Salt Chlorine Generators, pictured above, will
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25,000 or 40,000 gallons, require. Includes many
important performance features: such as self
cleaning salt cell, power level selector and timer.
This is the better way to use chlorine.
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How to use Ionization-Oxidation, as an
alternative spa, swim spa or hot tub sanitizer?
Ionization-Oxidation Systems are hybrid water
purification devices that supply a dual stream
of sanitizing metallic ions to the pool water:
usually copper and zinc. The copper ions
function primarily as an algaecide and the zinc
ions function as a bactericide. Used properly,
the ions are maintained at very low levels,
avoiding the possibility of staining or
discoloration. What makes Ionization-Oxidation a
hybrid product and sets it apart from simple
ionizers is another set of electrodes that
produces various forms of active oxygen. The
ability to both sanitize and oxidize wastes and
organic byproducts makes this a very effective
system, especially with a low chemical presence. It is this
dual functionality that makes this product more
versatile than ionizers or mineral sanitizers.
When used in conjunction with a very low level
of chlorine or
chlorine generator, Ionization-Oxidation produces
better and more consistent results with minimal
chemical usage. 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
or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.
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Problem-Solving Information, in a question and
► What is
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
electrodes 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
I hope that this information proves to be helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/24/2018
Too Much Copper?
Seasons Greetings Alan! I have a
copper ionized pool, using an
ionization-oxidation unit, with alow level
liquid chlorine (~1ppm). 1. Is it OK
to use cyanuric acid as a sunscreen
to prolong the chlorine? (some
ionizer manufacturers say no). 2.
What is the best system to measure
copper ion levels in a pool? 3. What
is the simplest method to reduce
copper ion levels? (when I over do
it - the wife's hair started to go
green!) Appreciate your advice!
can and should use chlorine
stabilizer. Manufacturers that say,
otherwise, are probably trying to
obscure the fact, that using
chlorine, with their equipment,
produces better results. They are
too intent on down playing the value
of adding chlorine.
ColorQ PRO 7-Plus provides all
the testing, that you should
You can use a
Filter and a small submersible
pump to recirculate water, the
cartridge-like filter. As water
passes through the MetalTrap, the
copper will be removed. Once the
pool copper content has dropped to
safe level (under 0.3 PPM), you can
stop the recirculation. High levels
of copper can cause green hair.
High pH makes it even worse.
I hope that the information provided
Sincerely. Alan Schuster,
► A Safer
One of my clients wishes to use H2O2
as a sanitizing agent instead of chlorine for their pool.
What they've come up with is a 35% solution. How can this
be administered safely and what are safe concentration
levels for swimming pool water? Is H2O2
the same as biguanide? They may also be interested in using
another sanitizer in conjunction with the H2O2.
What are the pros and cons of this? Thanks.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)
is used as an oxidizer with biguanide sanitized pools and
spas. It is not biguanide, nor is it recognized as a pool or
spa sanitizer. It is just an oxidizer and a dangerous
material to handle. It would have to used with another
method for sanitizing, in order to assure proper conditions.
If the goal is to avoid the harsher conditions and odors
associated with most chlorine pools and to reduce the
overall chemical presence, an Ozone Generator and
would be an feasible choice. With
that, you would need to maintain a
minimal amount of chlorine or
bromine: just enough to maintain a 1
PPM level. The addition of a
Solar UV Sanitizer will
increase the possibilities of
success and decrease chemical usage. I hope that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/14/2013
► Wants To Be
I have a small pool, with a waterfall
feature. The dogs drink from there as well. I live in the
mountains and do not want chemicals to clean the pool. I am
on a solar energy system. any hints? There is an ultra
violet light in the system already. I prefer a "green"
Ultraviolet Sterilizer will not be enough, but it will make it a
lot easier and will reduce overall chemical usage. You must
have oxidation, in order to destroy wastes and organic
byproducts. I suggest looking into using a
salt chlorine generator.
Depending on the dogs, use of the
pool, you will still need
to maintain a suitable free chlorine level. The salt
chlorine generator allows for better
control and results. You will
have the ability to dial the free
chlorine level, up or down, as best
suits your needs. It adds no
unwanted byproducts. Poor circulation and dead spots can make
sanitizing more challenging. THE
POOL CIRCULATOR is a device that
greatly improves circulation and improves sanitation. It
installs in the return fitting, quite easily. I hope that
this information is "green" enough for you and helpful, as
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/21/2015
Dear Alan, your fame spreads far and
wide! Another couple of questions from the other side of the
pond (U.K.) I am considering fitting an ioniser, several
manufacturers out there, some use copper electrodes, some
copper and silver, some use copper, silver and zinc. from my
own studies of bacterial research via the web it appears
that there is a synergy between copper and silver which
provides a kill rate at 4ppm which can only be matched by
copper alone at 8ppm therefore am I correct that the life of
the electrodes (copper and silver) will be longer due to the
amount of ions required and also the electricity required
will be less saving the planet a bit more not too mention
that staining should be less? Second question, You do not
seem to mention that some manufacturers include a second
pair of electrodes (titanium or platinum) that are used to
provide oxygen to burn up those impurities normally carried
out via chlorine, thus eliminating chlorine completely. What
are your thoughts? I have also found a German company that
has made diamond surfaced plates that produce 100% more
oxygen than platinum plates. Kind regards.
John W., U.K., 4/10/2015
I will always have fond memories of the UK and the pool
business, having attended a trade show in Brighton, many
years ago. Ionizers, sanitize by
releasing metallic ions: copper, silver and zinc. As far as
concentration is concerned, 4 or 8 PPM, is far too high, as
that would likely result in staining and discoloration
problems. Levels in the tenths of a PPM would be more
appropriate, in a swimming pool. While an ionizer helps
sanitize the water, it is not a complete system. Oxidation
will still be required. Towards that end, an ozonator
or ionization-oxidation unit could
be used to provide the needed oxidation. Because the
oxygenation and ozone are so
fleeting, perhaps lasting only 20
minutes, it can be
challenging to totally eliminate chlorine, as its presence
on a persistent basis provides both sanitizing and oxidizing.
This might be required, occasionally, if the bather loads
are high or conditions warrant. The maintenance of a minimal
level of chlorine or bromine, helps to confirm that the
sanitizing and oxidizing needs are being met. For those that
want to totally eliminate chlorine. adding high efficiency
filtration, The Pool Circulator for improved circulation or a
Sterilizer will make success more likely. If you want to
minimize the use of chlorine, a combination of systems may
be the best answer. A
salt chlorine generator is still
chlorine, but it is the better water
to utilize chlorine. I hope that this information proves
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/10/2015
Reappearing "Rusty" Stains?
I live in South Florida. I recently
acid washed my inground pool, which uses a copper oxidation
electrode system rather than chlorine. The surface looked
great and I refilled and balanced the pool; and then about
4-5 days later small rust stains began to appear only on the
shallow end. I was told that it may be rust leaching from
impurities in the marcite surface, but I don't know if this
is true. I can scrub them out manually with a scrubber stone
but they come back. Is there anything I can do to remove
them permanently? I was thinking of spot painting over
them because I don't want to resurface the pool. None of the
pool centers know how to handle this because of the copper
mineralizer system I have. I really need and would
appreciate your advice. Thank You!
Mike F., Florida, 5/3/2013
There are problems with dark spots on plaster finishes, but
this doesn't sound like that. It sounds like fertilizer
granules. Is it possible? The problem the dealer is having
is that if you use a metal treatment, it may compromise the
copper electrode function. The only way to treat the metals
is to add a metal treatment. That will negate the copper
algaecidal function, unless a suitable metal treatment is
used. To provide algaecidal activity, you could use a
polymer based algaecide for a few months, while the copper
becomes re-established. This is one of the limitations in
dealing with Solar-Powered
Dual-Ion Purifier-Mineralizers or ionizers, that
utilize copper, and having a heavy metal problem. There are
metal treatment products that are safe to use, so be sure to
check with the dealer.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/3/2013
The algaecide treatment and shock
treatment, combined with chlorine tabs on each spot,
successfully removed the stains. I also pressure washed to
clear the top of the screen enclosure of debris. The problem
is, after the pool looked great, when I went to bed. This
morning new spots appeared, about 50 of them, in the same
areas, but not the same spots. I have no idea what's going
on, but I'm frustrated as hell. Any thoughts or suggestions?
The stains are not copper or another metal or else the
chlorine would not have removed them. The plaster spot
problem that has been widely reported does not respond to
chlorine. That only leaves algae or some organic type of
stain. Have you ever added a metal treatment? Is your pool
overhung by a tree, such as a live oak or black olive? If
chlorine was the solution, it seems that the oxidation
function is inadequate, on a 24-hour basis. Perhaps, you
should simply maintain the pool on a very low level of
chlorine, so that there is always some present, for those
times with active oxygen is not being produced. Using
bromine would be even better, as it seems more effective
against certain problem types of algae. It would be safe to
assume that the copper is not able to control the problem,
possibly due to the addition of metal treatments. Add a
polymer algaecide and continue for a few months. I suggest
that you shock the pool, raising the free chlorine level to
5-10 PPM. Use the brush and improvement should be
forthcoming, in a day or so. Good luck.
Yes! There is a live oak above that
area of the pool. Has that been known to cause this or
similar problems? No, I have not used a metal treatment
because the manufacturer of the copper system said not to. I
agree it must be something organic, but damned if I know
what it is, particularly since the stains show up so
Blame it all on the tree. As far as I am concerned the best
live oak tree is a dead one. The same for black olive trees.
I have a live oak in front of my house. It makes a mess of
the lawn and stains the driveway. The state of Florida makes
it difficult to take this native tree down. Certain times of
the year the problems are worse. If you can legally take it
down, I would do it. Your problem is this. The oxidation
function produces forms of active oxygen that last only for
a short time, after the unit is shut off. Leaves, seeds and
bits of debris from that tree will leach tannins. Without an
oxidizer or chlorine present, the tannins appear as rust
colored stains. It has nothing to do with "iron rust" and it
is not a metal stain. Tannins can be destroyed by chlorine
and other oxidizers. You have several options. Get rid of
the tree. Use a very low level chlorine as a backup
sanitizer/oxidizer. Lastly, a
robotic pool cleaner can micro
filter and vacuum up the bottom. It operates
independently of the pool pump and
filter. This way there is little or
no debris to cause staining. This does explain why the
stains keep reappearing!
Alan, hi! This is great because at
least now I know what I'm dealing with. Before it was a crap
shoot. The tree is a neighbor's tree but branches hang over
my pool and (with some difficulty I fear) I'm going to find
a way to cut them back. I do use an automatic pool cleaner
already and the tannin stains did only seem to appear, in
the six hours the motor was off at night. I'm grateful that
at least we were able to diagnose the cause. Now for a
solution! Thanks again!
Hi Alan, I followed your advice and
had the tree cut back away from the screen enclosure.
Shocked the pool, and the stains disappeared permanently! I
plan on keeping a little chlorine present, just as a backup.
Thanks so much for your patience and help. You have a great
Editors Note. In the final analysis it was simply a
matter of there being no chlorine or oxidizer present during
the overnight period. The problem was not attributable to
copper staining. It was simply a matter of fine particles of
live oak tree debris falling into the pool and leaching
tannins, after the pool was shut off at night. The solution:
maintain a low level of chlorine, while using this
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