned out and they never noticed because there was no detectable difference when the UV was on or off. The other comment, noticeably less common, is that UV increases the chlorine demand.

    There is no substitute for properly maintaing your chemical levels, including chlorine. If you fail to do that the water will not be safe to swim in, with or without UV.

    If you routinely have 20+ bather hours per day, day after day, then a UV system is a good idea.

    Zeo gets very mixed reviews. Some people totally love it, others have endless problems. It has too high a problem rate for my taste, but when it works it works really well.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    A turnover rate of 2 to 3 times a day just does not seem to me to be very helpful.
    I had a UV light on my pond and I had turnover of 4 times per hour.
    23,000 gallon in ground pool with rock waterfall and spillover spa, Aqualink control system, Polaris 380 cleaner, Purex Triton Clean&Clear Plus cartridge filter. Located in The Woodlands, Texas.

    Pool owner since Nov 2008, Trouble Free since April 2009. Happy to help when I can.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Fair enough; as I said; I'm empirical- the water is the proof. But as far as the technology goes, UV is not new, as you said. However, the lamps make a difference ( medium pressure 200-400nm lamps vs. Low pressure 254nm lamps- see Kalisvaart's paper comparing kill rates between the two types of lamps, also Zimmer et al, Oguma et al.). As far as turnover rates go-was your pond chlorinated? And did your 15 min turnover UV system work- (apples to apples)? Was it a low or medium pressure UV lamp system?
    Now, arguing against myself, the biggest flaw in the whole UV argument would be microbial growth outstripping UV sterilization-assuming the UV IS working as promised, turnover rate becomes critical. The gold standard would be a side by side comparison of two otherwise identical systems. I don't know if such a test has been done. Trust me, if it flops, I'll let you know.
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Yes, I agree-there's no substitute for maintenance. And as far as the zeolite goes, they have some interesting test data regarding first pass filtration rates for the zeolite extreme. That may be the next experiment... Meanwhile, I have a question regarding chlorine systems. What is a popular SWCG, vs the Chlorinator? I see advantages to both.

    Tom
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Extreme circulation systems, turnover times of less than half an hour, plus UV can work quite well. There has been some exploration of this approach in Europe, but the costs are prohibitive.

    The Hayward Aqua Rite SWG is probably the most common SWG.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    30 minutes? I'd be afraid of the suction...

    Does that make the Hayward the best, or just the best seller?
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    There is no clear "best". Most recommended this season are CompuPool, AquaRite, and AutoPilot. They all work very well when they are working, and yet they all still have problems more often than would be preferred. CompuPool is the least expensive, no frills, works fine. AutoPilot has the most features, some of which are cool, though nothing you can't live without, and is the most expensive. AquaRite is very common, so easiest to get parts and advice for.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Next month, perhaps. My wallet still hurts...Thanks for the advice.
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    tgmb - I just bought an ep-6 pump and GE timer. I have it all wired up and but can't figure out how to switch it from Vacuum mode to eco mode. Right now it only stays on vacuum. I have followed all of the wiring instructions but I can't find any instructions on switching modes.

    I have 3 wires running down from the timer. L1, L2 and a ground. That is all the instructions called for. I am I missing something?

    Thanks for the help.
    *
    agp, 14.5 x 23 (yes, its a custom size, but it was free and came with a deck. Well, I had to go and get it...)

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    That wiring is a bit of a poser. First- wire the box. Is it 110 or 220?
    20k gal. 36' In ground Med. Blue plaster, two-speed EcoPump EP6, Pentair 3.14 sq. Ft. Sand w/zeosand, Spectralight SL 500, RayPak 2100 heater, Polaris 360,GE Timer 15087, Borates 80 ppm.

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    Re: SpectraLight, EcoPump, Zeosand, New plaster, etc...

    Gjacobus ~ With a 2-speed pump you need 4 wires from the timer to the pump. Hi speed, low speed, L2 and ground. Without knowing which timer you have there's no way to know how to wire it.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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