Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Looking into chlorine free options

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Looking into chlorine free options

    Being new to owning a pool, we're wanting to install a fiberglass pool in our new home. We've had a spa for 20 years and have had excellent luck with Nature 2 and an ozonator keeping the water clear and chemical free. After talking to companies, we're convinced we can do the same thing on a larger scale for our pool without any problems. I've been doing some research on the Ecosmarte system, but definitely not convinced that's the way to go.

    Has anyone had any experience with using a Nature 2 and an ozonator in their pool? Good things bad things?

    Thanks!

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,089

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Planner
    Being new to owning a pool, we're wanting to install a fiberglass pool in our new home. We've had a spa for 20 years and have had excellent luck with Nature 2 and an ozonator keeping the water clear and chemical free. After talking to companies, we're convinced we can do the same thing on a larger scale for our pool without any problems. I've been doing some research on the Ecosmarte system, but definitely not convinced that's the way to go.

    Has anyone had any experience with using a Nature 2 and an ozonator in their pool? Good things bad things?

    Thanks!
    It's just not safe. The ozonator does a good job killing pathogens as they pass through it, but in order to keep the water safe you need something to kill them in the pool during the 8 hours or so before they pass through the ozonator. The metals from the Nature 2 are not nearly fast enough to perform as a sanitizer. The situations are much different in a pool and spa.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3
    Isaac-1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    SW Louisiana
    Posts
    6,711

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Part of the problem with trying to avoid the use of Chlorine is that each of the other options have MAJOR flaws, UV and Ozone systems only treat the water that pass through them, and do nothing to address the issue of things growing and clinging to the sides of the pool. The various metal ion systems may help keep algae under control in a pool, but tends to do little to control other types of pathogens like bacteria which are not visible leading to a false sense of security. Even the legal Biguanide option has so many drawbacks that it makes Chlorine very appealing (been there done that), requiring far more careful balancing, and usually substantial regular water replacement.
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
    I use and endorse TFtestKits TF-100 from http://tftestkits.net
    ~Remember TFP counts on your donations to keep this site ad free~

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Thank you for the insight. After doing a bit more research, Zodiac, makers of Nature2, sell a product that combines the benefits of Nature2 plus adding chlorine to the water.

    Any comments on this product; http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/Produc ... round.aspx

    From what I'm reading, if I use a product like this along with an ozonator and a computerized controller to monitor everything, it appears to be a good combination.

    Comments?

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Smykowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Gurnee, IL (North Suburban Chi-town)
    Posts
    3,065

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    At that point you may as well ditch the Nature2 and use chlorine only. Improper use of tabs is what drives the majority of new members to this forum in the first place. Plus, if the makers of the product say you can "supplement" their system with chlorine, that's a signal to me that theor system must not work very well.

    One thing nobody asked yet....why do you not want to use chlorine?
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Planner
    Thank you for the insight. After doing a bit more research, Zodiac, makers of Nature2, sell a product that combines the benefits of Nature2 plus adding chlorine to the water.

    Any comments on this product; http://www.zodiacpoolsystems.com/Produc ... round.aspx

    From what I'm reading, if I use a product like this along with an ozonator and a computerized controller to monitor everything, it appears to be a good combination.

    Comments?
    You'll still need to test the water several times a week, so you won't save that much time. I've learned my pool's appetite (You'll learn yours in about a week's time during the swim season) so including vacuuming, I spend less than two hours a week on my pool. Usually closer to one. During the swim season, I estimate I spend about a dollar a day on a 16,000 gallon pool for chemicals. I haven't had an algae outbreak in three years, no one has ever complained of dry skin or rashes, and the water is so clear you can tell that the screws holding the main drain cover on are phillips head from the deck. I buy liquid bleach and acid, and keep a tub of trichlor pucks for when I leave town. It's really not hard nor expensive to do things the old-fashioned way.

    Others agree: bbb-saved-me-over-1-400-in-the-first-full-year-t54033.html

    That expensive system is just going to lead to a buildup of CYA. You can't use pucks exclusively for chlorination for long. A copy-n-paste from one of my better replies (I think)

    Pool Stores use manufacturers recommendations for CYA. If you read here long enough, you will start to see the pattern emerge where the pool store sells chemical after chemical and when the pool finally gets too cloudy or green, they discover your Total Dissolved Solids are too high and recommend draining it. But it's not really TDS, it's saturated with CYA.

    We'll take a 16000 gallon pool, because that's what I have. On a fresh fill, prominent national pool chain recommends 2.5 pounds pf stabilizer per 10,000 gallons, which works out nicely to 4 pounds which brings CYA to 30.

    With an average loss of 2 PPM/Day or 14 ppm/week, I'll have added 8.6 PPM/CYA if I used trichlor pucks perfectly. And they recommend a weekly "shock" of dichlor between 5 and 10 FC.... 2-3 oz per 10,000 gallons. Split the difference; I'll add 4 oz. CYA went up another .9.

    So..by the end of week one, I have added 9.5 more CYA. It is now 39.5. Mimimum FC for that is 3, so I'm probably okay.

    Week two, up to 49 CYA.
    Week three, 58.5. Minimum FC should be 5, but they recommend 3 as ideal, so the pool looks a bit hazy. So I'll toss in a little extra dichlor "shock" to jack FC up to 10. Which adds another 6.4 CYA. Keeping count? We're up to 64.9 now.

    That caught the algae just in time.. we had two weeks of good luck. A steady diet of pucks and 4 oz. "shock" each week only added another 19, up to 73.9 now.

    Week 6 it started looking funky, so we "shocked"it once again. CYA is up to 99.3. But minimum FC to keep algae at bay is 8, and we're still holding things to 3, because prominent national chain's preprinted sheet shows that as ideal. So algae got a toehold and the pool has a bit of a tint. So we throw two whole bags of dichlor in which jacks it another 7.6 by the time week 7 is over, we're at 116.4, because we had pucks in the floater the whole time.

    So...in 7 weeks, from 30 to 116.4. Let's say there are no more algae outbreaks because they sold me a huge bucket of phos-free and another of yellow-out monopersulfate "shock" Nothing but the pucks and the extra 4 oz of dichlor "shock" weekly. So the next 7 weeks added 66.5, which brings the total to 182.9 CYA.

    Now if we didn't understand this and things looked a bit hazy, we might throw an extra puck or two in the floater every couple weeks, which will drive it over 200 easily.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Planner
    Thank you for the insight. After doing a bit more research, Zodiac, makers of Nature2, sell a product that combines the benefits of Nature2 plus adding chlorine to the water.
    If you're adding chlorine to the water, there's no need for the Nature2 "mineral technology". Instead, just use the right amount of CYA (stabilizer) and you'll get:
    - buffered chlorine, so it's not harsh
    - bacteria destroyed
    - algae prevented
    - sparkling clear water
    - no extra expense on unneeded and potentially problematic minerals and extra chemicals

    At least one of the minerals in Nature2 is copper. You don't need it as long as you understand and maintain the right chlorine and CYA levels. It's much cheaper to forego the copper. Note that in addition to the minerals, Nature2 will add CYA. Unfortunately, it will continually add CYA, and you will end up having too much of it. So instead of avoiding "extra chemicals", it will itself add them.

    Too much copper has the potential to stain your plaster and give green tones to light hair. There is no reason to put copper in a pool that is chlorinated.

    At any rate, with the Nature2 Fusion, you're back to a chlorinated pool...which begs the earlier question--why are you looking for an alternative?
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    For some reason, I am allergic to chlorine and bromine when used at the levels needed for swimming pools, which is why I'm trying to find alternative options. And before you ask, my wife does not want a saltwater pool. She loves to swim, so I want to get her a nice lap pool, but I would like to occasionally use it myself. I can only go to the swimming pool in our housing development every now and then, otherwise I start itching. Needless to say, if I'm going to have my own pool, I'll want to use it alot more often than once or twice a week. We stayed at my sister in law's house in Florida for two weeks and I encountered the same problem with her pool, after which I saw a dermatologist who confirmed what I already knew. When my wife wanted to get a hot tub, I explained my situation to the dealer who told us about Nature2 and an ozonator. While I had problems in other hot tubs, I've not had any problems in ours. This is why I'm can't go with the normal chlorine only solutions.

    I read an article about something like what I'm interested in; http://www.inyopools.com/HowToPage/how_ ... ystem.aspx

    So I know it's possible to install what I'm looking at.

    With all this said, I've only heard negatives about what I'm trying to do. I've not heard from anyone offer alternative solutions.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    You're likely hearing only negatives because for most people, chlorine is the most effective way to disinfect a pool and keep it algae-free, with the least amount of negative side effects. Allergic reactions to chlorine are rare.

    With your allergy to chlorine, check out this thread: alternative-to-chlorine-peroxide-t57059.html#p468445. Also, search the forum for "biguanide" which is probably your best bet under your specific circumstances. (This was mentioned earlier by JohnT.)

    All that said, I'd personally try a pool maintained at the CYA/chlorine level recommended here first. Why? Well, because most pools have chlorine that isn't buffered enough, or have high levels of chloromine because their CYA/chlorine balance is out of whack. Chloromine is much more of an irritant than chlorine itself, and it is more commonly an allergen as well. My understanding of what is taught here is that your pool will have a lower effective chlorine level than your tap water. It will be less expensive and easier to maintain a pool this way, and it might be a low enough level that it doesn't trigger your allergy. Of course, you will need to weigh the pros/cons for yourself on this.


    As an aside: Saltwater pools have chlorine in them. The salt in the water is used to generate chlorine, and this is what destroys bacteria and prevents algae. It's just another way to get a chlorinated pool. If you can swim in saltwater pools without getting itchy skin, then that makes it highly likely you can swim in a pool with the right CYA/chlorine level. Saltwater pools are much more likely to have the right CYA/chlorine because they do not continually add CYA the way pucks and some granular shock products do.
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Planner
    ...
    I read an article about something like what I'm interested in; http://www.inyopools.com/HowToPage/how_ ... ystem.aspx

    So I know it's possible to install what I'm looking at.

    With all this said, I've only heard negatives about what I'm trying to do. I've not heard from anyone offer alternative solutions.
    I clicked the link, and now I'm confused. That set-up adds chlorine; it's not a chlorine alternative solution.

    If you're looking for something to maintain chlorine at a steady level, and you don't want to go with a saltwater generator, there's a whole subforum on chemical automation and chlorine pumps/injectors here: chemical-automation-and-the-liquidator-f81.html. But again, these will maintain a chlorine pool, just like the set-up in your link will.
    Outdoor 14,000 gallon IG plaster pool built in 2000 with spillover spa, 2 hp WhisperFlo pump with MagneTek motor, Sta-Rite cartridge pool filter with 300 ft2 filtration area and 0.33 gpm/ft2 filtration rate, Aquabot Rapids 4WD robotic pool cleaner, Raypak digital gas heater, and Intermatic mechanical timer located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Eastern Ohio
    Posts
    6,603

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Planner
    For some reason, I am allergic to chlorine and bromine when used at the levels needed for swimming pools, which is why I'm trying to find alternative options. And before you ask, my wife does not want a saltwater pool.
    Few really quick notes,

    1. A "salt water" pool is a chlorine pool. It just uses a machine (SWG) to produce its own chlorine.

    2. Describe your allergy to chlorine. Often it's not an allergy, rather than sensitive skin combined with dirty bacteria filled water.

    Do you have problems when taking a shower using water from a municipal source?

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Smykowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Gurnee, IL (North Suburban Chi-town)
    Posts
    3,065

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Most allergies to chlorine are actually sensitivities to monochloramines, which is what you get in a dirty, improperly cared for pool.

    In a properly maintained pool, the chlorine isn't even noticeable. I've had guests in my pool who are stunned at how clean and clear the water is, and wonder "How do you do it without chlorine?" Then I smirk and explain it.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Eastern Ohio
    Posts
    6,603

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Planner
    With all this said, I've only heard negatives about what I'm trying to do. I've not heard from anyone offer alternative solutions.
    I am one of the very few people on the board who has used an alternative form of sanitation in the past. For about 18 years we used Baquacil due to my sister-in-law being allergic to chlorine. In high school she would commonly use other swimming pools (often public) and break out with very itchy skin, and at times slight reddish rashes. When my inlaws finished their pool, bromine was tried, but the rashes continued. They decided after talking to several doctors to try and use Baquacil to sanitize the water. For about 18 years we used the product with mixed results.....however a few years ago the price spent on the product wasn't worth it for the handful of times a year my sister-in-law would use the pool. We decided to swap to chlorine. After we completed the swap she's been in the pool more the past two years than in the previous 5 years combined. Not one problem what-so-ever with her skin.....however she still has issues when staying at hotels and using their pools. There are people out there with a true allergy to chlorine, however they are much rarer than you would imagine.

    With this said.....if you truly wish to go chlorine free I'm more than willing to offer any help I can. You will hear more posts about why the TFPC method is better (as it is).....but in the end the choice is yours. I'm not here to sell anything....just to help you with your pool water.

    The systems you mentioned simply don't make sense to me. UV/Ozone/Nature2 all require (no matter what the pool stores say) the use of chlorine to clean the water. The way I see it none of these should be options. If you're wishing to avoid the use of chlorine, why purchase a system that requires you to use chlorine?? The only true chlorine/bromine free option left is Baquacil. As stated before, we used this product for about 15ish years. When used correctly it does clean the pool just as chlorine would. The issue with Baquacil however is that it's a PITA to use. You'll still need to test/dose daily as if you allow the water to start to turn green you'll be playing catch-up to clear the water. Often white mold starts to devolve after about 5 years causing a water drain to rid the pool of the mold. If you use a Sand filter often the sand will need to be changed as well due to issues every so often. All this.......plus the price is large. We would spend in the area of $600ish a year on our 25k gallon pool. Compare that to the $200ish we spend now using chlorine.

    Take a look at their website and see if you've got any questions. While I would still highly suggest trying the TFPC method first.......I'm more than willing to assist you with this product.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    What is TFPC?

    Keep in mind when using acronyms that you're dealing with rookies who don't know all these initials.

    Thanks.

  15. Back To Top    #15
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Trouble Free Pool Care ... it is the methods that we teach for pool maintenance which basically are understanding your pool's chemistry through the use of a good test kit and then only adding what is needed.

    If your most of your experience with pools are public, then it is probable that they are not maintained as well we will teach you. Generally our pools have less chlorine in them than is found in municipal water supplies.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Eastern Ohio
    Posts
    6,603

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruise Planner
    What is TFPC?

    Keep in mind when using acronyms that you're dealing with rookies who don't know all these initials.

    Thanks.
    Sorry about that..... You're right about replying with acronyms is a nono!

    Sorry again,

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    Thanks for that!

    I had to look up CYA and figured that one out.

    I hear what you're saying about the chlorine levels in a private pool as opposed to a public pool. Makes sense. I'll talk to my sister-in-law about hers as I had the same problem in her pool - possible she keeps it too high. It's the only experience I've had with a private pool in the last 10 years. Funny how your body changes as you get old, because I never had any problems when I was younger. Wasn't until I hit about 50 that it started to affect me - red, itchy skin.

    Curious - do any of you use any of the computerized controllers that constantly monitor the water chemistry and dispenses chemicals as needed? Sounds like they would take alot of work and hassle out of the process, especially for a rookie.

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Smykowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Gurnee, IL (North Suburban Chi-town)
    Posts
    3,065

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    There are lots of examples of automation in this forum. From what I've read the computerized controllers aren't a completely "set it and forget it" solution. You can certainly use a stenner pump or liquidator to continuously add chlorine, or what most people do is put in a saltwater generator to do the same thing.

    No matter which route you go, the key to a clean clear pool is understanding it's chemistry, and testing it to maintain that chemistry. A pool can be very, very easy to maintain (I spend less than 15 min a week on chemicals), but there's really no way to completely put it on autopilot.
    33' round, 23,000 gal AG vinyl , 1HP 2spd PowerFlo Matrix downsized with 3/4HP impeller (X2), Hayward S180T 150# sand filter (X2), Hayward H250 NG heater Pool Store year 1 - $850 for 2 months; Pool Store year 2 - $440 for 2 months, TFPC year 1 - $170 for 4 months; TFPC year 2 - $95 for 4.5 months
    The most important article on this site - The ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    The sensors for measuring chlorine (called ORP sensors) do not work very well for outdoor pools. There are 3 ways of automatically chlorinating your pool, but best to manually test and adjust. They are a salt water chlorine generator SWG, a Liquidator, or a peristaltic pump.

    There are pH sensors than work well at maintain the pH by adding acid, but again easy enough to do manually and likely only would help if you had a SWG and high TA water.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Looking into chlorine free options

    By the way, I did read almost all the information in the Pool School area and found it very informative and helpful. Great job!! I know I'll have to read through it a couple of times since this is all new to me. I was mostly interested in the filter section - very good information. Not sure which one to go with yet - guess I'll have to do some more research on that issue. But the information on the SWG was also very helpful! Explained it to my wife and now she's definitely feeling different about that issue and sounds like the way to go.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •