Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Hello TFP members,

    First, I want to say thank you for the wonderful resource you've put together here. Even before registering, I found a lot of useful info.

    So, as the subject line indicates, I own an Ecosmarte. I had just moved into a new house and was a first time pool owner and after a terrible time controlling algae my first summer in the house with a standard chlorinator, my electrician/plumber/general handyman recommended the Ecosmarte to me, and I went with it because I trusted him. (Long story short - he stopped returning my phone calls about a year ago...)

    From perusing the old posts, I've gotten the message loud and clear that copper ionization is not sufficient as a sanitizer. I will add, however, that last year using only the Ecosmarte and a couple of gallons of Clorox bleach every couple of weeks, I did not have algae problems and it did seem to prevent any significant bacterial growth, though the water was occasionally a little cloudy. Thankfully, no one got sick from being in the pool, but I am concerned about bacteria and viruses in the water, person-to-person transmission of disease, and just generally keeping the pool as safe as possible.

    I still have a giant bucket of tri-chlor tablets which I would like to use up this season, but afterwards, I think I would like to move toward the BBB system. I understand with BBB, you shouldn't need to add anything else to the water, but I was wondering what you more knowledgeable folks thought about using the Ecosmarte strictly for algae control (given that the money has already been spent - bought it used fortunately, so I didn't get beat up too badly)...would it be OK to use it to ionize the water up to levels of 0.3ppm copper? Would that help control the algae, especially at the higher ph levels (Ecosmarte recommends copper levels of at least 0.4 to kill bacteria and ph 6.8-7.0, but going back to chlorine, obviously I need to up that to the standard 7.2-7.8 range) or would it just be a stain-risk?

    I just opened the pool last week (first time doing it myself, actually). Ph and alkalinity were way low (6.4, 40) so I dumped in about 32 lbs. of baking soda. Had my water tested (post-baking soda) at the local pool shop yesterday. Here are the results:

    FC: 0.1ppm
    Total Chlorine: 0.7ppm
    Combined Chlorine: 0.7ppm
    pH: 7.8
    Hardness: 10ppm
    Alkalinity: 99ppm
    CYA: 5ppm
    Copper: 0.14ppm

    Baking soda seems to have done the job on alkalinity and ph. Obviously chlorine and stabilizer are super low. I added a couple of gallons of concentrated (~8%) Clorox bleach to shock the pool last night and test strip showed total chlorine up somewhere between 3 and 5ppm as of this morning. Almost no FC though.

    Pool store guy recommended I add 83 lbs of calcium chloride to bring the hardness up to the desired range (175-350ppm), but based on what I read here, it seems I shouldn't need quite that much - it's a vinyl pool, but I do have a heater, so I was thinking I should get the level up to at least 50, maybe 100?

    I had a chlorinator on my system, but it was removed when the Ecosmarte was put in. For the time being, I thought I could use the tri-chlor tablets in a floater. I had 3 tablets in my skimmer basket for the past week (kept the pump running 24/7), but I don't want to do that long term.

    Thanks for any and all advice.
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    8,998

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Welcome to the forum. For your vinyl liner pool, you don't need to add any calcium to it-unless you just wanna feel comfier around 50 ppm. We don't recommend the use of any copper based additives nor are they required for a properly maintained pool.
    I don't see any numbers for your CYA level? You want to get that up to around 30 and maintain your FC levels based on that. See the chlorine/CYA chart in pool school. See our recommended test kits in Pool School.
    16x32x52" Steel Cornelius Miramar AGP Vinyl liner 13,100 gal. Buried 2 ft.
    2 Speed Hayward Power-Flo Matrix 85 g.p.m. 22" 250lb. sand filter hard plumbed
    Pool Rover Jr., Pool Blaster Max, Diver Dave TF100 Test Kit/Speed Stir
    Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker, Liqour Chiller, & Drink Mixer & Party Tub----Collect 'um all!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North East Ohio
    Posts
    953

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    So I almost got sucked into the same thing from my PB, after a ton of research I got lucky and forced him to omit that from my build.

    I honestly see NO USE of the system...sorry, but that is my $.02 as well.

    I also think that all of us that have been duped by EcoSmarte should start a class action lawsuit, but that is a different story altogether!
    14,750 GAL IG Fiberglass (16 x 33) NE Ohio || Jandy 1HP 2 speed Pump || Waterco MultiCyclone 16 Centrifugal pre-filter (removed due to not working with sand filter) || 30" 575 Lb. Sand Filter || AquaCal 140K BTU Heat Pump || Solar Cover || Inter-fab Adrenaline Slide || GLI Monsoon Solar Cover Reel || K-2006C Test Kit || BBB with Liquid Chlorine Stenner Injection || Rayner Mighty Mesh Winter Cover

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Thanks for the reply. CYA is at 5ppm (I had listed it as CA before, corrected now.)
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  5. Back To Top    #5
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Welcome!

    It's great that you've been reading up on things. You've still got a bit more learning to do. The one message you should have picked up, and obviously, we've failed somehow, is that you need proper test results from your own proper test kit. Pool store tests are unreliable. Some stores do a good job; most don't. How do you know yours is one of the good ones?

    You have a vinyl pool. Low Calcium doesn't hurt anything but the pool store's profit margin. Save your money.

    Using up your leftover trichlor is false economy. Trichlor is very acidic. You will be constantly lowering pH and TA if you feed your pool a steady diet of pucks. If you want to be constantly adding borax and baking soda to offset the damage, it's your wallet. At some point, CYA will be high enough and if you keep feeding it pucks, it will get too high.

    If you have your own test kit and maintain proper FC levels for your CYA level, you won't get algae. It's that simple. You don't need copper. You don't need algaecides. You don't need phosphate removers. Four years of owning the house and my pool has never had an algae bloom, and it's open 365 days a year, even if it's too cold to swim in it.

    If those pool store test results are accurate - and there is every reason to doubt it -- then you have algae gathering for an attack. .7 Combined Chlorine is too high. What you need is a SLAM. To do it properly, you need a proper test kit and you need to have some CYA in the water - 30ish. And then lots and lots and lots of bleach.

    My immediate advice is to invest in a test kit. The best value is the TF100 from http://tftestkits.net. Using your strips as a rough guide, try to keep FC above 3 until the kit arrives and you can do things properly. And lose the Ecosmarte unit.

    Once you have the Junior Scientist Playset in your hands, run all the tests and post results and we can get your chemistry straightened out.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Ph on the test strip looks a little lower than what the pool store test reported, but not terribly far off (maybe closer to 7.4-7.6). Alkalinity, CYA are consistent.

    So, if I'm understanding (and using the pool calculator correctly), after ordering a test kit, I should add about 2 gallons of CYA to get the level up to about 30ppm and 5 gallons of concentrated bleach (or 6 gallons of the regular bleach) to get the FC up to 12 for the SLAM? Then try to keep the FC above 3 by adding about a gallon of bleach whenever it drops (which may be very frequent at first...hourly? daily?) and look for the CC to drop under 0.5?

    Once CC is under .5 and CYA is around 30, how often should I expect to add bleach to keep FC levels in the appropriate range (assuming no more pucks)?

    Thanks for the help.
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Almost.... After ordering a test kit, you should test everything and then decide what you need to add. If CYA needs to be raised, then 30 would be a good target. Then you raise FC to 12 and keep adding bleach to maintain it at 12 every couple hours. That's Shock Level And Maintain. After the SLAM is complete, then you maintain an appropriate FC for whatever the CYA level is.

    The 3 FC is just to keep things in a holding pattern until you get a test kit and some results.
    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!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Thanks again!
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    4,052

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    It may be easier to go slightly over 12 on the FC so that you are assured it will never drop TOO low. Just don't go crazy, you don't want to damage the liner.
    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
    If TFP has helped you, please click to SUPPORT TFP!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    How high would be considered "crazy"?
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    OK, so I got the Taylor K-2006 yesterday. CYA indeed tested at 0 (or near 0). I added 5 gallons of 8% bleach last night, and 9 lbs of dry stabilizer this afternoon. I also added the 20 lbs of calcium I had bought at the pool store (figured it wouldn't hurt and they probably wouldn't take it back anyway.)

    So, this evening's values:

    Ph 7.6
    Alkalinity 140 (went clear on the 13th drop, red on the 14th drop)
    Calcium - 100
    FC: 3.0 (using 10ml...actually went clear for a moment after 4 drops, then turned pink again. Cleared up again after 2 more drops)
    CC: 2.0

    (note: on the Insta-test strips, it looks like total chlorine is between 3-5ppm which is consistent, but the free chlorine looks like 0.)

    After 9 lbs of stabilizer, CYA is still showing up as 0 (i.e., could still see the black dot when comparator was full.) Does it take a while for the CYA to "settle"? I broadcast it all over the deep end of the pool and actually pulled the sample from that end as well about 3 hours after I added it. Or maybe I just did something wrong?

    Should I go ahead and add more bleach tonight, or better to wait until I can get a good read on CYA? Doesn't seem possible that it is still near 0 after adding 9 lbs.

    Ecosmarte is still attached, but off (need to do some plumbing before I can take it away). Hockey pucks are out of the pool, too. Had them in there for about 4 days.
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Richard320's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
    Posts
    18,768

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    CYA takes about a week to fully dissolve and register on the test. Scattering it was probably not the best idea. The stuff is mildly acidic and can damage the liner. That's why we recommend putting it in a sock and setting it in the skimmer or hanging it in front of a return so it gets constant water flow. You need to go brush that stuff around some and hope there was no damage. You might have freckles now.

    Assume that the CYA is in there and add more bleach tonight. Just follow the SLAM instructions.

    Don't waste reagents checking CYA again until next weekend.
    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!

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Thanks again for the help. Much to learn still.

    Re: scattering the CYA, it's good to know for next time. I literally just followed the instructions on the container: "If your pool has a deep end, broadcast product throughout the deep end. Brush undissolved product from pool surface." They do say if you don't have a deep end to apply it through the skimmer (though it doesn't mention using a skimmer sock...from what you're telling me it doesn't sound like a great idea to dump it directly through the skimmer without the sock.)

    My liner is old and bleached out anyway. A few speckles won't bother me...as long as it isn't going to eat a hole in it.
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Just read a couple of other posts on the CYA thing. I actually spread most of it directly over the main drain, so maybe it will get sucked into the filter and won't end up being so bad after all.
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  15. Back To Top    #15
    pwrstrk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Elverson Pa.
    Posts
    4,758

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Quote Originally Posted by BooGroove View Post
    Just read a couple of other posts on the CYA thing. I actually spread most of it directly over the main drain, so maybe it will get sucked into the filter and won't end up being so bad after all.
    If it got sucked into the filter hopefully, don't backwash your filter for a week so you don't backwash it out. 😎
    Jeff
    24'x54" AG Morada RTR (by wilbar) 13'500 gal. Hayward Powerflo Matrix 1hp 2 speed. Hayward Perflex EC65 DE filter.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Long Valley/NJ
    Posts
    11

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    IMG_8995.jpgIMG_8996.jpg

    A couple of pics of my pool after about two weeks of following the advice on the forum (it didn't look blue before that).

    I'm happy with the results. Thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    And yes, that's a floater with tri-chlor tabs in the corner of the first pic, but I'm monitoring CYA closely - still very low. I'll eventually be ditching those for bleach only.

    The Ecosmarte has been removed, most likely destined for eBay or Craigslist.
    30-35k gallons, IG, Vinyl
    Filter: Hayward DE4820, Vari-Flow Valve 50 PSI.3.4 Bar,
    UST-1152 1 1/2 HP pump, 115/230 volts, 3450 rpm
    Pool built in 1986
    Other: Ecosmarte Turbo Ionizer, Heat Pump, Aquabot and Kreepy Krauly pool vacs

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Rafael, CA USA
    Posts
    12,082

    Re: Ecosmarte owner trying to make good...

    Quote Originally Posted by BooGroove View Post
    I still have a giant bucket of tri-chlor tablets which I would like to use up this season, but afterwards, I think I would like to move toward the BBB system. I understand with BBB, you shouldn't need to add anything else to the water, but I was wondering what you more knowledgeable folks thought about using the Ecosmarte strictly for algae control (given that the money has already been spent - bought it used fortunately, so I didn't get beat up too badly)...would it be OK to use it to ionize the water up to levels of 0.3ppm copper? Would that help control the algae, especially at the higher ph levels (Ecosmarte recommends copper levels of at least 0.4 to kill bacteria and ph 6.8-7.0, but going back to chlorine, obviously I need to up that to the standard 7.2-7.8 range) or would it just be a stain-risk?
    You are correct that the primary risk to continuing to use copper ions for algae control is the risk of metal staining. That's less of a risk in a vinyl pool, but still possible. The pH range closer to 7.5 is for eye comfort and also with TA in the water a pool normally wants to get somewhat higher in pH. Chlorine itself doesn't need the pH to be higher.

    Part of the difficulty is that it's hard to control and measure the copper level even if one were to ignore the staining possibility (which is reduced by keeping the pH lower) as well as the risk of turning blond hair greenish. The FC and CYA levels are easier and more accurately determined. So we normally recommend using chlorine to keep algae from growing.

    You can save the Trichlor tabs for vacations or other times you need dosing when you are not around to add chlorinating liquid or bleach manually. Or you can use it if your CYA level is getting low and you just want to start using up those tabs. When you use the Trichlor tabs, you'll need to adjust the pH and TA as these will drop from tab usage.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

Posting Permissions

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