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Thread: Why does Intex use the copper?

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    porkandbeans's Avatar
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    Why does Intex use the copper?

    I'm new and I just don't understand all of this yet. (I've read in a couple threads about the copper debate and older units not having the copper)
    Why does Intex use the copper?
    What do users here find that the copper does to the water to make it undesirable?
    After removing the copper is there some other negative tradeoff that needs to be then addressed?

    BTW, I plan on setting up and filling my new Intex w/ SWG tomorrow. I have the all-in-one filter/pump/swg unit.
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: How to remove copper bars in Intex SWG

    Re: Copper in your pool.

    Copper ions in the water tend to turn hair and fingernails green, and can lead to staining of your pool.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: How to remove copper bars in Intex SWG

    Many companies fall into the trap of pushing the use of copper ions as an algaecide. Some of it stems from the misunderstanding in the industry of the role cya plays in maintaining proper FC levels. If proper FC levels are maintained (for a given cya level) then there is no other chemical needed to keep algae from growing. There is no advantage to leaving the bars on the intex connected if you follow the methods taught here at tfp.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    porkandbeans's Avatar
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    Re: How to remove copper bars in Intex SWG

    Thanks for the explaination. It's all starting to make more sense a little bit at a time.
    From this, it sounds like the manufactures are trying new things to make the chemistry (and pool ownership) easier for possibly lazy or ignorant users.
    Is there any proof, study, or speculation that indicates and real danger to having copper in the water? (Other than the aforementioned greening of hair and nails)?
    5,061 gallon Intex Ultra Frame 16x48 Saltwater Krystal Clear
    Softub 280

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    chessie6's Avatar
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    Re: Why does Intex use the copper?

    Just my 2 cents . . when I used copper my hair reacted to it and smelled like rusty metal. No amount of shampooing got the smell out. I wasn't even blonde then to have trouble with my hair in my copper pool. Good luck and enjoy your pool!
    Summer: 19 x 37 Pacific Graphex IG modified oval, aztec marine vinyl liner, 24,000 gal, 3.5 feet to 8 feet, 1 hp Hayward C4025 Swim Clear 4-cartridge filter, 12.5% Liquid Pool Shock for sanitizing, 1 super wide mouth skimmer, 4 returns (2 therapy jets in steps), Hayward Heat Pro heat pump, non-curved pool slide, 6' jump board, 8 ml blue solar cover, TF-100 test kit, had pink algae in 2010 Winter: Hot Springs Vista Spa, 500 gallons.

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Why does Intex use the copper?

    There are really only two direct reasons that I know of to not use copper. One is the greening of hair that you mentioned and the other is staining of pool surfaces. Once a surface is stained with copper, it can be very difficult to remove.

    If by "danger" you are referring to safety to humans, I am not aware of any issues in that area for copper in the water. However, sometimes systems that use copper (sometimes also known as metal ion or mineral systems) encourage users to allow for a lower level of FC (free chlorine) in the water. Although a slightly lower level of FC might be possible and still maintain an algae free pool, I am not aware of any data that determines how much lower. Taken even further, sometimes people will not put chlorine in at all (or too little) with metal ion systems and this can result in unsanitary/unsafe pool water.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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