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Thread: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

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    Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    Has anyone heard of CL Free? I have a buddy who has ozone and paid about 4,000.00 for the unit. But I hear there's a system out that makes pool water clean and drinkable. Has anyone heard of it? I read it uses co2. I would like feedback, thinking of switching from salt water to fresh water. Does this mean I could plant flowers in my pool? Just kidding.... I also read that you would have to run the equipment a lot more.
    Melbi Stylz

    Beach Entry, pebble sheen, natural rock waterfall, raised bondbeam w/ 2 3ft cascades, Pentair VS Pump, 1hp Pentair whisperflo main pump, 1hp booster pump, FNS 60Sq Filter, Jandy Aqualink RS6, Sta-Rite Master Temp 400,000BTU, Raised Spa, Breeze salt system

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    There are only 3 EPA approved methods for pool sanitation in the US -- chlorine, bromine, and biguanide. What someone does in their private pool may not be regulated, but it also may not be safe either. Further reading:
    alternative-sanitizers-and-chemical-free-pools-the-truth-t3025.html

    Most municipal water sources have chlorine in the water and it is drinkable ... so not sure what the point of that claim is. There are other chemicals in the pool water that are not good to be ingested in large quantities. There are lots of threads here discussing using the pool for drinking water and in general it is not a good idea.

    All adding CO2 into the water will do is lower the pH (EDIT: actually the CO2 lowers the pH, not raises it like I first said)

    Your salt pool is a chlorine pool (the cell just "creates" the FC from the salt). In reality your water is around 3500 ppm of salt, the ocean is 35,000 ppm of salt ... so it is not really "salt" water. In fact it is not uncommon for not SWG pools, to have up over 1000 ppm of salt in them as all forms of chlorine add salt. And some, like myself, add up to 2000ppm of salt just to improve the feel. If you switch to "fresh" water, you will need to use one of the 3 chemicals listed above to maintain clear, safe water.

    In general for outdoor pools, chlorine is the cheapest and most effective way to maintain a swimming pool ... whether you use a SWG or not. The use of UV or ozone or minerals, costs extra money (since you still need the chlorine) and could potentially cause additional problems (like metal staining).

    EDIT: That product is just another one of the mineral setups that adds copper and titanium into the water. If the pool is not properly balanced and the levels of metal get high ... the pool surface will stain and blond hair may turn green due to the copper. This is not effective protection against person to person transmittal of bacteria / viruses.

    EDIT2: do a search for "clfree" and you will find some threads. Here is one:
    pool-spa-system-sanitizers-t40308.html?hilit=clfree
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    dmanb2b's Avatar
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    Re: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    What he said
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    Re: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    I installed a CL FREE system on my previous pool. It was ok but you have a lot to worry about. Because it uses copper as the sanitizer(to prevent algae) and a titanium plate as the oxidizer it ends up staining the pool plaster. I had the CO2 system installed with it to adjust the PH and it went haywire a few times and made the PH go to high or low which dropped the metal out of suspension. Also, if you read the fine print you still have to shock the pool with CL once a month or so to kill anything else in the water that the system didn't get.

    The only other product i know of that's not CL based is biaganicide....sp? IE Pristine Blue

    Anyone know anything else?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    Quote Originally Posted by RPS&D
    it uses copper as the sanitizer(to prevent algae)
    Copper is NOT a sanitizer, not even close. Copper is an algaecide. You need to have a sanitizer or the pool is not safe to swim in.

    Pristine Blue is copper again.
    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    There are only 3 EPA approved methods for pool sanitation in the US -- chlorine, bromine, and biguanide.
    One of those three chemicals needs to be used, though there are a number of different brands/procedures for using each of them. Without one of those three you are not going to prevent disease transmission through the water.


    MelbiStylz, why are you looking at chlorine free systems? Many of the reasons people tend to look for chlorine free systems are based on lies and half truths. There are some valid reasons also, like a true chlorine allergy, though they aren't at all common.
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    Re: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    The theory behind the CL Free system is that the water will pass over the Titanium plate and oxidize any contaminants and then the copper anode prevents the algae in the water. But like I said, if you read the fine print they still require that you shock once a month or so to kill anything else. I agree that it really is a half truth when they sell it as a "CL Free" system and then require you to add CL...? Either way, it was something I experimented with because I got a demo and it didn't work too well, not because it didn't keep the water clear and clean but because it was made cheaply and continued to break down. I will say, I didn't get algae with the system, but my pool sure did smell like copper! =)

    When building a pool I do add UV and Nature 2 systems with a Salt Chlorine Generator or Tab Feeder and they really do seem to reduce the CL consumption. Just one pool guys opinion.

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    Re: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    UV is not necessary for an outdoor pool. The sun takes care of that for free.

    The Nature 2 system adds metals to your pool. This includes copper, something that we know to stain hair and pool surfaces. There is nothing in the Nature 2 system that sanitizes. You still need either chlorine, bromine, or PMHB to sanitize. The Nature 2 is a product that costs a lot, does nothing to help, and adds things that are problematic to deal with later.

    To the OP, I'm sorry but when it comes to pool water sanitization, there are no free lunches. The water must be sanitized and that requires either chlorine, bromine, or biguanide. No combination of alternatives or other quackery will work.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    Systems that depend on water passing through the pump don't prevent disease transmission. The infectious agents remain in the bulk pool water in large enough quantities regardless of what happens to water passing through the pump. UV systems, a few of which can completely sterilize the water passing through the pump, have the same problem, they can't sterilize the water that remains in the pool.

    UV increases chlorine consumption, as UV breaks down chlorine directly. In a commercial pool it is likely that there could be a net reduction in chlorine usage despite this because there is so much oxidizing to do that the UV takes care of it can save enough chlorine to make up for the chlorine it breaks down. But in a residential pool there isn't much of anything that needs oxidizing when you are using enough chlorine to sanitize, so UV costs you extra chlorine in a residential pool.

    It is possible for copper based systems to reduce chlorine consumption when used properly, of course that exposes you to the usual risks associated with copper systems, ie green hair and pool surface staining.
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    Re: Ozone, CL Free, anything but chlorine or salt

    As shown in this post, not only do metal ions kill bacteria slowly and do not inactivate most viruses, but copper at pool concentrations does not kill fecal bacteria. If one really wants a metal ion system and carefully controls the ion concentrations and the pH to prevent staining, then it should be a combination copper/silver system so that at least most bacteria are killed, albeit slowly. It's still no where nearly as disinfected as when using chlorine, but would be better than a copper-only system (even with a central oxidizing system).

    One has to have something in the bulk pool water for disinfection. Otherwise, bacteria and algae will grow on surfaces and never get circulated to an ozone, UV or oxidizing system connected to the pump.
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