Over time TFP has seen its fair share of products that were sold to Pool Owners that unfortunately aren’t all they’re marketed as. Below is a brief description of many of these products and the issues we’ve seen from each.
Metal Based Algaecide or Algae Control
Copper or silver is commonly used to control algae and is introduced into the water via the use of Algicides or various products. Some of these products are marketed as The Frog, Nature 2, or an Ionizer. While metals do have the ability to kill algae they do not kill person to person virus’s. Because of this chlorine, bromine, and biguanide (AKA Baqua) is still required. The biggest drawback users face when using metal based products is staining their pools surface. These products are also the cause of green hair which is often attributed to chlorine.
Products containing ammonia act to bind with chlorine to produce monochloramine which can kill algae. Problems arise because if it works (and seldom do we hear of that) the ammonia will deplete your chlorine repeatedly until you’ve added so much to oxidize the ammonia.
FLOC is a product often pushed by pool stores that rarely works as advertised. It causes large particles in the water to clump up and fall to the bottom where they must be vacuumed to waste and not allowed to go into the filter system. Many people struggle to remove this product from their pools so best leave it at the store entirely.
Ultraviolet (UV) Systems
UV is never acceptable on it’s own. UV is only suitable as an adjunct to one of the three primary sanitizers: chlorine, bromine, or Baquacil.
UV, in combination with a sanitizer, is very nice for use with an indoor pool. UV can take care of the CC which tends to build up in indoor pools. UV is not worth it for an outdoor pool, where sunlight performs the same function for free.
Cyanuric Acid Reducers
These products are sold to reduce the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level in a pool avoiding the need to preform a drain/refill. TFP saw this product used several times in 2016 with little success. There were a few cases where users reported a decline in CYA levels however many of these users were using unreliable test strips or Pool Store testing for their results. The majority of users saw little to no decline in their CYA levels.
In an outdoor residential pool ozone doesn’t really help much at all, to the point where it is fairly common for people to post here that they have just realized that their ozone system had not been working for months, yet they never noticed any difference in the pool at all. It makes little sense to spend money installing and maintaining a device which has no perceptible effect.
Ozone typically serves as a secondary oxidizer, with chlorine as the primary oxidizer and sanitizer. In principal, the ozone can oxidize things, so that the chlorine doesn’t have to, saving on chlorine. However, in practice, there is so little need for oxidization in a residential pool that the maximum amount of chlorine you can save is very small. The situation is very different in a commercial pool, where the bather load is much higher and there is way more stuff needing oxidation.
In general these products are sold as a “fix all” product however they seldom address the root cause of the cloudy water; algae. Clarifiers should NEVER be used with a DE filter or in a pool where Metal Sequestrant is being used. Additionally, one should not add too much to the water as cloudiness could result.