100-Year-Old Pool Technology and Naked Ankles

July 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Chlorine-Free Swimming Pools, Health Risks of Chlorinated Pools, Pool Chemistry | 2 Comments
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When a natural disaster occurs I’m glad that chlorine  is there to disinfect broken water delivery systems and keep disease and infections at bay. Typhoid and dysentery suck.

I’m also glad that draining swimming water every few days is no longer popular, especially after a Brown University grad student applied hyperchlorite of lime (sic) to 2 liters of pool water at a concentration of 1 ppm to a 70,000 gallon swimming pool in 1910. That’s when the idea of sterilizing pool water over dumping the water came into fashion, along with the viewing of ladies’ ankles.  Oh my! 

Pool sanitization chemistry is about as sexy as the glimpse of naked ankles, so I’ll let you undress your own research on pool sanitization chemistry. (Hint—search this blog for most pool and spa sanitization answers.)

 

After too many years in the pool biz and the chemicals that keep pools disinfected and sparkling, I’ve developed a physical inability to tolerate most synthetic or manufactured chemicals.  As a matter of fact, last week I asked my wife to toss in some extra bleach into the white laundry because my t-shirts looked dreary.  Excited with the palate of pure white, I covered my bare ankles with the just-laundered white socks and my bare chest with a brilliant white t-shirt.  Lookin’ sharp and clean.  Before lunch, I ripped the white off of me and jumped into the shower.  Oh it wasn’t for what it might sound like to those with love on their mind—it was the red rash covering my chest and ankles—one of my typical reactions to anything chlorinated.

This is why I build and sell the non-chlorine pool disinfection system through my business Riptide Alchemy, LLC . I have zero interest in selling product that doesn’t work for sooooooo many reasons. 

1)      I want your swimming pool to be safe enough to have my beloved grandchildren frolic in the water;

My really cute granddaughter!

2)      Totally not interested in a law suit because you developed some freaky infection from funky water;

3)      The planet does not need more man-made chemicals ;

4)      Our ocean’s are at risk, and because they are downstream from everything, chemicals eventually find their way into the waters. (Visit my wife’s blog www.Neptune911.wordpress.com for more about our seas.)

5)      And there is some pretty convincing evidence that chlorinated water and us in it are not a perfect union.

One day, wife and I sat on the beach watching some wicked waves rip tides back and forth.  The energy was powerful. We could smell the negative ions filling the air.  We looked at each other, knowing that we would begin a more earth friendly business in the future that was based in ionic exchange and we simultaneously said, “Riptide Alchemy.”

It was a poetic way of explaining how my pool disinfection system works.  I pair a copper electrode with a silver electrode, then inject a low DC current into the alloy anodes. The ion charged water cycles through the system, naturally purifying itself.

A pool using the Riptide Pool Disinfection System (TM)

This exclusive and unique design features 100% alloy to ionize your pool water. The amount of ions injected is precisely monitored by a computerized LCD meter and control knob built into each power center. Quality is what sets my ionization system apart from the others.

So here comes my blatant sales pitch—if you call my cell (505/690-4729) I can offer this product at $999 plus freight (and tax for NM and California residents).  And now that you have my private cell phone number, that means you can call me for free consultations with regards to the Riptide Pool Disinfection System™ for your family’s fun and healthy swim time.

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Preventative Maintenance & Swimming Pool Leaks

April 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Posted in Pool Chemistry, Swimming Pool Repair | Leave a comment
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Leaking equipment on your swimming pool is costly and wasteful, but a good deal for pool repair folks!  In other words, lack of good swimming pool water chemistry helped me buy a nice sports car.

The most common leak in pool equipment is found at the pump seal–the weakest link in your pool’s system.  Why?  The pump seal is one of the few wear-points in your system–meaning that when the motor comes on and runs 8 to 10 hours a day, the pump seal wears down and degrades itself just by the friction

Pump seal

 of the carbon on ceramic.

Now, include improper water chemistry, and that pump seal’s life takes a dive.  If this leak continues, it will eventually ruin your motor’s bearings and burn out the motor’s windings.  Now we’re swimming in high repair and replacement costs.

How do you know when you have a pump seal leak?  It’s easy to detect.  Look for water or dampness where the motor bolts on to the pump.  Severe pump leaks will show calcium build up, or your motor will make a high whining sound–like the sound you will make when you get that $400 repair bill.

What can you do to prevent this?  First, there is a life expectancy on every pump seal.  You can, however, extend this life with proper water chemistry.  Meaning, if your pool water is acidic (below 6.8 ppm) the acid water will attack the pump seal.  Conversely, if your pool water is alkaline (pH over 8.0 ppm, total alkalinity over 140 ppm) the alkaline water will grind away at the pump seal.

The next most likely leak in pool equipment is anything that is metal.  When you have two dissimilar metals plumbed together chances are a leak will occur.  This can also be a water chemistry issue, but is usually attributed to electrolysis. 

Where will you find two dissimilar metals plumbed?  Check for galvanized pipe from the heater attached to copper plumbing.  The only cure is to replumb to all copper or copper and plastic.

Leaks are also common in your pool’s heat exchanger.   About 80% of a  heat exchanger leak is mismanaged pool water chemistry.  However, other reasons for leaks here are: 

 1) If you have an off-line chlorinator, be sure that the return line from the chlorinator is plumbed after the heater.  The reason is that tablet-form chlorine is acidic. 

 2)Also be sure there are check valves on your chlorinator so that when the pumps shuts off the chlorine is held in the lines and does not return to the heater.

3)  Check for dissimilar metals at the heater’s plumbing inlet and outlet.

4)  High TDS (over 3500 ppm)  will scour the inside of the heat exchanger and thin out the exchanger’s copper tubes, to the point of creating a leak.

So everytime your pool repair dude drives by in his or her shiny new sports car, make a note to go check your swimming pool’s water chemistry so that you can enjoy your pool as you thought you would when the pool was just a dream.

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If you are ready to drop chlorine and salt from your swimming pool water, and sanitize your pool with the most efficient and eco-sound method possible, I’m offering my Riptide Pool Disinfection System http://www.riptidealchemy.com/poolandspas.php  for only $999 (not including tax and freight).  This is a limited time offer for Pool and Spa Master readers.  Email me at riptidealchemy1@aol.com to take advantage of this special offer.

Sam Swims In Salt. Now Sam Wants a Pet Dolphin.

May 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Pool Chemistry, Salt Water Pools | 1 Comment
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Sam swims in a “salt pool” and he wonders if he can get a pet dolphin now that his pool is a’ natural.

Well, Sam, a’ contraire.  What Sam doesn’t understand is that if he puts a dolphin into his “salt pool” that dolphin will to choke to death in chlorine!

“No way!” screams salty Sam!  Yeah, way, Sam. 

Sam’s salt pool is not exactly that.  Yes, Sam may be dropping hundreds of pounds of salt into his pool, but that salt is funneled through a mechanism that transforms the salt into CHLORINE.  Look closely at the mechanism it will read Chlorine Generator.

So, Sam, ixnay on the dolphin.

Keep the dolphin out of "salt pools."

Keep the dolphin out of "salt pools."

The generator installed on Sam’s pool is generating sodium hypochlorite – or you can call it by the common label—household bleach.    So Sam has invested into 50-year-old technology.  It is not a new eco, green, or healthy technology.  The biggest advantage is that Sam won’t have to trek down to his local pool chemical supplier to purchase liquid chlorine.  His pool is producing it on the spot.  He will, however, have to haul in 50-pounds bags of salt.

All chlorines are salt-based AKA sodium chloride.  Sam swims in chlorine.

Meanwhile back to my shameless self promotion. With my system you will swim in mineral water and be totally chlorine free.  Check out www.riptidealchemy.com   BTW, the Riptide Alchemy Pool Sanitization system is on sale!

If you have more questions about salt pools, feel free to contact me.

Spa is Not Hot Enough, and Ross & Carlos are Coughing & Itching. Plus No Pool Chlorine.

February 5, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Hot Tub Chemistry, Pool Chemistry | Leave a comment
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Here are a few questions I was recently asked about spas and pools:

Question.  My spa won’t get any hotter than 105 degrees.  It’s not hot enough.  The company I bought it from refuses to adjust the thermostat to make it reach 108 degrees.  I’m very disappointed.

Mary in New Mexico

 Answer.  Mary, your spa dealer has done you a favor by not adjusting the thermostat.  Here’s why:  As a consumer protection, hot tub safety experts have determined that water temp over 105 degrees is dangerous.  It raises your blood pressure, and could cause you to faint in the hot tub.  That’s not a pretty picture. Following the inevitable wrongful death lawsuits that would likely (or have been) filed against spa manufacturers, the industry has set the 105-degree standard.

Personally, I’d recommend 102 to 104 degrees as optimum water temperature so that you can comfortably enjoy your hot tub’s hydrotherapeutic features for a longer length of time. 

Question. Why do I cough when I turn the jets on my spa?  Ross in Nevada.

Answer.  Ross, when was the last time you changed your hot tub’s water or checked the full range of your hot tub’s chemistry?  If you have to pause to answer this question, that’s the red flag.  This tells me that your chemistry or total dissolved solids (TDS) is off the charts. 

First check the TDS.  You probably don’t have a meter for this, so take at least 8 ounces of your spa’s water to your local pool store and ask for the TDS test.  If the TDS reads over 1500 ppm, dump your water and start all over again.

If your TDS is below 1200-1500 ppms, then check your total alkalinity and pH.  Get your total alkalinity to 80-120 ppm.  Then bring your pH to 7.2-7.6 ppm.  Also OXIDIZE (‘shock’) your water.

Next, Ross, enjoy a good long soak with lots of jets and no coughing.

Question.  Why does my skin itch after being in the hot tub?  Carlos in Chicago.

Answer.  Carlos, there are several reasons why your skin itches after a hot tub soak.  1) dirty filter, 2)chemistry imbalance, 3) old water (high TDS), 4) too much disinfectant, 5) too long of a time in the hot tub, and 6) you may just have sensitive skin.

So, troubleshoot the cause by running thru this list.  Let me know what happens.

 Finally, a pool question from Marsha in Phoenix:  “Why am I adding chlorine every couple of days and still getting a low chlorine reading?”

Answer.  Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, first of all, you are in Phoenix.  It’s hot there.  UV is chlorine’s worst enemy.  You can buffer that UV action by testing your chlorine-stabilizer reading (cyanuric acid).  This keeps UV from breaking down the chlorine.  You want between 40-50 ppm of stabilizer.

When the weather's hot and your pool is heavily used, check your chlorine readings more often. You can also find non-chlorine alternatives. Check out www.riptidealchemy.com

When the weather's hot and your pool is heavily used, check your chlorine readings more often. You can also find non-chlorine alternatives. Check out http://www.riptidealchemy.com

Also what kind of chlorine do you use?  If it’s liquid chlorine, it is about 6 to 8-percent available chlorine.  (How do you spell weak chlorine??)  Liquid chlorine is also without added stabilizer.  I’d recommend “stabilized chlorine” (with cyanuric acid) as well as, the available chlorine ranges between 90 to 100-percent available chlorine.  This will make your pool, test kit, and YOU much happier.

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