Hydrogen Peroxide

 - a safe, inexpensive, effective sanitation chemical for pools

The chemicals you use keep your pool clean could be poisoning you. Chlorine and the less-used Bromine are both toxic and we really shouldn't be exposed to them, no matter how low the concentration, if we can avoid it.

Recommended Chlorine levels for pools are 1-3 ppm but I have tested the water at thousands of private pools and very often I have found it to be at a much higher level; even (once only) at 150 ppm!

(The owner had added 'plenty of extra Chlorine' because 'the grandchildren were due to visit' and they 'always urinate in the pool'. Bless him; he was doing what he thought was correct - but might have seriously burned his grandchildren.)

A few things to consider when discussing 'exposure' to Chlorine in pools: -

  • An individual's exposure depends on the amount of time that he or she spends in the water, and whether they shower-off when leaving the pool.
  • Kids will spend 10 hours a day in the pool, or even more, if they get the chance.
  • Kids have a much higher skin-area-to-body-weight ratio than adults.
  • Kids therefore are more vulnerable to Chlorine in pools - and let's remember that Chlorine is toxic.

Chlorine usage in pools - the downside

The recommended Chlorine level of up to 3 parts-per-million (ppm) in a typical pool is 10 times the level the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers to be safe. Chlorine and/or Bromine, when used to sanitize a pool, can produce cancer-causing agents (carcinogens) e.g. chloroforms, bromoforms, carbon tetrachloride and dichloroethane.

Contact with Chlorine can cause premature aging of skin and has been identified as a cause of eczema, psoriasis, melanoma, acne and seborrhea  - (but please read the '*Interesting Note' below). Inhalation of Chlorine dust or vapour can damage the lungs. Chlorine can cause serious eye damage and even blindness.

Bromine also has drawbacks when used for pool sanitation, even though it's sometimes perceived as a safe alternative to Chlorine. If Bromine contacts the skin it cause very painful, open sores. Exposure to Bromine can also cause cancer, damage to liver, brain and nervous system, infertility (in males) and other unwelcome symptoms.

There are several alternatives to Chlorine/Bromine and use of Hydrogen Peroxide is a method that is gaining popularity for several reasons. The biggest 'plus' in dumping Chlorine and replacing it with Hydrogen Peroxide is a healthy environment in your pool. The low cost of Hydrogen Peroxide is another valid reason why people are switching away from traditional sanitizers.

What is Hydrogen Peroxide?

Basically, it's a water molecule (H²O) with an extra Oxygen atom. This extra Oxygen atom gives Hydrogen Peroxide a chemical formula of H²O². It's used at a 3% concentration in hospitals, food preparation areas and many other places for effective sterilization. H²O² is also used to clean infected wounds. Hydrogen Peroxide promotes a healthy pool environment and  H²O² sanitation systems are used by medical centers and hospitals, all over the world, to treat the water in therapy pools and spas.

H²O² is naturally produced in the atmosphere when sunlightor lightning interacts with Oxygen in the presence of water vapour. In nature H²O² acts as a cleanser and sanitizer. During a thunderstorm, for example, huge amounts of pure H²O² are produced. This naturally occurring sanitizer kills off many types of airborne bacteria and fungi which could otherwise grow unchecked. Have you noticed how 'fresh' the air smells after a thunderstorm? H²O² is also found in honey - a well known from ancient times as an antiseptic.

Many natural 'healing springs' have been found to have higher than normal concentrations of H²O²; up to 0.25% in some cases.

Hydrogen Peroxide use in the pool

Water and Oxygen, the two items most necessary to human life, are what make up H²O² and using it to sanitize a pool creates no problems for us fragile humans. The pool-chemical industry would prefer to keep you in the dark about Hydrogen Peroxide because they can't make much profit out of it!

H²O² treatment for your pool water is a healthy, inexpensive and effective alternative to Chlorine. H²O² produces pure pool water that is totally safe and, unlike Chlorine, will not harm any pool-side plants if they are splashed with water, it won't cause 'red-eye' or leave toxic chemical residues in the pool. H²O² should be used in conjunction with a UV Ionizer for 100% effective sanitation

H²O² - Dosage rate: -

If starting with the fresh water of a newly-filled pool add 6.5 litres of 35% H²O² for every 50m³ of water (1.5 gals per 10,000 gals of water), applied at sunset. Run the pump for a couple of hours and then turn it off and leave it off for 24 hours, before turning the pump/timer back on. Do not use the pool during this initial 24 hour period.

Hydrogen Peroxide for pool-use is at 35% concentration but this gradually declines over time so don't buy more than you can use in one season. If your pool is already chlorinated there is no need to remove the Chlorine before adding H²O² - residual Chlorine levels will naturally drop to zero in a very short time - just increase the initial dose by 50%. H²O² will not adversely interact with other pool chemicals.

Maintaining Hydrogen Peroxide levels: -

H²O² concentration in the pool decreases over time due  interaction with organic pollutants and its breakdown by UV light. Therefore you need to add Hydrogen Peroxide periodically to maintain a sufficient concentration. Checking is simple with the use of Hydrogen Peroxide Test Strips.  Look for a concentration of between 30 and 70 ppm with a maximum of 1,000 ppm to remove very high levels of organic contamination if, for example, there has been fecal contamination of the pool. 

Check H²O² level frequently with test strips until you are familiar with how much to add and when to add it. Even at 1,000 ppm the concentration is far less than anything that could harm a human. That's another big advantage of H²O² - you cannot overdose with it! Remember to write everything down in your Pool Logbook.

Warning: - H²O² cannot be used with a DE filter as it dissolves the DE powder.

H²O² also degrades natural rubber (but modern pool equipment uses only synthetic rubber components so no damage will occur to 'O'-rings, etc.)

First Aid treatment: -

  • Inhalation: remove the patient to fresh air but if respiration becomes difficult, or discomfort occurs, call a doctor.
  • Eye contact: Immediately flush with copious amounts of fresh water for 15 minutes and consult a doctor.
  • Skin contact: irrigate with copious amounts of water and, if irritation occurs, see a doctor.
  • Ingestion: give the patient plenty of water to drink to dilute the Hydrogen peroxide in the stomach before consulting a doctor. Do not induce vomiting.

Handling and Storage: -

  • Like all pool chemicals, Hydrogen Peroxide must be treated with respect.
  • H²O², in the 35% concentration we are discussing here, is a powerful oxidizer that can burn the skin on contact.
  • Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when using H²O².
  • Store it in a cool, dry place, well out of reach of kids and animals.
  • Do not re-package H²O² into unmarked containers.

Interesting Note - Hydrogen Peroxide TherapyHydrogen Peroxide Therapy actually CURES all of these complaints - including canceincluding cancer

 

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

Andalusia and the Costa del Sol - Pool Safety SpainPool Safety Spain

Nerja area - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

Share this website with other Pool Owners and Users,  encourage them to read about Pool Safety, learn CPR and help them to save lives, time and money. Please help us to make every pool a safer place - by sharing this information we can cut the number of pool accidents and deaths.  Please also see our FacebookFacebook page

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Ozone systems

Ozone, a form of oxygen -chemical formula O³- is one of the strongest oxidizers and disinfectants available to the pool-owner

Clearwater Tech CD-15/AD Ozone Generator

Ozone kills E. coli (the common benchmark to determine the effectiveness of sanitizers) 25 times faster than Hypochlorous Acid and 500 to 600 times faster than Cyanuric Acid

An Ozone Generator reduces the Chlorine or Bromine requirement by up to 95%

Low levels of Chlorine or Bromine are still required, to kill the bacteria, as Ozone can only oxidize organic wastes when combined with Chlorine or Bromine

Ozone is produced in one of 2 ways: - 

In a Corona Discharge Chamber

- air is passed through an electrically charged chamber, where O³ is produced from atmospheric oxygen by a series of electrical sparks

The sparks in the chamber split molecules of oxygen (O²) into 2 atoms of oxygen (O¹)

The atoms of oxygen immediately combine with an O² molecule to form Ozone (O³)

In a UV Chamber

- Ultraviolet lamps perform much the same job

 

  • Ozone lasts between 20 seconds and a couple of minutes in most pools; therefore the system is only sanitizing when the pump is running
  • For this reason the pump should be run for longer, to ensure that the water is sufficiently sanitized
  • Ozone oxidizes some minerals dissolved in the pool water, e.g. iron, which then form a cloudy precipitate which the filter will easily remove
  • O³ reverts back to oxygen once it has done its job of sanitation, greatly improving water quality

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

Andalusia and the Costa del Sol - Pool Safety SpainPool Safety Spain

Nerja area - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

Share this website with other Pool Owners and Users,  encourage them to read about Pool Safety, learn CPR and help them to save lives, time and money. Please help us to make every pool a safer place - by sharing this information we can cut the number of pool accidents and deaths.  Please also see our FacebookFacebook page

Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©

Ionizers

- are devices that use a process of electrolysis (passing electric current through an electrolyte) to create metallic ions in water

Most ionizers can handle algae and bacteria adequately; however filtration, water balance and the disposal of organics (oxidation) must be handled separately with low concentrations of Chlorine or by periodic Superchlorination

Depending on the system the electrodes might be: -

Two copper electrodes (producing copper ions only)

One copper and one silver electrode, or two bi-metallic electrodes which produce both silver and copper ions. We’ll take a look at each system independently below

Copper and Silver ions are both very effective at killing water-borne bacteria

  • 2 metallic electrodes (anode and cathode) are placed in line with the circulation system, often before the filter
  • A copper cathode will produce copper ions (Cu2+) and copper plus a silver, or Bi-metallic, cathodes will produce both copper and silver ions
  • A low DC current, passed across the electrodes, produces metal ions
  • The water-flow through the Ionizer causes some of the outermost atoms of the electrodes to lose electrons, which try to cross the space between the electrodes
  • Some of the ions are swept away by the flow of water and enter the pool water, sanitising the volume of water in which they are produced and remaining in the pool to continue sanitizing the rest of the water

Note: - Lime-scale should be removed from pool walls/floor prior to the installation of an ionizer

All-Copper Systems

All-copper systems utilise a copper test kit to monitor ion levels in the pool water

Copper ions can control both bacteria and algae on their own; eliminating the problems of silver ions reacting with sunlight, which can cause a black precipitate to form on pool walls and equipment

All-copper systems rely on copper ions alone for bacteria and algae control and therefore a higher level of copper ions is recommended

Aim for 0.25-0.30 ppm in the off-season and 0.30-0.50 ppm when the pool is in use, whilst keeping the pH of 7.2-7.4 and Total Alkalinity (TA) of 80-120 ppm

Once an all-copper system is operating correctly there is no need to add further sanitizing chemicals other than the periodic use of a flocculant if the water becomes cloudy, but note that if Jolly Gel is used the water will not become cloudy

Organic pollution is partly oxidised in the Ion chamber, where the current flowing between the 2 electrodes breaks down pool water by electrolysis, producing hydrogen and oxygen

There may be insufficient oxygen produced in the Ion chamber, however, so maintain a Chlorine level of 1-1.5 ppm by regular Superchlorination 

Other than when the system is first installed no separate oxidiser is required

Copper ions are can also be introduced to the pool by adding copper sulphate or a copper based algaecide to the pool water and can control both bacteria and algae

Copper / Silver Ioniser Systems

Both copper and silver ions are being produced at the same time, thus is only necessary to check for the presence of one to know that the other is
also present

Copper ions can be measured with a copper test kit or test-strips to indicate ion levels in the pool water. The rate of ion creation is proportional to the ratio of copper and silver in the electrode. pH of 7.2 - 7.4, a total buffering of 80 - 100 ppm and a copper level of around 0.15 - 0.20 ppm is recommended

Production of ions is controlled by varying the current flow across the electrodes. There is normally a manual dial on the control unit

 

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

Andalusia and the Costa del Sol - Pool Safety SpainPool Safety Spain

Nerja area - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Both companies offer years of experience, free unbiased advice and excellent, professional service.

*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

Share this website with other Pool Owners and Users,  encourage them to read about Pool Safety, learn CPR and help them to save lives, time and money. Please help us to make every pool a safer place - by sharing this information we can cut the number of pool accidents and deaths.  Please also see our FacebookFacebook page

Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©

TEAP Saltwater Chlorinator

Saltwater Chlorinators

- Producing Chlorine Gas by Electrolysis

Salt-water Chlorinators use electricity to break down common salt to produce Chlorine Gas and Caustic Soda.

An explanation of how the system works is detailed below but, as far as the swimmers are concerned, the main difference is that there is almost no chlorine in the pool and what little there is is in the form of Sodium Hypochlorite which breaks down quickly in sunlight.

The resulting experience is totally odour-free water, with a soft 'silky' feel to it. This gives a much pleasanter swim, and there is no need to shower off afterwards to rinse chlorine compounds from the skin!

How it works

Despite what your parents told you - water is not a particularly good conductor of electricity - until you dissolve something in it 

The addition of common salt (Sodium Chloride) turns pool water into an electrolyte: - the water will now carry an electric current easily

This type of sanitizing equipment produces Chlorine Gas, and applies it directly in to the pool, from the low concentration of salt dissolved in the pool water 

Electrolysis takes place in an electrolytic cell installed in-line in the circulation system, usually after the water has been filtered: - 

  • Layers of electrically charged plates within the cell pass a low DC current which breaks the salt down and produces millions of bubbles of Chlorine Gas and liquid Caustic Soda
  • Many Chlorinators have a transparent chamber or cell that contains the electrolysis plates and a ‘smoke’ of gas bubbles can be seen leaving the plates and being carried away by the flow of water
  • The Chlorine Gas sanitizes only the volume of water in which it is produced
  • By the time that volume of water arrives at the pool the chlorinator products have re-combined to form salt
  • Hence there is very little Chlorine in the pool water
  • A salt concentration of 2500-6000 ppm in the pool is needed for effective operation, depending on the manufacturers instructions for each Chlorinator
  • This is achieved by the addition of 125-300 kg of salt per 50,000 litres or 13,000 US Gals of water
  • As the salt water passes through the cell it is superchlorinated (preventing the build up of chloramines) and, because caustic soda is produced at the same time and is not removed or separated, it neutralises the acidic condition produced by the Chlorine Gas
  • This means the pH of the water is not affected
  • When choosing a Saltwater Chlorinator to install to your pool try to buy one that also controls the pH of the pool; they are a tad dearer but absolutely worth the difference in price
  • To prevent scale build up on the plates the control unit may periodically reverse the charge on the plates to repel any build-up that the opposite charge attracted
  • Once the Chlorine Gas generated from the water does its job of sanitizing, it recombines with the other by-products of electrolysis and reverts back to salt - to be used over and over again
  • Therefore it is only necessary to add salt to replace losses due to bather splash-out and filter-backwash

Most modern Chlorinators measure the salinity of the water and advise you when to add more salt

Important items

- that the Chlorinator salesman sometimes forgets to mention . . .

  • Running the electrodes will increase electricity use
  • This may be up to several hundred watts, depending on the model, all the time that the pool pump is running
  • Saltwater can cause corrosion of metal pool fittings - not usually a problem in new pools as no metals are used but in older pools it may be a big problem
  • Salt can degrade and weaken the mortar joints of pool surround paving slabs or cause damage to cast-concrete surrounds
  • Salt forms a heavy scale build-up above the waterline in tiled pools, which looks ugly and needs to be removed periodically
  • The costs of periodic replacement of electrodes may be high
  • Salt Water Chlorinators remove ammonia and nitrogen compounds from pool water by a process called Oxidization
  • The strength of Oxidation is measured in millivolts and is called an ORP or REDOX potential
  • Salt Chlorinators are not always sold with an ORP control system
  • This means that they will not generate extra Chlorine on hot days or when there is a high bather load, resulting in potentially unhealthy water
  • On cool days with no bather load, they are wasteful as they still generate the same amount of Chlorine and use the same amount of electricity
  • Total dissolved solids (TDS) in water create a corrosive situation even when the pH is in its ideal range.  Pools should be partially or completely drained when the TDS level reaches 1500 ppm above the salt level recommended by the Chlorinator manufacturer
  • The pH must be properly controlled as suggested by the manufacturer - that's why it's a good idea to buy a Chlorinator with added pH control; they've taken care of the pH aspect/problem for you

We supply all plant and equipment featured on this website. All our work is Guaranteed; Parts and Labour

For free and unbiased advice, a site visit or no-obligation Quotation*, please make initial enquiries by email. Tell us a little about your pool problem and include a daytime phone number. Thanks, we look forward to meeting you soon

Note: - Please contact our recommended pool professionals for supply and installation of all pool-related services: - 

Andalusia and the Costa del Sol - Pool Safety SpainPool Safety Spain

Nerja area - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

*We only offer Quotations: - a fixed, agreed price that cannot, and will not, be increased. We do not give 'estimates', as an estimate offers the client no guarantee of final price

Share this website with other Pool Owners and Users,  encourage them to read about Pool Safety, learn CPR and help them to save lives, time and money. Please help us to make every pool a safer place - by sharing this information we can cut the number of pool accidents and deaths.  Please also see our FacebookFacebook page

Ken Walker - MyPoolGuru©

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