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http://gochemless.com/

Has anyone ever heard of the Go Chemless company? I've read some other discussions here about ionizers, but non like this. This system generates a controlled amount of copper and silver ions that are maintained as a residual in the water. Just curious if anyone has had any experience with these types of systems, beyond a mineral cartridge? The link takes you directly to their website, where they have a few videos, mostly slamming pool chemicals. I've sent an email with several questions for their engineering and chemist teams, and am waiting to hear back. Thanks!

Tags: Ionizer, generator

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Their website makes claims that their system "eliminates bacteria" and keeps your pool "bacteria free" and "prevent bacteria from taking over your swimming pool" and "neutralizes bacteria".  All of these statements are in violation of EPA FIFRA rules since copper and silver ions do not kill bacteria quickly enough to pass EPA DIS/TSS-12.  If I had more time, I'd report them to the EPA enforcement division.

You can see the comparative kill times for copper and silver ions compared to chlorine in this post.  Metal ions do prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth, but they do not kill quickly enough to prevent person-to-person transmission of disease and they do a poor job against viruses which is why they are not allowed in commercial/public pools where one sick person can infect many.  Metal ions can also stain pool surfaces, especially plaster, unless their concentration and the pH are carefully controlled.

I want to clarify that only the combination of copper and silver ions prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth, though kill too slowly (by a factor of 50 or more) to pass the EPA standard allowing a pesticide product to make a disinfectant claim such as killing bacteria.  Copper ions alone are not sufficient to prevent bacterial growth since, at the levels used in pools, they do not inhibit the growth of fecal bacteria.  So if one is set on getting a metal ion system, then at least have it be a copper/silver combination where the copper is most effective against algae and the combination of copper/silver is more effective against bacteria, though not viruses or protozoan oocysts.

Thanks for the information! Sorry it took so long to respond.

As Richard says, the systems are too slow to be stand alone however I do find them useful additions but ....

The electrodes on the earlier systems and maybe some today were too soft and were quite prone to erosion from water flow alone. Metallurgy today has given much tougher electrodes and also a better ratio of silver to copper. This also allows the electric current to release the electrons rather than simply have molecules released. They say the old wagon trains tossed silver coins in the water barrels for bacteria and copper pennies for algae.

Also the current is handled better. The lower much better controlled current makes the systems more stable. However this is also where the problem might lay. People tend to crank them to max to get the residual up and then forget about them. With a higher current the residual could be reached fairly quickly but now it might take a week or 2. And of course excessive residuals lead to staining. Then there are the people that simply do not keep their pools balanced properly and the the electrode will corrode off.

So as with most things, I find them useful but not without issues. Finding an economical controller for them will be quite beneficial.

They have sent me a unit to use on my pool. I'm going to run it the way I would, then how a customer might. I'll keep updating as situations arise...

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