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Alternative Pool Sanitizers

Technology has created many sanitizing options.
 
The Pool and Spa Informational Website
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Making Better Pool Sanitizer Choices.
 

 
 

Scroll down to browse through some archived SWIMMING POOL questions and answers.  Please click the Pool Problems Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Pool Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Pool Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Pool Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for pools and spas, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

 

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Managing the sanitizer level, of pool water!!!
 Sanitizing is a must, for proper pool water management.  Salt Chlorine generators are a better way to utilize chlorine, producing more controllable results. They eliminate the need to handle, measure or store chlorine products, while reducing buildup problems.  An Electronic PockeTester Kit is a convenient way to monitor the salt level, as well the overall water chemistry.
Salt Chlorine Generators - 3 models Testing The Salt Level Salt Chlorine Generator - No Installation
Reliant Salt Chlorine Generators, for all types of pools, up to 40,000 gallons. Professional Salt Water Test Kit. Salt Chlorine Generator, for all types of pools.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

For more information on maintaining and adjusting water chemistry go to: Calculating Chemical Additions

► ► ► Scroll down to read through some Question and Answer information. ◄ ◄ ◄
 
An Ultraviolet Pool Sterilizer kills 99.9% of the microorganisms, passing through the cell.  It can kill sanitizer-resistant pathogens and is typically used with chlorine or bromine.  An Automated, Salt Chlorine Generator will only produce chlorine, when it is actually needed, so you'll never over-chlorinate again.  A Solar UV Sanitizer creates "free radicals" which help destroy algae and other microbes and provides some sanitizing backup.  It doesn't replace chlorine, but will provide better results and reduce chlorine usage.
Above-Ground UV Sterilizer Automated Salt Chlorine Generator Solar UV Sanitizer
NUVO Ultraviolet Sterilizers for Residential Pools. MegaChlor-CD salt chlorine generator, with Chlorine Detection Technology. Card On Guard, Solar UV Sanitizer, for pools and spas.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information
If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.
A ColorQ, all digital Water Tester can perform all of the common tests, while eliminating the color-matching and guesswork.  With 10 models, performing up to 11 different test factors, one is right for every need.  The Circulator is a replacement return jet fitting, that dramatically improves circulation, by creating a spiral return flow.  Better circulation helps sanitizers work more effectively.  The WaterLink SpinTouch Labs are the ultimate tester, doing up to 10 different water test factors, in just 1 minute.
ColorQ All-Digital Water Testers Circulation Boosting Return Jet Fittings WaterLink SpinTouch Labs
ColorQ PRO 7 all digital pool and spa tester. The Ciruclater replacement return jet fitting improves pool water circulation. WaterLink SPIN Touch Lab
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.

 
How to choose an Alternative Pool Water Sanitizer?

 The phrase "Alternative Pool Sanitizer" usually refers to something other than conventional forms of chlorine: the most popular sanitizing product. Alternative Pool Sanitizers include: salt chlorine generators, ionizers/mineralizers, mineral sanitizers, ozone generators, hydrogen peroxide, ultraviolet sterilizers, UV Sanitizers, biguanide (Trades names such as Baquacil, Soft-Swim and Revacil) and bromine. Some alternatives perform best by being used in combination, while others can be stand alone. Some alternatives are other chemicals and others are generating or releasing devices. The quest for simple and effective pool sanitizing is ongoing. The goal is better sanitizing, more convenience, less chemical sensations and safety. What is right for any pool or swim spa will depend on how it is used, by whom it is used, bather demand, the importance of convenience and cost considerations. No matter which sanitizer is used, it is a good practice to shock the pool or swim spa, at least periodically, after periods of heavy usage and at distinct signs of a loss of water quality. This will help to rid the water of organic buildups and prevent the development of resistant microorganisms.   The use, of two totally different sanitizers, is almost always better and more consistent, than the use of a single product or method.  If problems arise, refer to the Pool Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

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Chlorine Alternatives, Peroxide and DE Filters?

I'm looking into alternative solutions to traditional chlorine pool treatment, due to household members adverse effects of the chlorine. I have been looking into possibly using ~32% hydrogen peroxide in combination with UV light as the new treatment source. I have been able to find a few articles on line which say people have converted their pool, but I'm unable to an specifics on exactly how to do the conversion, and how well it actually works after being converted. Couple questions I have, which I was hoping you may be able to help with.  Since the pools is already treated which the traditional chlorine, does the pool need to be drained and re-filled with fresh water before treating with hydrogen peroxide? I have seen some articles which say you can just shock the pool with peroxide treatment, and the peroxide will remove the chlorine. I have also read that this reaction may cause a hydrochloric acid to result, is that true? If this is the case, will the hydrochloric acid break down, or stay in the pool, and how would it be treated?  I have seen that hydrogen peroxide and DE filter should not be used together, since the peroxide breaks down the DE component? Any idea how long this breakdown takes to occur? If I would continue to use the DE filter could it just be cleaned more often and DE just re-added and have the filter work correctly? Or will doing this cause the filter to plug and ruin?  Using UV light is suppose to speed up the reaction of peroxide breaking down. So if a UV light is used in conjunction with peroxide, any idea how often peroxide will need to be re-added to obtain the recommended 50-100 ppm concentration in about ~30,000 gal pool.  Thanks.

Tyler M., 3/7/2018

Most likely, it is the irritating forms of chlorine, that are causing the problems. An Ultraviolet Sterilizer will destroy these combined chlorin
es, as water passes through the cell. Hydrogen will provide the required oxidizing action, needed to destroy organic wastes. UV works best with aUltraviolet Sterilizer for above ground pools. low level of chlorine, which provides both oxidizing and persistent sanitizing. Peroxide is not recognized as a pool sanitizer, but will provide oxidation. There are articles referring to problems with peroxide and DE, although the concentration, at which problems become overwhelming is not well defined. based on what I have seen. Instead of peroxide, why not use an ozonator and UV? With a variable speed pump, you'll be able to run 24/7, and still lower the electrical costs. UV has not effect on algae in the pool and ozone is very short lived. With UV, Ozone and a Mineralizer and running 24/7, you should only need a very low level of chlorine - under 1 PPM. And it should take very little to maintain the level, because of the ozone. Both UV and ozone will destroy the irritating forms of chlorine, leaving only the active sanitizing form. Improving circulation, by adding The Circulator replacement return jet fittings, will eliminate the algae-prone dead zones and allow the ozone to reach more of the pool.

UV Sterilizers and Ozone Generators will still need to be used for chlorine. However, both will enable you be decrease chlorine usage. Ozone quickly leaves the water, so chlorine is needed to make sure that oxidizer/sanitizer reaches the entire pool. UV only acts as water passes through the cell, but kills virtually everything, including the worst offenders. To sanitize in the four corners of the pool, chlorine be used, but at reduced usage rates.

Poor circulation can make algae growth more likely. You might consider adding THE CIRCULATOR. The easy to install device will eliminate the dead spots that can promote algae growth. Helps to better distribute heat and chemicals.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 3/7/2018
 

A Hydrogen Peroxide Fish Tale?

Alan, In the beginning of this year I transitioned to a 27% Hydrogen Peroxide system, for several months it was perfect. Then slowly a light brown stain started forming on the bottom and sides. It does not scrub off at all.  I might add I had let the previous chlorine deplete to 0. In addition a slight fish odor started. A neighbor child said he smelled Lobster! I searched the internet high and low with no result at all and also asked my local pool supply, they never heard of such a thing. So I made the decision to switch back to chlorine. Again I let the H
2O2 deplete. I also had a phosphate issue, so they said, which I just used a Phosphate remover. At this point the water tests good. its clear and no algae.  I believe I may purchase a Salt unit soon, but in the mean time I have an unsightly stain on the Vinyl liner.  At some point, something I added removed some of it. So now its a patchwork. The only additions I've used are powdered shock, liquid shock and non foaming algaecide. I can tell by rundown on the angled walls that something did remove it, just don't know what. Your thoughts and help would be greatly appreciated.

Ed O, 8/11/2017

Peroxide is not recognized, as a pool sanitizer, in the US. Your result and olfactory descriptions are consistent with inadequate sanitation. Switching to chlorine was the wise thing to do. Getting a salt chlorine generator would be even wiser.  A salt chlorine generator! It is chlorine without all theModel SR Salt Chlorine Generator, for all types of Pools. negatives. No chlorine odor, no handling, storage or buying chlorine and much better water quality. You'll have to buy some salt - common, non-iodized food grade or water softener grade - inexpensive! Thereafter, you need to add more salt only to replace that lost through pump out, splash out, backwashing or overflow. With a salt chlorine generator, all you need to do is add an initial dose to stabilizer to bring the level up to 40-60 PPM. Thereafter, more stabilizer is needed only to replace that lost through pump outs, backwashing and splash out. The overall water chemistry should be maintained in the usual manner. Because salt chlorinators destroy chloramines so effectively, you will find the swimming conditions more pleasant and easier to maintain. Proper salt level is important. Too little and not enough chlorine will be produced. Too much could shorten the life of the salt cell. PockeTesters are the easy way to test the salt level.  The stains are not explained, by anything you added. Possibly adding acid made a difference. Test with some pH reducer and see what happens.  Possibly, time and a optimum free chlorine level will solve the problem. In case it is a metals stain, try rubbing some vitamin C tablets on a stained area. If that works get back to me, for a whole pool solution.  I hope that this information will be helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 8/11/2017
 

Wanting To Minimize Chlorine Usage?

My in ground new pool runs on a mineralizer together with a ozonator. I know I have to use every, once a while a chlorine tablet to keep the proper balance. I am located in Dallas, TX. Some guy told me we have to shock the pool and add conditioner, to keep the chlorine in the pool. The whole reason I installed the system. is to not use or at least minimum amount of chlorine. Do I need a conditioner and chlorine? Thx for your help.

Dieter, Dallas, TX, 10/27/2014


The reason a low level of chlorine is recommended is that ozone does not remain, in the water for very long, once the pump is
turnThe Circulator improves pool water circulation.ed off. Having a mineralizer helps make keeping a low chlorine level more feasible. So long as you are using chlorine, you should add chlorine stabilizer/conditioner. Otherwise, the Sun's ultraviolet rays will quickly deplete the chlorine and your usage will go up. I suggest you try for 1 PPM of free chlorine. Because of the ozonator, there should be no chlorine smell or sensation. Instead of thinking no chlorine - think low chlorine and you'll have far fewer problems. Adding The Circulator will dramatically improve circulation and will help eliminate dead zones, where algae starts to grow. In addition, it will help ozone stay in the water longer, because of the spiraling return flow it creates. Once a month or so, when you may not plan on using the pool, it would be a good time to shock. This will help prevent the development of sanitizer resistant microorganisms. Test the water regularly and you should be good to go. I hope that this information help make the season more enjoyable.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/27/2014


Would Like To Be Chlorine-Free?

My son has an extreme sensitivity to chlorine and/or the byproducts associated with its use in pools. He breaks out, whenever he goes into any chlorine pool. We would like to have an inground pool installed, but not without being able to avoid using chlorine. Can you offer suggestions?

Henry K., Temecula, CA, 10/31/2013


The simple answer would be to use biguanide, as it is incompatible with chlorine. However, the product does have its share of baggage. Most users encounter problems with resistant microorganisms, after periods, as short as one season. Try as they might, the only practical solution, at that point, is to permanently switch to another sanitizer. It also impedes proper filtration and causes foaming. It is not the long term solution that you are seeking.

Chlorine acts as a disinfectant, sanitizer and oxidizer of organic wastes and byproducts. Many products or devices claim to perform "chlorine-free", but may not be acting with the sanction and approval of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This agency regulates the text that appears on a registered product's label. However, it's easy to take liberties, with sales materials. Bromine will meets these goals and, while closely related to chlorine chemically, in terms of being another member of the halogen family of elements, it has been found to be less irritating. Ordinarily 3-5 PPM of bromine are required. With some additional treatment products, you can get optimum results with a much lower 1-2 PPM level.
 
As a first step, I would add a UltraViolet Sterilizer. It kills virtually every microorganism, including the worst offenders, as pool water passes through the cell and returns to the pool. It will reduce the microbial population of the pool, but will not sanitize the water, in the pool, completely, nor will it
Unltravioloet (UV) sterilizers, for all ypes of residential pools and spas. eliminate algae, that might be growing on underwater surfaces or oxidize organic wastes and byproducts. Still, it accomplishes much and adds no chemicals, but needs some help to do the complete job. An Ozone Generator will help destroy many microorganisms, organic wastes and byproducts, without adding chemicals. Ozone is a form of oxygen, that is a powerful oxidizer, but is short lived. The ozone might only remain in the water for twenty minutes, after the unit is shut off. Adding The Circulator, to each return will help it reach the far corners of the pool, as good circulation is very important in achieving your goal. Operating the ozone generator, for periods spaced throughout the day, would be of great help. Operating with a 2-speed pump on low 24/7, is something to consider.  At this point, you have greatly reduced microbial populations and controlled organic wastes, without adding chemicals. What is missing is something to act as a persistent sanitizer. It is normally used with chlorine or bromine and will help reduce the need for the higher 3-5 PPM level of bromine. Because the ozonator is doing much of the oxidation, the amount of bromine required, to maintain any given level, will be greatly reduced.

At this point, you have a low level of bromine and the only other chemical being added is silver ions. When the pool is filled, adjust the pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness, as required. As mankind has learned, microorganisms are highly adaptable. On a monthly basis or after periods of heavy bather usage, to help prevent the formation of resistant microorganisms and to assure peak performance of this triad approach to a reduced halogen pool, I would add enough potassium monopersulfate shock (non-chlorine) to boost the bromine level to 3-5 PPM. You want 3-5 PPM present, for at least a few hours.  I suggest this last step, as assurance against developing a sanitizer resistant microorganism. It may not be needed, but better safe than sorry. However, if you ever feel slimy deposits on the underwater surface, it should be taken as a sign that something may not be performing properly or that this periodic bromine treatment needs to be done. A high-efficiency filter can further assure optimum water quality, while remaining a low halogen pool. I hope that this information will prove helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/31/2013
 

How to get better results using alternative sanitizers.

Use a Salt Chlorine Generator for more consistent control of chlorine levels.
Monitoring the water chemistry helps to promote better sanitizing and water quality.
Add Ultraviolet Sanitizing . . . eliminates chlorine resistant microorganisms!!!
Add a Solar UV Sanitizer to cut chlorine usage, while providing better water quality.
A Circulator replaces standard return fittings and dramatically improves circulation.
Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools. One of the ColorQ all-digital, pool and spa water analyzers. Unltravioloet (UV) sterilizers, for all ypes of residential pools and spas. Card On Guard, Solar UV Sanitizer, for pools and spas. The Pool Circulator is a replacement return jet fitting, that dramatically improves circulation.
A no-installation needed, full-featured Salt Chlorine Generator. A ColorQ all-digital pool tester help you maintain proper water chemistry. Ultraviolet sanitizing can eliminate pathogens that are chlorine-resistant. This Floating Solar UV Sanitizer can reduce chlorine usage, by 50% or more. Better circulation means better dispersion of sanitizers.
Click on any image for complete product and ordering information.

Won't Do Without One?

I live in Houston. We are starting the process of getting quotes to build a new pool. My sister in Chicago has a pool ionizer. I have never seen anything as easy as this. Every season they put a few bags of salt in the pool when they and the ionizer makes its own chlorine. They rarely have to add anything. Is it possible to have this system in the hot humid weather that we have here in Houston? I do not want a pool that does not have an ionizer. Can you help me in finding a pool company in our area that will install this system with maintenance service? 

Becky A., 3/6/2011

Saltron Reliant salt chlorine generator, for pools.
Not a problem! The product that you are referring to as an "ionizer" is more correctly described as a salt chlorine generator. That's why some salt is
added yearly: in order to replenish the salt content, after the pool water level has been restored in the springtime. An ionizer is something different: it uses copper and silver ions, in conjunction with shock treatments, to maintain proper water quality. An ionizer does not make chlorine! A salt chlorine generator system can produce all of your pool's chlorine requirements, with a minimum of other chemicals. It is like having a chlorine manufacturing plant.  Chlorine output is controlled by a setting on a dial and is making adding pool chlorine the old fashioned way obsolete. It works in the humidity of Florida and the Arizona desert. Good luck with the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/7/2011


Salt Chlorinators And Mineral Sanitizers?

Your website is a great source of information that I found while doing research on alternate pool sanitizer solutions. Thank you for your time in providing this service. I hope this isn't a repeat, but I didn't find the specific info on the mineral sanitizers, and specifically not any comparison between the two in terms of effectiveness, cost and ease of use. I would very much like to know your thoughts on the relative merits of the mineral sanitizers and salt water chlorine generators.

Gene G., Madison, AL, 7/7/2009


A salt chlorine generator is a complete pool sanitizing system. About all you'll need on a regular basis is some acid to
lower Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools.the pH. It is like maintaining a chlorine pool without the headaches or the handling of chlorine. It is highly automated and controllable. Need more chlorine - just dial it up. A mineral sanitizer adds metallic ions to control algae and bacteria. You will still have to add chlorine or non-chlorine shock on a regular basis, to perform the necessary oxidizing function. In either case, the water chemistry must be maintained. A salt chlorinator will cost more initially. While I don't have specific figures, I suspect that over the life of the unit, the cost will be very competitive and possibly lower depending upon individual circumstances. Some salt cells are rated to last 5 years or more, depending upon the location. Mineral Sanitizers use cartridges and have life expectancies of about 6 months, by comparison. You can use both products together. That will allow you to maintain a lower level of free chlorine and that will make control of the pH easier and extend the life of the salt cell. I hope that the information proves to be helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/7/2009


What is Ionization-Oxidation?

A friend has a pool that uses something called Ionization-Oxidation. He seemed very happy with it and I must admit there was no heavy chlorine smell. It sounded too good to be true, but I didn't want to press him on the details. Can you fill in the blanks?

Jerry N., Darien, GA, 6/23/2018


Ionization-Oxidation is a hybrid method for purifying water. The technology was actually used in the space program to purify water on many manned space missions. In the better units, electrodes release controllable amounts of copper and zinc ions, to act as sanitizers. In addition, other electrodesSaltron Reliant salt chlorine generator, for pools. produce forms of active oxygen to destroy organic matter, algae and waste products. The Ionization-Oxidation unit is operated for a preset time and carries the sanitizing load, with a minimal chemical presence. Frequently, it is touted as 100% chlorine free. In the real world, better and more consistent results are gotten, by also maintaining a very low level of chlorine.  It requires very little chlorine and there should be little or no sense of this being a chlorine pool. However, the oxygenation leaves the water quickly, after turning off the unit,  and many users make the mistake of increasing the copper level.  When the copper level goes above 0.3 PPM or the pH too far above 7.2, copper staining becomes a possibility. The chlorine just helps bridge the gap between the shutting off of the unit and its restart the next day. If you are interested in a pool that uses a minimum of chemicals, you might consider a salt chlorine generator.  It is the better way to do chlorine and avoids the buildup of unwanted byproducts and does not contribute to the possibility of copper staining.  I hope that this information proves to be helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/24/2018


Perplexed About Biguanide?

I have been using biguanide for several years and been happy with the results. It may cost more, but I like the feel and the lack of chlorine odors. The problem is that on two occasions the pool has developed a water mold. I had to add chemicals and chlorine shock and, in effect, had to start all over. The dealer says it could happen again. Short of switching to something else, can you suggest something? Thanks.

Paul B., Lake Worth, FL, 9/4/2010


You could try adding an Ultraviolet Sanitizing unit. It will depress the microbial populations and help prevent a possible recurrence. If
the problem does recur, you really should permanently switch from biguanide. In that case, you could change to chlorine or bromine and the UV unit will allow you to maintain satisfactory sanitizer levels with fewer chemicals. It's your call. Good luck with your decision.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/5/2010


Why Aren't Ozonators More Popular?

Ozonators sound like a good idea. So why are they not very popular? Is it good for a lazy pool owner?

John W., 6/24/2017


They may not be as popular as chlorine, but their popularity is increasing in all types of residential and commercial pools. The use of ozone generators
Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools. has been widespread in spas for many years. Ozonators are not complete stand alone pool sanitizers.  A backup system, usually chlorine or bromine must be used. A salt chlorine generator can be used in conjunction with an ozonator and will provide additional benefits.  Ionizers can also be used in conjunction with ozone and chlorine, to provide backup sanitizing and reduce the chlorine usage. In addition, all of the important water chemistry parameters must be maintained, as in a chlorine-maintained pool. Yes, it is convenient. Yes, it will reduce the overall requirements for sanitizer and will simplify chemical balancing. Yes, it is good for "lazy" pool owners. There are other choices that might be worthy of your consideration. Salt chlorine generators can completely eliminate the need for any chlorine and there is no need for a backup. Still the water chemistry must be maintained. But isn't that what pool service companies are for? I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/24/2017


An Ionizer vs. A Salt Chlorinator?

I'm building a new concrete 26X42 pool and I'm having a little difficulty deciding on the purifier to use. One of my concerns is to eliminate as much as possible any chemicals used (i.e. I hate the smell and feel of chlorine). So I've looked at several chlorine generators and Copper/Silver Ionizers. Some vendors swear by the generators because you don't have to handle chlorine. But, they can't answer my concern that the Chlorine content of the pool is probably no different (i.e. regular Chlorinators). On the other hand, Ionizers claim to use little or no Chlorine. What can you tell me about the relative strengths, beyond trivialities, between generators and Ionizers? Any recommendations are appreciated.

Mike S., 8/22/2006


With an ionizer you will still have to add chlorine, bromine or non-chlorine shock on a regular basis. Otherwise, organic byprRelaiant salt chlorine generators, 3-models, for all types of pools, up to 40,000 gallons.oducts will buildup to problem levels. The use of chlorine or bromine will act as a backup sanitizer and help assure better
water quality. The ionization unit will reduce the use of chemical sanitizing products - how much less will depend on your particular usage pattern.  The overall pool chemistry must still be maintained, as with any pool.  Your concern about chlorine should be eliminated, if you add a salt chlorine generator. Under normal conditions, it is chloramines that prove odorous and irritating. With a salt chlorination system, all the water passing through the cell will be free of odorous and irritating chloramines and there should be much less of a sensation of chlorine being in the pool. It is the chloramines - not the chlorine that are smelled. There are no chlorine containers to handle or store! As with any chlorine pool, you will have to maintain all of the other water chemistry parameters. Test the salt level, periodically to assure that the amount is within the proper range. Good luck with your decision. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/13/2006


Ionizer Needed Chlorine To Maintain Water Quality?

I purchased this powered ionizer, for above ground pools and I think it is time for me to replace the cartridge in this ionizer. I am debating buying another cartridge, because the replacement price is going to be around $150. Can you please share your opinion and/or suggestions about this product or any others similar to it? What is your personal experience or advice regarding these ionizers? Being a new above ground pool owner, I am not able to determine if this product is worth re-investing my money again every 2 or 3 yrs. Please advise & Thanks for all your help.

Debbie R, Dallas, TX, 10/25/2009


When sanitizing products, such as algaecides or chlorine, are registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency, they rec
Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools.eive an EPA Reg. Number. In addition, the agency limits the types of claims that can be made. For some unfathomable reason the EPA does not register all devices and they seem free to make claims, that may not be supported. I agree that this product can help sanitize water. But water can be sanitary and look unappealing. Wastes must be oxidized, with the use of chlorine, bromine, ozone, potassium monopersulfate or hydrogen peroxide. WHAT ARE YOU ADDING TO OXIDIZE BATHER WASTES? THIS PRODUCT WILL NOT DO ANYTHING TO ELIMINATE URINE!  Ionizers usually suggest the use of chlorine or bromine, at lower levels, to destroy the wastes. In my opinion, stand alone ionizers fail to provide proper water quality and add to the risks of staining. In many cases, the dealer tells the pool owner that no chlorine is needed. Just add a gallon of laundry bleach weekly.  Guess what! Most laundry bleach is chemically identical to liquid pool chlorine, only at about 1/4 - 1/2 the strength.  And if you have to add chlorine, The Model SR Salt Chlorinator is somewhat more than the refill, but is a full featured unit.  I am really interested about what other chemicals, you are adding. Please get back to me.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/26/2009

To be honest with you, my pool guy, (who bailed on me in July), was treating my pool, as if the ionizer was not there. He said,  he wasn't too sure that these ionizers were very efficient, so he just kept caring for my pool with chlorine and shock, which of course kept my pool clean and blue. However, I was in Florida for a month when my pool guy quit, and when I got back, I had a green tinted pool. Since then, I lost my job, and have had a hard time buying the chemicals necessary to get all the algae out. Not too mention it has been raining almost every other day or 3rd day here in Dallas for the past several months. When the pool supply places test my water, I have had ELEVATED levels of both pH & alkalinity and 0 chlorine. When we finally got the pH and TA level. Then I treat with algaecide, then 5 to 6 lbs of shock and floating 1 inch stabilized chlorine tabs. I vacuum, and still am unable to get my pool totally blue.  I think the rain is killing my chlorine levels, because I cant seem to keep it up. And those 1-lb pkgs. of shock are so expensive, it is ridiculous. I have been looking for pool chemicals online, but am unsure which ones are the best value for the money. My vinyl is solid White, with the exception of a 7 inch color design around the top edge of the liner, right about where the top of the water level should be.  I am not concerned about bleaching any color from my vinyl, yet the pool supply people, keep wanting to sell me the more expensive shock treatment made especially for vinyl pools.  Every week, when I go to the pool supply store, it is costing me anywhere from $80 to $130 in chemicals. So that is the reason I was inquiring about the efficiency of my power ionizer and whether or not I should invest in another cartridge due to the pricing of the item. I was hoping to save on over-all chemical costs. And, after reading the info you suggested a salt chlorine generator, I am a little confused. Do I have to have a salt water system already set up on my pool, to use the salt water system?  Or Do you recommend I stick with the regular salt chlorine generator system, as opposed to the saltwater system?  Any suggestions or advice you provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your help.

Debbie R., Dallas, TX, 10/28/2009


Like I said, an ionizer cannot work without chlorine or some form of oxidizer. At best, it can help reduce chlorine usage. Your pool was being
Card On Guard, Solar UV Sanitizer, for pools and spas. maintained on chlorine. When the chlorine was stopped, that is when algae took over. The low pH and TA are the result of the algae and not the cause. It seems the product did little to deter algae and I would not invest in a replacement cartridge. Because this is a device, their claims are not regulated by the EPA. They can boast about no chlorine, but in the real world, the truth gets exposed. I suggest that you add chlorine and get the free chlorine level elevated. Liquid pool chlorine is vinyl-liner safe and cost effective. Or read the labels and use a cost effective choice, since money is a consideration. It will probably require a lot of chlorine. A Solar UV Sanitizer is something that can help you reduce chlorine usage, after you have eliminated the current problem. The Salt Chlorine Generator Model SR unit is described as a saltwater generator or salt chlorinator (the terms are used interchangeably), for most above ground pools. The unit mounts on the top rail. It will require about 25 pounds of salt, per 1000 gallons, but will make enough chlorine for a typical 20,000 gallon pool. It requires ordinary non-iodized food or water softener graders of salt- about 10 cents a pound.  Good luck with the clean up and I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/28/2009


How Does UV Sanitize?

I am interested in getting away from all the chlorine and the odors associated with the product. I know there are several types of alternative pool water sanitizers available, which can reduce or eliminate chemical usage. I've read up on some of them, but am not really clear about Ultraviolet. Is this the same as Ozone? How does it work? Thanks for the help.

Adam J., 11/2/2004


Ultraviolet (UV) is not ozone. Some ozone generators utilize UV to produce ozone, but not as a sanitizing agent. UV rays
destroy the microorganisms ability to survive and function, after passing through the cell membrane.  An ultraviolet sanitizer unit is plumbed inline and effectiThe Circulator improves pool water circulation.vely sanitizes the water, as it passes through the cell. This has the net effect of reducing the overall microbial populations and reducing the amount of sanitizer necessary to maintain optimum water quality and to keep the pool algae-free. UV will reduce the microbial population, but requires a traditional sanitizer to help keep it that way and to help the underwater surfaces free of algae. Chlorine is well suited, in this role, and lower quantities of chemicals will be required because of the lower microbial populations. Good water circulation is important.  The Circulator, which boosts circulation, would be worthwhile additions, helping to keep the underwater surfaces in algae-free condition. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/2/2004


Concerned About Copper?

We have used a mineral sanitizer system for the last 2 years with great results. We can keep our chlorine levels low and the water stays perfectly clear. This year, my wife has seen info that indicates that this system may not be good for the pool, as it introduces copper into the water Can you please shed some light on this subject? Thanks.

Bill, 5/30/2009

ColorQ digital water analyzer.
Mineralizers and ionization units usually release a stream of metallic ions, into the pool water, for the purpose of providing sanitizing benefits. The ions are at extremely low levels, so as not to cause staining and/or discoloration.  I assume that this is the issue that you were addressing. The instances, where copper can present a problem, result from the use of copper sulfate, corrosion of copper heater cores or excessively high concentrations, due to over application. You should try and keep the copper at 0.3 PPM maximum and keep the pool pH closer to 7.2. Several convenient testing options are available, including a ColorQ COPPER 5 Digital water analyzer, that eliminates the guesswork and color-matching. I hope that I have provided some enlightenment.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/31/2009
 
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