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Thread: Ionizer Use

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    Ionizer Use

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    It's pretty much accepted on this forum that an ionizer in an outdoor pool usually serves little purpose. You need chlorine to "assist" an ionizer anyway so why not simply use chlorine as your sanitizing source.....it's the best there is.

    The reason to use an ionizer is simple. You can use much less chlorine. You just maintain a small amount to oxidize the water and save 80% or so on chlorine.
    No one says to use no chlorine in an ionized pool. Just less.

    Since chlorine is a poison, how is that bad?

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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Quote Originally Posted by steve3752 View Post
    The reason to use an ionizer is simple. You can use much less chlorine. You just maintain a small amount to oxidize the water and save 80% or so on chlorine.
    No one says to use no chlorine in an ionized pool. Just less.

    Since chlorine is a poison, how is that bad?
    Find a single ionizer producer that says to use less chlorine. When you do, I will report them to the EPA as they are in violation of federal law prohibiting false claims of pesticide activity.

    Ionizers are a scam because they help with algae but do nothing to eliminate truly dangerous pathogens from the water. That is why it is illegal to market them as anything more than an algaecide and why they are required to use unreduced chlorine levels.
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Um, plenty of companies say you dont have to use chlorine with their ionizer. Seems someone who believes in them strongly enough to sign up on a forum just to try justifying their use would be more familiar with the sales tactics of their producers.

    Anyway, welcome to TFP, where all of our pools are full of deadly evil poisonous chlorine, yet somehow we survive.

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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Haha, pick ya poison, huh? I pick Canadian rye whisky

    Chlorine is also a nutrient, and is essential to life. Copper is also a poison, and copper is also essential to life. Silver is not known to be essential to life, but is a known poison. Not that it makes any difference because we're talking about pools here, and almost everything "poisonous" requires a comment about dose to complete the sentence.

    For example, chlorine is not poisonous at levels used in modern potable (drinking) water systems, nor in swimming pools maintained at levels sufficient to control pathogens and algae.

    But I have to ask a question too. Why not just use modern water disinfection rather than something ancient like copper and silver?

    In a residential pool, you can use anything you want. You could refill it every day from a city water system, although until the sun hits the pool, it would actually have more harshness from chlorine than if you maintain it properly. You could boil it in a big kettle if you like, or sprinkle it with potpourri. But if you operate a commercial pool in most jurisdictions, you're required to maintain the same rate of approved disinfectant (chlorine, bromine or biguanide) whether you have a penchant for metal ions or not. Thank goodness the world has organizations like WHO, CDC, AVPMA and others who have debunked many of the bogus claims made by manufacturers of ionizers.

    The downside is the potential for metal staining (strictly a cosmetic issue, again, up to you), so it's easier to just use chlorine and get the job done - minimize disease transfer and keep the water clean. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depends on your perspective), silver and copper are not very good at preventing disease transfer, while they are better at preventing algae. A properly run swimming pool has algae as an early warning sign that sanitation level may be getting closer to inadequate.
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    JohnT, you might be thinking of down here in Aus.

    Pool sanitizers are covered by a regulator (APVMA) and sellers are not allowed to say that copper/silver ionizers are a pool sanitizer, because they're not capable of reducing pathogens quickly enough.

    Provided that a commercial pool is sanitized with chlorine or bromine at normally prescribed rates, our State commercial pool regulations here in NSW do not prohibit the use of copper and silver, provided that copper and silver concentrations do not exceed 2 ppm and 0.1 ppm respectively. Chlorinated outdoor pools with CYA must have no more than 50 ppm CYA and a minimum of 3 ppm FC for pH up to 7.6, and 4 ppm FC minimum above pH 7.6, and maximum total chlorine of 10 ppm. Outdoor pools without CYA are allowed to reduce the minimums by 1 ppm FC.

    Strictly speaking, sellers down here are not allowed to say that ionisers are sanitisers, haha
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Quote Originally Posted by needsajet View Post
    JohnT, you might be thinking of down here in Aus.

    Pool sanitizers are covered by a regulator (APVMA) and sellers are not allowed to say that copper/silver ionizers are a pool sanitizer, because they're not capable of reducing pathogens quickly enough.

    Provided that a commercial pool is sanitized with chlorine or bromine at normally prescribed rates, our State commercial pool regulations here in NSW do not prohibit the use of copper and silver, provided that copper and silver concentrations do not exceed 2 ppm and 0.1 ppm respectively. Chlorinated outdoor pools with CYA must have no more than 50 ppm CYA and a minimum of 3 ppm FC for pH up to 7.6, and 4 ppm FC minimum above pH 7.6, and maximum total chlorine of 10 ppm. Outdoor pools without CYA are allowed to reduce the minimums by 1 ppm FC.

    Strictly speaking, sellers down here are not allowed to say that ionisers are sanitisers, haha
    Same in the US. Pool sanitizers are consider pesticides and as such require an EPA registered pesticide number before any claims of sanitizing a pool can be made. Since copper and silver are not registered pesticides, they cannot make claims that it reduces the need for other sanitizers. As an example, silver is registered with the EPA as a pesticide with claims that it controls algae in pools, but not that it controls bacteria or viruses in pools. These products can be marketed with claims that sanitizer USE is reduced since the addition of an algaecide may reduce sanitizer consumption in sloppily maintained pools, but they can't claim that sanitizer levels can be reduced unless the product is registered as a pool sanitizer.
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Quote Originally Posted by Donldson View Post
    Um, plenty of companies say you dont have to use chlorine with their ionizer. Seems someone who believes in them strongly enough to sign up on a forum just to try justifying their use would be more familiar with the sales tactics of their producers.

    .
    Which ones?
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
    Which ones?
    I hate to do the legwork for our new friend But since you asked I will dig a few up.

    Well heading through A2D, we can start in Australia with Enviroswim:
    THE WORLD'S MOST EFFECTIVE & SAFEST SANITISER AS TESTED BY GOVERNMENT LABORATORIES
    ...
    Eliminates most of the regular consumables including salt, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and stabiliser
    Our old friend Permasalt does require shocking with their special dichlor mix every other week, so it doesn't require zero chlorine. However, that shock is 12 ounces of dichlor per 10,000 gallons of water, so they are only having you add 5 ppm FC to your pool every 14 days.

    Ah, here we are, Carefree Clearwater. With the NASA logo on the front page to really bring in the fake accolades.
    Chlorine Free Swimming Pools and Spas
    The most advanced non chemical chlorine free ionization technology for healthy natural pure water. Unlike toxic chemicals or salt water pools, the Carefree Clearwater mineral ionizer eliminates allergies, odors and irritation.
    The Carefree Clearwater system maintains superior water quality. (Eliminate using a minimal halogen level). Occasionally though you will need to oxidize the water to help break down excess organic debris from suntan oils, rain and wind etc. Using a non-chlorine oxidizer allows you to swim shortly after application. Water balance is easy to maintain since the ion system is pH neutral. Normal water testing and adjustments are all that's needed.
    But see, the trick is that they only refer to themselves as a "water purification system" and not a sanitation system.

    I know there are more systems that claim their use of hydroxyl radicals is the sanitizer, or such, but those discussions must not have been moved to A2D. I'm sure most companies are tiptoeing the law by carefully choosing their words, after all most people looking for a chlorine-free pool aren't familiar with the difference between oxidation, sanitation, or algaestatic. Clear water is clean water, right?
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Those other two (permasalt and carefree) look like US companies, but I'll comment regarding enviroswim for clarity. It's an important distinction that the enviroswim system is not a chlorine free system. It has a salt cell, and enviroswim states on their website that chlorine is produced by their system. Admittedly it's a bit buried, and the innuendo elsewhere includes the typical careful wording and marketing bravado.

    They recommend zero stabiliser (CYA) which is not unheard of in terms of how some people run their pools. It's not my choice, but several pool owners I know find it pretty bullet-proof to run the pump through sunny hours with a salt water chlorinator and zero CYA. I'm not a fan because of the high and harsh active chlorine (hypochlorous acid) level, more rapid consumption of the salt cell, and long pump run time. In enviroswim's case, they also recommend low pH (7.1 to 7.5) to prevent copper staining, which would also ensure a higher than normal level of active chlorine.

    The installation guides suggest running the units for 48 hours (ES 1 guide) or one hour per thousand litres (ES 3 guides) (i.e. 50,000 litre pool, 13K gallons, 50 hours) at startup. Then the pre-2014 manual recommends "ORP: 500-750 millivolts minimum; equivalent to a reading of 0.5 -1.5 ppm of chlorine using a DPD test tab". Their post-2014 manual is more obscure, saying to monitor the ORP level but no recommended range is included in the manual.

    At the lower end of 0.5 ppm FC and zero CYA, it's reasonable to expect that it would be effective as a sanitiser, which would enable them to call it a sanitiser without legal risk, but with six to ten times more active chlorine than a stabilised pool, that's no surprise.

    They do have an APVMA registration for the prior model (ES 1, registration #58847) which is for solid copper and silver, sold as an algicide. (Host: swimming pool or spa, and Pest: Algae). It is not registered as a sanitiser. I could not find a registration for the ES 3, although they imply it by including just the registration number without qualification in ES 3 documentation.

    Salt water chlorinators do not require APVMA registration, because they produce chlorine, which is accepted as a sanitiser, and salt water chlorinator manufacturers include recommended FC levels and monitoring in their documentation. I suspect that APVMA will require a recommended ORP or FC level if they want to get support for their system as a sanitiser.

    My first worry for the future (if APVMA were to approve their system as a sanitiser) is that their system appears to enable FC and metal ion production on the same schedule, but then suggests adjusting the schedule based on keeping copper between 0.2 and 0.4 ppm. At least some of the time, and perhaps most of the time, copper would reach it's maximum causing the user to shut it off, at which point no chlorine would be produced, and the residual sanitiser would be quickly exhausted.

    It's not possible to be sure from their documentation whether or not the system has an ORP sensor that is regulating FC production when the system is running. If it does, then that could look after FC production when the system is actually turned on. An ORP sensor needs monitoring (albeit less with no CYA) so separate water testing to verify the presence of residual sanitiser (FC) would still be needed.
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    People do get some strange ideas in their heads about chemistry. For anyone after a chuckle, I would suggest visiting Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division - dihydrogen monoxide info, enjoy.
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Quote Originally Posted by AusJohn View Post
    People do get some strange ideas in their heads about chemistry. For anyone after a chuckle, I would suggest visiting Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division - dihydrogen monoxide info, enjoy.
    Indeed, it's good to know the importance of having enough, but not too much, hydrogen oxide in the pool
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Quote Originally Posted by AusJohn View Post
    People do get some strange ideas in their heads about chemistry. For anyone after a chuckle, I would suggest visiting Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division - dihydrogen monoxide info, enjoy.
    Oh my, Cody's Lab just today posted a very important PSA on this poisonous chemical: Drinking Deadly Hydric Acid? Will I Die? - YouTube
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    Re: Ionizer Use

    Johnt, make sure you also stock up on the phosfree
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