Sustain users READ THIS!

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
314
Connecticut
I just spent two weeks and several gallons of liquid chlorine trying to reduce the combined chlorine levels in my pool water. I have succeeded in reducing CC from a reading >7 to approx 1.5.

Throughout this process I have been researching this problem and just yesterday stumbled over an item that claimed that the "Summer Shield" product used in the Sustain system will read as combined chlorine using DPD test method.

With this I sent an emai to sustain and recived this answer:

Mike,

Just received your Ask Joe Pool Contact Form and I think I can help you.
You were correct that the Shield product DOES read as combined chlorine when using test kits. There is no way for a test kit to differentiate between the Shield combined chlorine and the bad combined chlorines that you want out of your water. We recommend that your combined chlorine reading be somewhere between 1.5 and 5 ppm. But this is only AFTER you have Energized your pool with the small Energizer tablets. Using the small tablets will burn off all the bad combined chlorines for you and will only leave behind the Shield. That way, when you do use the test kit, that only thing that you will be reading is your Shield number.

Does that help?

I'll be spending this morning licking my wounds.

Mike.
 

pooldv

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Moderator Emeritus
Aug 10, 2012
25,412
FL panhandle
Their site says the pucks are cal-hypo, they probably charge extra for the fancy name. But, in the FAQs for the Summer Shield it says this:
What are the ingredients of Summer Shield, and what does it do?

Summer Sheild Chlorine Extender combines with some of the chlorine in the pool water and shields it, thereby creating a reserve tank of chlorine to give extra protection against the development of algae.

As Free Available Chlorine (FAC) is depleted, the*shielded*chlorine releases into the pool water to control algae and bacteria growth. Sustain Summer Shield Chlorine Extender provides chlorine-killing power despite unpredictable increases ins chlorine demand brought on by debris from rain and wind storms; or when your nice quiet swim turns into a full-blown neighborhood pool party.

Which is a bunch of useless jabber that doesn't answer their own question. Is it MPS? Bromine? Or what? If you don't know what it is how do you know you need it?

As always, TFP recommends only adding what you need to your pool after testing. If it isn't on this list you don't need it in your pool, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
314
Connecticut
The pucks are not the problem. There is a liquid chemical that you add once at the beginning of the season that they call "Summer Shield". This product stays locked up in the water all season and is released as FAC each time you add their shock (energizer).

This fact needs to be made known. Can I get a sticky or something to help other users from similar pain in the future?

Mike.
 

tim5055

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 11, 2014
11,115
Franklin, NC
Mike, this,is not a product TFP would endorse. As such we really don't want to "sticky" it to give it more prominence.

We are really not here to support or teach every possible method of pool care. We have one system we teach and it really doesn't involve any chemicals/potions like this one.

The MSDS for,this product states:

Sustain® Shield Proprietary. 10-30%
sodium chloride. 10 - 30%


"Proprietary" products scare me. I want to know what is in my pool.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,708
NW Ohio
I agree with Tim. If we had a sticky to warn about every individual proprietary blend on the market there would be no room for real help. While TFP exists to educate pool owners and give them the knowledge to do what is needed for their pool, as far as systems go TFPC is the only one taught and supported. Users can use the knowledge they gain to go their own way if they choose, but if they run in to problems we will always guide them back to square 1: proper testing and putting in to the pool only that which is needed.

If Joe would reveal what is in this product we likely would have recognized the possibility that it was the cause of your CC problem and helped you along. Since you were putting a mystery product in to your pool however, there was no way for anybody to warn you. It all comes back to knowing what your pool needs and adding only that. Simple, cost effective, and it works. No need for special tablet regiments or dumping proprietary products in to the pool.

Knowledge really is the core of TFP, mystery products are antithetical to that.
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
314
Connecticut
After further discussion with a Sustain chemist i have learned that I did not waste my time SLAMing the water. While Sustain will skew CC readings it is only a little. My reading of 7ppm was definitely chloramines. A healthy Sustain system may read 1ppm - 1.5ppm from what I've learned so far. I have mine down to aprros 1.2 this morning and may or may not be done with the SLAM. I'm still trying to learn exactly what to do.

Mike.
 

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
13,063
Houston, Texas
Thank you for sharing this information with us. We can add Sustain to our list of "I wouldn't put that in my pool" products.
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
314
Connecticut
Following is part of my communication with the Sustain chemist that explains how Sustain works. I will continue with the system this season because I have the chemicals and go back to what you guys call TFP method next season. Sustain is not that much different than the TFP method. It is the TFP method with a twist.

Your TFP method is pretty much what I've been doing for years except that you maintain higher chlorine levels than I'm used to.



Subject: Re: [EXT]:Re: Sustain Inquiry




Sam:



First thanks for your quick and very helpful reply. You brought me to the conclusion of a two week ordeal.




Now I have a couple of questions on how I will be going forward. I have two questions concerning Sustain Summer Shield and energizer.



1 - In the past two weeks I have been shocking the pool with 12% liquid chlorine in order to lower the combined chlorine reading. I have succeeded in getting down from a 7ppm level to a 1.5ppm level. My question - is it possible that I have removed the summer shield from the water through maintained break-point shock/chlorinating levels?




2 - If I was to use the Sustain 3" cal hypo tablets and the energizer tablets with no summer shield in the water would they still work as ordinary cal hypo tablets to sanitize the water? Would there be a problem with the proprietary "other ingredients" in the absence of summer shield?




I do not wish to add more summer shield.

TIA, Mike





Mike,

Very good questions.
1. The only way to remove the Shield from your water is splash out or if you drain and replace. It will not leave through evaporation or any chemical process (like burning off the bad combined chlorines).
2. Yes, the cal hypo products will still work as water sanitizer without the Shield. The Shield is really there as a free chlorine reservoir. What it does is soak up some of the free chlorine you put into the water and holds on to it. It holds on to it until the free chlorine level in your pool drops below 1 ppm. When this happens, the Shield then releases some of its free chlorine back into the pool water so it can go and kill off the baddies. This is another reason that weekly “shocks” with the Energizer tablets are needed. IF your Shield is depleted (it has released the chlorine it was holding on to), then the Energizer will pop some chlorines back on to the Shield molecule so it’s ready to do its job again. We recommend the use of Shield as a backup in case your free chlorine drops. This way, the water stays safe and algae free.

Technically, you are in range of our recommendations for the amount of combined chlorine in your water, 1.5 ppm.
IF, in the future, you have a combined chlorine issue again, I would recommend using a cal hypo shock rather than a liquid bleach shock. Depending on the size of your pool, a few pouches of cal hypo will burn off any bad combined chlorines you may have. May I ask why you used liquid bleach as a shock??

If any of that doesn’t make sense, please let me know.

 

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Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,708
NW Ohio
Sustain is not that much different than the TFP method. It is the TFP method with a twist.

Um, no. TFP is properly testing the water and adding what is needed. It is knowing what you are adding to your pool. I can tell you exactly what is in every single chemical I add to my pool. Generally nothing but sodium hypochlorite, muriatic acid, and the occasional trichlor or dichlor. I can tell you exactly what each of these chemicals adds to my pool when I put it in. I follow the FC/CYA ratio, which has kept my pool continuously sparkling clear without a drop of algaecide or mystery chemicals for nearly a decade.

Sustain is "dump this in your pool and don't ask questions". The fact that you cannot get an answer to what is in the Summer Shield is proof of that. And the explanation you are being given for what it does is kind of a joke. Frankly sounds like he is just putting some MPS in a bottle of saltwater and selling it. But I don't know what "twist" Sustain is supposedly adding to your pool, nor do you.

Don't try mixing methodologies. You just find yourself running around in circles. If you are happy with Sustain then have at it, do what you feel is best for your pool, but we are not here to offer support for their products or methodologies.
 

YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
16,014
Evans, Georgia
Sounds like Bromine to me.....or a mix of bromine and MPS?? Is that even possible??

Add me to the list of those who only want to put in my water that which I know about. I remember the guy who added all that copper containing weed killer to his pool cause his friend told him to. Swimming in weed killer didn't seem to alarm him. Go figure??

Maddie :flower:

- - - Updated - - -
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
that's kinda how I see it but you still maintain cya and everything else as you would without the sustain. Sustain is just a supplement to the traditional CalHypo chlorination system.

Mike.
Cal-hypo is just sodium hypochlorite and calcium...... there is nothing special about the sodium hypochlorite.

Man, that Sustain rep is talking in circles..... Do yourself a favor and stay away from those products.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
that's kinda how I see it but you still maintain cya and everything else as you would without the sustain. Sustain is just a supplement to the traditional CalHypo chlorination system.

Mike.

If you still have to add CYA and a sanitizer, then Sustain is just an unnecessary chemical that only lightens your wallet that robs from the the fun bucket of your budget. You can stop using the Sustain with zero downside.
 

mikefamig

Well-known member
Jul 10, 2017
314
Connecticut
CYA is not the same as Sustain Summershield. CYA prevents FAC from burning off in the sun before it has done it's job by combining with bacteria. Summershield is a safety net for when your FAC levels fall below 1ppm.

When you shock, Sustain Summershield combines with some of the chlorine molecules making them inert until your FAC falls below 1ppm. When the FAC falls below 1ppm, the Summershield releases the molecules of chlorine making them available to combine with bacteria. If you forget to check your water and your chlorine falls below 1ppm then the summershield will protect your water for a while giving you bit of a safety net. I can see how this could be construed as a good thing.

Otherwise Sustain is a chlorine based method of sanitizing water.

Mike.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,708
NW Ohio
What is it? You have repeated the same marketing spiel several times it seems, but what is it? How does it do these things that you claim it does? What chemical is it using to do these things that you insist it is doing?
 

domct203

Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 3, 2015
3,959
CT
CYA is not the same as Sustain Summershield. CYA prevents FAC from burning off in the sun before it has done it's job by combining with bacteria. Summershield is a safety net for when your FAC levels fall below 1ppm.

When you shock, Sustain Summershield combines with some of the chlorine molecules making them inert until your FAC falls below 1ppm. When the FAC falls below 1ppm, the Summershield releases the molecules of chlorine making them available to combine with bacteria. If you forget to check your water and your chlorine falls below 1ppm then the summershield will protect your water for a while giving you bit of a safety net. I can see how this could be construed as a good thing.

Otherwise Sustain is a chlorine based method of sanitizing water.

Mike.
If you are maintaining a CYA of 40ppm, your minimum FC is 3ppm (7.5% of CYA). Your FC should never reach 1ppm, let alone go below 1ppm.

It's your pool, do as you wish. I personally have a problem with my family swimming in a chemical stew of unknown ingredients that serve no purpose in a properly maintained and sanitized pool.
 

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