Copper ionozation systems?

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windstrings
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Copper ionozation systems?

Postby windstrings » Sun 19 Aug, 2007 22:43

where is the best place on this forum to discuss copper ionization systems like those advertised at ecosmarte?

I have one and am very pleased with it.

Keep the copper within specs, ph down within specs and phosphates down and you will have the most beautiful crystal clear blue pool with very little effort.

I"m amazed this technology has not caught on more yet.

Its hard to find good discussion on the subject since the chemistry is bicarbonate based and is so different than most other systems.


chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Mon 20 Aug, 2007 01:39

Not everyone is happy with the EcoSmarte system. For some technical discussion plus one very unhappy user, see this thread and for more info see this thread . The part about bicarbonate being so unique in the chemistry is just pure bunk, as are some other claims. The good news with the system is that it does try and maintain the copper level so that it doesn't get too high and precipitate (i.e. turn green) nor too low so that it no longer kills algae. As you point out, the pH has to be kept low or else copper carbonate will participate, turning the water green (and blond hair green).

However, using EcoSmarte without an additional fast-acting sanitizer is not allowed. To be EPA approved, one has to supplement such systems with a fast-acting sanitizer -- chlorine, bromine or Baquacil (PHMB). So really, EcoSmarte lets you use lower chlorine levels because algae is taken care of by the copper, but you still need the chlorine for disinfection to rapidly kill bacteria as copper (nor silver, as in other systems) is fast enough at doing that.

It should also be noted that in pools that are plaster/gunite or have exposed grout with tile, you need to have the water saturated with calcium carbonate and if you do that then that usually means a rising pH since the TA will be higher than the equilibrium of carbon dioxide in air. So if you use EcoSmarte in such pools, you need to have a higher Calcium Hardness and a lower Total Alkalinity to minimize the rise in pH. Otherwise, you'll be adding acid frequently to keep the pH down (the same company also sells carbon dioxide injectors so that's another way to keep the pH lower).

Also, having the pH lower makes the water have a tendency to sting the eyes. 7.5 is ideal and pH significantly out of that range is a problem. The EcoSmarte system keeps the pH lower than this ideal.

If one wants to have the minimum amount of chlorine in their pool, then I think a combination of something to take care of algae plus using chlorine with CYA plus enzymes and/or non-chlorine shock for breaking down organics would be the best approach. That way, you could have very low chlorine levels (1-2 ppm, if they could be maintained, with high CYA of 80 ppm). The algaecide could be a weekly dose of PolyQuat 60, or regular maintenance (unclear how often) of phosphate remover. Enzymes could then be used to control organics or the pool could use a weekly maintenance dose of non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate).

However, even "standard" chlorine levels of 3.5 ppm FC at 30 ppm CYA have a very small disinfecting chlorine level with minimal smell and virtually no degradation of swimsuits. It is true, however, that the alternative I gave above would be around 1/5th to 1/10th the amount of chlorine normally maintained in outdoor pools where chlorine alone is used to prevent algae. It is, of course, more expensive, but so is EcoSmarte (and the above alternative is more effective). Another alternative is to use an SWG since they can usually operate at around 1/3rd the chlorine level of manually dosed pools in terms of keeping away algae and you won't need additional algaecide or oxidizers -- but SWGs have other issues (most, but not all, of which can be mitigated).

Richard
Backglass
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Re: Copper ionozation systems?

Postby Backglass » Mon 20 Aug, 2007 15:40

windstrings wrote:Keep the copper within specs, ph down within specs and phosphates down and you will have the most beautiful crystal clear blue pool with very little effort.


And if you were a public pool it would be shut down for health concerns. Copper doesn't dissolve the neighbor children's pee for example. ;)

If you keep your pool properly chlorinated, you have beautiful crystal clear sanitized water with very little effort as well!
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