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Ionic Purification System For Pool?


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#1 RubenTues

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 08:23 PM

Hi,

We would like to change the filtration system to eliminate chlorine in our 15,000 gallon inground pool. We are in South Florida and I have been researching about salt water systems and Ionic systems. It sounds like Ionic is the way to go as they say it makes the pool water like bottled water and was developed by NASA to drink water in the space shuttle.

I haven't found any discussions or reviews here or online about Ionic Purification Systems. Is it either to new, too expensive or doesn't work?

Here is how they compare the benefits between Ionic and Chlorine


Chlorine
Burning Eyes
Itching Skin
Damaged Hair
Toxic Water
Offensive Odor
Daily Work
Daily Testing
Dangerous Handling
Dosing and Storage
Constant Expense
Corrosive
Explosive

Ionic
Clear Eyes
Soft Skin
Beautiful Hair
Mineral Water
Fresh Smell
Automatic
Periodic Testing
Electronic - Less Handling
Dosing and Storage
Pays for Itself
Beneficial
Safe and Healthy
Harsh Chemical Usage
Carefree Clearwater

Thanks!
Ruben

#2 RubenTues

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:31 PM

Did I post this question in the wrong forum?

#3 chem geek

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:17 PM

Ionic systems are not sanitary, regardless of the claims from those manufacturers. They are not allowed by themselves without use of an EPA-approved sanitizer in any commercial or public pool in the U.S. The only EPA-approved sanitizers are chlorine, bromine and biguanide/Baquacil/PHMB. For hot tubs, a combination of silver ions with non-chlorine shock, MPS, is possibly allowed, at least for residential use.

Silver and copper ions simply do not kill bacteria fast enough to prevent person-to-person transmission and they do not kill viruses either. Also, there is a great risk of staining in plaster pools as the amount of silver and copper that is needed is high. There are some systems that use lower pH to avoid staining, but those can be hard to manage as well and, again, are not sanitary. Of course, it's a spectrum of risk and there is no law preventing you from using such systems.

As for Saltwater Chlorine Generator (SWG) systems, which you have just called salt water systems, they generate chlorine so are not chlorine free.

If your pool is outdoors, then it's likely you are using Cyanuric Acid (CYA) in the pool and if that is the case then the active chlorine level may be very low. Also, you can use a lower chlorine level if you use a supplemental algaecide (PolyQuat 60) or phosphate remover to control algae growth since it takes higher levels of chlorine to prevent algae than to kill bacteria. In a manually dosed chlorine pool, the active chlorine concentration is equivalent to around 0.03 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) with no CYA. This is because having something like 3 ppm FC with 40 ppm CYA has most of the chlorine attached to CYA and NOT affecting eyes, skin, hair, swimsuits, etc.

What you are describing in terms of the problems with chlorine are due to two situations you can avoid. First is not using enough chlorine in which case combined chlorines such as monochloramine can form and be irritating. The second is not using any CYA in the water which is typical with most indoor pools and some public outdoor pools. In this case, there is TOO much active chlorine. My wife experiences this difference every winter season when she uses an indoor community-center pool where her skin is dry, her hair flaky, and her swimsuits lose elasticity after just one winter season of use. In our own outdoor pool with around 3-4 ppm FC and 30-40 ppm CYA, she experiences none of these issues.

If you wanted to have minimal chlorine exposure, albeit at some extra cost, then you could have 1-2 ppm FC with 80 ppm CYA and use a supplemental algaecide or phosphate remover. This would be equivalent to an FC of only 0.005 to 0.01 ppm with no CYA so is very low.

If your issue is just one of handling chlorine products, than an SWG system would work for you to automate chlorine production.

You can learn much more about maintaining your own pool with chlorine and without problems at the Pool School at Trouble Free Pool.

Richard

Richard




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