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Thread: Ionizer and ozone

  1. Back To Top    #1
    Chasville's Avatar
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    Ionizer and ozone

    Split off of Silver based algaecides. JasonLion

    It seems that there are some really passionate people on this board. What smiley face should I use to add emphasis here?

    I don't disagree with the science(s) behind pool chemistry that works.

    I also am not preaching the method I'm using to manage my pool.

    You want to talk about a trouble free pool?

    I've put in 4 (5?) bottles of bleach in my pool since we opened it in May, 3 of which were in one day at the outset to kill the plant growth that grew over winter.
    The pool is clean and clear now, thanks to the chlorine bleach shock, the Aquabot Turbo T2, and the DE addition to the sand filter.
    I test the chemistry once a week, not daily.
    I run the 'bot every other day because stuff is continually falling into my pool, between the birds, trees, dirt falling out of the air, rain, rain wash, whatever.
    The extra fine filtration provided by the DE has caused me to have to backflush the small sand filter almost every day, but that will diminish in time, I hope.
    And, the pool was built with a concrete ledge that I have to brush every few days because the 'bot can't get it, and stuff accumulates on it.

    Right, now, there are a couple areas that may have a slight black algae growth, but I had black algae when I inherited the pool before the installation of the Ozonator and the Floatron.

    Oh, I also am cleaning the electrode to the Floatron more often than I did last year.

    Anyways, since I'm not using chlorine, I don't have to test every day, even though I do have other daily duties -- skimming, checking the pressure, watering my new roses, ...

    I don't have a major algae problem.
    I haven't had a major algae problem since mid-session two years ago when I was first learning how to manage the pool.

    And, I don't have to worry about chlorine levels when I go on vacation in August, and simply just need to run the 'bot extra and clean the skimmer basket when I get home.

    I don't even play around with a "solar blanket" for various (probably also arguable) reasons.

    The hardest part about my pool maintenance is putting on the pool cover for the winter, and taking it off, cleaning it, and storing it for the summer. But, not having the pool cover makes for a nightmare clean up job in May that I went through once and am glad I'll never have to do that again.

    So quit blasting my use of Ozone and Copper folks!

    The only "stains" I've had were on the stainless ladder we used to keep in the pool. The copper was plating out on the thing. Now we simply put it in when we are in the pool for safety reasons, and keep it out otherwise. This way it doesn't interfere with the 'bot either.

    I'll be testing my copper level again tonight, and I bet it still is about 0.05ppm, despite my deligence at trying to keep the electrode clean. And, I don't have any algae blooming in my pool !

    IF I ONLY CARED ABOUT MY USE OF THE POOL TO SWIM IN, I'D PROBABLY USE THE BBB METHOD BECAUSE IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE, AND IS REASONABLY ECONOMICAL, OTHERWISE ALL YOU PEOPLE WOULDN'T BE USING IT.

    But, there is more at stake here, to me, personally, to my style of life, to my approach to life. Also, I didn't find this place until this year. Don't know why I did't find you two years ago, and now I've already dropped a small fortune into the Ozonator/etc. so I'm going to use it as fully as I can to get my money's worth out of it.

    Get off my back will you!?

    Ok, my rant is over

    My approach to managing the pool is also an ongoing experiment of sorts. I may discover something in time, who knows, but I'm free to do as I wish, and I'm not having any serious problems for the time being.
    21k IG : Hayward Perflex EC65A DE Filter + 1.4 THP Northstar pump : Aquabot Turbo T2 : DelZone Eclipse-4 Ozonator : Floatron Ionizer : Some chlorine
    Pool cover an elephant can stand on. Painted concrete base or shell, with fiberglass upper side walls, and plastic/vinyl rim. Concrete deck.

  2. Back To Top    #2
    frustratedpoolmom's Avatar
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    Re: Silver based algaecides

    You are free to do as you wish and I can't speak for others but I for one certainly didn't intend to make you feel like we were bashing you. Yes, we are passionate about the issue (as a former Ionizer user who went thru the ringer because of it-its what brought me to TFP) and we can't help but be vocal when we see someone making choices we think are wrong. Since I guess you can live with the Black Algae....But as you said, it's your learning experiment. I wish you all the best with your pool. Good luck.
    Helpful links: Pool School; CYA/Chlorine Chart
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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Silver based algaecides

    I didn't intend to bash you either. I apologize for that appearance.
    My rant stemmed from exasperation on my part at much of the pool industry as a whole, not from your choices nor preferences. I'm not generally a zealot, I just hate to continually hear about how much better everything else is than chlorine. And when I say "continually hear", I do not mean to imply that you are the one from whom I continually hear it.

    I will go on to say that it is my opinion that much of the knowledge/experience/technology/science that gets infused into the swimming pool maintenance world comes directly from the world of drinking-water purification, and while these things work, many of them work best as a one-time treatment, and as such treat a small volume of water at a given instance, then that water is gone and a new, fresh volume is treated, then another, and another... a continuous batch process. Pools are circulatory (and sometimes stagnant), and treatments as well as afflictions can build up.

    That said, I concede that many people successfully maintain swimming pools with methods other than Bleach [and/or Baking Soda & Borax]. Trichlor tabs combined with shocking and periodic drain/refills can be a viable method. Chlorine gas is viable. Any number of other methods can be viable. Each and every one has a downside which must be dealt with. Bleach has it's own issues, mostly centered around the frequency at which it must be dosed. Slow-acting sanitizers need additional treatments to be able to handle a fast-moving (person-to-person) spread. For me, it is far less about what particular methodology is employed than it is about the knowledge of what a given system is doing and how it does it, and recognizing and dealing with the shortcomings of the chosen methodology.

    But I do have issues with the generalization that algae is the only problem or problem indicator in a swimming pool. Note that I said SWIMMING POOL. In terms of a pond, or "gazing pool", or whatever else one may do with their body of water, algae control may be fine. But if genuine, honest-to-goodness PEOPLE are going to be in it, sanitization - not necessarily algae control - should be the goal. I have seen water that I _KNOW_ was contaminated with some biological ickies with which I would not ever wish to be wetted, yet there was no algae. My contention along this front is that if there IS algae, then there ARE other concerns as well. Bacteria will be present before algae.

    So while I respect your choices, I still believe that chlorine may be beneficial to sanitization for you as well. That is a choice for you, however, not for me. If you know the capabilities and limitations of your system, you can manage it to your desired end result. Everything is about compromise and trade-offs.

    But again, I apologize for the appearance that my post was a slam on you. I can get somewhat passionate at times, and perhaps this was a bad time for it. Please don't use my paltry opinions as a yardstick for what this forum is about. There are a lot of good people with a lot of good knowledge here, and you deserve, and can get, respect and assistance for your installation here.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

  4. Back To Top    #4
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    Re: Silver based algaecides

    The only thing I am going to say is if you think you have sanitized water you are sorely deluding yourself.
    The kill times for copper and silver are too slow for use in a pool, period.
    The fact that you have black alge growing indicates that your water is not sanitized.
    Even by the lax EPA standards copper and silver cannot be used without a minimum FC level maintained at all times!
    Remember, clear water is not always pathgen free water!
    Silver and copper are very effective at keeping green algae at bay by themselves so I have no doubt that your pool LOOKS clear. However, I would not set foot in it because I know just a biut too much about water borne illnesses.

    BTW,5 ppm copper is NOT enough to be considered a sanitizer, even with a residual FC. It is even below the algaecide level of .6 ppm and falls into the algaestatic range of above .3 ppm.

    Ozone is NOT a residual sanitizer. In fact, if there is residual ozone in the water it indicates a problem because ozone is toxic.

    With the amount of stuff you say falls into your pool daily it would seem that you would want a fast acting residual santizer in the water to protect your health and the health of your family.

    This is not meant to inflame you but there are the facts. Do with them what you will.

    You are not the first person to have been duped into buying expensive and dubious equipment and you won't be the last.
    At least you didn't get suckered into buying any pool magnets or electronic scale inhibitors!

  5. Back To Top    #5
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Silver based algaecides

    Quote Originally Posted by Chasville
    So quit blasting my use of Ozone and Copper folks!
    Ozone is a waste of money in an outdoor pool. And copper is likely to cause unsightly stains that quite difficult to remove. And neither one provides sufficient protection against person to person transmission of illness, so you have to use chlorine anyway. They might happen to work for you, but everyone else will be much better of avoiding them.

    You are certainly free to do anything you please with your pool, but inserting your discussions of how your approach "works" into other peoples topics, that are about essentially unrelated subjects, is both rude and irresponsible.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  6. Back To Top    #6
    Chasville's Avatar
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    1) The black algae is an "artifact" from before I got the pool. I just haven't eradicated all of it yet. And I do use other more intense chemicals for that than the copper ionizer.

    2) I have not had any staining in nearly 2 years, just the plating on the stainless ladder. I have been made fully aware now, by many repetitious warnings. That is why I asked if I had black algae or copper/silver stains in a different topic.

    3) I am aware of the bacterial/disease side of the equation and am looking for ways to confirm how I can get that kind of thing tested to know objectively what is going on in my water. Right now, all I have is mine and my wife's nose as a test for bacterial problems. Plus, we haven't gotten sick yet, which is not a good test, but at least an indication that we have been either lucky so far, of that the Ozone works better than some are willing to admit. I've been concerned about the bacterial side since I decided to try to go chlorine free.

    4) I don't remember injecting irrelevant claims into other peoples posts, I'm sorry if I had/have. This post was about using a silver algaeside, and I simply was sharing my experience and opions along that line, specifically AGAINST the use of silver or copper to fight black algae, which puts me on your side in the first place.

    And, since this thread has been moved to "Agree to Disagree", people are ganging up against ionizers as badly as others are/were against chlorine.

    I've never slammed either either way, nor have I preached any of the pros or cons for or against any method. I am just trying to go with as little chlorine and other chemicals as I can. But, if you are paying attention, I have said I do use some chlorine bleach occasionally, and realize that it is impossible to be completely "chemical free" from any perspective you choose to take. Who knows where I'll land a few years (seasons) from now? You know, maybe my experience, as related on this forum, if I'm allowed, will be helpful to someone else.

    What you don't know, is that I don't tell other pool owners I know about using the Ozone, and people who use our pool who ask, I tell them that the cost for the equipment could buy many years worth of chemicals, and that if the pool got more use by more people, I would have to use the standard chemical suite to insure it is appropriately sanitary.

    By the way, I've read that the Olympic pools use Ozone and no chlorine. Is that right/true? If it is, then Hmmmm, why would they do that?

    Also, when I was researching ionizers. Most of them are instream with the plumbing and are a lot more effective at putting a lot more material into the water than the Floatron. They also cost a lot more. From what I was reading then, I knew I had no intention of going that route. The Floatron provided a reasonable alternative that I was willing to try and see if it actually worked or not in my pool.

    The Floatron's literature says you have to maintain a residual chlorine level as an oxidizer. The literature from Dell for the ozonator says you have to maintain a residual chlorine level since the ozone doesn't stay in the water long enough and won't reach the sides of the pool. It is my experiment to see if the two together will work well enough. So far, I have not been able to go completely chlorine free, and have decided that it is impossible. I thought I'd try to open without use of a shock, but it didn't work. I know now that next years opening will involve removing the cover, skimming, "vacuuming" the bottom to waste and then 4 bottles of chlorine bleach and probable a "dry" shock on the concrete ledge.

    I remember talking to the guy at Floatron because I needed a plastic ... (threaded thing that holds the protective screen to the electrode). I got to discussing the function a little and he got very adamant about my not needing chemicals and how well the Floatron works, etc. . Well, I'm still taking a wait and see attitude about it. But I am willing to gamble in this case.

    If I get deathly ill, you guys can point to me and say "see?! ... danger ... ". I haven't, yet, so let's just wait and see how the experiment pans out.

    Until then, this is the best place I've found to start learning the real story behind pool chemistry, and I'm willing to learn about all the nitty gritty details -- Deep Dive -- if WaterBear and Chem Geek can be patient with me and my questions. Last time I dealt with any real chemistry was in the 1980's in college, a whole year of freshman chemistry (again, first chemistry class was in 1976-77), and I did get a B+ at least. But, I still have my text, my CRC, and still remember a little about oxydation/reduction reactions, that water is best discribed as H+OH-, and that water is the closest thing we have to a universal solvent.

    Ok, I'm rambling, gotta go.
    21k IG : Hayward Perflex EC65A DE Filter + 1.4 THP Northstar pump : Aquabot Turbo T2 : DelZone Eclipse-4 Ozonator : Floatron Ionizer : Some chlorine
    Pool cover an elephant can stand on. Painted concrete base or shell, with fiberglass upper side walls, and plastic/vinyl rim. Concrete deck.

  7. Back To Top    #7
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by Chasville
    1) The black algae is an "artifact" from before I got the pool. I just haven't eradicated all of it yet. And I do use other more intense chemicals for that than the copper ionizer.
    Actually, copper is a very effective black algae treatment IF the level is high enough. For really stubborn cases it is often the only last resort before draining and acid washing. Black algae is an indicator of a pool that has not been properly maintained for a long period of time, usually with not enough sanitizer in the water.
    2) I have not had any staining in nearly 2 years, just the plating on the stainless ladder.
    I would call that staining! Don't know why you don't except for denial.

    3) I am aware of the bacterial/disease side of the equation and am looking for ways to confirm how I can get that kind of thing tested to know objectively what is going on in my water. Right now, all I have is mine and my wife's nose as a test for bacterial problems.
    Which is not a valid test since bad smell does not really tell you if pathogens are growing or not.
    Plus, we haven't gotten sick yet, which is not a good test, but at least an indication that we have been either lucky so far, of that the Ozone works better than some are willing to admit. I've been concerned about the bacterial side since I decided to try to go chlorine free.
    And you should be because you do not have a fast acting residual sanitizer.
    4) I don't remember injecting irrelevant claims into other peoples posts, I'm sorry if I had/have. This post was about using a silver algaeside, and I simply was sharing my experience and opions along that line, specifically AGAINST the use of silver or copper to fight black algae, which puts me on your side in the first place.

    And, since this thread has been moved to "Agree to Disagree", people are ganging up against ionizers as badly as others are/were against chlorine.
    Ionizers have been around for a number of years and they do not work as claimed. They can no longer be advertised as 'chlorine free' in this country and in Austrailia they must be used with normal chlorination levels. This is based on extensive research on kill times for different organisms. When you look at the science, ionizers lose. When you look at the pseudoscience that ionizer companies love to quote they don't look that bad.
    IF ionizers worked as well as claimed without any negative effects don't you think they would be in much more common usage. Ionizers are inexpensive pieces of equipment costing MUCH less than SWGs, Ozonators, and even very price competitive with inline chlorinators!

    I've never slammed either either way, nor have I preached any of the pros or cons for or against any method. I am just trying to go with as little chlorine and other chemicals as I can. But, if you are paying attention, I have said I do use some chlorine bleach occasionally, and realize that it is impossible to be completely "chemical free" from any perspective you choose to take. Who knows where I'll land a few years (seasons) from now? You know, maybe my experience, as related on this forum, if I'm allowed, will be helpful to someone else.
    It's been done before and it ultimately fails. You are in well documented waters here, so to speak!
    What you don't know, is that I don't tell other pool owners I know about using the Ozone, and people who use our pool who ask, I tell them that the cost for the equipment could buy many years worth of chemicals, and that if the pool got more use by more people, I would have to use the standard chemical suite to insure it is appropriately sanitary.

    By the way, I've read that the Olympic pools use Ozone and no chlorine. Is that right/true? If it is, then Hmmmm, why would they do that?
    Not according to any state health department standard in the US that I know of! Perhaps in other countries that do not have laws goverining sanitation in pools. Tell me WHERE this Olympic pool that uses NO residual chlorine is!
    Also, when I was researching ionizers. Most of them are instream with the plumbing and are a lot more effective at putting a lot more material into the water than the Floatron. They also cost a lot more. From what I was reading then, I knew I had no intention of going that route. The Floatron provided a reasonable alternative that I was willing to try and see if it actually worked or not in my pool.

    The Floatron's literature says you have to maintain a residual chlorine level as an oxidizer. The literature from Dell for the ozonator says you have to maintain a residual chlorine level since the ozone doesn't stay in the water long enough and won't reach the sides of the pool. It is my experiment to see if the two together will work well enough.
    It won't. Ozone has no residual and copper/silver has too slow a kill tiime. It's been tried before and it's basically been outlawed for companies to suggest this approach.

    So far, I have not been able to go completely chlorine free, and have decided that it is impossible.
    Correct. And remember, while you might not have any algae because of the metals in your water don't assume the water is sanitized. Apples and Oranges!
    I thought I'd try to open without use of a shock, but it didn't work. I know now that next years opening will involve removing the cover, skimming, "vacuuming" the bottom to waste and then 4 bottles of chlorine bleach and probable a "dry" shock on the concrete ledge.

    I remember talking to the guy at Floatron because I needed a plastic ... (threaded thing that holds the protective screen to the electrode). I got to discussing the function a little and he got very adamant about my not needing chemicals and how well the Floatron works, etc. . Well, I'm still taking a wait and see attitude about it. But I am willing to gamble in this case.
    You might want to ask him why it's only allowed to be sold in Australia now for Koi Ponds.
    If I get deathly ill, you guys can point to me and say "see?! ... danger ... ". I haven't, yet, so let's just wait and see how the experiment pans out.

    Until then, this is the best place I've found to start learning the real story behind pool chemistry, and I'm willing to learn about all the nitty gritty details -- Deep Dive -- if WaterBear and Chem Geek can be patient with me and my questions.
    Ask away!

    Last time I dealt with any real chemistry was in the 1980's in college, a whole year of freshman chemistry (again, first chemistry class was in 1976-77), and I did get a B+ at least. But, I still have my text, my CRC, and still remember a little about oxydation/reduction reactions, that water is best discribed as H+OH-, and that water is the closest thing we have to a universal solvent.

    Ok, I'm rambling, gotta go.
    My freshman Chem was in 1972 so it's been even longer for me! Then again I was a chemistry major then.

  8. Back To Top    #8
    Chasville's Avatar
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    I'm not in denial about the plating being staining. I'm just saying I haven't found any staining on the fiberglass nor on the painted concrete, as far as I can tell. Again, that's why I asked about it in a different topic.

    WB, let it be known throughout the land that I have heard you completely.
    And, if anyone who does a search within this forum for this stuff, they will have heard you as well.

    Also, if this forum started in March of 2007, and I was doing my online research for chlorine free in July of 2007, there may not have been enough stuff here yet to sway me away from trying an ionizer. Timing is everything you know. I don't even remember if I had run across this board back then.

    By the way, how do you like the change to my signature?

    We need a mad scientist smilely face icon !

    And again, where can I take my water to get it tested for bacteria and other nastiness?
    I mean, the ocean isn't perfectly sterile, neither is Lake Michigan, but people still go swimming in them, and summer camp lakes. But, they do get their water tested for certain seriously nasty bacterias and such, so how do I find out what all is living in my water? Do I need to by a microscope and look for myself? I'm a computer/techo geek, not a chem/bio geek.
    21k IG : Hayward Perflex EC65A DE Filter + 1.4 THP Northstar pump : Aquabot Turbo T2 : DelZone Eclipse-4 Ozonator : Floatron Ionizer : Some chlorine
    Pool cover an elephant can stand on. Painted concrete base or shell, with fiberglass upper side walls, and plastic/vinyl rim. Concrete deck.

  9. Back To Top    #9
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by Chasville
    I'm not in denial about the plating being staining. I'm just saying I haven't found any staining on the fiberglass nor on the painted concrete, as far as I can tell. Again, that's why I asked about it in a different topic.

    WB, let it be known throughout the land that I have heard you completely.
    And, if anyone who does a search within this forum for this stuff, they will have heard you as well.
    And is this not a good thing?

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Chasville's Avatar
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    I don't see the scatching head !

    I want that

    Do you suppose that maybe the plating/staining is what caused my old pump to seize up
    21k IG : Hayward Perflex EC65A DE Filter + 1.4 THP Northstar pump : Aquabot Turbo T2 : DelZone Eclipse-4 Ozonator : Floatron Ionizer : Some chlorine
    Pool cover an elephant can stand on. Painted concrete base or shell, with fiberglass upper side walls, and plastic/vinyl rim. Concrete deck.

  11. Back To Top    #11
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    Quote Originally Posted by Chasville
    I don't see the scatching head !

    I want that
    Click on "view more smilies" it's in there just a bit before santa and the white rabbit
    Do you suppose that maybe the plating/staining is what caused my old pump to seize up
    possibly but I doubt it. I would be more interested in what your water balance was over a period of time and how old the pump was. All I can say is that if the pool had black spot algae when you inherited it then I suspect that water balance was not a prime concern of the previous owner.

  12. Back To Top    #12
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    Based on what I saw in the press, the Olympic games in China used swimming pools sanitized with chlorine, ozone, UV, and "microbubbles". The microbubbles were reported in a couple of different ways, none of which made any sense to me. Several news outlets reported the system as ozone and UV only, but there was some chlorine. They boast about having a special air exchange system that removes chlorine fumes many times faster than the standard in the US/EU.

    They also used two stage primary filtration, with first sand and then zeolite. There was also something about special auxiliary filters that removed trace impurities, such as silver, mercury, cobalt and arsenic, but I never saw a source that clarified what that meant, perhaps reverse osmosis. They claim that water turnovers are way higher than anywhere else, though I never saw a number. Filter backwash water was saved, double filtered and fed back into the pool. The dehumidification system also fed water back into the pool. They were trying to show off, and overdid everything.

    The super high turnover rate would help with maintaining lower than usual FC levels and make the UV system more effective.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  13. Back To Top    #13
    Chasville's Avatar
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    As noted in the "... My story" thread. I tested again today, and I think wasn't reading the copper test properly. The solution has a definite blue cast to it, and I think it was darker this time than in the past, yet at first, doing the comparison the way I had been doing it still indicated 0.05ppm. Then, I thought "that just can't be right". and I thought some more and got embarrassed, realizing a false assumption and compared the color again, differently. I then had my wife look at it, and she identifed the same comparison. So, I think I'm between .2 and .3 ppm, which makes more sense given the lack of significant algae buildup. So, the Floatron is back in the garage, stored, for a while.

    Since I'm going to be using some dry shock to deal with what looks like may be some black algae, the copper/silver levels will be irrelevant for a number of days.

    As far as Olympic pool stuff goes. I read those things 2 years ago when researching the ozone. They could just have well been marketing hype on a vendor's site.

    So, how do I find someone or some way to do a biological test on my water? How do I determine if I have bacteria? how much? what kind? is there a safe level? etc. etc. etc.
    21k IG : Hayward Perflex EC65A DE Filter + 1.4 THP Northstar pump : Aquabot Turbo T2 : DelZone Eclipse-4 Ozonator : Floatron Ionizer : Some chlorine
    Pool cover an elephant can stand on. Painted concrete base or shell, with fiberglass upper side walls, and plastic/vinyl rim. Concrete deck.

  14. Back To Top    #14
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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    They have tests for well water that you send into a lab to have checked. One of the commonly available tests measures bacterial contamination.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: Ionizer and ozone

    There is a simple screening test for certain key coloforms you can do. The kit is available on the web from a couple places.

    You can also take a water sample to your state health department for 'drinking water' analysis.
    If it's good enough to drink then it should be good enough to swim I
    in.
    IG 24k plaster with overflow spa. Goldline PS-8 SWG. Tristar 0.75 HP filter pump, Polaris 280, large cartridge filter, 400k BTU NG Max-E-Therm HD, SR Smith Turbo Twister, Life Saver pool fence, ORP managed.

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