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Thread: What about cyanuric acid and copper?

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    What about cyanuric acid and copper?

    I assume I can get cyanuric acid from places like Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc. What should I watch out for in buying cyanuric acid? Any other ingredients to avoid?

    My Intex SWG uses a pair of copper electrodes to generate copper ions and Intex has a spec (0.1 - 0.2 ppm) on copper levels. I think I had to add some copper solution to get things started. Where is a good place to find that- pool store?

    Oh yes! can I use last year's Taylor test kit chemicals?

    Thanks,
    Richard

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: What about cyanuric acid and copper?

    Cyanuric acid is sold under several different names, stabilizer, conditioner, and cyanuric acid are some of the more common ones. Look for 98+% pure cyanuric acid. Now and then you run into a brand that is around 50%, which is usually a much worse deal.

    We don't recommend the use of copper in the water. Copper can lead to green hair and unsightly stains that vary between difficult and impossible to remove. It is easy to disable the copper electrodes by simply removing the cable that energizes them.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: What about cyanuric acid and copper?

    Richard, I believe I found "stabilizer" at Lowes or WalMart last year. Absolutely learn to read the label before you by anything for the pool. People thought I was crazy reading all the labels on all the stuff in the pool section. It was amazing how much **** there is added to this stuff.

    Now, as for your "cooper" problem. I can't remember if it is here or on the poolforum, simply unplug the cooper electrodes to prevent the operation of that part of the system. Of course you will have to keep testing to ensure that unplugging the cooper part doesn't shut the unit down (which nobody has reported). I did not do that last year and had some greening of blonde hair from the 5 year old girl. I plan on unplugging this year. Wrap the plug up so it doesn't get wet.

    I would recommend you do not put some sort of cooper gunk from the pool store. That is unless someone like Jason tells you it's ok.

    Bob E.

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    Re: What about cyanuric acid and copper?

    Hmmmmm,

    I haven't recognized copper as a problem. The grandchildren have dark hair, one of the great-grandchildren has blond hair but none of them spend an appreciable amount of time in our pool. The little blond might look good with green hair

    Intex says copper "helps" hypochlorous acid kill algae and bacteria. Do I understand correctly that borate controls them by itself?

    Lamotte has Insta-TEST strips for borate (0 - 80 ppm). They have test strips for anything a pool owner might be interested in. Does anyone have experience with Lamotte products? How do their strips compare with Taylor wet chemistry test kits?

    I spent a lot of time looking at pool-related web sites and their forums last night. I have serious information overload.

    Richard

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: What about cyanuric acid and copper?

    Chlorine alone kills both bacteria and algae far more effectively than either copper or borates. Because of that, is no need for either copper or borates. However, borates are nice to have for other reasons (PH buffering and water feel mostly).

    The Lamotte test strips are the best available reasonably priced borate test. They aren't all that precise, but it is not important to maintain a precise borate level. For other levels test strips should be avoided. Test strips invariably have low precision, and for most of the numbers we want better precision than test strips can provide.

    By the by, copper is reasonable effective against algae, but essentially useless against the bacteria that are important to kill in swimming pools.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: What about cyanuric acid and copper?

    I guess I got beat to the post. I need to start typing faster.
    Short answer: don't use copper or strips. Now for some explanation. First, copper. If you keep the poll properly chlorinated, there is no need for copper. Copper only keeps algae from growing, and does not help against bacteria and viruses. The problems copper causes are not worth the (limited, or possibly nonexistent) benefits. As to test strips, they are not accurate, and they are not precise enough for the methods we teach here. There are experiments you can do with strips you already have, but I don't think you have any yet, and don't feel like going into details (this post is long enough already). So essentially, don't use copper, and get a good test kit (K-2006 or TF-100 from tftestkits.net).
    John
    7 year old ~13,500 gal 24' AGP with 1.5 hp Proline pump, 150 sqft Pleatco cartridge, filled with well water with pH of about 4.5.
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    Re: What about cyanuric acid and copper?

    Thanks for the advice on test strips.

    I test the pool weekly with my 2006 test kit. I typically use test strips mid week or so to check for sudden changes in pH or Cl-. If the strip says the Cl- dropped than it is time for the test kit to see what is going on so I can fix it.

    I am an analytical chemist (at least before I retired). Some of this pool chemistry can be a little over my head but I could detect and quantitate low ppb or high ppt of pesticides or "certain" other things in water.

    I remember one time I had calibrated my GC/MS one way and the boss wasn't satisfied with the result so I redid the calibration another way. Of course the second result was different than the first. We got in a pretty good argument about calibrating a third way. I said what difference will it make? You will have then three different results. Which one are you going to believe. Two similar and one different? Still which one is good and which is bad? It was so much fun back then.

    Richard

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    Re: What about cyanuric acid and copper?

    I have no way around copper, because my pool is so old I have around 300 yards of copper tubing in the ground to feed the pool. But, that's just copper pipe instead of PVC, I would never have anything ADDING copper to my pool.

    That said, CYA does not hurt copper. They've been putting CYA in my pool since it was built, and the plumbing is still just fine.
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