I haven't tried the Pool Wizard in particular, but I don't recommend any system which adds metals to the water. Copper and silver can be effective against algae but they are not particularly good at killing bacteria and viruses. Plus metals in the water can easily cause staining which is difficult to remove. Chlorine is a much better choice than systems which use metals.
Welcome to the forum. Not to be "piling on", but Jason's advice on no metals in your pool is on the money. You can search "copper" on this forum and find a hundred reasons not to use it but very little in it's favor. Stick with chlorine.
Copper, Silver and Zinc are not appropriate sanitizers. While copper will control algae, this just masks the fact that your pool is not sanitized and may be full of viral and bacterial pathogens. Maintain proper chlorine levels and you won't have to worry about any gadgets that put metals that can stain your pool and your hair into the water.
thanks for the fast advice. i live in thailand and the water temps here are quite high and a lot of sun so its very hard to keep algae under control. the pool wizard thing still uses chlorine as a sanitizer. i think it's main goal is algae control. i wonder if anyone on this forum has ever tried it.
Yes, you can use a pool wizard in conjuction with chlorine, but if you are maintaining proper chlorine levels, you won't need to waste your money on gimmicks. And as JohnT pointed out, if you are not keeping high enough sanitizer levels, you risk bacterial and viral pathogens.
If you want to use copper to control algae (NOT my first choice because of the danger of staining pools and people) you can do it much more cost effectively by using a chelated copper sulfate based algaecide. They are usually dosed every three months but be aware that if the water balance is not maintained properly you can end up with a stained pool (and copper stains are the hardest to eliminate) or stained people (copper is what causes green hair, period!).
You might want to read the stickies (the link is at the top of every page in the menu bar. There is one on chemical free pools and alternative sanitizers that discusses copper, silver, and zinc.
Can you be more specific about the environmental reasons that are of concern? Because of Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the pool water, the actual disinfecting chlorine concentration is very low -- roughly equivalent to 0.1 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) if no CYA were present. So exposure to disinfection by-products that come from chlorine combining with organics and ammonia is minimal.
also, most of the environmental impact of chlorine does NOT come from it's use in swimming pools and it is actually one of the more eco friendly ways to sanitize drinking water worldwide!! There is a lot of bad press but if you understand the science behind it you will see how much of the bad press is stuff taken out of context or not from the water treatment industries (such as the often stated impact on the ozone layer, which is pure hogwash as far as water treatment goes!)
I think there is a lot to be said when people from all over the globe come over to this forum for pool care advice. I'm begining to belive that the same chemicals and the same processes are about the same, no matter where you live. When you think about all the diffrences in culture and geography its cool to think we all just want the same thing and are getting it about the same way. Thats pretty amazing... Kim
Chlorine associated with swimming pools is not a significant environmental issue. Chlorine usage associated with paper mills is a significant problem. The two situations are quite different, the low PH used in paper mills and chemical interactions with paper pulp cause environmental issues that are simply not present in swimming pool usage. Environmental problems associated with chlorine manufacturing are primarily associated with manufacturing accidents, which are quite rare these days, and again are insignificant compared to paper mill usage.
Algaecide is usually a waste of money at best and can in some cases cause significant problems. If you maintain proper chlorine levels the algae doesn't stand a chance. Not only is chlorine less expensive than algaecide it also protects you from bacteria and viruses that algaecide doesn't protect you from.