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Thread: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

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    My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    I know this will go again the purists who say "all you need is Chlorine". Posting this just as my experience because it has been really life changing. First note my pool is not white but a mottled blue gray plaster and I don't care about appearance too much.
    I researched Copper sulfate 1.5 years ago. EPA considers small concentrations allowable for drinking water. I took my chances bought some on amazon for $20, and some Cu testing strips. I think you want to shoot for about 0.5-1ppm.
    A buddy of mine said I might kill my salt cell, because of electrolysis, but I had already done it.
    1.5 years later I'm happy to say:
    1) no stains I can see (but remember my pool is darker and mottled) - I think the secret here is don't keep adding the stuff - get it right and stop. It doesn't evaporate to my knowledge.
    2) no problem with the salt cell - in fact funtionning better than ever because my CYA is really under control because I have not had to shock the pool during that whole time except once (see item 3)
    3) No algae problems at all except once. I leave my pool unattended for weeks at time, I come back, everything is fine. The only time I had an issue was after the first spring, I had dumped a lot of rain water and not adjusted my CuSO4 back up. One algae bloom in a year and half. Got my Copper sulfate back up and no problem since then.

    So may not be for everyone, but for me, it has been absolute heaven and truly trouble free. I have not added Chlorine except for that one algae bloom. Usually with a salt cell, you don't need to, but realistically its hard to get it exactly right. I have had my Chlorine go very low and I was not punished for it, no algae.

    Again, just sharing in case this can help some people. Use at your own risk, don't go to high, read the posts about staining. You can do everything with Chlorine, but I found this much more forgiving.
    Paul Rousseau
    12.5K Gunite pool with blue gray plaster and 3M
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    Paul, the biggest problem is your pool is not safe to swim in unless it is you and only you. Copper does not protect against bacteria or viral transmission, gastric woes from others, skin infections, eye infections are certainly all possible in your pool.

    And blonds can find their hair turning really, really green! Ooops!

    Copper works well as an algaecide but NOT against the other *cooties* I mention. Please reconsider your choices.

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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    Actually he said he is using a SWG and has managed to track his CYA levels, not sure about his testing method tho.

    It sounds like he has used copper as an algecide and continued the SWG for sanitation. It also sounds like pool store testing and or lack of sufficient chlorine in the past do to high cya levels from magic pool store potions. Another possibility is that the SWG is too small for the pool and or starting to go bad.

    All the problems with copper aside in this case it is only masking the problem of inconsistent FC levels in the pool. Which as was pointed out is not a stay healthy while swimming.
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    I have a SWG, do not use copper or other algaecides, and do not get algae.

    Sure, I'll occasionally add some bleach for swim parties etc, but otherwise all I check is FC & CC daily, pH every 3-5 days, and the rest monthly. Adding copper would just be another thing to check and track, more trouble than it is worth to me.

    I am glad that the OP found a method that works for them to enjoy their pool, but it is not one that I would recommend. I get the same results with just one chemical (chlorine) and no metals.
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    I am glad that the OP found a method that works for them to enjoy their pool, but it is not one that I would recommend.
    Nor will TFP ever suggest it, either. Copper is a complication that is not necessary to maintain a crystal clear pool.

    back in April, 2016, jblizzle suggested dropping the unnecessary stuff (here) but OP continues. That's fine and there is certainly more than one way to skin a cat.

    That said, the BEST way to skin the pool water cat is by following TFP guidelines. It's the simplest, usually the cheapest, and, oh yeah, it works perfectly!
    Dave S.
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    Quote Originally Posted by prousseau View Post
    Again, just sharing in case this can help some people. Use at your own risk, don't go to high, read the posts about staining. You can do everything with Chlorine, but I found this much more forgiving.
    Now wait, why would you give advice that you specifically have to warn people could go horribly wrong? Why would you, after reading post after post after post on staining, possibly share that people should put themselves in a position to get such staining?

    Just FYI, if you ever have to preface your advice with "use at your own risk" then it probably doesn't belong on TFP. Given your 3 posts are all about using copper it is clear you have had a pretty set agenda from the beginning. You don't need to be some "chlorine purist" to recognize that your failure to maintain your pool and eagerness to find shortcuts does not leave you in a good position to offer anybody advice.

    But it is your pool and your call on what goes in it, I wish you the best of luck with it.
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    One of the fundamentals of TFPC is that algae is used as the 'first sign of trouble'.

    If non-recommended chems are used to prevent algae, this 'algae alert' is likely to be lost from the system.

    When using TFPC, it's nearly impossible to have an accidentally unsanitary pool, because if algae is non-existent and FC is maintained per the FC/CYA chart, the pool is safe and sanitary - simple as that. So TFPC can't include copper as an algaecide because of sanitation risk, along with the likelihood of staining.

    While I don't agree, I found your explanation and reasoning easy to understand and respectful. I appreciated the detail you provided about your unique situation and tolerance for risk.
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    Quote Originally Posted by prousseau View Post
    I know this will go again the purists who say "all you need is Chlorine". Posting this just as my experience because it has been really life changing. First note my pool is not white but a mottled blue gray plaster and I don't care about appearance too much.
    I researched Copper sulfate 1.5 years ago. EPA considers small concentrations allowable for drinking water. I took my chances bought some on amazon for $20, and some Cu testing strips. I think you want to shoot for about 0.5-1ppm.
    A buddy of mine said I might kill my salt cell, because of electrolysis, but I had already done it.
    1.5 years later I'm happy to say:
    1) no stains I can see (but remember my pool is darker and mottled) - I think the secret here is don't keep adding the stuff - get it right and stop. It doesn't evaporate to my knowledge.
    2) no problem with the salt cell - in fact funtionning better than ever because my CYA is really under control because I have not had to shock the pool during that whole time except once (see item 3)
    3) No algae problems at all except once. I leave my pool unattended for weeks at time, I come back, everything is fine. The only time I had an issue was after the first spring, I had dumped a lot of rain water and not adjusted my CuSO4 back up. One algae bloom in a year and half. Got my Copper sulfate back up and no problem since then.

    So may not be for everyone, but for me, it has been absolute heaven and truly trouble free. I have not added Chlorine except for that one algae bloom. Usually with a salt cell, you don't need to, but realistically its hard to get it exactly right. I have had my Chlorine go very low and I was not punished for it, no algae.

    Again, just sharing in case this can help some people. Use at your own risk, don't go to high, read the posts about staining. You can do everything with Chlorine, but I found this much more forgiving.
    Why add another variable? KISS, Keep It Simple Student....



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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    Paul, a dear friend of mine felt as you do about 20 years ago, and sure enough, he was algae-free.

    When I bought a house with a pool six years ago, before finding TFP, he was quick to tell me his bulletproof system.

    The next summer his wife's hair literally turned green. I ended up buying him a TFP kit and introducing him to a more precise method of pool care Not sure that it took. Her trip to the hairdressers cost a lot more than the kit, btw

    The long-term effect of that concentration misstep is still with them, whether its obvious to him or not. His wife no longer trusts the water and seriously is semi-adverse to swimming in her own pool, which, btw, she won't do without a bathing cap.

    That might sound minor in the larger scheme of things, and in terms of sanitation, it is. But the psychological impact of familial confidence in water quality should not be underestimated.

    When you say this:
    I think you want to shoot for about 0.5-1ppm
    it makes me very nervous about a) your understanding of the behavior of copper and b) whether or not you actually test your ph levels much. Perhaps you control your ph tightly, which would explain how you're avoiding oxidization.

    But .5-1 ppm copper CAN and WILL stain and copper test strips are notoriously imprecise. Anything greater than .3 ppm is likely to stain and generally unforgiving.

    With a swg, and cya added deliberately to 70-80, and using the FC/CYA Chart chart, coincidentally, I've been algae-free since opening this pool - six years now. It's not only entirely possible to do this without copper - its preferable, because it (the levels, not just the absence of algae) means my water has been wholly sanitized and pathogen free for the duration. That's an important distinction to make because algae is sorta the canary in the coal mine in terms of FC.
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    And Copper Sulfate is the stuff they put in sewer main lines to kill tree roots. Not sure, I'd put it in my pool at any concentration. Just saying.
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    Quote Originally Posted by cubbybeave08 View Post
    And Copper Sulfate is the stuff they put in sewer main lines to kill tree roots. Not sure, I'd put it in my pool at any concentration. Just saying.
    Reminds me of this thread.....

    Copper Sulfate usage???


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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    I've learned from TFP over the last 6 years just how unnecessary copper sulfate, and Algecide really is...

    I personally wouldn't want it in my water.

    That said.....I was throwing around the idea a few years ago to build a ionizer with a small very low amp battery charger and a copper rod as an anode to put into my pool to prevent algae.
    Instead what I did is I took a few short pieces of electrical 12/2 romex wire, and tied it around the supports of my ladder.

    Has anyone ever tried the copper ionizer anode method here before just out of curiosity?
    Olympic brand pool and skimmer. 7200 Gal. Vinyl liner. Hayward X Stream CCX 1500 1.5 hp. BBB method. Triple filtration Skimmer socks, Cartridge Filter, 5 Micron Bag. Kreepy Krawly Lil shark auto vacuum.

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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertScalchi View Post
    I've learned from TFP over the last 6 years just how unnecessary copper sulfate, and Algecide really is...

    I personally wouldn't want it in my water.

    That said.....I was throwing around the idea a few years ago to build a ionizer with a small very low amp battery charger and a copper rod as an anode to put into my pool to prevent algae.
    Instead what I did is I took a few short pieces of electrical 12/2 romex wire, and tied it around the supports of my ladder.

    Has anyone ever tried the copper ionizer anode method here before just out of curiosity?
    You will still be putting copper into the water ......


    Dom - TFP Guide
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    Re: My Trouble Free Pool - Copper Sulfate

    Preventing algae is a seriously bad idea, how do you know the water is safe? You can have a clear pool with insufficient FC to kill pathogens.

    Anything with copper is even a worse idea.
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