Does anyone have experience fresh water ionised pool system?

Flying Tivo

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2017
1,931
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
If you don't like my experience, well, it is what it is
Its not that we dont like it, we just can not base a whole process to a single guy experience. We like science which is reproducible each time around, and copper has not demonstrated that. We have not told you to stop using it, we just dont want other people to think its alright.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
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Jun 12, 2009
4,605
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Your observations actually are highly indicative of something nasty brewing in your water. Increasing FC and getting eye irritation points to something reacting with it and creating CC.

To the point of our opinion of your decisions: nobody pushed you to share. The opinion of TFP on the use of copper is well documented, including in this very thread. You still chose to be the dissenting voice. That's fine. Great actually, data that dissents from what we teach is very useful for us to consider. TFP has changed in the 11 years I've been on it because new data has been brought forth and examined and incorporated in to the methods. But... if someone is only bringing "experience" (fancy word for "unverified sample size of 1") and no data (you haven't even told us what CYA or FC levels you run) then it's going to get shot down hard.
 
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ajw22

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Algae is unsightly but not unsanitary. Bacteria is unseen and not sanitary. Seeing algae is a visible signal that other unsanitary stuff may be in the water.

Using copper to suppress algae just erases the visible indicator of water problems without dealing with the actual bacteria risk.
 

bgray9

Bronze Supporter
Jun 26, 2015
76
Mesa, AZ
I'll make a point of not sharing unpopular viewpoints or experiences on TPF again. Point taken. I figured people would be a bit more respectful that I was just sharing my experience, without advocating anything. My mistake.
 

Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
747
south east Arizona
when somebody only identifies substances they are afraid of/don't understand/don't like as a "chemical" and substances they use as "safe" (or "natural") I tend to not respect their scientific opinion
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,426
OV, CA
I'll make a point of not sharing unpopular viewpoints or experiences on TPF again. Point taken. I figured people would be a bit more respectful that I was just sharing my experience, without advocating anything. My mistake.
Please don't take everyone's differing opinions personally, there is a wealth of community knowledge here. I would defer to them just due to years of combined experience they bring to the table. I just wanted to point out that just because you are suppressing your algae with one process (copper), it's not the same thing as sanitation against bacteria. It doesn't mean you can run your FC lower because you think the algae is being controlled with your ionizer. You still have to follow the FC/CYA chart.

When I bought my house, there was a water ionizer gizmo on it. I think it was busted from the get go.. but I ripped it when I put an SWG on it 5 yrs later. I can't say it didn't work because I never got it to work, so it wouldn't be a valid comparison. But I can say the SWG that replaced it has worked wonders and the seems to be backed up by the common experiences of everyone here.
 
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AusPhil

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2018
181
Canberra ACT
Probably one of the best reads that as a commercial pool advisory from a government department that supports CYA up to 50ppm and largely agrees with TFP -> https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/Publications/swimming-pool-and-spa-advisory-doc.pdf

This clearly states that Chlorine is the only valid residual disinfectant. This document is also easy to relate to the low usage domestic pools we would normally talk about on this forum.

One a sample size of one.... we have a friend that gets irritated skin and serious skin reactions to just about any chemical and most metals and they have no reaction to my SWCG maintained pool that runs at the upper end of the Chlorine range .... draw your own conclusions :)
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
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Jul 10, 2012
47,371
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This thread has been very respectful by all. They have science to back up what they are saying and are doing in their pools. This is the corner stone of what TFP does. We do look at other ways if there is any science to back it up. At this time there is not science to back up the use of copper in a pool.

I thank all that have contributed to this thread. For right now I am going to leave it open. Saying that I think I think everything has been said that needs to be said.

Kim TFP MOD
 
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bgray9

Bronze Supporter
Jun 26, 2015
76
Mesa, AZ
I guess I have a bit of a higher standard of dialogue than this message board. Lols, save $5 on chlorine remark, comments that don't show any grasp of the differences in different chemicals, and pretending chlorine is something that has no concern as to the level of exposure, etc. aren't my idea of respectful dialogue or in the case of pretending there is no reason to avoid higher exposure to chlorine is simply irrational. I have a background in chemistry and chlorine is not a good thing to get into your body, whether breathing, by skin exposure in the pool, etc. Obviously you have much less risk in the diluted form in the pool than if you, say, drank a cup of chlorine, but I'd rather stay as low on the end of the spectrum of chlorine exposure as I reasonable can. Not all chemicals are the same, to state the obvious, which apparently I need to do. Others don't care about a higher level of chlorine exposure, that's your choice. I've spend some time reading outside articles around the web where a variety of pool folks give their opinions. While there are a range of perspectives, most sources outside this board I've read are relatively ambivalent about ionizers and even in cases where they don't want one, they aren't nearly as strident in their opinions as people around here. I guess this is just a subject I will avoid on this board, knowing how extremely passionate some of you are against any use of ionizers. Again, all I did was share my experience.
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,426
OV, CA
@kimkats Thanks for leaving the thread open.. Its discussion that makes for the interchange of ideas, that's what makes this place great.

@bgray9 we are all a sample size of one. Only by discussing your experience can we all gain from your input. That makes our collective sample size bigger. Its been shown over and over again that everyone's pool is different, everyone's needs are different and it makes how we manage our pools different. I follow the base TFP method, but to suit the specific environment of my pool I do some stuff that is not as proven here, but I can show it works for my pool... my sample size of one. I've found a few others here that do the same thing,,, and our sample size just got a little bigger. So keep up the good input.

OK.. I think I just fell off my soap box:cheers:
 

cfherrman

TFP Guide
May 10, 2017
2,527
Hays, Kansas
Bgray, I would start looking into clorine before you comment on it. If you actually look into the info we are giving you you will find science behind it.

Ever heard of a clorine bath for skin conditions? Yeah, it's medically prescribed by doctors for skin conditions. My kids and wife have eczema and guess what, they take clorine baths in the winter because they are not in pools.

By your own admission, you tell us your pool does not have enough clorine in it, your pool is 100% not safe from pathogens, guess what, we deducted it from science. Could give more information about it and how we know but you don't care, and won't listen.

Yeah, the snarky $5 comment is true, I spend $20-$25 a month on bleach compared to you $50-$200 copper device that lasts I don't know ever how long plus $100/ye Taylor copper test kit because you have to know the ppm of the copper in your water to not cause a $5000+ refinish of your plaster. What is your ppm of your copper in your pool? Pool store tests do not count.

Your experience is your experience, and is not backed up by science, so to back it up please comment with the following:

(No pool store tests, Taylor only)

FC
Cc
pH
Ta
Ch
Cya
Cu ppm
 

Leebo

Admin
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Jul 21, 2011
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I’m thinking the thread has left its original route and is very close to being closed. @Repe i hope you gather the forum tends to have very large concerns for copper products and tend to suggest users stay away. Sure they may deal with algae, albeit very slow, but they also tend to bring great risks that can be avoided.

Let’s all take a step back and understand that we all can learn something daily from each other.....as I suspect few of us can post comments like ones contained in This thread
 
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jseyfert3

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Actually the few times I've gotten more chlorine in the pool, my kids have complained about irritated eyes, etc.
Hmm. I'm curious on this statement. Can you elaborate a bit more? What FC and CYA level do you typically keep your pool at, and what did you increase the FC level too when your kids complained about irritated eyes? What was the CC level before and after the FC raising?

The reason I ask, as alluded to in a prior post, was that it sounds like you have a CC issue. CC issues are often (but not always) due to a lack of maintaining a sufficient FC level. What happens is if you don't have enough FC stuff builds up, and as soon as you add more FC, it generates lots of CC's temporarily as the FC goes to work clearing up the stuff that's built up. If the FC level is maintained at a high level, all the stuff gets eaten up and the CC level drops back down. We call this process a SLAM here.

From another single datapoint, while I don't yet have a pool, in our spa we've gotten in the spa with a FC level up to 12 ppm when the CYA was at 30 ppm. There was no smell of chlorine, no irritated skin or eyes.

I did ask what your CYA level was though because a high FC level that doesn't match your CYA level will indeed become irritating.

When I do start getting a chlorine smell that starts also hinting at being bothersome to breath is when I get too much CC buildup due to lack of enough FC, and possibly lack of a little bit of UV/ventilation via open cover to help the CC's break down (this last part being mostly unique to spas which remain covered when not in use). Bringing the FC level up and leaving the cover open, hopefully with a little sunlight, clears this right up.

Ultimately you need measurements of FC, CC, and CYA to go along with the observation of eye irritation, as if you only know what the FC level is you only have 1/3 of the total picture. Actually only about a 1/4 of the picture, as pH being way out of whack can also cause eye irritation, but I was assuming that was within the 7's. :)

If anyone have or know someone with similar system, I would be greatly appreciated if can share tips and tricks need to know and how system been working generally.
Repe, while some of the comments here have unfortunately been snarky, from what I've read (and I've read for countless hours on this site) is that the science doesn't back up the usage of any sort of ionizer, UV, or ozone for an outdoor pool. Ultimately you need chlorine for an outdoor pool. Maintaining proper levels of chlorine will result in the lowest overall chemical usage on your pool while maintaining it to a proper level of sanitation.

Its not Ozone system and system are not allowed add CYA, Copper levels are to be kept 0.2-0.5ppm that amount should not stain pool. Do you have first hand experience or know someone with chemical free pool? I'm askin here if someone can share experience with similar system.
There isn't such a thing as a chemical free pool. All things you add are chemicals. Copper is a chemical. Copper has known downsides, such as staining pools and turning hair green.

What I'm actually finding while browsing their site is a couple things that don't look good. First off, they claim their system produces no chlorine. This is an issue as chlorine, bromine, and baquacil are the only three types of sanitizers approved by the EPA due to sufficient bacterial killing power. The EPA has approved certain other systems that work in conjunction with chlorine, such as the Spa Frog @ease system, but the key point is they still have some chlorine or bromine to act as the primary sanitizer and maintain sufficiently quick bacterial kill times to maintain sanitary water.

Another odd statement I saw on their site is that if you are filling your pool with pH controlled city tap water to never adjust your pH. While city water is pH controlled, once it is exposed to air carbonates start offgassing, which causes pH to climb.

The kicker, in my mind, is they recommend you shock new water with chlorine, after which their system will keep the water clean. This is a bit puzzling to me. It can keep the water clean, but it can't clean the water if it's dirty to begin with?

Ultimately, between the proven science of chlorine and CYA outlined on this site, and some puzzling statements on their website, I would avoid the usage of this system and recommend a salt water chlorine generator instead. That will maintain the lowest proven level of chlorine, along with a proven ability to maintain a sanitary pool, with the least amount of work.
 

Repe

Member
Aug 12, 2019
12
Thailand
What I'm actually finding while browsing their site is a couple things that don't look good. First off, they claim their system produces no chlorine. This is an issue as chlorine, bromine, and baquacil are the only three types of sanitizers approved by the EPA due to sufficient bacterial killing power. The EPA has approved certain other systems that work in conjunction with chlorine, such as the Spa Frog @ease system, but the key point is they still have some chlorine or bromine to act as the primary sanitizer and maintain sufficiently quick bacterial kill times to maintain sanitary water.
Actually they state in their website that unit makes chlorine, if heavy bather load can use OXI boost function to increase chlorine generation.

Another odd statement I saw on their site is that if you are filling your pool with pH controlled city tap water to never adjust your pH. While city water is pH controlled, once it is exposed to air carbonates start offgassing, which causes pH to climb.
They pretty clearly says site too that basic chemistry need to check regularly. Including alkalinity, ph etc.. Maybe we looking different website.
 

jseyfert3

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I was looking at this one. It's the only site I found. It says no chlorine multiple times on the main page. Including stating 100% chlorine free. Is this not the unit you have?

This page, under What should my pH be?, it says
If you are on City Water your pH has been adjusted by your Municipal Water District; don’t add any chemicals to change it – ever.
Also, this description of how a salt water chlorine generator is complete, 100% utter BS. Well, it's BS with enough truth that it looks true if you don't understand what actually happens. This is straight from the above website, and I can't help but break down some of the falsehoods. Wow.
Salt water pools work by adding 300-400 pounds of salt to your pool water, then adding more every year. An electrolytic chamber with up to 27 very thin titanium plates is plumbed into your pool plumbing, usually in the return line. When the pump is running the power supply for this chamber is energized, sending a low voltage DC electrical charge to the chamber. When the salty water flows through this energized chamber the sodium chloride (salt) in the water is separated into sodium hydroxide (soda ash or Lye) and chlorine gas. The chlorine gas does what it does to keep the water clean, and then it gasses off or forms calcium chloride or turns back into salt.
No. They produce chlorine gas, hydrogen gas, and hydroxide ions (OH-). Now, if you take sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and dump it into water, it dissociates and makes sodium ions (Na+) and hydroxide ion (OH-), just like dumping salt (NaCl) into water gives you Na+ and Cl-. Hydroxide ions do lower the pH of the water, but guess what? When the chlorine dissolves into the water, it makes an H+. The H+ and the OH- combine into...water!

This is what happens, chemically, with a SWCG:
2H2O + 2Cl- --> Cl2(g) + H2(g) + 2OH-
Cl2(g) + H2O --> HOCl + H+ + Cl-
H+ + OH- --> H2O
So while hydroxide ions are made, with is to some extent like adding lye, they are immediately turned around and converted back into water.

You know what else has hydroxide ions? Water! Turns out, plain old H2O isn't just H2O. Some of the molecules dissociate, which is to say, they become H+ and OH-. And guess what? pH is a measure of how many H+ ions there are! So having OH- floating around is normal. What matters is not that there is OH-, but that the pH is in a suitable range for humans and equipment (in the 7's).

Note you start and end with chloride ions (Cl-)...the chloride does not "off gas, form calcium chloride, or turn back into salt." It is recycled indefinitely.

And the water feels very soft; this is because of the Lye in the water. But Lye is not good for your eyes or your skin, now matter how good it feels.
Nope, it doesn't feel soft because of the "Lye" cause there is no Lye. It has a different feel because of the salt. Full stop.

The increased hardness of the water and high alkalinity levels also make it very caustic, so you are not saving your pool from long term damage. You will need to regulate the alkalinity, the pH and the hardness, and that means regular testing and more chemicals. Now the rest of the story: the electrolytic chambers are guaranteed for no more than 5 years, and they rarely last much longer. They need regular cleaning and are somewhat fragile, so be careful. They cost from $400 to $700 each.
What? Where did this high alkalinity come from? That has only to do with your source water, and nothing to do with a SWCG. You always have to manage alkalinity, pH, and hardness to prevent scaling, pool damage, or skin/eye irritation, no matter how you sanitize (or don't sanitize) your water!

They are right, that you have to change a SWCG every few years. However a properly maintained pool you don't need to clean them regularly, if at all.

So what are you buying when you buy a salt water pool? Comfort - Period. Not less work - Not less maintenance or less damage. Not less chemicals. Certainly not less money. It’s no wonder the pool industry loves these systems.
This is totally wrong. You can get the same comfort by adding salt to any pool without a SWCG. You totally do have less work (rarely, if ever, adding chlorine manually). Because of the steady addition of chlorine you have less testing to do as well. Damage to the pool is avoided by proper CSI management, not by any SWCG or the lack of it.
 
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Pv2

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 14, 2013
747
south east Arizona
so it is a salt system with added silver and copper - not particularly innovative and good for your hair and pool finish, I am sure (sarcasm, in case you missed it). a regular salt system would be better and cheaper.

LOL @ "case studies" - 4 anecdotal testimonials