Can I use BBB after one season with Nature2?

HarryH3

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2008
326
Central Texas
Last night I was reading up on borax and ended up linked to this story about BBB:
http://www.poolsolutions.com/gd/grocery.html

At the beginning the article says "If you are using a copper/silver system – whether ionizer, Nature2™, or something else, or a baquanide system, such as Baquacil™, SoftSwim™ or whatever, DON'T try this!"

I used the Nature2 system last summer, but don't plan to spend the money on new cartridges. Is it OK to start adding the borax with the remains of the Nature2 minerals still in the water?
 

chem geek

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
12,083
San Rafael, CA USA
It's not the BBB that is the problem, per se, but higher pH. By using Nature2, you have copper and silver or zinc in your pool and these can precipitate out of the water and stain your pool plaster if the pH rises. When using a hypochlorite source of chlorine such as chlorinating liquid, bleach or Cal-Hypo, the pH rises especially locally where you add it so could result in staining from the metals. You should get your water tested to find out the metal content and if it's still present in any but very small amounts you should get a metal sequestrant to use first before switching to BBB. Either that or you need to run your pool at a lower pH and make sure it doesn't rise much above 7.5.

Richard
 

ktdave

LifeTime Supporter
May 8, 2007
888
Katy, TX
It may be to your advantage to have your water tested for the metals (copper/silver) that Nature2 releases to see if the concentrations are at levels that could cause you problems when you switch to BBB.
 

HarryH3

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2008
326
Central Texas
What levels of copper, silver or zinc can create a problem? I don't want to get "pool stored" when they find that I have 1 ppb of something and feel the need to sell me a $50 solution to a problem that isn't real. :shock:

Thanks for the info thus far!
 

jkalan

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 21, 2008
60
Dallas, TX
Does anyone know how much copper & silver is released by the Nature2 products? I went through 3 canisters before converting to BBB.

I have been BBB'ing for about 9 months now and haven't seen any staining. During that period, I'm sure the pH has floated up to 7.8 once or twice. I also added borax to 50 ppm (20 Mule Team, and a lot of it!) and that had to create some local spots of very high pH, if only for a few minutes until the muriatic acid brought things back in to line.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
How much copper/silver/zinc you get in the water depends quite a bit on the size of your pool and the rate at which water gets replaced. On a larger pool, like yours, the metal level in the water rarely gets as high as the Nature2 people intended.
 
G

Guest

I test the water for a lot of my customers that have nature2 units on their pool. Their copper levels are generally between .06 and .18 ppm copper, which is below the algaestatic level of copper at .3 ppm. This low level of copper should not present any problems as long as you monitor your pH and don't let it climb above about 7.8 for an extended period. I would not lose any sleep over adding borax to raise your borates. Just put the acid in first!
Silver is impossible to test for outside of a laboratory and Zodiac doesn't really release info on how much silver the units are putting into the water. However, silver staining, while possible, is not really seen that often with ionizers, including the N2. There are a few silver based liquid algacides that have been suspected of causing staining but they probably have much higher silver levels than the N2 puts in the water.
IMHO, it is a non issue if you have stopped using the N2 because any metals that were put in the water WILL eventually become stain no matter what you do. :shock:
 

HarryH3

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2008
326
Central Texas
Hmm, so what methods are used to remove the copper? Is it really as simple as adding a quart of some magic chemical or would some type of electroplating process better capture the copper?

I see that Leslie's sells something called Metal Free that is supposed to get rid of copper and other metals. Of course, they recommend a bottle each spring! ;)
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
The metal free and other 'magic' products do not really remove the metal, but keep it suspended in the water. You can think of it kind of like a protective coating on the metal bits, so the other chemicals you put into your pool (bleach, etc) cannot react with them and cause staining. Eventually the coating wears off, which is why you may need to add more!
 
G

Guest

Have your copper levels tested. If they are below about .2 ppm don't worry about them too much. Just keep your pH in line and you should not have any problems. If they are higher then you will need to add a seqesterant on a regular basis, prbably monthly, in a maintenance dose (a few ounces per 10000 gallons). I don't recommend Metal Free (even though we sell it where I work along with some other sequaterants). It is not as effective as products like Jack's Magic or Proteam Metal magic which are based on a different chemical to sequester the metal ions.
 

HarryH3

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2008
326
Central Texas
I finally had time to go get the water tested. Took samples to two different pool stores, just to be sure. Last year I got a Nature2 cartridge for a 45K gallon pool for $35, so I used it on my 26K gallon pool. It doesn't seem that it hurt anything, as both stores measured my copper level as undetectable. :)

Now it's time to go buy out the 20 Mule Team Borax at Walmart. ;)
 

sefrlw

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2008
130
Wake Forest, NC
Interesting. I have been N2 for 9 years now. 35K G N2 cart each year for a 21.5K G pool. I have had stainging once in those 9 years and I was not BBB. I am now switching to BBB and I opened this year with 8.0Plus PH. and scale issues due to high CH level. It has finally cleared and I have no staining issues. I would not be concerned about it. Just watch the PH