Tingling sensation in salt water pool

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JLR
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Tingling sensation in salt water pool

Postby JLR » Sun 20 Apr, 2008 09:35

Hi. New to the forum. Had an in ground pool installed last year. Had a salt water chlorine generator installed (Intellichlor). Started noticing a 'tingling sensation' when I touch the surface of the water or in small puddles on 'Cool deck'. Not getting much satisfaction from installer at this point.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

JLR


chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Sun 20 Apr, 2008 12:39

The saltier water is more conductive to electricity so you may have stray voltages around your pool (these can come from electrical distribution systems) and your pool may not be properly bonded (there may not be a bonding grid in the cement around your pool, if that's what you've got). You can contact your electrical power company and have them check out ground voltages. If you live in the country, then this is more likely to be the problem.

Richard
JLR
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Postby JLR » Sun 20 Apr, 2008 14:06

Thanks, Richard, for your reply. If, in fact, my problem is with stray voltage,what can be done to correct the issue? How much voltage would one find in the ground? How does one go about finding out if my installer bonded the pool properly? Is it a big ordeal to correct if it weren't installed properly? I live in a new subdivision, but it really isn't in the country. There is a ground transformer one lot away from mine. I have a Desjoyaux pool with concrete deck that is covered with 'Cool Deck'. I know that the pool panels have rebar that is tied to wire mesh in the deck. However, I do not know if the mesh is tied into any grounding wires. My pump and chlorine generator are located in a drywell area behind the skimmer box. The pump is grounded to a grounding strap on the side of the drywell.

Thank again,

JLR
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Sun 20 Apr, 2008 14:15

Our local utility has this bulletin regarding stray voltages. Again, I suggest you contact your local power utility to help resolve the issue. It is always better to identify the source of the problem and mitigate it there even if the pool bonding wasn't sufficient. I'm sorry I can't help you more on this -- for this issue I only know what I've read.

Richard
JLR
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Postby JLR » Fri 02 May, 2008 14:23

If I were to use a conventional chlorinating system instead of the salt system would that eliminate the 'tingling' sensation that is being felt?

JLR
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Fri 02 May, 2008 14:30

f you go to conventional chlorination and do a 3/4 drain/refill of your pool to remove most of the salt, then you should find that the tingling sensation is reduced IF you feel this when you are in contact with the water. If instead you only feel it between a metal handrail and the ground, for example, then it won't do any good. If you lower the salt level in the pool, then the conductivity gets cut down proportionately and typical manually dosed pools have from 500-1000 ppm TDS so about 1/6th to 1/3rd the conductivity of a saltwater pool.

In the unlikely event that the problem is from the SWG cell itself, try disconnecting it (unplugging its power source) and see if that makes any difference. (If this is done for an extended period of time, you can manually chlorinate the pool in the interim.)

However, the above dilution of the water to lower the salt level will not eliminate the problem -- it will only make it less of an issue. You really do need to have a competent electrician figure out what it is -- perhaps having someone from the local utility check it out. They can use voltmeters to measure potential differences. Heck, give them a swimsuit and have them feel the shock themselves!
JLR
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Posts: 4
Joined: Sun 20 Apr, 2008 08:18
Location: SoIL

Postby JLR » Fri 02 May, 2008 14:34

My local utility company is not willing to allow any nulling device to be put on their distribution system. My pool installer is unwilling to bond the pool, just take out the salt system and install a conventional chlorine system. My pool has been closed for the winter and is due to be opened sometime next week. I probably have little to no salt content in the water.

The bottom line is....is it safe to swim it?


JLR
chem geek
Pool Industry Leader
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Posts: 2382
Joined: Thu 21 Jun, 2007 21:27
Location: San Rafael, California

Postby chem geek » Fri 02 May, 2008 17:59

How come there is little or no salt in the water? Did your pool installer already replace the water? I'm confused. If you had an SWG running, then there was a lot of salt in the water -- usually 3000 ppm.

If the water has been replaced and is low in TDS (of which salt is often the largest component), then as I said there will be less conduction of electricity in the water itself. Whether that makes you safer or not depends on how you were getting shocked. Also, as for "safety", a small tingling sensation isn't the same as a strong shock so the amount of current may be very low. It isn't something I'd want around permanently, but unless the stray voltage has gotten worse, then using your pool now would not be any worse than before and would likely be better.

I wish I could help you more, but if no one is going to address the voltage source itself or to bond more thoroughly, then I don't know what to say except try the pool with lower levels of salt and see if it's tolerable (less tingling). I'd personally still be pretty upset at my pool builder.
Guest

Postby Guest » Sat 03 May, 2008 11:28

cg,
Thanks again for all of your insight!! I met with an electrician today and he has some ideas for being able to properly bond the pool. Have a meeting scheduled with my installer on Wed. evening.

An issue has arisen of corrosion to the pool light fixture. I have tried to find some articles about stray current corrosion, but have been unsuccessful so far. Do you have any information (links) to articles that may address this issue?

Again, thanks so much for your help !!

JLR
BJO

same problem

Postby BJO » Sat 03 May, 2008 20:43

JLR,

We had a fiberglass pool w/salt system and cool decking installed last summer and we've had the same problem. I've had the pool electrician out here multiple times but have not been able to eliminate the problem. The measured voltage is very low but still very uncomfortable to put up with especially for my two small children.

I'd certainly would like to know if you're able to resolve your issue and what you had to do, please post updates and I will do the same.

Thanks,

-BJO

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