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Thread: SWG and copper pipes

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    SWG and copper pipes

    I just bought a house that has a salt water pool. I had a pool technician come check out my pool and he says I have copper pipes running underground and that I need to immediately stop running salt and switch to chlorine or I will ruin my pool. Another pool technician I spoke to said that SWG won't ruin my copper pipes and that I'm fine as long as I maintain my PH levels right. What's the real story?


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    Mod Squad Patrick_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Re: SWG and copper pipes

    Welcome to the forum!

    A salt pool is a Chlorine pool. The SWG makes Chlorine through electrolysis. You're pH is extremely important with Copper. It will also be better if you stay on top of Chlorine so that you do not have to elevate it to clear up problems. This is always important, but more so with Copper. Please check out Pool School and Start with the ABC's. You can click the link in my Sig line.

    Enjoy the forums and post back when you have questions.
    TFP Moderator
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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: SWG and copper pipes

    As long as you keep the PH at 7.2 or higher at all times, the copper pipes will be fine with SWG levels of salt. Copper starts to have issues around 6000 ppm of salt, while modern SWGs tend to use salt levels around 3000 or 3500.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: SWG and copper pipes

    Thanks for the replies...and the patience since I am now seeing that this question has been asked and answered at least a couple of times in other threads.

    I appreciate your help. And I will definitely check out the boards you mentioned. I have a lot to learn.


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    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Dallas, TX

    Re: SWG and copper pipes

    Yep, by me not too long ago. Essentially you can tie a sacrificial anode to the pipes if you are really worried about it. I have not had any issues with mine at all. I have no anode on my pipes, but I might consider it.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: SWG and copper pipes

    Thanks for all the info. The previous owners installed a sacrificial anode so I guess I'm covered.
    I notice that the plaster has a dingy yellow look to it. The plaster is only 7 years old. I thought maybe the discoloration was caused by corrosion of the copper pipes. Do you think this might be the cause?

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Mexico, MO

    Re: SWG and copper pipes

    Copper stains AFAIK are normally black or green, depending on the alloy used. The higher the zinc content, the closer to black.

    I doubt your yellow staining is from the pipes.

    You might have your water tested for other metals, I'm not sure what colors you can expect from manganese, but the most common metal would be iron. Iron stains are normally brown.

    Check out pool school (link in upper right of this page) for metal stains, and how to treat for them. There are several methods for identifying what is causing the staining outlined there.
    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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    Re: SWG and copper pipes

    Thanks for all the info. I checked out the Pool School and it is so helpful! I read the section on staining and I suspect that the color in my plaster is from iron deposits. I tried the vitamin C tablet test and after holding the tablet to the plaster for about 2 minutes I removed it to find a beautiful white tablet sized circle on my plaster. Looks like I need to do the ascorbic acid treatment and add sequestrant to my water. I'm a little bit leery of trying it myself. I need to make sure I have all the basics of water chemistry down before I dive into something like an acid treatment. At least I know what the problem is now.


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