EcoSmarte System...can anyone provide a reference?

12 years ago

Considering installing the Eco-Smarte pool sanitizing system, instead of a salt water system.

I am ordering my diy vinyl i/g kit tomorrow, and the vendor is recommending the EcoSmarte system instead of a salt system.

He says the pool will then be totally chlorine free, and that it will be cheaper to operate than a salt system (no salt to add, and less electricity)

Would like to get an independent opinion from people who have the system or from other pool builders who know of the Eco Smarte system.

Thanks in advance!

Here is a link that might be useful: Eco Smarte Link

Comments (101)

  • renovxpt

    IMO the only real owner on this thread is newpoolownerny. The rest are part of a spam campaign. Racket knows whats going on.

  • poolguynj


    I am in no way affiliated with Eco=Smarte. I did work for a dealer at one time, but that time has passed. Any trolling going on does not include me. I have only spoken from my experiences.


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  • edpa

    I didnt want to post because I did not want to get hammered by Chlorine lovers. Hopefully this wont go that way.

    As far as stray voltage goes. If you check the electrodes with the wires removed you will also get voltage. The E-clear system uses 2 separate chambers for the electrodes. Maybe they are onto something. It has not been a problem for me yet. My plates are fairly clean after 6 weeks. I could put up with 2-3 months since we live near Philadelphia and the season is short. I am still using a lot of acid though. I started at 2 gallons a week and last week I was down to 1 gallon but this week we only went 5 days and I am back up to a 7.2 PH. Well it is a little better but we are going on 7 weeks now. Ecosmarte says it is a big pool although it only 30,000. Maybe it is worse because it has a large surface area with a Spa. The deep end is only 6 feet.

    Some people complain about the maintenance on a DE filter but I dont mind backwashing. I did not enjoy acid cleaning the grids though. I did not know if they needed to be done but we are going on 5 or 6 years now. They were brighter but did seem much different and the pressures were the same as last year. They probably were fine and did not need to be cleaned. This is one thing that puzzles me about Ecosmarte. They claim that the Grids need to Acid washed every year because of calcium buildup and yet they claim to remove calcium buildup. I asked them about this and was told the system should remove the calcium from the filter. Time will tell. I have not one bit of buildup around the waterline now and I think the heavy calcium that was under the waterfall is starting to go away. The only buildup there is the old stuff that is way above the waterline. We dont run the waterfall because of leaks. This is a long story that goes back to the PB.

    Here are some of the sites you will need.


    I have found the exact couplings Ecosmarte uses made by Waterway.
    The couplings are WW4005050 or 4005050 and I have found them at:

    http://www.poolandspa.com/catalog/product002580000331.cfm $6.62 ea.

    http://www.poolpartsonline.com/searchadv.aspx?SearchTerm=4005050 $9.92 ea.

    The Clear PVC is available from McMaster-Carr:

    http://www.mcmaster.com/#49035k28/=2derpm $33.34 for a 4 foot length

    I do not know if you have a McMaster-Carr distributor near you. I have an account with them. I dont know if you need one or can do a walk-in at the store. If you are close to one it may be worth a try. If you pay cash they should be able to do it. I have also see a piece on Ebay but it said it has a slight blue color. Item# 320385379179

  • renovxpt

    Scott, I was not referring to you. Sorry for the misinterpretation.

  • organic_paulo

    renovxpt and racket: there is nothing irregular going on here. I have zero affiliation with EcoSmarte aside of buying their system in June 2007 and talking once to their rep over the phone.
    I love it just as much as you love your own systems and it has worked well for me, that's all.
    Thank you for your understanding.

  • organic_paulo


    Thanks a lot for the information - looks like there is yet another project on my list!

  • dragonfly_wings

    The NYTimes had an article last year about alternatives to chlorination for pool owners/builders. It mentions several options and companies. Here's an excerpt:

    -- Several pool experts she consulted told her that chlorine was the only option; others suggested a saline system, which uses sodium chloride, but because that produces chlorine in the pool, it did not address her concerns.

    Ms. Glazer eventually learned of a system that eliminates the need for chlorine and other chemicals, using a combination of ozone and copper and silver ions. That system can be added on to existing pools, at a cost ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. Because Ms. Glazer was starting fresh, she spent $60,000 to build her pool, which has a panoramic view of the ocean, roughly $20,000 more than if shed built a chlorinated model.

    There are several ways to eliminate chlorine or significantly reduce the use of it, although the pool industry remains skeptical of their effectiveness and it is often difficult to find builders to install them.

    TechnoPure, a company based in Uxbridge, Mass., makes a system that pumps pool water through a chamber containing coated titanium plates which oxidize and burn off organic waste. Copper and zinc ions sanitize the water, resulting in a pool thats "virtually maintenance free in terms of chemicals," said Chris Capozzoli, who founded the company seven years ago. He said the system costs around $5,500 for an average-size residential pool and can be installed during construction or added to an existing pool.

    Another company, DEL Ozone, based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., makes generators that inject ozone gas into the water as it recirculates, oxidizing bacteria and killing microorganisms. The generators are usually employed as a supplemental sanitizer to reduce reliance on chlorine, but according to Beth Hamil, vice president for corporate compliance and market development at DEL, its possible to rely solely on ozone by using a larger generator and running the recirculating pump continuously. (Energy efficient pumps are available.)

    The so-called natural swimming pools that have slowly migrated to America from Europe are another option. The chlorine-free pools, which resemble ponds and must be built from scratch, circulate water through aquatic plants that act as organic cleansers.

    Alternative technologies arent new (DEL began to sell ozone systems for pools and spas in 1980), but they have grown in popularity in recent years as people who dislike swimming in chlorinated water become aware of their options.

    -- Cont'd at link --

  • newpoolownerny

    renovxpt is almost right. It looks like there are only two actual owners of the system rest are SPAM. newpoolownerny(me)=CLfree System and dbrentz=ECOsmarte System. It's hard to argue against all the scientific advertisements and all the realistic looking scientific numbers and data that basically says chlorine is bad and copper is good. I really wanted to make this copper system work. But I came to the conclusion that I will need some form of chemical to control the sanitation in conjunction with this copper based system. No chlorine forms of chemicals are Phosfree, Potassium Shock, Algaecides, Bromine, and even small amount of Chlorine. So if I were to use all these chemicals to control sanitation why do I need copper and titanium oxidizer at all. dbrentz's experience is almost identical to my experience. Copper system alone cannot maintain your pool. You will need small amount of chlorine and other chemicals to keep your pool sanitized. I hope dbrentz will realize just turning off the system and start using chlorine or just use chlorine-free alternative chemicals will make his life a lot easier. At least you know what works, not keep fighting what doesn't work. So you keep trying alternatives to supplement your expensive copper system. It's almost like doubling down when you're loosing on a gambling table. At some point, we crash and reality hits.
    The pool chemical testing also seems inadequate; we need a simple way to test for bacteria and algae not levels of copper or chlorine. Anyway, I'm going off track.

    Please take the experience from me(newpoolownerny) and dbrentz as true owner experience not scientific advertisements that others are showing as how great this copper system is. Phil Francisco from CLfree specifically said to me that people will not believe me. He told me to go ahead and tell of your experience. "No one will believe you." I'm only one person against all the scientic data and all the great colorful websites that says chlorine is bad and copper is good.

    I need to tell my story so that these companies, CLfree, Chlorine Free USA, and ECOsmarte, that sell copper based systems does not scam others like me. As a true owner, I could only tell you of my experience. No scientific data just telling you what I actually experienced. I tried the copper system for about two weeks last season and about two weeks this season. I was able to tell in this short time that copper based system does not work. It does not control algae as advertised. I wasn't able to tell how much copper there was in the pool. When I put chlorine shock and tablets all the problems disappeared. This is my first full week without CLfree system and using Chlorine Only. No algae, pool looks and feels great. Robot can climbs the walls, filter pumps all day long, no more running the pump 24/7. Although I really wanted the copper based system to work; it did not work for me. Chlorine worked as expected.

    CLfree, Chlorine Free USA, ECOsmarte prey up on the people wanting better things for their children (who doesn't?) and the lack of true owner experiences online. They will have you install the system, check for different items in the pool until the time is up to return the product. I guess I would have been part of this scam by keeping things quiet and just use this copper system in conjunction with other chemicals and say "yes it kind of works with a lot of work". I refuse to be part of this scam. Like I said above, I no longer want to be the emperor in the fable Emperors new clothes. I can no longer keep the facade of copper system actually sanitizing my pool.

    Copper based pool sanitation does not work. It's a scam to take your hard earn money by great marketing and prey upon your nature to nurture your children.

  • renovxpt

    I have always told my customers to throw their pocket change in the strainer basket when they clean it. Ionization
    can help. I've heard the stories about the water tanks in the covered wagons with coins in them and why wishing wells are so clean and understand how heavy metals kill things. I have seen plaster stained from ionizers and witnessed the way they have been marketed over the years.

    Spare change is a good way to iononize.

  • newpoolownerny

    I think renovxpt has the right idea. I won't argue that spare change will ionize the water. I believe that these copper ionization systems has about the same effect and the same results as throwing spare change into your skimmer basket. I spent $2195 for my Clfree system. You could save yourself $2190, by throwing in $5 worth of change into your skimmer basket. But just as I'm sure renovxpt would not recommend spare change as your only method of pool sanitation, do not expect these copper ionization systems to work wonders on their own.

  • renovxpt

    newpoolownerny, If you had only known! you could have treated your pool with gold and made a nice profit.

  • newpoolownerny

    Rereading this blog pberman and dbrentz are also true owners of copper ionization systems. pberman's experience showed copper system can not handle algae, which was the same problem I had. I also couldn't tell if the copper was actually killing bateria because it was very difficult to tell the level of copper in the pool. I didn't notice the blue staining yet but my pool's liner is blue. Three different owners with the same bad experience. I'm thinking class-action.

  • womanowned

    Check out this inexpensive alternative. Combine it with a chlorinator and you will be good. www.waterquality.net

  • newpoolownerny

    To follow up on my scam reference above, I wanted to tell you why I referenced the fable Emperor's new clothes. About the 2 weeks, when I reopened the pool for this season. I had the pump running 24hours by 14 days. When I couldn't tell how much copper there was in the pool. When I worked really hard to scrub the algae off the walls. I had a lot of self doubt as to maybe I'm not using this system correctly. However, the pool looked clean.
    So, I had my kids and his friends over to use the pool. When the kids went in, they said it smells yucky, and its slimy. They told me I should clean the pool. They came right back out. Just like in the story, Emperor's new clothes when the kid told the emperor he had no clothes on.
    After this incident is when I tried the chlorine shock and chlorine tablets, which, as expected, cleaned the pool to my kids standards.

    I guess as an adult we can get fooled by mountains of scientific data and all the colorful web pages that show how great the copper ionization system and how bad the chlorine is. In the end, its the kid test that that showed me, I was getting fooled by the false advertisements of copper ionization systems.

    I say again, copper ionization does not keep your pool clean. It's a scam to take your hard earned money. Do not buy CLfree, Chlorine Free USA or any other copper ionization systems.

  • edpa

    I have had my Ebay account searching for Ecosmarte systems as well as the others for well over a year. Over the past year I think there has been only 3 used systems for sale. One was from a guy who had a small exercise pool in his basement. He finished his therapy and both the pool and the Ecosmarte system were for sale. The second was from a guy who sold his house and the new owners did not want the system. I don't remember why the other was being sold.

    With this said all of the thousands of us each year who were supposedly scammed by the Copper/Oxygen systems sure do have a lot of morals and we don't have thousands of these systems on Ebay trying to reclaim part of our money. So for all of us out there with Copper/Oxygen systems that dont work well and are just lying around put them up for sale on Ebay and show the world once and for all that the systems dont work.

    I will keep track of all the used systems for sale and keep score.

  • Rack Etear

    There are tens of thousands of old UV ozone systems, ionizers, Orp controllers, and salt systems that hang on the wall of pool sheds that never make it to the dump, or eBay. I would bet a good majority of these systems are not installed by the end user (as most pool equipment is) that are no longer in use.

    Maybe most people have a conscience when it comes to ripping people off by selling something they felt scammed on.

    Oddly enough I couldn't find any used ozonators, but there is a ecosmarte... So by your logic does that mean that they (ozonators) are better?

  • organic_paulo

    Interesting readings, but not surprising coming from people who make their life servicing pools and selling chemicals: "Anything else than chlorine is SCAM". now we know who the scammers are, and don't need this blog any longer.
    I should have understood earlier and not tried to relate my personal experience with an EcoSmarte system that works for me.
    No wonder only a few EcoSmarte owners post on this blog - it is owned by the Chlorine industry, and anybody who dares differing is called a scammer.
    In the mean time, I will enjoy my chlorine-free pool, with no red eyes, once a month pH check, no pool guy, no burning sinuses, no weekly maintenance, no algaecides, bromine, chloride and other chemical soup. Enjoy your soup and your biased blog.

  • Rack Etear

    Nice try spammers. Don't try to turn this around on people complaining about your products.

    Our company makes about $1,500.00 a year selling chlorine. If Ecosmarte were a viable solution, we could almost make that off 1-2 units.

    Where did all of these people w/ their anecdotal stories and references come from posting within 2 days, but I never see the contributing to any other forum. Are they lurking or have an alert every time a post is added to this thread?

    Seriously everyone of their posts sounds like they are reading right from the brochure. Do you really think that we wont see through it?

  • Rack Etear

    2 gallons of acid in a plaster pool in 2 months is nothing abnormal if the pool is cement basted.

  • edpa


    I need to clarify. I am still using 2 gallons PER WEEK after 2 month of having the system installed. This seems like too much acid to me.


    I checked the amperage on the oxygen plates. With the copper wires still connected to the cell and I was getting .85 amps on the oxygen plates and .13 on neutral leg of the copper plates. When I removed both wires from the copper plates the amperage went up to .97 amps on the oxygen. I am now keeping my copper wire removed unless I need to increase the copper. I figure if more amps are going through the plates more oxygen and hydrogen are being produced.

    Both wires to the copper need to be removed because the polarity changes every 1-1/2 minutes and the hot/neutral legs reverse.

  • nickkon

    This blog began over 2 years ago; went from
    Good experience/ bad experience to
    Chlorine vs Copper to
    Spam vs Legit Owners vs Identity Theft vs ITS A SCAM conspiracy theory
    Honestly after reading the whole thing through, I feel like it was a complete waste of time. I've had my ECOsmarte pool for an entire year.. live in washington and we could afford to heat it throughout the winter and so we did. It was an oversized bathtub(30,000ish gal) tiled, and a concrete base. Cleanest pool any of my friends or relatives had ever seen. Never once was it 'slimy' or bad smelling.

    Never cleaned the copper plates, never added much acid, only checked the pool once a month. Pool was stable as they get, was a dream. Pool was as clear as could be throughout the first summer, first winter, second summer till now.

    I(the owner's son) had a huge party and large amounts of beer were spilt into the pool, etc. Parents & my 5siblings returned home and it soon 'Algae Bloomed' in the following 2 days. Its been a week since and i've been surfing around trying to find the best solution to fix it. As I am responsible for the upkeep of the pool. I cheated my way through chemistry so don't quiz me on that. I've measured the PH and Hardness and added the correct solutions, yet its still as green and the border on the bottom of the page.

    Ordered $100 in algaecide.. I read about people shocking the glass filter, might try that next as I have never even opened it or attempted to clean it. It worked a whole year straight(unlike the above who only opened it for a few summers) without even a hint of algae/bacteria.

    Chlorine isn't an option for most of the readers, so stop trying to sell it. Having blonde sisters, their sensitive hair has turned green on several occassions after swimming in chlorine pools. After the majority of their hair fell out, its not worth the risk.

  • organic_paulo

    EDPA: thanks for the tips regarding the electrodes - I will follow them

    Acid in the pool: is it a plaster pool? Mine was plaster that I converted to epoxy after over 50 years of good service. DIY job - first coats 5 years ago, then 1 1/2 years ago before converting to EcoSmarte. I had to add 1/2 Gal acid every 2 weeks initially after converting, then 1/2 gallon every three, then every month. Strangely, I have not added any since last winter, and the pH is always at the bottom of the red dye scale (6.8). I must say that we have not used the pool much yet this year, and it is always covered with a solar blanket. I will bring a sample to the pool supply store to measure pH more precisely and see if I need to add soda ash (if it is lower than 6.8)

    NICKKON: algae bloom: as usual, first check the basics: pH under 7.0 and copper between .5 and .7 ppm (I think - check the booklet). The copper will help keeping the algae in check. Then let the pool circulate on Oxidize for several days until it clears up. You don't have to spend $100 on algeacide; one bottle of concentrate at $25 should do it. You can also try non-chlorine pool shock oxidizer if you want to accelerate the process (3-4 potassium mono persulfate-1lb bags, spread with the pump off overnight). Use your vacuum pool cleaner or brush and vacuum the pool.
    Is your filter clean? Back pressure OK? Once the water is clear, you may want to replace the DE or clean your filter, because this algae bloom is producing a ton of organic matter. I have never checked for phosphate in my pool, may be you can ask you pool supply store to check. Phosphate is a great fertilizer, you don't want it in your pool. There is a pool product that captures it.

  • edpa


    I have had a pool for five years. Last year while still on Chlorine I had Algae problems most of the year. I was at several stores for help. In that time I was never told much about the proper use of Algaecide. Recently after reading other sites I found more information on it.
    Poly 60, the only type you can use with Ecosmarte, does not actually stay in the pool very long. It must be put in the water in morning on a sunny day when the Algae is most actively growing and reproducing. The Algae feeds on the Poly, which in turn kills the Algae. I never heard this before and it is not on any bottle I have ever had but it does make sense. I knew it did not stay in the pool long but I did not know that the algae have to be actively feeding for it to work.

    I have found that putting the vac in helps a lot Especially with Ecosmarte. I have an irregular shaped pool so it is hard to get good circulation everywhere. I am now using an Aquabot Turbo T-Jet. I also have an Aquabot Turbo and a RayVac. The Aquabots pumps almost 5000 gallons per hour so the do a great job of circulating the water. This gets the copper moving around and helps kill the Algae plus it claims to filter down to 2 microns, which will collect the Algae.

  • Rack Etear

    " Having blonde sisters, their sensitive hair has turned green on several occassions after swimming in chlorine pools."

    I have a problem with that for one reason. The only thing that will turn your hair green is copper. If there is no copper you will not have green hair. To say that ecosmarte solves that problem is absurd, because the foundation of the system is copper.

    I have had 3 clients where other companies have installed Ecosmarte, and every one of them has gotten away from it. Now to be fair, it could be due to improper implementation of the system, but I have yet to see one that is still operating.

    Nickkon what part of Washington are you in?

  • oilyt777

    I see this debate has gone on a while, and have learned a lot.

    I would like to put my experience in since I have both sides to represent.

    Both I and a friend put in the ecosmarte system. My friend has a fiberglass resurfaced pool. He has had no problems with algae but has had a bit of dark staining (not bad though) in the two years that he has had it. The water is always clear when we go over, and I asked him how much acid he uses and he said he hasn't added acid in about 6 months!!!!

    I have a decaying plaster pool and could not get the system to work for me. My PH rises every 3-4 days and I have had constant algae problems(my pool is green now) I was having to add acid every 2-3 days and I couldn't keep my PH right.

    I'm thinking the problem is with the plaster being more reactive than fiberglass. I have to resurface my pool anyway and am planning on going with something less reactive, and maybe a automatic PH controller with CO2 or acid, and I want to give the ecosmarte another try. My friends water is sooooo nice!!!!

  • don_ald

    Anyone can tell EcoSmart system cost? Thank you

  • poolguynj

    That is up to the dealer. A dealer I used to work for got over $7000 for a full system and $5000 without the CO2 control. That's just the initial outlay.

    The copper bars will eventually be dissolved and need to be replaced.

    The only residual in the pool when the pump is off is copper. This may be fine for algae but if and when anything gets in there, it will gladly reproduce.

    Depending on the pool's turnover rate, it will take a long time for all the water to have passed by the cell. This is particularly troublesome when the system is replenishing the copper level. That means the oxidization process that the titanium plates perform is off. While this isn't frequent, it is another opportunity for bio-badies to build and reproduce. Anything on the walls, except algae is always free to grow.

    Guessing how much CO2 to set the controller to release is always a hassle. Getting the CO2 tank replenished is a chore.

    This think likes a lot of calcium in the water, 400 ppm! Let the pH creep up and scale forms.

    I still don't like or trust this system.


  • lindamarie

    So Scott, which system do you like?

  • poolguynj

    I would also submit that you might want to msg geek-grannie there. When it comes to living with sensitive skin, she has it as sensitive as it can be and has no issues with BBB.


  • jjohnson_ecosmarte_com


    The copper is maintained at a .4-.7 ppm in the water. The copper is your residual protection. The DO or dissolved oxygen can be tested and shown as increased in the main pool. At 40-80 grams per minute inline the water will pass by the chamber 1-1/2 times per day if the pool runs the recommended 6-12 hours. This will be plenty of time to be exposed to the oxygen. The copper is very stable in the water and on average is maintained by activation the copper plates once per week.
    I just have a hard time believing you have spent more than 5 minutes studying how this technology really works. We offer 6 day per week toll free support for both pool professional or general consumers. We would be more than happy educating you on how our system works. With the east coast one of our stronger areas you could also go to www.ecosmarte.com and find a pool professional with experience installing and operating our system. I�m not sure what 'dealer' you worked with in the past but I do not have anyone selling the product at that price.
    The copper will need to be replaced every 4-7 years at a cost of $150.
    With thousands of sites running CO2 if you make an effort to contact us we can help take the guess work out of how many minutes per day it needs to run.

  • poolguynj

    Take your snake oil somewhere else. Your product is dangerous to the health of people.

    Copper acts as an algaecide. It's not algae that scares me. It's infections and viruses and bacteria, especially those that breed faster than any metal in the water can kill them.

    Copper can stain. Copper will stain when someone gets lazy with their chem testing or forgets to turn off the ionize portion and switch it back to oxidize.

    The pH can and does rise when the CO2 tank goes empty and the home owner doesn't check. Getting CO2 is a PITA.

    It can take up to 5 turns of a pool's volume to oxidize a contaminant. With today's use of variable speed pumps rapidly ramping up, that can translate into days because of the slower turnover times. With chlorine, it's still less than a minute for the vast majority of thing to be killed or oxidized.

    You "gladly" provide that support because you are paid to. Your product is not that complicated. It just isn't the next big thing. In fact, you can't sell your product in Australia because they banned it and others like it because they are snake oil, loaded with great sounding benefits that aren't backed by science.

    If I had admin authorization, I would ban you, just as you have been banned at Trouble Free Pools and The Pool And Spa Forums.

    The contributors here do it for free. That makes a big difference in motive. We do it for the betterment of the industry's reputation to which we belong.

    I have no reason to lie. I keep my side of the street clean.


  • poolguynj

    A few additional notes:

    Copper has little effect blood and fecal born bio-baddies ((e.g. Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis,
    Staphylococcus aureus, bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus).

    While variable speed pumps may slow the flow past the titanium plates when in oxidize mode which might increase the kill rate some, their reproductive rate in the pool will far exceed the kill rate of the water passing through, leaving them to reproduce essentially unchecked.

    For $150, you two copper plates, which fit in your cell (it's about the size of a salt cell) are a bargain(?) when copper is trading at about $4.50/lb. .

    Should any chlorine be used in the pool, such as when an algae bloom occurs (it can happen for what ever reason), salts will be left behind. Salts and electrified titanium plates is performing electrolysis, just like a salt cell except there is nothing to protect the titanium plates. Enough salt and the copper is dissolved from the plates and excess copper in the water can result staining of the pool, deck and the fair haired. A teen might think green hair is cool but I doubt my wife would. This is why MPS, aka non-chlorine shock, is the recommended product for periodic "shocking" but it is an oxidizer, not a sanitizer.

    How many commercial swimming facilities in the US, Canada, or Australia are using you product? Not one. Why is that? It seems fairly obvious.

    The dealers that sell these products are either unaware of the facts or don't care, neither of which are people I want in the industry but exist none the less and so I and this forum's regular contributors will continue to counter the negative impacts created by the ignorant or greed driven that can give our industry a bad name.


  • golfgeek

    Long, lively, and occasionally interesting thread.

    Ionizations systems have been around a long time and have worked in closed systems with some effectiveness. Agriculture uses ionization in some areas to help water penetration. Not sure how they measure it's effectiveness.
    I, too, would like to get away without using chlorine. I'm concerned that systems such as CLFREE used on open bodies of water will not be able to keep up with load levels in the pool. I recently ordered their system to see how their claims pan out.

    My goal in doing so is the same as trying salt systems, I try to cause failure to the system by doing some of the same goofy things my customers used to do such as raising the ph and watching calcium carbonate flakes appear with a salt system in place. It's pretty easy to cause these systems to fail and still keep the water clear.

    Unfortunately, it only takes a little truth to sell a product.

    I don't like salt systems, but I have always tried to present the pros/cons and let the customer decide how to spend their money.

    While ionization/oxidation systems sound pretty entising, I'm highly skeptical because of the cure-all sales pitch and lack of track record in the industry. I will try to stay open minded until I do my own research.

    The pool industry hasn't had a lot of "this is the best thing since sliced bread" moments in the past 40 years. The variable speed pump is the nearest thing that I can think of that has truly made an impact on the industry. Because copper based systems have been around in one form or another for years, I doubt they will ever have a large impact in the industry.

    Golfgeek axiom, "there is no substitute for good filtration".

  • poolguynj


    If your pool is salted, don't put it on. It will act as a low producing salt cell would except the titanium plates they have, because they are not coated with ruthenium oxide, I expect the plates would not last long and the chlorine that would be produced would attack the copper plates, raising your copper level.


  • Rack Etear

    "The pool industry hasn't had a lot of "this is the best thing since sliced bread" moments in the past 40 years. "

    Ultraviolet fits the bill nicely. While not being chlorine free, it allows you to run at much lower levels, while doing a great job of dechloriminazation (new word?"

    I have first hand seen ultraviolet systems do wonders for problematic pools.

  • golfgeek

    Thanks Scott. Aware of this and I haven't used salt since I replastered a few years ago.

    Racket...I've used some ultraviolet on new pools, as well as ozone, but have not been particularly impressed. Being from the old school I like to be able to test for something. It doesn't appear that I can do that with any of these products with any certainty. I'll go back and look at some of the Ultraviolet pools I've put in. Maybe I missed something. Thanks.

  • Rack Etear

    Ultraviolet needs to be sized properly in order to work properly.

    I have noticed clear water, 1/2 or better less chlorine consumption, and no chloramine.

    We put 200W units on flow rates up 20 110GPM, and get sterilized water from them.

    Putting a 57watt-80w delta from scp just isnt going to cut it. The bulbs need to be replaced ever 14 months of UV operation.

    Usually with UV you can eliminate all of the ancillary that many use are never needed.

  • Rack Etear

    sorry about the typos (iPhone)

    Flow rates up to 110gpm

    eliminate all of the ancillary chemicals that many use.

  • poolguynj

    CLFree and Eco-Smarte are very similar.
    Risks are, potential is high is for person to person transfers, copper stains that don't judt include the pool and surfaces, fair haired can become green tinted, copper levels in excess of EPA and FDA safe levels, well, that's enough I suppose. Please don't allow swimmers in during the experiment.


  • golfgeek

    Racket...Used several UV-254 units. Good flow rates and customers haven't complained. Good bulb life so far.
    I just can't get a feel for what it is really doing without some kind of measurement.

  • poolguynj

    UV prevents biologicals from being able to reproduce by irradiating the DNA. It doesn't kill per se but some bio-badies reproduce pretty quickly so if they can't reproduce, it's a lighter workload. This makes for less work for the FC, keeping CC from forming due to the bio-baddie load. It's an augmentation device, IMHO.


  • golfgeek

    Scott...My point exactly, UV, Ozone, Nature2, Ecosmarte, CLFREE are all augmentation devices or suppliments to Chlorine. Chlorine is easy to measure and the others aren't. People who take care of their pools rarely keep a .5 ppm or 1 ppm in the pool on a regular basis so it's hard to distinguish cost savings. For ease of maintenance in the summer, here in CA it's likely that people will use sticks or pucks in the skimmer or floaters in the pool. Most times I see pools well over 3 ppm and higher. Not much savings when a $1500-5000 augmentaion device is added. Just saying the industry needs these augmentation devices to be as easily measureable as chlorine.

  • Rack Etear

    The problem is that we are stuck on chlorine to be the end all to be all.

    "I just can't get a feel for what it is really doing without some kind of measurement."

    You can measure it in the quality of water. It's a much easier sale on problem pools, because they fix the problems.

    I think you are afraid to consider chlorine as the supplementary sanitizer. The UV system will handle a bulk of the bacteria load, while chlorine will supplement it by killing bacteria in, and on the vessel..

    I just Put a 400W on a 200gpm swim club pool. Their filtration system is really undersized for their bather load even though they have a 5 hour turnover.

    2 things happened within a week of installation..

    1. The water was incredibly clear.
    2. They had to add 70% less chlorine.

    Not just do they have to add less chlorine, but all of the other chemicals they were regularly using to counteract the addition of chlorine goes way down as well.

    Their return on investment will be tough to cover, but they can provide a much better product for their clients.

    Sometimes we lose sight of the quality of the product when it comes to chemistry and mechanics. Sure the client doesn't need $30 a SQFT tile, or pebble tech, but they do it to improve quality ( or in some cases aesthetics).

    About using tabs to chlorinate. If you add 1/2 the tabs you can maintain the same ppm as with having no UV. 1/2 the tabs means 1/2 the CYA. 1/2 the CYA means less draining it required, less draining required = less money spent maintaining the pool.

    There are hidden ways that UV can save money, and some appear every time I implement a system.

  • poolguynj

    CL-Free is not a supplementary device.

    I did find an article in Pool and Spa News that might have some answers to quantify UV:

    FWIW, FC levels should be maintained as a percentage of CYA levels. When using tabs or manually adding liquid chlorine or bleach, keep the FC level at 8% of the CYA level. When using a salt cell, a 5% level is usually sufficient.

    As racket mentioned, tabs will add CYA. In the Spring when I open, my CYA is very low in my pool due to the dilution of the Fall, Winter, and early Spring precipitation. I only need 4 tabs when I start the season but need up to 8 by the end of the season.

    I will change to either a cell or, when it gets released, a liquid fed IntelliChem pH/ORP system. It will add liquid chlorine and MA as needed.

    While pH and ORP sensors can be of significant help in regulating, they is indirect and regular testing with a quality kit should be continued.

    The use of liquid chlorine and MA is the most cost effective way to add FC to a pool on a regular basis I know.
    Using a controller isn't necessarily, but I like my toys.


  • Rack Etear

    If I had to choose I'd put UV on a pool before a pH/ORP feeder.

  • afmok_sbcglobal_net

    I had one of these systems installed in Spring 10 at a cost in the lower 5 figures. My pool is fairly large, so it required two units. The results were disappointing and quite expensive. No matter how carefully I maintained water chemistery it was fairly common to awake to find the pool a milky color which required more chemicals and time to clear up. The cost of CO2, chemicals and acid was greater than had been the cost of a simple chlorine system. Support from the dealer was spotty and his charges for chemicals about twice what other suppliers charged.

    I estimate the sad little experience cost me something north of $14K, plus hours of frustration. Oh, on inquiry the dealer indicated that the equipment has no salvage value after one short summer. I can certainly believe that.

  • pgamwell_comcast_net

    We successfully changed over to a "Superior Aqua" copper ionization/ozone unit over six years ago in our inground pool (http://www.superioraqua.com/). We do shock the pool once a week in the north Houston, TX area, yet with much less shock than before the chlorineless unit.
    Overall cost of yearly maintenance has been less than before and the pool equipment is anticipated to last longer.

  • poolguynj

    1) While the copper ions help to prevent algae, the kill time is longer than the reproduction time. It does next to nothing for viruses and bacteria.

    2) How are you controlling the copper level? The higher the level, the greater the chance for green stain staining on decking, pool surfaces, swim suits, and fair hair.

    3) Ozone is a great oxidizer that will break down organics such as skin oils, sweat, lotions, etc... but it also dries out plastics. Your equipment will not last longer. It also does next to nothing against pathogens in the main body of water.

    4) What are you using to shock the pool with?

    5) What is your bather load?

    Why do you suppose the EPA has certified three sanitizers, chlorine, bromine, and biguanide. for commercial pools even though these ionizers have been around so long? Could it be a conspiracy or because the three do whats needed to keep people that are swimming, safe?

    I realize that this forum concentrates on residential pools and that residential systems are free to do as they wish for the most part but to not heed what has become standard and accepted practice for sanitation needs puts people at risk.

    To those that suggest chlorine and/or bromine are dangerous, let me remind you that ozone is too. All are capable of, if you walk into a seal room filled with either in high concentrations, melting the skin off your bones. The levels used in normally operated pools are not hazardous to people or pets.

    To those that claim allergies to chlorine or a high level of sensitivity, I would submit that letting pathogens entering the water from a person with a skin infection, cold virus, bird poop, etc... is a more a risk to you if the alternatives are used. I have yet to meet someone that has these sensitivities, have an issue in a properly maintained pool.


  • dssxxxx

    I had to start this again..........:-)

    If you wanted to kill everything in the pool, just buy a 50# bag of copper sulfate.

    Add about 2 teaspoons per 30,000 gallons (guestimate) and you will never have to worry about algae again. Will also take care of any fish you might have swimming around.

    Love this forum.....:-)

  • poolguynj

    What are you going to do about any water born infections, viruses, germs, etc.? Algae is the least of the concerns.


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