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waterbear

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Everything posted by waterbear

  1. Even with proper total alkalinity levels the different types of chlorine will have an impact on the pH. Having an alkalinity buffer will not keep you pH from slowly changing but it will keep it from "bouncing".
  2. Expensive when compared to both bromine and chlorine with chlorine being the least expensive. A cartridge filter in a spa running biguinide will probably not last as long as one running either chlorine or bromine and as was noted earlier in this thread if you refill with water that has a free chlorine residual (as most city water does) it will react with the biguinide and form a goo that will collect in the filter and aound the tub. You might want to check out the conversion process for switching from biguinide to chlorine. It is usually done by keeping very high levels of chlorine in the water until the biguinide is eaten up. In the process the water changes to the color of pea soup and the filter medium needs to be replaced once the conversion is done becuase it is usualy ruined by the goo. All that said biguinide IS an effective sanitizer when used properlyl.
  3. depends on the type of chlorine. There are two types of chlorine commenly used in spas as either sanitizer or shock-- dichlor (one form of stabilized chlorine--usually granuales) which is slightly acidic and will slowly lower pH and liquid chlorine or household bleach (same thing except for the concentration) which is alkaline and will raise pH. Calcium hypochlorite (Cal Hypo) and lithium hypochlorite are both powers that are sometimes used as shock. Both are alkaline and will raise pH Monopersulfate (non chlorine shock) is very acidic and will lower pH. The more important question is what does the pH do to chlorine. Chlorine, whether primary sanitizer or shock, is more effective at a lower pH (7.2-7.4) than at the higher end (7.6-7.8)
  4. There is only one non chlorine system that is EPA approved for pools and that is biguinide (Bacqua, Softswim, etc..) While they do work they are probably the most costly way to sanitize and they are very hard on filters, tend to goo them up. Other systems (copper/silver/zince ions whether introduced by a cartridge (poolfrog, zodiac), ionizer, or a liqued (Pristine Blue, etc.) STILL require a .5ppm residual free chlorine for sanitation. They will not provide safe (pathogen free) water on their own and introduce metals into the water that can create problems (staining of pools and people)! Salt systems work very well (they maufacture chlorine by electrolysis of salt) and at the level of salt that most manufaturers recommend (about 3200ppm) you will NOT taste the salt and will probably never have to shock or deal with combined chlorine once they are adjusted properly. Combined chlorine and shocking is the biggest drawback and headache to using chlorine. All these different systems still require that you balance your water but it is really very easy to learn how.
  5. Slight correction the three EPA recogonized sanitizers are chlorine, bromine and Baqua. Peroxide is the oxidizer that is used to 'burn up' the organics in the water but has no residual sanitizing action....same ideaas shocking with monopersulfate (both are oxygen based shocks). Similar to using ozone which also has no residual.The residual sanitizing comes from the Bacqua.. Biggest downside to bacqua is the price and the fact that it tends to goo up filters and ruin them quickly. BTW, NEVER, EVER, EVER put chlorine in a bacqua spa or pool. It will turn into a green mess!
  6. Metal removers will not remove the metals. They are sequestering agents that complex with the metals and keep them inactive and in solution. They cannot be filtered out! If the metals are precipitating out of the water you will see it in the form of staining. IIn a perfect world this will happen only on the filter medium which can then be changed to remove the metals. Unfortunatly, this is not a perfect world and the stains usually apprear on the surface of the hot tub. Metals usually do not result in cloudy water.
  7. I live in St. Augustine FL and have a similar setup to what you describe. I have an IG fiberglass pool and have a raised Baker MFG. Spillway Spillover spa. I previously owned a portable spa 10'x10' with 2 recliners and many therapy jets and I like my new one better. It has a separate blower for the bubble ring and share the filter and pump with the pool. The water movement in the spa is phenomenal. If I direct the jets all in the same direction I get a good whirlpool effect which is excellent for helping aching muscles. I have an Aquacal Icebreaker heatpump that brings the spa up to 100 degrees in about 15 minutes during the winter here!. The pool and spa are controlled by a Goldline PS-8 automation system with a SWG cell and floating spa remote that controls the pool and spa lights, filter, pool and spa valves and blower and another full function remote so I can turn things on, off, check temp, etc from inside my house. My old spa first required removing the hard cover (and finding a place to store it) and that could take almost as long as waiting for my new one to heat and was a two person job. I keep a solar blanket on the new one and can put it on and take it off in less than a minute and just fold it on one of my deck chairs. My water chemistry maintanence has become MUCH simpler and the best thing is I just need to run the spillover to put new water in the spa. I have never measured any Combined chlorine in either the pool or the spa since it has been installed nor have I ever needed to shock. In addition, it is raised just enough above the deck so you can sit on the gunite shell it is installed in and swing your legs around to enter it or just step up onto the shell rim and then into the spa. My old spa had steps and needed a handrail for getting in and out of (found that out the hard way after a nasty fall) I might just be lucky and had a builder that did things right but if it can be reproduced then IMHO, it is the way to go!
  8. It's late at night now so I will keep my reply brief but I am enjoying this discourse. As far as CYA and chlorine lock I refer you to http://www.ppoa.org/pdfs/PrP_Cyanurics%20-%20Benefactor%20or%20Bomb.pdf for an intersting discussion of CYA, ORP, and TDS. As far as SI goes there are 3 that are in use with swimming pools--Langelier LI = pH - pHs), Ryznar (RSI = 2pHs - pH) which is more hypothetical but more applicable to flowing systems, and Hamilton(no idea of the fomula or if there even is one) which was develped by the pool industry and is supported by, I believe, over 10 years empirical evidence. The point I am trying to make is that balanced water with one calculaton will be unbalanced with a different one. pH seems to be the factor in all three that has the most effect. In fact, the Hamilton Index was designed for running pools at higher pH--7.8 to 8.0. If the pH is high Cl levels should probably be run a bit higher since more hypochlorite ion is pesent vs. hypochlorus acid. Bottom line, pool chemistry is not an exact science. Even the selection of 650 mv for ORP readings is arbitrary. The point I am trying to make about TDS is that you can load a pool down with NaCl, which is neither an oxidizing agent nor a reducing agent, until your TDS is over 6000ppm and run very low Cl levels to reach that reading of 650 mv.
  9. I didn't say that the Langeleir Saturation Index was not useful but it was designed for a closed system and a pool is an open system. As a general guide it can be useful but it should not be taken for gospel. If you look at the formula as it is applied to pools it is : SI=pH+TF+logCH=LogALK-constant the logs of the CH and ALK readings are very small in comparison to the acutal readings-- rather large changes in these readings only make small changes in their corresponding index.. pH is the main variable that will have the greatest effect on the result since the actual value is used in the calculation. Temperature is the next variable to affect the result since the TF(temperature factor) is the second largest changing variable for a change in the actual measurement (changing .1 for every approx. 5-10 degrees temperature change) . There is also some debate as to whether the ALK reading should be corrected for CYA. Once again, if the correction is made and the log of the reading is done to give the alkalinity factor it does not have a great impact on the result. pH seems to be the main thing that needs monitoring as long as the other parameters are kept withing recommend ranges (Alk 80-120, CH 200-400 for plaster, not that much of an issue for vinyl and fiberglass) Acidic water will be corrosive and alkaline water will be more scale inducing. Scaling potential will increase with temperature. As a general guideline SI has some merit but if the water is within accepted ranges pH would be the factor to watch in keeping the water balanced since small changes on pH wil have the greatest impact on whether the water is scale forming or corrosive. Sort of commen sense when you look at it. AS far as TDS just look at any pool with a SWG with a salt level between 3200-6000 ppm. The salt level will measure as the main part of the TDS(my pool had a TDS of 4000 last time it was checked about a month ago and a salt reading of 3300 ppm) and yet ORP readings are viable in such a pool to measure sanitizer levels. In fact Autopilot includes one in their new PoolPilot Total Control system for just that purpose. Salt (NaCl) is neither an oxidizer nor and reducing agent and will not have any effect on ORP readings to speak of but will have a great imact on TDS readings. Granted high levels of CYA will show an equivalent increase in the levels of TDS but is is enough to account for the lowered redox potential of the water. You have to undersand just what ORP is measuring--the ability of the water of oxidize. CYA by it's nature of stablizing chlorine reduces it's ability as an oxidizing agent. If you look at strong oxidizing agents they tend to be unstable and reactive (chlorine, ozone, hydrogen peroxide, to name a few). Look at the self life of sodium hypolchlorite solution compared to dichlor or trichlor. ORP measurements are also used in Salt water aquariums to monitor the redox pontential of the water and the TDS in sea water is MUCH higher than would be found in any pool. TDS of 35,000 ppm is considered standard seawater, in fact. Standard ORP readings are usually abaout 400 mv in a saltwater aquarium and you must realize that this is not supposed to be a sterile system but is a living ecosystem. The accepted ORP reading for a pool is 650mv. pH (our old friend again!) will have more effect on ORP readings in a pool than TDS because at lower pH there is more hypochlorous acid and and higer pH more hypochlorite ions present. It is a well known fact that chlorine is a more effective sanitizer at the lower end of the accepted pH range for pools. Adding CYA to this system once again reduces the amount of hypochlorous acid available in the water as the chlorine forms stable compounds with the CYA and therefore lowers the redox potential of the water. Sorry for all the chemisty. I tried to dilute it down. (stablize it? )
  10. eco one is an enzyme based system like spa magic that uses a non chlorine shock and does not use an EPA approved sanitizer! I would stay away from it, especially for a fiberglass pool that cannot be completely drained and refilled every month or 2! Rainforest Blue is a copper based system that still requires about a .5ppm residual chlorine in the water! Pool care is really very easy to balance your water and use chlorine as a sanitizer. There are really no shortcuts if you want healthy water. 2 step systems like Synergy do not give you control over your water and test strips are only good for quick checks to see if something is out of whack. To accurately deterimine what is going on in your water you need a drop based test kit such as Taylor K2005 or even better K-2006 with the FAS-DPD titration test for free and combined chlorine. Then you can add exactly what you need! There are a lot of good primers on water care and there is even an excellent one included in the Taylor kits. Even walmart sells an inexpensive drop based test kit that comes with a good primer on water care and is only about $15 dollars, not as good as the Taylor kits but it can get you started! The fact that you got a rash on the Synergy system should tell you that your water is either out of balance or is not properly sanitized!
  11. Since an ionizer is adding ions to the water it is contributing to the TDS of the water, not the reverse....No magic or mumbo jumbo, just basic chemistry! TDS is a measurement of the amouht of postive and negative ions in the water.
  12. Actually, you are partly right Calcium adds hardness to the water (along with magnesium). If the levels get too high the water can leave scale behind and if the water is too soft (sodium and potassiom ions) the water can be corrosive. Calcium is not part of the buffer system, that is a bicarbonate/carbonic acid system unless borax based products have been used such as Optimizer in which case you also have a borate/boric acid buffer system in the water also. In fact, high calcium levels combined with high bicarbonate buffer levels (total alkalinity) can cause the precipitation of calcium carbonate (chalk) from the water which is what happens when you add calcium cloride and total alkalinity increaser at the same time and your water turns milky or your saturation index or Hamilton index is not balanced and scale (calcium carbonate once again) forms!
  13. I have a background in chemistry and pool water chemistry is nothing mysterious. Lets just look at my example of alkalinity increaser, Most pool store brands list the ingredient as sodium hydrogen carbonate. Why don't you try looking up this chemical and see if it has any other names. You will find that is is also called sodium bicarbonate and can be had for less money in the USP grade which is food and pharmaceutical grade at the grocery store under the name of baking soda! Ditto for ph increasere sodium carbonate which is also called Sal Soda or washing soda. Sodium Hypochlorite is Sodium Hypochlorite is Sodium Hypochlorite whether it is labeled laundry bleach or liquid shock. The only difference is the concentration. If it is more concentrated you need less, if less concentated you need more. Nothing to do with "Pool Solutions Methodology" as you put it. Just basic chemisty!
  14. I believe I said that in my previous post when I said: "or use a non-chlorine shock which gives you no additonal sanitizing at all"!
  15. As far as test strips go they use usually syringaldazine and not OTO or DPD for testing free chlorine. An FAS-DPD tritration can have a precision to .2ppm. In fact, Aqua-check (one of the largest manufacturers of test strips had an FAS-DPD kit also! Just look at your average 5 way test strip and compare it to the accuracy you can get from even a cheap drop based kit and then tell me they are just as accurate! The tests for Alkalinity, CYA, pH, and Hardness don't even come close! At best they are good for a quick check to see if any parameter are out of whack and then a drop based kit can be used to determine just how out of whack. If you do some reasearch on the Langelier Saturation index you will find it was deveped to predict scaling and corrosion in closed boiler systems. A swimming pool is an open system and Langelier himself doubted that it would be useful...certainly it is a good guide but should not be taken as gospel. There is also the Hamilton Index that was developed by the pool and spa industry that has been in use for many years now that seems to produce good results. Perhaps it would be wise to check both of them. As far as CYA levels and algae bloom. The higher the CYA levels the less free chlorine is available as a sanitizer...it is a simple chemical equilibrium equation! It has been shown that high stablizer levels will result in lower ORP readings indicating that the oxidation potential of the water has been decreased. It seems that the ones in the industry that promote the "chlorine lock is a myth" are the manufactures of stablized dichlor and trichlor! I have presented the chemisty to support my statements and it is easily checked out. If you can back up your statements with chemical facts and not just marketing hype I would love to hear it!
  16. however copper is not as an effecient santizer as chlorine and you still need a .5 ppm residual chlorine with a copper ion system (or use a non-chlorine shock which gives you no additonal sanitizing at all!). Also if there is enought copper in the pool to kill algae and bacteria there is enough to cause staining of the pool and peoples hair! Finally, copper has not been proven to kill viruses!
  17. If the pool has an even slope then measure the shallow and deep ends and divide by two. if it is not an even slope take depth measurements every few feet, add them together and divide by the number of measurements you took.
  18. Im seeing the exact same reply from you in other posts.Do you work for them or sell their products? Pristine Blue uses copper to sanitize and uses a non chlorine shock to oxidize. Copper ions kill algae and baceria much slower that chlorine or bromine and if you have a high enough copper level to sanitiize you have a high enough copper level to stain the poo, spa or people's hair! Also copper has not been shown to be effective against viruses!
  19. Pristine blue uses copper to sanitize and non chlorine shock which will oxidize but will not sanitize. Copper will kill algae and bacteria but it does it slowly compared to chlorine and bromine and it has not been shown to be effective against viruses. Also if you have enought copper in your pool or spa to kill pathogens you have enought to cause staining of the pool, spa, or people's hair! (Yes, that green hair color comes from copper!) Like I have stated before I do not want to play russian roulette with the health of my family. There have been documented deaths from poorly sanitized spa water! (chlorine was NOT the sanitizer of choice). Your water may look clear and sparkling and have a light blue tint from the copper sulphate you are putting in it but you have to ask yourself "Is it safe for my family to soak in?"
  20. Your water might look clean and clear but is it free of pathgens? Has spa magic been epa approved as a sanitizer for spas? From what I can see it is simply another enzyme product that will digest the crud and scum that can form in a spa I there are a lot of them out there) but there was not mention of it's being an epa approved sanitizer; If you want to gamble with the health of your family ( and yes, there have been documented deaths from unsanitary spa water) then go right ahead, I do not! You still need to maintain a sanitizer level in your spa at all times and there are only 3 choices--chlorine, bromine, or bacquil. (Ions and ozone still require some type of residual sanitizer or oxidizer!)
  21. Not totally true, depends on the test kit you are using. High clorine levels can bleach out a DPD test so it looks like there is no chlorine. OTO test can be used as a backup. If the levels are very hight it will turn brownish or orange instead of being yellow. The best way to test for very high (shock) levels of chlorine is to use the FAS-DPD test which is a titreation test and can measure very high free chlorine levels with a .5 ppm accuracy. Test strips can also bleach out at high chlorine levels and are not that accurate to boot so don't rely on them!
  22. I have talked to tech support at Goldinecontrols about the type of salt to use. They told me that PLAIN water softener salt (no iron removers or water softener conditioners) thatis 99.5% pure salt is fine, as is solar salt. The pellets will take longer to dissolve than the solar which are large crystals. Pool salt is smaller crystals which dissolve faster. There is still a need to balance your water. Adding a bag of a chemical mix every monthis NOT going to balance your water. If the mix contains CYA(stabilizer) you levels will continue to go up and eventually you might get algae blooms since high CYA levels require running higher free chlorine levels. Most SWG companies recommend running CYA at 50-80 ppm. You still need to monitor total alkalinity, carbonate hardness (for plaster pools or pools with heaters or grouted tilework--moot point for vinyl and fiberglass), pH, and free and combinde chlorine levels. Dont rely on test strips, they are notoriously inaccurate. Get a drop based test kit. Cheap ones are available at Walmart that will test all 5 of the above parameters but the Taylor K-2005 (good) or K-2006 (best choice) are much more accurate. For pH control you need Muriatic acid (dry acid is OK but if you look at the chemistry of generating chlorine HCL [muriatic acid} is a better choice) for raising pH since SWG's produce sodium hydroxide as a byproduct and you will have a constant upward drift in pH. Adjust the pH once it drifts above 7.8. In the rare event that you need to raise pH either Sodium Carbonate (commen washing soda from the grocery store--exactly the same thing as pH increaser) or Borax from the grocery store will do it with Borax being a better choice since it introduces a borate/boric acid buffer system in addition to the carbonate/carbonic acid buffer system that is in your pool which can "gas off' and affect your total alkalinity readings. To adjust total alkalinity you need Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate which is also called Sodium Bicarbonate. They are the same chemical. You can buy the industrial grade at a pool store or the much purer USP grade for less money at the grocery store under the name of "Baking Soda" . Aim for total Alkalinity between 80-120 ppm. Calcium levels are important for plaster pools. Most sources recommend levels between 200-400 ppm. Not much of an issue for fiberglass or vinyl unless you have a heater, grouted tile work, very hard, or very soft water and then you might need to make adjustments. Ideally you should check your Saturation Index or Hamilton Index to see if you water is balanced. There is still a lot of debate about whether the Saturation Index is a useful measurement for pools since it was designed for closed boiler systems to help prevent scaling and corrosion. Free chlorine levels should be checked at least weekly as should pH and if you are running 50-80 ppm CYA should be about 2 or 3 ppm with combined chlorine < .5 ppm. If combined chlorine is higher than that set your SWG to superchlorinate OR you could shock with Sodium Hypochlorite which is available in strennths from 5.25 % to 12 % or higher. Only difference is price and how much you need to use for a given level of free chlorine (shock level is usually 15 ppm or higher depending on your CYA levels and needs to be maintained at that level for about 24 hours). Here is a tip 5.25% AND 6% Sodium Hypochlorite are available at the grocery store and are called Regular Unscented Chlorine Bleach (5.25%) and Ultra Unscented Chlorine Bleach(6%). At your friendly neighborhood pool store you will usually find liquid chorine (6% Sodium Hypochlorite) and liquid shock (12% sodium hypochlorite). Compare prices, it's interesting. Also be aware that the stronger the concentration of sodium hypochlorite in the solution the faster it losses it's strength so that bottle of 12% liquid shock that you bought 2 months ago might only be 6% now ! Do you need to add anything else to you pool with a SWG--maybe. If your fill water has metals you might need a seqesterant. Dp you need to add Algicide? Possibly, but if you balance your water and run your free chloine levels at 2-3 ppm and make sure your CYA levels stay between 50-80 ppm most likely not! How about clarifiers, flocs, water "optimizers" , enzymes,etc.? IF you follow the above recommendations and keep your water balanced and your filter and pool clean they probably are not necessary but if you like to $pend money go ahead! Once again I say "Knowledge is power and it can save you a lot of money!"
  23. Just realize that any product be it ionizer or liquid that puts enough copper into your pool to act as a sanitizer is also putiing enough copper in your pool to cause staining of the pool and swimmers hair (that imfamous green color) Also ions take quite a long time to kill pathogens and algae when compared to chlorine or bromine and there is evidence that they have no impact on viruses in the water. Ions (copper, silver, zinc) ARE chemicals being added to your pool water so don't be fooled by claims of chemical free sanitation. Your water might look crystal clear but that does not mean it is safe! I personally don't want to take that type of gamble with the health of my family and friends.
  24. Yep, manganese can cause purple water and stains....check your water for metals and if positive use a sequestering agent.
  25. Mineral Springs generator is manufactured by goldline controls for biogard. Goldline recoomeds 99.5% pure solar salt for their units. Interestingly, the goldline units can be set to read salt ppm or mineral ppm. I have one of these units and asked their tech support what the difference is. they told me the minerals setting is for use with the Mineral Springs salt which has all kinds of added (read unnecesary) stuff. I personally would rather balalce my water and check my salt levels so I only put in what I need insead of putting in a chemical brew and hoping for the best. Also, a 40 lb bag of morton pool salt costs me about 5 dollars while a bag of mineral springs renewal is quite a bit more. I use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogen carbonate--alkalikity increaser), borax (ph up substitute) or washing soda (sodium carbonate--ph up) and muriatic acid for water balance. and add stabalizer when the level drops below about 40 ppm. I get everything I need except for the stabelizer and the muriatic acid which I get a the local pool store. I test my water with a drop based test kit (can be had for as little as 15 dollars for a 5 way test!) Knowledge is power and can save you a lot of money!
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