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Thread: Ionizer and Liquidator

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    Ionizer and Liquidator

    Hi Guys
    I have been waffling over what to use for chlorinating my pool.

    Started looking into ionizer and ozonators, but had decided against them. I know ionizers are slow to kill germs, so you still need to use CL, in addtion to the ionizer. Ozonators don't leave any residue in the pool, so again you still need to use CL. I am also worried that the ozonator will eat up my copper pipes.

    So, had decided to go SWG, even started a thread asking what size/kind auto pilot to get.
    But, I am still a little worried about the long term effects of having a salt water pool, on my pipes and the rest of my backyard.

    My goals are to have some automation, to keep my chlorine levels pretty constant, without too much work. I would also like to reduce the combinded chlorine in the pool, to get rid of the eye problems/smell/etc. My wife wants to get an alternative sanitizer for the pool also, and she has to approve the final solution.

    Then I saw a thread here today about the liquidator, sounds like an easy way to add chlorine/bleach to a pool.

    Then I thought, what if I combined an ionizer with a liquidator. I think I would just have to run the liquidator on a very low level, to put a little bleach in the pool, and then use the ionizer to help. The ionizer would put copper and silver into the pool, to kill algae and germs. I did see a study where they compared chlorine alone, to chlorine and silver/copper. The chlorine was at a lower level in the combined pool, but germs were killed faster in the combined pool than in the pool with chlorine by itself.

    With the ionizer I was looking at, entire system would cost around $700, and installation would be pretty easy.

    BTW, I use my pool about 6-7 months out of the year, starting about now, until around oct. Live in LA.
    20,000 gal fiberglass pool, gas heater. Have a completely seperate spa, with it's own pump/heater.
    I am also adding a intermatic remote control, since the display on my heater broke, and I needed to do something about it anyway. It was not that much more to add the intermatic system, versus buying a new display/controller board for my heater. And the controller still works fine, but the display is hosed so you can't tell what you're setting the heater too.

    One more thing. I am an engineer, so I need to over analyze things like this before I actually do anything.

    TIA
    Randy
    20,000 gal fiberglass pool, Raypak 266k BTU Lo Nox gas heater, Purex 2048 48 sq ft DE filter, 1.5hp pump. iWave wireless remote, Pulsafeeder chlorine pump, Safety cover on most of the time

    seperate spa, with own pump, cartridge filter, Teledyne heater

  2. Back To Top    #2

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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Hi, Randy,

    As you probably know, the ozonators and ionizers don't get very good press on this forum. Most of us think they're redundant offering very little extra and adding some stuff to your pool you really don't want.

    I understand clearly what you're trying to accomplish, tho, (Very minimal chlorine but fairly low maintenance) and it coincides with what I'm thinking I may do this Summer.

    I'm considering a peristaltic pump to continually add 12% chlorine to the pool when the pump is running. I'll divide the run time into three increments to distribute the chlorine throughout the day. Essentially, I hope to be able to emulate the chlorine distribution of an SWG thereby allowing me to run somewhere around 4-5ppm with a CYA of around 70-80. (I need to consult chemgeek's chart but I'm pretty close)

    I haven't looked hard yet but have already seen some pumps in the $300 range that look very adequate. Perhaps this may be a possible solution for what your trying to accomplish
    Dave S. - Forum owner
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Silver/copper have to be right at the level where they are about to cause stains to be effective and fiberglass pools are particularly prone to staining. Since you need to have chlorine anyway it is much much simpler to go with a straight chlorine system. The Liquidator is a wonderful way to keep chlorine simple.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

  4. Back To Top    #4
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    biggest problem with an ionizer will be staining of the pool and possible green hair. pH control is of prime importance in a system with an active ionizer and some of these systems actually recommend a very low pH (6-8 to 7.0) to help avoid these problems but this continued low pH can create problems of their own.

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    My wife has very sensitive senses including smell. In a properly managed chlorine pool, the actual disinfecting level of chlorine is very, very low. The Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the pool essentially holds most of the chlorine in an inactivate state and in what we propose on this forum it is technically equivalent to a pool with only 0.1 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) if there were no CYA. This means that all those nasty things you hear about regarding chlorinated by-products and asthma, respiratory problems, smell, etc. associated with pools are almost always with indoor pools where no CYA is used (or outdoor pools where not enough chlorine is used to meet bather load). Most indoor pools (and some outdoor pools that don't use CYA) have over 20 times the amount of effective chlorine in them compared to properly managed pools. In fact, your wife has probably taken a bath in water that has more effective chlorine in it than what is in our outdoor pools (assuming your tap water uses chlorine; some water systems have converted to using monochloramine instead -- 1 ppm is the typical standard for drinking water chlorine or monochloramine -- 10 times the effective amount we have in our pools).

    My wife has to use an indoor pool during the winter at our local community center (that doesn't have CYA in it) and it's true that the experience is night and day. She SOOOO much appreciates swimming in our own properly managed outdoor pool that we're probably going to fire up the gas heater this month even though it's going to cost us a lot (the solar only has us to 70F so far). It means that much to her. She rarely smells any chlorine and if she does it is the faintest whiff (remember that she is VERY sensitive to smell). Her swimsuits last much longer and her hair isn't as frizzy and skin not flaky -- unlike the indoor pool use where all of these are problems in addition to a typically strong smell.

    If you truly wanted to maintain lower chlorine levels, then a combination of an SWG system with regular (about $2 per week) use of PolyQuat 60 algaecide and 50 ppm Borates would let you lower the chlorine level to perhaps 2 ppm FC instead of the 4 ppm FC (at 60-80 ppm CYA) normally found in SWG pools, but that's about as low as one would go and personally I think it's unnecessary. The use of The Liquidator would give you consistent chlorine levels so that you won't be going up and down in levels and that will help you keep the FC to a minimum -- probably at around 10% or so of the CYA level (so perhaps 4 ppm FC with 40 ppm CYA or thereabouts). In our own pool, we keep around 3.5 ppm FC with 30 ppm CYA, but it's manually dosed so goes up and down in a 3-6 ppm FC range. My wife is so sensitive that she can usually tell when it's closer to 6 ppm FC, but she says it's very acceptable and so much better than any other pools she's been in -- when it's closer to 3 ppm FC (at our 30 ppm CYA level) she usually can't even tell it's chlorinated (and mostly what she smells is the temporary combination of her sweat with chlorine -- probably smells better than sweat alone ).

    Richard
    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"

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    From the ionizer site
    What Chemicals Will I Needed to Use With a Pool Aqua Ionizer?
    With Aqua Ionizer low .2 ppm chlorine residual will need to be maintained in the pool with monthly chlorine shocks. For bromine maintain .4 ppm. It has been proven that maintaining .2 ppm chlorine and .2 ppm copper is more effective sanitation than using just chlorine at 2 ppm. You must also maintain your pH between 7.2 and 7.6.


    So the attraction to me is to be able to have 2 ppm chlorine levels, and maintain sanitation, with very little effort.

    But, I have never tried maintaining a pool as you (chem geek) recommend. I guess I could try it, and see how it goes.
    I need to order the TFP testkit, and start really testing my pool. I have been just testing for chlorine and ph.

    As for peristaltic pumps, I did run across a post today, when searching for liquidator, about them. Saw a link to one for less than $300, but that was just the pump. Does anybody make a chlorinating system with a peristaltic pump? I am installing a 3 device digital timer as part of my wireless control system, so I could independently control the chlorine time versus the pump time, and not run chlorine all the time if I didn't need to. That might be nice, but I am not sure it is worth the extra money over getting a liquidator, especially if there are no systems, and I would have to buy a pump, figure out how to hook it up, and get something to store the chlorine in.

    I guess I could just get a liquidator for now, unless there is a nicer peristaltic pump based system I could buy. SWG is still not out of the running either.

    I am also thinking about buying a bottle of “ions”, and trying it my spa, as a trial. Fortunately, my family all has black hair, so I am not concerned about green hair. And, if it does not work out, it is easy to drain and refill.

    Randy
    20,000 gal fiberglass pool, Raypak 266k BTU Lo Nox gas heater, Purex 2048 48 sq ft DE filter, 1.5hp pump. iWave wireless remote, Pulsafeeder chlorine pump, Safety cover on most of the time

    seperate spa, with own pump, cartridge filter, Teledyne heater

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    It's virtually impossible to maintain a true 0.2 ppm FC level in a pool because the chlorine simply gets used up too quickly. A single person swimming in a pool for an hour probably sweats enough to use up half of the entire 0.2 ppm FC in a 10,000 gallon pool, but pollen and leaves and sunlight can readily reduce such a small chlorine level. The nice part about CYA is that it lets you have a reserve of chlorine so that you don't run out while simultaneously keeping the effective disinfecting and oxidizing chlorine level very low.

    I'd also be VERY careful with the hype found at most manufacturer's sites. Though silver/copper and chlorine are synergistic, most studies don't show 0.2/0.2 being equivalent to 2 for chlorine against broad bacteria kill. They are picking and choosing their data. On average, it's more like a 2x improvement having both, but with the side effects of metal ion staining if the pH goes up. Quite frankly, if metal ions didn't have side effects, then they'd be a nice "insurance" policy in case the chlorine level got too low, but the fact is they do have side effects, especially in plaster/gunite pools and with people who have blond hair.

    Richard
    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"

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    It's virtually impossible to maintain a true 0.2 ppm FC level in a pool because the chlorine simply gets used up too quickly. A single person swimming in a pool for an hour probably sweats enough to use up half of the entire 0.2 ppm FC in a 10,000 gallon pool, but pollen and leaves and sunlight can readily reduce such a small chlorine level. The nice part about CYA is that it lets you have a reserve of chlorine so that you don't run out while simultaneously keeping the effective disinfecting and oxidizing chlorine level very low.

    I'd also be VERY careful with the hype found at most manufacturer's sites. Though silver/copper and chlorine are synergistic, most studies don't show 0.2/0.2 being equivalent to 2 for chlorine against broad bacteria kill. They are picking and choosing their data. On average, it's more like a 2x improvement having both, but with the side effects of metal ion staining if the pH goes up. Quite frankly, if metal ions didn't have side effects, then they'd be a nice "insurance" policy in case the chlorine level got too low, but the fact is they do have side effects, especially in plaster/gunite pools and with people who have blond hair.

    Richard
    Hi Richard
    Even though the manufacturer site said 0.2 ppm, I was actually thinking 2.0 ppm, which is at the low end of what you were talking about in your previous post .

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Quite frankly, if metal ions didn't have side effects, then they'd be a nice "insurance" policy in case the chlorine level got too low, but the fact is they do have side effects, especially in plaster/gunite pools and with people who have blond hair.
    This is my dilemma. I keep thinking that the combination is better than chlorine alone, and wondering if the side effects are going to effect me. My family is asian, all black hair, so I don't see a green hair problem in my future. Then the question becomes weather I will have a staining problem or not. That's why I am thinking about trying it in my spa as a test. When I refinished my pool with fiberglass, we also refinished the spa using the same company, so they have the exact same finish. And, if I get a few copper stains in the spa, I can easily drain and replace the water, so should not be too much of a problem.

    In the meantime, I have a TFP testkit on it's way, so I can make sure that my water chemistry is OK.

    Randy
    20,000 gal fiberglass pool, Raypak 266k BTU Lo Nox gas heater, Purex 2048 48 sq ft DE filter, 1.5hp pump. iWave wireless remote, Pulsafeeder chlorine pump, Safety cover on most of the time

    seperate spa, with own pump, cartridge filter, Teledyne heater

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Hello Randy,

    I came across this post while using SEARCH for flow meter. Anyhow since I am also using a copper+silver ionizer, I think I will add some comment.

    I am using an Australian made Aquamatics unit. I have not done any bacteria lab test or the like but since March 2007 I actually have kept mainly at 0.5PPM chlorine level as base with slow dissolving Tri-Chlor. Once in a while after heavy used by divers training in the pool, I use Cal-Hypo to raise to 1.5PPM. I never exceeded 3PPM.
    This is before I realized that I was reading Total Chlorine, not free Chlorine....ha ha ha. Thanks TFP...!!!!

    Anyway, I had two cases of cloudy water from March 2007 to today.
    One is a few months back and the last one was just a month ago.
    I live in the tropics with water temp 28 *Celcius under the shade, so supposedly algae boom is easier for me.
    Now for the past 30 days and while I am waiting for my TP-100 test kit, I am keeping 1.5PPM TC and when divers used the pool, I use 12% bleach to make it 2.5 to 3.0 PPM.

    The first cloudy incident was because of 5 or 6 divers in the pool for like 4 hours, which is normal but unfortunately it got cloudy that day. It took me like more than a week to make it clear again and I was shocking the pool without a proper test kit and never exceeded 5PPM in my calculation. This is when I decided to buy an additional 1.5Hp pump and catridge filter on trolley, as per my signature. I thought, I was not able to filter fast enough and broadcast the chlorine well enough, was also one of the reason, besides too low chlorine level.

    The second cloudy case took about 3 days to clear. I also never shock more than 5PPM as per my rough estimate with the test kit I have that can read only 3PPM TC. The second pump on trolley really helped.

    Anyhow, since I been keeping my CL so low and it is Total Chlorine not Free Chlorine for a year and have managed to get cloudy only twice, I would say that the Copper & Silver ionizer does work. How good I don't know. I don't have stain problem and my main pump run about 12 to 20 hours a day, depending on bather load.

    As far as I recall, my ionizer is 27K gallon rated and I assume based on the general 8 hours per turnover, while I am always running pump 12 hours at least, so the ionizer shud pump out enough copper and silver for my 35K pool. I use the test kit for copper often and the level is just nice.

    I never really compare my ionizer with other brand or its capability. All I know that the controller is not so dumb. It reverse polarity for better wear on the rods by program. I can also program electrical current strenght to produce more or less ions.
    One thing I know, I can't run it maximum because of conductivity issue with my water. I can run it like 80% power only, but I am happy with it. I don't want to much TDS in my pool.

    My own thoughts is, if I can afford additional sanitizing from ionizer, while maintaining CL less than 2PPM, I am happy.
    I don't expect magic though. In fact I am ordering a Prozone ozone generator, a semi commercial unit one. I want to test it. Ozone technology is proven, the fact that it is costly is another issue.

    I consider making my pool water super clear and possibly as bacteria free as possible is the same as a car enthusiast hot rodding his car. The result can be felt and experienced, this is the beauty. If I forever think of expenses as issue, I would not have a pool in the first place, even though it is part of my dive gear business. I feel good when my kids enjoy our own pool, that joy money can't buy.

    Of course I do not want to spend crazy sum of money, I can't afford that. However, US$1,500 to US$2,500 a year for trying out either filtration or sanitizing technology is acceptable. By year 5 of pool ownership ( now its 2nd year ) , I would probably stop doing that sort of upgrades/experiment, unless some remarkable new technology is available then. I calculate 5% of pool build cost and equipment cost a year for experiments/upgrades is acceptable. As long as I think the pleasure of having very clear and comfortable water is worthwhile, then $$ spent is not painful.

    There is another sanitizing technology I am still wanting to try after ozone. I am just waiting for more documented proof. I been keeping an eye on it for 2 years and things are looking very good with the result on commercial application.
    SWG is out of the question because I don't like 4,000 PPM salt taste.

    In fact, I am ordering a filter bag that supposedly can do 1 micron filtration. Thanks to the link that Jason Lion gave me. Whether it will work as claimed or not, I don't know but I am willing to try, its cheap at US$70 excluding the filter housing. The shipping to my country will cost me double the bag price for sure. I can test it without a filter housing with my back up pump & filter on trolley. I will report the result.

    Enjoy your pool....

    Surya
    35,000 GL pool. In Ground. Concrete with all white ceramic tiles. Outdoor but shaded.
    Approx 36 ft by 15 feet. 2HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter with Zelbrite ( Zeolite ), Hayward Cartridge Filter, Aquamatic Silver+Copper Ionizer ( suspended use since Oct 2008 ), Prozone Ozonator, 2 gram/hr, Analog Flowmeter on pipe

    Back Up Pump & Filter on trolley, Pentair 1.5HP + Pentair Cartridge Filter, Slime Bag 1 micron Jumbo Size, downstream of Cartridge

  10. Back To Top    #10
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SPP
    Anyhow, since I been keeping my CL so low and it is Total Chlorine not Free Chlorine for a year and have managed to get cloudy only twice, I would say that the Copper & Silver ionizer does work. How good I don't know. I don't have stain problem and my main pump run about 12 to 20 hours a day, depending on bather load.
    Just because your pool doesn't get cloudy, it isn't an indication that your water is safe. My bet is that most human pathogens (bacteria and virus) would never multiply to the point that it would cloud pool water. Copper is a really good algaecide, it just has side effects that can cause issues in a pool. Your pool could be sparkling clear, yet contain coliform or other nasty bugs that aren't being sanitized.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Yes John, I sincerely agree with that. I intend to do some lab test for those bugs when ozone system on line, so that I can compare where my investment are going, at one go. Like a dynometer test for hot rodders...

    I will try to get days where no one swim in the pool for 3 consecutives days.

    Test 1, set 2 PPM free chorine and run main pump only for 16 hours, take one water sample to test in two different labs.
    No ionizer, no ozone.

    Test two, ionizer "on" and CL & pump parameter same as test 1.

    Test 3, ionizer and ozone both running and same perimeter as test 1.

    Test 4, Ionizer and ozone both "on" and chlorine 1PPM.

    This will be exciting don't u think ?
    35,000 GL pool. In Ground. Concrete with all white ceramic tiles. Outdoor but shaded.
    Approx 36 ft by 15 feet. 2HP Hayward Super Pump, Hayward Sand Filter with Zelbrite ( Zeolite ), Hayward Cartridge Filter, Aquamatic Silver+Copper Ionizer ( suspended use since Oct 2008 ), Prozone Ozonator, 2 gram/hr, Analog Flowmeter on pipe

    Back Up Pump & Filter on trolley, Pentair 1.5HP + Pentair Cartridge Filter, Slime Bag 1 micron Jumbo Size, downstream of Cartridge

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