Swimming Pools FAQ

Q:           What are ions, and what is ionization?
A:            Ions are charged atoms, and ionization is the electronic release of ions.
In our case Cu++ or Cupric Copper.

Q.           How does Ionization 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, they become suspended in the water moving through the chamber.

Q.           How does copper ionization purify water?
A.            Copper ions pierce the protective outer membrane of a cell (of algae and other contaminants), disrupting the enzyme balance, and killing it. And while this process is lethal to bacteria and algae, it’s completely safe for humans.

Q.           Is ionization all I need for my pool water?
A.            Not entirely. While copper ionization sanitizes the water, as with other technologies, an acid or base is used to treat the pH, and ionization works best within a pH range of 7.0 – 7.4. Ionization is NOT filtration and is unable to clarify water on its own.  A pool filter can remove large particles.  However, not the small particle that refract light and make the pool appear cloudy.  So it is usually necessary to add a small amount of an oxidizing agent (bleach or hydrogen peroxide) once a week to clarify the water and help break down excess organic debris (suntan and body oils etc). A light flocking agent may be used in the place of an oxidant that will coagulate particles that are too small to be filtered out normally.

Q.           Why do you use copper?
A.            Years of research have shown that for swimming pools, high purity copper is the best and healthiest option, with the least chance of problems.  Silver and zinc can stain with low levels being present.  All other alloy combinations cannot work without copper being present in the alloy, which opens up the cell membrane so other metal can penetrate. Copper is highly effective on its own.

Q.           Is copper ionization safe?
A.            It’s not only safe, it’s healthy! The minerals used for water purification are recognized as essential minerals to the body.  Normal concentration in spas and hot tubs is about 1/3 the amount allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water.

Q.           Is copper ionization safer than chemicals?
A.            Most, if not all of the chemicals used to purify water are caustic and or toxic, and many are thought to be Carcinogenic.  Generally it is the disinfection byproducts that are the concern.

Q.           How is ionization better than chemicals?
A.            Ionization eliminates the need for high levels of chemicals, which in turn eliminates the strong odors, and damaging effects to our bodies, pool liners and equipment. An ionized pool is also less expensive to operate and maintain.

Q.           What are the operational costs associated with a CI system?
A.            Most electrodes last an average of two years, and are relatively inexpensive to replace. The only other related cost is the electrical consumption, which averages to only a few dollars a year.

Q.           How often will I need to test my pool water?
A:            To ensure optimum water balance, it’s recommended you check you pH level every few days, and test for copper residuals at least once a week. The ion system is pH neutral, so it will not change your water balance like chemicals do.  However, alkalinity present in your water will cause your pH to rise over time, so you should check for calcium hardness twice a year.

Q.           Will ionization damage my plaster or vinyl liner?
A.            Absolutely not. In fact, because you’re not using strong chemicals, most pool liners will last much longer.

Q.           Will the system cause staining of plaster?
A.            Stains are caused by the dissolved organic and inorganic materials in the water molecules, and by low pH levels. Scaling (often confused with stains) is caused by a high pH, and can usually be reversed by simply lowering pH levels. But any method – when not kept in balance – can cause staining or scaling. However, Intec uses only highly purified copper – which is more effective at disinfection than what our competitors utilize.  With our system, disinfection levels are almost 1/3 of the level set by the EPA for staining  concerns. So when you keep the proper balance, the occurrence of stains or scales becomes virtually impossible.

Q.           Does your system use salt?
A.            No. Although very popular, pool owners are finding salt-related corrosion and damage to their equipment, pool surface and decking to be common. Additionally, converting to a salt water pool often voids your warranty on your heater, and the warranty on your pool builder’s coping or decking.

Q.           Can I convert my salt water pool to an ionized pool?
A.            Yes.  And no you do not have to drain your pool.  However, we do recommend over time to drain water out over time to reduce the high TDS content until your water is no longer in a corrosive state.

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