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Thread: Green scale on copper blocks inside Intex SWG

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    Join Date
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    Green scale on copper blocks inside Intex SWG

    Bought the new Intex SWG 54601EG with copper ionization this summer to replace the old pre copper SWG with worn out plates. Thought the cooper was a great idea after fighting algae constantly with the old unit. The first new unit I bought at Walmart had a control problem. But Intex quickly sent me a replacement no charge. But they sent the older version. Took me forever to get it straigthened out mostly due to Fedex. Intex very responsive. I wanted the latest technology I paid for. Now I am paying for it. I had a new original problem free unit in my hands and sent it back!!

    The problem is of course copper. Which is not staining the pool but tinting my grand daughters hair green. It's light green on these summer beach blondes. The pool water looks and feel great.

    I've been browsing through these forums for several weeks and have learned a lot. Today I registered and this is my first post.

    I've learned that it is the copper that causes the green tint, but the hair is made vulnerable by the chlorine. The girls have also spent a lot of time in heavy use fresh water chlorinated pools. The chlorine level in the Intex pool has never been high and reads 0 FC when they are swimming in it. Heat and sunlight here on the Georgia coast eat up the FC before noon. I have got the cyanuric acid at 30-50 with HTH Stablizer. I run the SWG every night.

    When the green hair first appeared the first thing I did was dump 20% of the water and refilled with fresh. Before the refill the copper was at .2 ppm, supposedly safe. It was .2 after the refill. Out of curiosity I filled a clean bucket with water from the hose I filled the pool with. Did a copper test on the fresh water -- it was .2 ppm. It was also High PH 7.8 -8. We have very hard water here from the limestone aquifer. I've battled that with cautious doses of HTH PH Minus. Got it down to PH 7.5 now. (Test strips are hard to read for PH)

    I also bought some Metal Free and have cautiously added that as directed. Copper test strip readings are around .1 ppm.

    I've gone into detail because I might be missing something and it is all about balance.

    Here is my concern. I disconnected the plug to the Copper ionizer but left the copper bars in place in the SWG. I have to clean the SWG frequently ( vinegar soak and reaming with plastic cable ties ) because of the calcium deposits from our hard water. It's soaking right now. When I pulled out the copper bars to pour in the vinegar, they had green corrosion right where the chlorinated SWG water hits them. Is this green copper going into the pool? Also when I add the vinegar small flakes of what looks like copper sink to the bottom of the SWG chamber.
    Peter B.
    Intex Metal Frame 18' X 48", Krystal Clear Saltwater System 54601EG, Tybee Island, Georgia

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Green scale on copper blocks inside Intex SWG

    Welcome to TFP.

    A few things jump out at me about your post.

    Chlorine doesn't necessarily exacerbate the problem of copper staining hair. It will stain hair even if chlorine isn't present.
    If you're letting the FC get to zero at any time, your pool isn't sanitized. It should never get below the recommended level for your CYA.
    If you've done some reading here you've found out that your CYA isn't high enough for a SWG. It should be about 70 ppm or so.
    If there's green corrosion on the bars that's flaking off into the pool then it's getting into the water.
    That with the fact that your tap water has copper already would be enough to get me to remove them completely. Just to be safe.
    Since your fill water has copper you'll have to maintain a level of sequestrant in your water to prevent staining.

    You should also run your swg long enough to get the FC high enough that it doesn't go below the minimum recommended level at any time during the day. If it does go below the minimum you can always supplement it with bleach.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Green scale on copper blocks inside Intex SWG

    P.S. You really need a good test kit. And you should add your pool & equip info to your sig.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: Green scale on copper blocks inside Intex SWG

    Dave,

    Thanks for your suggestions and taking time to read my lengthy post. I wanted to put everything in there because it all is a bit confusing and like I said my goal is balance.

    I read here that disconnecting the plug to the copper bars would be enough. Apparently not if there is an obvious ongoing chemical reaction (oxidation?). I don't know what is getting into the pool, I only notice the green and small flakes inside the SWG chamber when I am doing the vinegar soak with the SWG capped and off line.
    Peter B.
    Intex Metal Frame 18' X 48", Krystal Clear Saltwater System 54601EG, Tybee Island, Georgia

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    Re: Green scale on copper blocks inside Intex SWG

    Dave,

    Thinking about it I didn't notice the green oxidation on the copper bars when it was plugged in. Is that because it wasn't oxidizing or because the oxidation was being released during the cycle. Would love to take the copper bars out, but don't have a good way to plug that hole. The fitting is larger than the other system plastic caps. Intex doesn't offer anything and haven't had any luck online with the pool supply places. Seen mention here of taking off the bars but don't know how to do that or what alternative cover could be used.
    Peter B.
    Intex Metal Frame 18' X 48", Krystal Clear Saltwater System 54601EG, Tybee Island, Georgia

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    Re: Green scale on copper blocks inside Intex SWG

    I know some here have removed the copper bars, but the only post I could find that said how they did it was from linen on this thread green-scale-on-copper-blocks-inside-intex-swg-t52988.html

    Anytime copper comes in contact with water it's going to oxidize and turn green. In pool water that means green hair I believe chlorine probably makes the process occur even faster.

    And, as Bama Rambler mentioned, you really need to have FC in the pool while there are people swimming. A good test kit, as described in the pool school section of this site, and the pool calculator will help you have easily maintained and safe swimming water. Without it you are just guessing on what chlorine level is safe to swim in, and no chlorine is certainly not safe as bacteria love warmth and water. One kid sick and you don't know it.... look out! Pool stores are notoriously bad at test results and most don't trust them.
    Indiana, ABG 24'x52" Galveston by Blue Cascade (Craigslist buy w/part of deck included), 13,500 gallons, Intex SWG, solar panels mix 2, TF-100 test kit.

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