Do Pool Ionizers work?
Pool ionizers do work. They use a very low level of copper and/ or other metals such as silver to kill bacteria and algae. The recommended copper level is less than half the National Sanitation Foundation 0.3-0.4ppm. for drinking water.
However, getting rid of large quantities of algae usually needs to be dealt with by shocking the pool with an oxidizer such as chlorine. Ionizers can't generate enough ions to clear a pool with lots of algae already in it. This is why it is recommended that the pool be shocked and the pH balanced to 7.2-7.6 before activating the ionizer.
40-50 years ago, swimming pools were plumbed with copper plumbing. The chemicals eventually decayed the plumbing, as did the velocity of the water and the corrosive effects of the chlorine (think what the chemicals are doing to your body, if it was deteriorating your pipes). This put traces of copper into the water. The copper would eventually cause a blue staining of the plaster, because there is an unregulated level of copper being introduced into the water and the chlorine oxidizing the copper causing it to drop out of solution. It also reacted with the blond hair of some bathers, to cause that "green hair" effect - that is oftentimes blamed on the chlorine (remember: yellow + blue = green)! This is usually caused by incorrectly shocking the pool. If you have an ionizer, it is recommended that only liquefied chlorine be used when shocking. Otherwise, it super-oxidizes the copper and it could drop out of solution causing staining.
Not only does copper kill algae, it also kills bacteria and viruses. This leaves you with just organic material which needs to be oxidized to clarify the pool. Usually ionizer owners shock the pool with about 1 quart of liquid chlorine (Clorox) per 10,000 gallons, once a week or if the pool gets cloudy, whichever is sooner. Or you can leave your pool chlorine dispenser set to deliver 0.5ppm at a constant rate. This practice is accepted by many public health localities throughout the United states. The copper (and actually all heavy metals) is an algaecide. It interrupts the plants ability to photosynthesize, thereby killing it. Additionally, more recent studies have shown copper is an excellent germicide and virucide it will be used in hospitals for surgical trays, countertops and even door knobs in the future.
As pools were eventually plumbed with plastic pipe, pool chemical companies started to manufacture liquid algaecides that contained heavy metals (primarily copper, nickle, and silver). Also in the solution, was a sequestering agent, sometimes also called a chelating agent. The purpose of this additive, was to keep the metals in solution in the presence of variations of high & low pH. Without these additives, in the presence of pH extremes, these metals would precipitate out of solution, staining the pool plaster.
So it goes without saying; reasonable pool maintenance must be incorporated in your pool activity, such as checking the pH, alkalinity, and the parts per million of copper in the pool (.03-.04ppm) on a weekly basis. These metals do not evaporate out of the pool, but are consumed by the algae, etc. and could to become concentrated if not checked. Another disadvantage of liquid algaecides, is that these additives eventually wear out, (actually they are consumed by the algae).
Since copper and /or silver are not subject to deterioration from the sun's ultraviolet rays, as is chlorine. The metal that is not consumed by the algae, bacteria and viruses remain in the pool as residual purifying agents. This gives you a very economical and low maintenance method to keep your pool clean.
Of course, water ionizers work as well as they say. Water Ionizers not just filter the water, but splits water into ionized acidic and ionized alkaline fractions. Ionized alkaline water is the best and healthiest drinking water. Ionized alkaline water supplies plenty of oxygen to our body, thus helping in the proper functioning of muscles and organs. Alkaline water is rich in antioxidants, which combats the free radicals/ toxins in our body, thereby balancing the…
From http://www.ecosmartepool.com How does a swimming pool ionizer work? A. A safe low voltage DC current is applied to the copper electrodes. As the ions attempt to move from one electrode to the other, many of them become suspended in the water. How do copper ionizers purify water? A. Copper ions have the ability to pierce the protective outer membrane of a cell and disrupt enzyme balance thereby killing algae. Although lethal to bacteria and…
I had to drain the pool, use a power washer and lots of chlorine. Then had to shock the pool at least twice before it started staying clear. It's a lot of work and I would reccommend using a pool service to monitor chemical levels in the pool, that way if you get the black algae again, they can do all the work.
The key to a clean and enjoyable pool is constant maintenance. Do not wait until the pool reaches a state where you must vacuum. Develop a regular schedule that will continually keep your pool sparkling. Pools require a lot of work, however if you want the enjoyment for yourself and others, you must constantly work at it.
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Its because of the chlorine. The blue color deposits on your golden color and creates an ashy green effect. The above is totally wrong. Chlorine does NOT cause green hair, copper does. Sources of copper in pools are commonly algaecides, "multi-action" chlorine tablets and shocks, ionizers and mineral cartridge systems, copper pipes used to plumb the pool (common on older pools), and the fill water used. As far as my expertise goes I am currently…