ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

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new pool guy

ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby new pool guy » Thu 22 Mar, 2007 19:29

I'm looking for some feedback on the ECOsmarte products. Anyone have any experiences?


Ecosmarte feedback

Postby wrenhome » Wed 09 May, 2007 23:07

This is our second season of having a pool with Ecosmarte as the system. Last year, everything was great and the pool was crystal clear. This year, we have had our pool open two months, and there has yet to be more than one day in a row where the pool has been clear. We have worked with our pool company and called the Ecosmarte company with no luck. It is very frustrating. If I had to do it all over again, I probably wouldn't have bought the Ecosmarte system
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Postby dynamictiger » Fri 11 May, 2007 17:56

Hydroxyl ion sanitation should be excellent, and should also be measurable using a DPD method test kit.

What issue are you having with your system?

Re: ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby CloudyPool » Wed 11 Jul, 2007 14:14

new pool guy wrote:I'm looking for some feedback on the ECOsmarte products. Anyone have any experiences?

I have a new ecosmarte system (w/ glass media filter) installed 3 weeks ago in Waterloo Cda. and once it went milky / cloudy it hasn't recoved.

I just shocked it with a non-chlorine and potassium based Oxidizer so there shouldn't be an algae problem.

I'm finding the Ph rises easily and the Calcium drops easily. I'm wondering whether this will make me bankrupt buying salt (Calcium/Chloride) and Muriatic Acid.

Something I find very frustrating is that on the ecosmarte site they give you losts of warning against using the wrong chemicals and yet they don't provide a very comprehensive list of acceptable chemicals.

Chemicals in the shops are not that well labelled and can contain many things other than the prime chemical.

Locally, all the pool shops are *virtually* ignorant about the systems.

Any experience / suggestions out there?

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Wish I'd known.....

Postby Fiona Walker » Sun 29 Jul, 2007 09:53

Oh how I wish I'd read the Pool Wizard before investing in our EcoSmarte...principle is brilliant, however we've had not a two-day period go past since the kick-off of this season without either 'jello green' water (which may or may not be total alkalinity problems), algae (which isn't being killed not only because pH is too high - probably - (unless it's actually total alkanity, see above) but also possibly because if you look in the small print it says that you may have to use algaecides to completely cater for all algae in all temperatures..... ho hum. Anyone actually succeeded reading their pH & TA correctly & dealing brilliantly with algae in consistent water temperatures of 30C & above plus constant sunshine (woe is me, it's southern Spain!)???? please any help would be gratefully received. The EcoSmarte chaps are helping to a point but I feel largely that we've bought it without being warned the possible complications. Chlorine was a heck of a lot easier!
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Postby Backglass » Mon 30 Jul, 2007 09:07

In my opinion, stay away from snake oil and learn to properly chlorinate your pool. All the myths about chlorine (red eyes, smell) are from improper chlorine use.
I'm no expert...just a long time pool owner. The real experts are at www . troublefreepool . com

Download Bleachcalc free at troublefreepool . com /files/BleachCalc262.exe and start saving money on chemicals.
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Eric - this is for you! (EcoSmarte dissatisfaction club)

Postby Fiona Walker » Sun 23 Sep, 2007 11:38

Hi Eric, don't know about you but I'm STILL struggling with my system; NO I haven't been in touch with my supplier direct because I made the mistake of buying the very first system from a friend who'd just set up as an EcoSmarte installer & as my other half keeps pointing out, you don't go to a new restaurant on the first night you wait until the problems are ironed out. .....anyway, it would be good to know if you are still having problems, what they are, what your pool info/local temperatures etc are to see if I learn anything from that. We're giving serious consideration to having the system pulled out & return to chlorination. Apart from anything else, our electricity bill is way up from having to use the filter so many more hours than expected. Fiona
Florida Pool Service

ECOsmarte systems - dont use a cheap filter

Postby Florida Pool Service » Mon 01 Oct, 2007 14:13

We service pools in central florida. We started seeing ECOsmarte pools about a year or so ago in Florida. Their systems are getting more popular and they work perfectly. It is definately not snake oil -- just really pure water without adding any chemicals especially chlorine. We researched and tested these systems and found that they work great but need a good filter to work perfect. Pools can get cloudy if your filter passes 'junk' through it (most cartridges do). We suggest DE filters or the glass filters with ecosmarte. People who say ecosmarte doesn't work either dont know, sell chlorine, or have a bad filter which has nothing to do with the ecosmarte system.

If Ecosmarte works you're lucky

Postby RickB » Wed 23 Apr, 2008 15:56

MY RATING OF ECOSMARTE: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
In the first 10 weeks of the life of my $63K pool, the Ecosmarte copper ionization system has inflicted about $20k in damage to plaster, tile, and all metallic components that come in contact with the water, virtually destroying everything from pool lights to filter.

Inordinate amounts of acid and calcium which both the contractor and Ecosmarte "800" techs continually told me to keep adding in a well-water fed pool with only 33 ppm TDS from the wellhead and an extremely low (unmeasurable) alkalinity caused the damage.

The copper coming out of solution stained all plaster and pvc parts blue, and calcium out of solution settling on all surfaces (plaster/tile/grout) gave the pool "measles" -- tens of thousands of brown spots ranging in size from small dots to quarters. As metal parts began to rust into oblivion after 8 weeks, legitimate rust spots began eating their way into plaster and grout and depositing themselves on PVC parts. The plaster itself is badly etched, and the porcelain tile feels rough.

In numerous calls for help to Ecosmarte, all that I was ever told was: "add more calcium" and "sufficient acid to bring PH within normal range". The PH bounce was dramatic every 48 hours, it was impossible to maintain normal range. Ecosmarte continually admonished me in strong terms not to adjust the alkalinity under any circumstances, and the contractor on 3/31/08 astonished me with this statement: "There is absolutely no relationship between alkalinity and PH." Perhaps on his native planet that is true.

Both the contractor and Ecosmarte were continually advised of the total amounts of acid and calcuim added as time went by, and neither voiced any alarm, repeatedly stating that after 2 months the pool would stabilize itself. Bottom Line: After 10 weeks in this new pool, 63 gallons of acid and 129 pounds of calcium had been added until the pool company manager finally instructed me to pull the plug on the system.

I am not a water scientist, but several of the Ecosmarte "reps" that I spoke with demonstrated a gross lack of knowledge of pool chemistry.
In my final conversation with Ecosmarte --after updating them on the
progress of damage-- I was incredibly told that I needed to add even more calcium to increase it from the (then) 636 ppm to 2,000 ppm! When I did the math on that, it would require and additional 192 pounds of calcuim? Ludicrous. The buck had stopped. I demanded that a "higher" representative of Ecosmarte contact me, but was told that such was not possible: ("They do not speak directly with customers.") They refused to tell me who the District Rep was, or provide a contact to him. Upon further arguing and insistence, I was told that "somebody" would be in contact. I have heard nothing further from anyone at Ecosmarte. I am in the process of filing a lawsuit against the pool builder, who has disavowed any responsibility and will not return my calls, let alone refund the $2500 paid for the system. The pool company has even stated that it is my fault -- for
following their advice to the letter (!).

I've read many "good" testimonials, and several "bad" ones about the
system. There are so many variables, I have concluded that no two installations are the same. If you're a gambler, and have a lot of spare time and plenty of money, I urge you to give it a try. Good luck. FURTHER NOTE:

I have read one internet report that stated that the Justice Dept. has accused the company of misrepresentation, fraud, false advertising and that the product does not perform as claimed. Well, after all, any competent water scientist will tell you that neither copper or oxidation will effectively control the two worst threats in a swimming pool -- namely viruses and bacteria. From posts elsewhere, it also appears that the system also can have a problem with algae. Snake oil?

Perhaps this report answers the question: "Why are there so few
installations?" Frankly, I believe some customers are simply ignorant of what is truly going on in their pools, gullible, simply unwilling to admit that they made a mistake, or selling the product.
Caveat Emptor.
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Postby schark » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 20:29

Wouldn't 20 micron cartridge filters be better than a DE filter when used in conjunction with a copper ion system? Anyone ever try them?


Postby jdskycaster » Tue 06 May, 2008 11:52

schark wrote:Wouldn't 20 micron cartridge filters be better than a DE filter when used in conjunction with a copper ion system? Anyone ever try them?

I do not know the scientific answer to this question but my experience with cartridge filters was horrible. I had my inground 20x44 pool installed in 2000 (this was not my first pool). I started with a Hayward cartridge system and chlorine. The cartridges required frequent cleaning due to pressure rise and replacement after 1 season which is very expensive. Nothing I did seemed to work but I stuck with them for 3 seasons. I finally ditched the cartridge system due to the crazy cleaning required and moved to a sand filter (had this on my previous pool) with Zeosmarte media along with an Ecosmarte ionization system. I am starting my 5th season and have had very good luck with it. It took 1 month to get the system initially started up and working but my water has never been cloudy.

Factors to consider: I live in Wisconsin and have a relatively short swimming season (4 months). I also have a vinyl lined pool. I am on well water with very low iron and TDS. I just opened my pool last weekend. Water was crystal clear - PH was at 7.0, copper was 4PPM, calcium was above 450ppm. Just as I had left it in the fall when closing it. If this year is typical, as it has been for the last 3, I will not have to adjust PH as it has always remained rock solid around 7.0 and I will only have to ionize (add copper) midway through the season and again at the end of the season before closing.

I am not trying to sell the Ecosmarte system I am only giving my experience with it. I would also be thankful for any links to the scientific reports stating that this system in fact will not control algae, bacteria and viruses in my pool. As I said previously this is the first system which allows me to remove chlorine from my pool entirely. I have been maintaining a personal pool for 19 years now. Anyone that says you do not "notice" or have any side effects from a properly maintained chlorine pool is just wrong in my opinion. Will it be properly sanitized and algae free. You bet. But I can attest to the fact that my family and I have all experienced side effects from chlorine no matter what the ppm. It appears to be a tradeoff no matter which way you decide to go.

I also agree that Ecosmarte, or any other method of water treatment, is not for everyone. Every water supply, climate, pool contruction is different. It may not work for every situation. You do however, tend to hear more from people that have not been able to make it work than those that have.

Best Regards,
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Postby chem geek » Tue 06 May, 2008 12:45


There does not appear to be a lot of data on the kill times for copper and silver in water because they are relatively long by themselves. Most sources (CDC, etc.) just refer to "slow disinfection". For a scientific example, this link describes a 6-log reduction (99.9999% kill) in Legionella pneumophila at a copper concentration of 0.1 ppm taking 2.5 hours. For comparison, 1 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) without CYA would accomplish the same kill rate (for most heterotrophic bacteria) in around 15 seconds while normal FC/CYA ratios (FC level being 10% of the CYA level) would accomplish the 6-log kill in around 5 minutes. [EDIT] This link shows a 99% kill time at 0.1 ppm FC (roughly an FC level being 10% of the CYA level) would be 40 minutes so a 6-log reduction would take around 120 minutes or 2 hours. That makes it roughly comparable to copper for this particular bacteria that appears to be more resistant to low levels of chlorine. For other more common bacteria, chlorine kills very quickly as I noted above while copper is still around around 40 minutes for a 99% kill rate. Copper may have other issues with E.coli and other bacteria as seen here. [END-EDIT]

Most bacteria reproduce at rates, under ideal conditions, of doubling every 15 minutes to an hour (see this link). So a disinfectant that prevented runaway bacterial growth would need to kill bacteria faster than they can reproduce. A doubling is equivalent in rate to being balanced by a 0.3-log (50% kill) reduction. The 2.5 hour 6-log reduction is roughly equivalent to around 7.5 minutes of a 50% kill. This is why copper and silver can prevent runaway bacterial growth. They generally kill bacteria faster than they can reproduce, though not by a huge margin.

In other words, copper and silver are good as surfaces that prevent bacterial growth, but aren't so good at killing existing bacteria populations at a fast rate. So given enough time and no new introduction of bacteria, silver/copper disinfection would be sufficient. However, bacteria are constantly being introduced into the pool, most especially by bathers. Therefore, copper/silver alone are not sufficient to prevent the transmission of disease (bacteria, viruses, protozoa) from person-to-person. This is the main reason such systems are never used alone in public pools. If they are used at all, it is in conjunction with at least small amounts of chlorine.

Also, copper and silver are not very effective at inactivating viruses at low concentrations because viruses don't grow in water -- they need a host to reproduce. They are also not effective against protozoan oocysts (e.g. Giardia or Cryptosporidium) but chlorine isn't very effective against these oocysts either (chlorine is especially ineffective against Crypto) though chlorine is effective at inactivating viruses. A scientific paper describing copper inactivation of viruses is here where you can see that to achieve 2-log (99% kill) reductions in viruses in under 30 minutes it required concentrations on the order of 10-1000 ppm which is far higher than found in pools. The virus inactivation time for the copper levels normally used in pools would be on the order of days, assuming this is scalable.

As for algae, copper kills algae quite a bit faster than it can reproduce since algae generation (doubling) times are in the 3-8 hour range. In fact, some algaecides use copper for this purpose.

There is simply a spectrum of risk with regard to the type of disinfectant that you use. Not having an EPA-approved sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, Biguanide/Baqua/PHMB) simply means the risk is higher, but it does not mean that your water is teaming with bacteria. If you were to have someone who was sick be in your pool, they could transmit their disease to you (including the fecal-to-oral route). Also, some bacteria can form biofilms and be more resistant to disinfection so that a more powerful disinfectant is required (or an enzyme or oxidizer specifically able to break down biofilms).


ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby Guest » Wed 11 Mar, 2009 12:57

Great summary of copper info Richard

I followed a link from one of the references in the newer EcoSmarte post and found this post which answered so many of the questions I had.


ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby Guest » Wed 18 Mar, 2009 18:52

A friend had one of these ecosmart units. Every now and again the water would turn and look awful, green and hazy. He used to dump a handful of water softener salt tablets into the skimmer and within an hour you could smell chlorine in the pool! :wtf:

He would run the unit full for a day and the pool would become crystal clear and beautiful once more. He always complained that he had to add more copper after he did this and wasn't happy with the replacement costs of the copper electrodes.
Go to hell

ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby Go to hell » Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:14

I had the Ecosmarte system installed in my concrete pool as a part of a complete renovation of the pool (new filter, pump, acid wash etc.)three years ago. I wanted to swim in fresh water and bought the salesman's hype. It was HUGE disappointment.

There may be people out there that can get this system to work in a reasonable manner. Despite years of pool experience from day one, I could not.

The manual Ecosmarte provided was nothing short of useless and I could never keep the pool algae free for more than a day at a time. I ended up spending better than an hour a day on maintenance to no avail and could not leave the pool for more than a day unattended without the water going green.

The ecosmarte system ended up staining my pool copper blue and still wouldn't touch the algae.

I wrote to the company to complain and they told me I had exceeded my 60 day warranty and could not help me. I really feel I gave the product a fair chance for two years and finally gave up in frustration.

After two years of experimenting with every variable possible, even with the support of their local representative, I yanked it out and installed a salt water system.

Chemical free? Not at all I spent more on chemicals in the two years I had the Ecosmarte system than I ever did with chlorine and always felt I was swimming in a soup of algaecide.

This product simply did not even come close to working for me and ended up costing me a fortune to repair the damage to the pool.

The salt water system I now have is trouble free (as was my original chlorine system) and effortless.

As for the eco-"not so"-smarte system forget it. You will not convince me (or a friend who had a similar experience) that this product is ready for the market.

I actually paid the money to ship my ecosmarte system back to the company to show my displeasure. They have never followed up.

Back to the drawing board Ecosmarte!!!


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