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Cheap pH meters and swimming pools
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beavith
science forum beginner


Joined: 19 May 2005
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 3:22 am    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 12:18:13 -0400, David Stone
<no.email@domain.invalid> wrote:

Quote:
In article <Xns97DC4DA8E10AAdavidstranz@216.196.97.131>,
David Stranz <david_stranz@remove_this_to_reply_MassSpec.com> wrote:

Borek <m.borkowski@delete.chembuddy.these.com.parts> wrote in
news:op.tatj7fnf26l578@borek:

On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 00:18:41 +0200, beav <BEAVITH1@NETSCAPE.NET
wrote:

Just like to report back that the pool is looking absolutely
pristine a week after refilling, with minimal treatment. Looks
like the TDS was the issue. Thanks for your thoughts.

an easy way to keep algae under control is to add a couple
pounds of CuSO4. it'll also reduce the amount of Cl you'll
need.

Isn't copper too toxic for such application? I will be not
surprised if you are violating some EPA (or equivalent agency)
regulations this way. Not to mention the fact that I would be
reluctant to swim in copper sulfate solution.

Anecdotal evidence:

Copper sulfate is sold in pet stores to combat algal growth in
aquaria and koi ponds, and if used as directed it doesn't seem to
affect the fish much. Does a number on the algae and can damage
other aquatic flora as well. I believe the dose is rather low, but I
wouldn't want to drink much of it either.

Exactly - the instructions clearly indicate to keep the dose low.
And, since this is sci.chem.analytical, not alt.pools, I guess we
should do the decent thing and check the safety information...

DOSE says, amongst other things:

Ingestion can cause diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

It appears copper ingestion may result in an increased risk of
abortion.

Skin contact with copper sulfate can result in itching eczema. Contact
of eye will result in conjunctivitis, edema of eyelids; ulceration and
turbidity of cornea (61).

Copper sulfate is a strong irritant to skin and mucous membranes,
including nasal, throat and eyes (62).

Limited under EC Directive on Drinking Water Quality 80/778/EEC. Copper:
guide level 100 mg l-1 at pumping/substations outlets; 3 mg l-1 after
water has been standing 12 hr in the piping (3Cool.

World Health Organisation revised guidelines for drinking water quality:
copper guide level 1 mg l-1 (39).



true enough regarding Cu. we're talking a couple of ppm tops.

all the "bad" things also apply for Cl at multi ppm levels too,
especially the burnig eyes and mucus membranes


as far as drinking a CuSO4 solution, who REALLY knows what's in a pool
to begin with. : )

a bit of Cu and a much smaller daily does of Cl is the best of both
worlds. no algae, and hygenic control of organic waste
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David Stone
science forum beginner


Joined: 27 Mar 2006
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

In article <Xns97DC4DA8E10AAdavidstranz@216.196.97.131>,
David Stranz <david_stranz@remove_this_to_reply_MassSpec.com> wrote:

Quote:
Borek <m.borkowski@delete.chembuddy.these.com.parts> wrote in
news:op.tatj7fnf26l578@borek:

On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 00:18:41 +0200, beav <BEAVITH1@NETSCAPE.NET
wrote:

Just like to report back that the pool is looking absolutely
pristine a week after refilling, with minimal treatment. Looks
like the TDS was the issue. Thanks for your thoughts.

an easy way to keep algae under control is to add a couple
pounds of CuSO4. it'll also reduce the amount of Cl you'll
need.

Isn't copper too toxic for such application? I will be not
surprised if you are violating some EPA (or equivalent agency)
regulations this way. Not to mention the fact that I would be
reluctant to swim in copper sulfate solution.

Anecdotal evidence:

Copper sulfate is sold in pet stores to combat algal growth in
aquaria and koi ponds, and if used as directed it doesn't seem to
affect the fish much. Does a number on the algae and can damage
other aquatic flora as well. I believe the dose is rather low, but I
wouldn't want to drink much of it either.

Exactly - the instructions clearly indicate to keep the dose low.
And, since this is sci.chem.analytical, not alt.pools, I guess we
should do the decent thing and check the safety information...

DOSE says, amongst other things:

Ingestion can cause diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

It appears copper ingestion may result in an increased risk of
abortion.

Skin contact with copper sulfate can result in itching eczema. Contact
of eye will result in conjunctivitis, edema of eyelids; ulceration and
turbidity of cornea (61).

Copper sulfate is a strong irritant to skin and mucous membranes,
including nasal, throat and eyes (62).

Limited under EC Directive on Drinking Water Quality 80/778/EEC. Copper:
guide level 100 mg l-1 at pumping/substations outlets; 3 mg l-1 after
water has been standing 12 hr in the piping (3Cool.

World Health Organisation revised guidelines for drinking water quality:
copper guide level 1 mg l-1 (39).
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David Stranz
science forum beginner


Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

Borek <m.borkowski@delete.chembuddy.these.com.parts> wrote in
news:op.tatj7fnf26l578@borek:

Quote:
On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 00:18:41 +0200, beav <BEAVITH1@NETSCAPE.NET
wrote:

Just like to report back that the pool is looking absolutely
pristine a week after refilling, with minimal treatment. Looks
like the TDS was the issue. Thanks for your thoughts.

an easy way to keep algae under control is to add a couple
pounds of CuSO4. it'll also reduce the amount of Cl you'll
need.

Isn't copper too toxic for such application? I will be not
surprised if you are violating some EPA (or equivalent agency)
regulations this way. Not to mention the fact that I would be
reluctant to swim in copper sulfate solution.

Best,
Borek

Anecdotal evidence:

Copper sulfate is sold in pet stores to combat algal growth in
aquaria and koi ponds, and if used as directed it doesn't seem to
affect the fish much. Does a number on the algae and can damage
other aquatic flora as well. I believe the dose is rather low, but I
wouldn't want to drink much of it either.

David
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Borek
science forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

On Thu, 08 Jun 2006 00:18:41 +0200, beav <BEAVITH1@NETSCAPE.NET> wrote:

Quote:
Just like to report back that the pool is looking absolutely pristine
a week after refilling, with minimal treatment. Looks like the TDS
was the issue. Thanks for your thoughts.

an easy way to keep algae under control is to add a couple pounds of
CuSO4. it'll also reduce the amount of Cl you'll need.

Isn't copper too toxic for such application? I will be not surprised if
you are violating some EPA (or equivalent agency) regulations this way.
Not to mention the fact that I would be reluctant to swim in copper
sulfate solution.

Best,
Borek
--
http://www.chembuddy.com
http://www.ph-meter.info/pH-Nernst-equation
http://www.terapia-kregoslupa.waw.pl
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beav
science forum addict


Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

On Sat, 03 Jun 2006 12:14:44 +1000, Clifford Heath
<no@spam.please.net> wrote:

Quote:
Clifford Heath wrote:
[I'm] currently working
on the theory that the total dissolved solids (TDS) was too high.
Total alkalinity was around 110ppm, but TDS was above 3000.
Anyhow I'll find out as I've just drained and refilled the pool.

Just like to report back that the pool is looking absolutely pristine
a week after refilling, with minimal treatment. Looks like the TDS
was the issue. Thanks for your thoughts.

Clifford Heath.


an easy way to keep algae under control is to add a couple pounds of
CuSO4. it'll also reduce the amount of Cl you'll need.


make sure its very dilute by predissolving it in a pail a little bit
at a time. it can stain fiberglass, but it doesn't effect vinyl
liners.


get off the pool chemical treadmill. once i added the Cu, all i had
to do was keep it vacuumed. when i closed it for the winter, it
opened up clean in the spring. no pH monitoring, no shocking, none of
that stuff.
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Clifford Heath
science forum beginner


Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 2:14 am    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

Clifford Heath wrote:
Quote:
[I'm] currently working
on the theory that the total dissolved solids (TDS) was too high.
Total alkalinity was around 110ppm, but TDS was above 3000.
Anyhow I'll find out as I've just drained and refilled the pool.

Just like to report back that the pool is looking absolutely pristine
a week after refilling, with minimal treatment. Looks like the TDS
was the issue. Thanks for your thoughts.

Clifford Heath.
Back to top
Clifford Heath
science forum beginner


Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 12:08 am    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

David Bostwick wrote:
Quote:
Don't they still sell pool test kits just exactly for checking pH and Cl?

Yes, they do - that's what I'm using. I also have the little test
strips, but I find them pretty unreliable - the color samples
never match anything, and the patch actually shows several colors
at once. I just figured that meter might give a more reliable
reading and if it would last several years, it'd be worth it.
But it seems not, from what you guys say.

As for algaecides, I've tried everything, and am currently working
on the theory that the total dissolved solids (TDS) was too high.
Total alkalinity was around 110ppm, but TDS was above 3000.
We've been using a variety of chlorine products, but even with
quite high chlorine levels, the algae remain, and return with a
vengeance when it drops. Apparently the TDS locks up a lot of
what would otherwise be free chlorine. At first I thought that the
isocyanurates might be the problem and looked for melamine to drop
it out, but was advised that the fine precipitate is very hard to
filter out and the residual TDS is likely to remain a problem.

Anyhow I'll find out as I've just drained and refilled the pool.
Our water supply is very clean and soft, but because there'll be
residual algae spores, I plan to bomb it heavily with Cl once the
buffer, Ca level (required to maintain vinyl condition) and pH is
established. We have had long problem-free periods in the past,
and hope to again!

Thanks for your thoughts.

Clifford Heath.
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David Bostwick
science forum addict


Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

In article <Xns97CD576044DD1davidstranz@216.196.97.131>, David Stranz <david_stranz@remove_this_to_reply_MassSpec.com> wrote:
Quote:
Borek <m.borkowski@delete.chembuddy.these.com.parts> wrote in
news:op.s91tcul926l578@borek:

On Wed, 24 May 2006 02:50:01 +0200, Clifford Heath
no.spam@please.net> wrote:

Context: trying to reduce the frequency with which my swimming
pool goes green Smile.

A local electronics shop sells cheap ($AU60) handheld pH
meters, see
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=QM1670>.

What's the life expectancy of units like these, given say
twice- weekly usage in a swimming pool? Do the probes clag out
or need replacing (parts not available)? Is there a better
option?

First of all - check http://www.ph-meter.info for a whealth of
information on pH meters.

Not clear for me what kind of electrode is used, most likely
glass/gel type. They are reported to last 6-9 months before
measurements results gets erratic. If you are going to buy a pH
meter look for one whith replaceable electrode, as that's the
weakest part (it both easily breaks and gets old).

Best,
Borek

Alternatively, go to a pet shop and buy an aquarium test kit. One
I use has colorimetric indicators for pH, chlorine, nitrate, and a
few other things. This uses liquid indicators, but there are
cheaper kits that use paper test strips. Don't know what the
acceptable pH range is for a swimming pool, but I imagine one of
these kits would serve.

I bought an inexpensive pH meter for use in my aquarium and was
really dissatisfied. Not only could I never really get it
correctly calibrated (despite using pH standards prepared in the
lab), readings were erratic and all over the map. Went back to the
test kit as a much more reliable means of keeping tabs on water
conditions.

As for the pool going green, aren't there algicides designed for
pool use?

David


Don't they still sell pool test kits just exactly for checking pH and Cl?
Before our small above-ground pool watered the entire back yard, I had a kit
to check the water. That was many years ago, but I can't believe they've been
declared hazardous and pulled.
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David Stranz
science forum beginner


Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

Borek <m.borkowski@delete.chembuddy.these.com.parts> wrote in
news:op.s91tcul926l578@borek:

Quote:
On Wed, 24 May 2006 02:50:01 +0200, Clifford Heath
no.spam@please.net> wrote:

Context: trying to reduce the frequency with which my swimming
pool goes green Smile.

A local electronics shop sells cheap ($AU60) handheld pH
meters, see
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=QM1670>.

What's the life expectancy of units like these, given say
twice- weekly usage in a swimming pool? Do the probes clag out
or need replacing (parts not available)? Is there a better
option?

First of all - check http://www.ph-meter.info for a whealth of
information on pH meters.

Not clear for me what kind of electrode is used, most likely
glass/gel type. They are reported to last 6-9 months before
measurements results gets erratic. If you are going to buy a pH
meter look for one whith replaceable electrode, as that's the
weakest part (it both easily breaks and gets old).

Best,
Borek

Alternatively, go to a pet shop and buy an aquarium test kit. One
I use has colorimetric indicators for pH, chlorine, nitrate, and a
few other things. This uses liquid indicators, but there are
cheaper kits that use paper test strips. Don't know what the
acceptable pH range is for a swimming pool, but I imagine one of
these kits would serve.

I bought an inexpensive pH meter for use in my aquarium and was
really dissatisfied. Not only could I never really get it
correctly calibrated (despite using pH standards prepared in the
lab), readings were erratic and all over the map. Went back to the
test kit as a much more reliable means of keeping tabs on water
conditions.

As for the pool going green, aren't there algicides designed for
pool use?

David
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Borek
science forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

On Wed, 24 May 2006 02:50:01 +0200, Clifford Heath <no.spam@please.net>
wrote:

Quote:
Context: trying to reduce the frequency with which my swimming
pool goes green Smile.

A local electronics shop sells cheap ($AU60) handheld pH meters,
see <http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=QM1670>.

What's the life expectancy of units like these, given say twice-
weekly usage in a swimming pool? Do the probes clag out or need
replacing (parts not available)? Is there a better option?

First of all - check http://www.ph-meter.info for a whealth of information
on pH meters.

Not clear for me what kind of electrode is used, most likely glass/gel
type. They are reported to last 6-9 months before measurements results
gets erratic. If you are going to buy a pH meter look for one whith
replaceable electrode, as that's the weakest part (it both easily breaks
and gets old).

Best,
Borek
--
http://www.chembuddy.com
http://www.ph-meter.info/pH-electrode-flowing-gel
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Clifford Heath
science forum beginner


Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 12:50 am    Post subject: Cheap pH meters and swimming pools Reply with quote

Context: trying to reduce the frequency with which my swimming
pool goes green Smile.

A local electronics shop sells cheap ($AU60) handheld pH meters,
see <http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=QM1670>.

What's the life expectancy of units like these, given say twice-
weekly usage in a swimming pool? Do the probes clag out or need
replacing (parts not available)? Is there a better option?

With the amount of hassle people have with their pools, I wonder
why there isn't an all-on-one plumbed-in test pod available on
the market, that hooks up to a panel or other display device to
indicate exactly what you need to do to keep the pool in balance.
Wishful thinking I guess, but folk would pay a decent price for
st like this.

Clifford Heath.
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