WHAT IS IONIZATION?
The process by which a neutral atom or molecule acquires a positive or negative charge.
WHAT IS AN ION?
An ion is a charged atom or molecule. It is charged because the number of electrons do not equal the number of protons in the atom or molecule. An atom can acquire a positive charge or a negative charge depending on whether the number of electrons in an atom is greater or less than the number of protons in the atom
WHAT IS A POOL IONIZER?
In the case of Pool Ionizer or Mineral Purifier; it consists of a low voltage DC power supply and a set or sets of sacrificial electrodes. The electrodes can be made of pure copper or copper with alloys consisting of anything from Silver to Zinc or any combination thereof.
HOW DOES A POOL IONIZER WORK?
When a set of electrodes are submerged in a solution, in this case your Pool water and a DC electrical current is induced into the electrodes, the positively charged electrode seeks the negatively charged electrode. This attraction causes the copper electrode to give up it's electrons. The electrons get swept away in the flow of the water that is circulating in your pool water (pump system). These electrons seek negatively charged surfaces such as the cell walls of Bacteria, Algae, Viruses and Mold. Once they have found the negatively charged surfaces of these organisms, they bond to them and disrupt the normal intake of nutrients to the cell causing starvation of the undesirable organism, this causes the mortality of the cell.
Pool ionizers work very effectively. 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. 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)!
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.
As pools were eventually plumbed with plastic pipe, pool chemical companies started to manufacture liquid algaecides that contained heavy metals (primarily copper, nickel, 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. These metals do not evaporate out of the pool, and tend to become concentrated. Another disadvantage of liquid algaecides, is that these additives eventually wear out.
Because of concerns over the environment, plaster staining, and green hair, these heavy metal algaecides lost favor - though they are still available.
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.
10 STEPS FOR A "PERFECT" POOL USING AN IONIZER.
If your pool is not brand new, Filter and Shock the water to 5ppm chlorine 3-5 consecutive days or use a non-chlorine shock at 10ppm for 3-5 consecutive days.
Your pool should be pH balanced to 7.2- 7.6 pH. And tested weekly.
3. TOTAL DISSOLVED SOLIDS:
TDS should be at 750-1500 ppm. (UNLESS YOU HAVE A CHLORINE GENERATION SYSTEM)
4. CYANURIC ACID (STABILIZER):
Ideal range should be 0-30 ppm (UNLESS YOU HAVE A CHLORINE GENERATION SYSTEM)
Ideal range should be .4 ppm Chlorine OR .8 ppm Bromine. (STATE OR LOCAL HEALTH CODES MAY VARY)
6. TOTAL ALKALINITY:
Ideal range should be 80-120 ppm (usually takes care of itself if pH is balanced)
7. CALCIUM HARDNESS:
Ideal range should be 225-375 ppm.
8. INSTALL YOUR IONIZER:
Install your Ionizer following the directions of the Ionizer manufacturer.
9. COPPER ION LEVELS: (Ideal Range . 3 - . 4 PPM)
Run your Ionizer in conjunction with your pump system until you have obtained the recommended level of copper Ions. Adjust pool pump times and output levels of the Ionizer to continue to maintain . 3 - . 4 ppm copper. (a copper test kit is usually supplied with the Ionizer, if not we have them.)
Click her for more info copper test kits.
Now that you have your ion levels adjusted according to your pump time, you will be able to sit back and relax enjoying your mineral-infused pool, knowing that your water has a FORMIDABLE first line of defense against Bacteria, Viruses, Fungus, Yeast, and ALL FORMS OF ALGAE.
WHAT ABOUT MAINTENANCE?
The only maintenance needed for your Ionizer is checking the electrodes once per year to ensure they are clean and there is a sufficient amount of electrode left to maintain your copper levels.
Because the electrodes are sacrificial, they will need to be replaced periodically depending on your pool size and usage.
CLICK HERE FOR ELECTRODE INFORMATION
Can Ionizers stain pools? (Rarely)
There are 3 reasons why pools can become stained. !! All ARE EASILY AVOIDABLE !!
1. The number one reason is due to improper use of oxidizing materials (chlorine tablets or granules). People throw the tablets or granules directly into the pool. The suspended copper Ions become oxidized by the extremely powerful concentration of chlorine. This causes the copper to fall out of suspension, this can cause staining where the tablets or granules were dumped or even cause a ring around part of the pool.
To avoid this, we recommend the use of LIQUID chlorine such as clorox or any generic liquid bleach.
2. Pools can become stained if the Ionizer is allowed to run unchecked for extended periods of time.
To avoid this, check your Ion levels periodically. Usually once a week is sufficient.
3. pH and temperature extremes combined. If your pool becomes unbalanced on the alkaline side, (8.2 & UP) and the temperature is very hot, you can run a risk of staining.
To avoid this, simply maintain the recommended pH of 7.2 - 7.6
If staining occurs, not to worry..we have a pool stain treatment product that will reverse the staining. CLICK HERE FOR CHEMICAL INFORMATION