FAQs – Copper Levels

We have received a lot of questions this week on copper levels.  Most of these questions are related to the inability to increase copper levels when opening their pool.  Below is a list of common reasons copper levels are not rising:
1. Signs you need to replace copper bars;  1) You are running your ionizer much longer than last year to maintain copper levels or to get you initial copper level up, 2) you are getting a small leak around the screws that hols the bars in place.  Check your copper bars.  If the bars are the thickness of 2 or 3 credit cards or less, then it is time you need to order a new set.
2. Age of cooper test.  I recommend purchasing a new test kit every 2 years or 3 years absolute maximum.  If your kit is older than this, order a new kit now as the readings may be off.  Keep the test kit out of the sun or extreme heat to maximize its life.
3. When testing, look down though the tube not across the tube.  Most know this already, however, we have a few calls on people forgetting this.
4. Check copper levels at 3, 5, 10, and 20 minutes.  According to LaMotte, the manufacturer of our copper test kit, interferences such as high pH, alkalinity, and other combinations could delay the results.  Only test for copper when your pH is below 7.6.
5. Check wires and connections.  Over time, the UV light from the sun can degrade the plastic coating causing oxidation of the wires.  Depending on your unit type, the volt output could be from 12-24 DCVs for most systems.
6. If your pH and copper is in balance and yet algae is still growing, you may have a nitrate or phosphate issue.  Have your water tested and treat with a product called PhosOut or PhosFree.  The target range is less than 150 ppb or ideally 50 ppb.
7. If you have recently used a stain treatment or applied a metal out product, then that product could be pulling copper out of the water.  See #6 above for treatment.
You can always contact our help desk at 800-896-1759 for any other questions related to your system or water chemistry in general.