Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Ion?

An ion is an atom, or group of atoms, that possesses an electrical charge. An atom is like a tiny solar system, with a nucleus in the middle and one or more electrons orbiting around the outside. Inside the nucleus are positively charged particles called protons. The electrons are negatively charged. An atom usually contains an equal number of protons and electrons. An ion gets its electrical charge by losing or gaining electrons. If it has an extra ion, it is called an ANION. If it has lost an electron, it is a positive ion, or known as a CATION.

What is copper-silver ionization?

The process that causes an element to gain or lose electrons is called ionization. Copper-silver ionization is the electronic release of copper and silver ions.

How does copper-silver ionization work?

A low voltage, alternating DC current is passed through a set of metallic electrodes, which are placed in-line with the circulation system and set slightly apart from one another. The voltage causes some of the outermost atoms of the electrodes to lose an electron, thus becoming positive ions, which attempt to flow across the space between the electrodes, but instead are carried away by the flow of water. The electrodes are located in the "ion chamber" plumbed in the return line. A separate control box supplies a variable, low-voltage DC charge to the electrodes.

How does copper-silver ionization disinfect water?

It is a well-established, well-documented fact that copper ions in water will inhibit algae growth, while silver ions kill bacteria and viruses. The electrodes consist of a metal plated cathode and a metal plated anode. Low voltage is introduced as direct current, at milliamp levels, that passes between the cathode and anode. As the current moves, it produces metal ions from the copper and silver. Because water is flowing through the chamber, many of these ions are swept away before they can reach the other side of the electrode. The electrodes are scientifically formulated with a 96% copper and 4% (1%) silver alloy mix.

How do you control
the actual amount of ionization taking place?

The amount of mineral ions released is controlled by a rheostat, an adjustable transformer that changes 110 or 220 AC current from the power service to low-voltage DC current. The higher the charge, the more ions are released. The polarity switches back and forth between the electrodes' two elements to prevent plating of the cathode - a process that reduces the electrodes' active surface over time.

How do you know if ionization is taking place?

Every purifier includes a test kit that can measure a precise amount of copper ions in the water. A single test should be done once a week in the hot summer months. The test only takes a couple of minutes. After the tablet is added to the water sample, you compare the color to a chart on the test kit to determine the copper ion level. This test is called a Chlorimetic Test.

What is the recommended copper ion level?

The recommended range is between 0.20 and 0.30 ppm. If the reading is low, simply turn the control knob up a little; if the reading is too high, turn the control knob down a bit.

Copper in drinking water?

The upper limit of copper in drinking water, recommended by the WHO and EU, is 2ppm. Our ionizer systems uses a range of copper between 0.2 ppm and 0.3 ppm. That means about 10 times less copper than the limit set by the WHO and EU.

How can I tell if the unit is functioning?

The Control Box features a digital readout of the actual DC charge that is being passed between the electrodes. The readout will be in milliamps. The unit will read "OFF" when set at the lowest setting when no ionization is taking place.

Do I need to test for the silver ion level?

Whenever the copper ion level is correct, the silver ion level will be in range also. The electrodes are a mix of copper and silver, so the right proportions are always being released at the same time.

Is it difficult to change the electrodes?

No, not at all. All you need is a wrench and some Teflon tape. Simply unscrew the worn electrodes (which are sealed in a cap) from the chamber and replace with a new set. Wrap some Teflon tape around the cap to prevent leaking.

How long will my electrodes last?

The electrodes will last anywhere from 1 to 5 years, depending on several factors. For example, a 50,000 gallon pool will require 5 times the amount of ions as a 10,000 gallon pool. A pool in Maine has a swimming pool season of only 3 months while a pool in Florida is open year round.

How do I know
if my electrodes need cleaning or replacing?

A warning light on the control box will let you know.

How hard is it to install the system?

The installation is very simple and can be done in under one hour in most cases. No special tools are required. An Installation Manual and Video are available by request.

Will the purifier work on 110 or 220 volts?

All units leave the factory set on 220 volts. If the voltage is 110, simply change the voltage switch inside the unit. All you need is a screwdriver and this step can be done in about two minutes.

What is the actual electrical consumption?

Based on eight hours of operation per day, the cost of electricity consumed by teh Clearwater R-20 Purifier would be less than 6,- Euro per year.

Will I ever have to shock (oxydise) my pool again?

Yes, sometimes, but don't be alarmed. Your pool is now, with our Ionizer System, totaly desinfected, but you have to ged rid of organic components, that people bring into the water, like body oils, suntan lotions, hair or debris from leaves, etc. This may cause turbidity in your pool and has to be oxidised.

There are 3options to oxidize (shock) your pool, without Chlorine:

  1. Potassium Monopersulfate (Active Oxygen)
  2. UV Light (Ozone)
  3. Ozone (Generated by Corona Discharge)

1. Potassium Monopersulfate (Active Oxygen)

What is Potassium Monopersulfate? Click here
In the hot summer months, 12 gr./m3 of potassium monopersulfate may be required once a week or after a heavy rainstorm. In the spring and fall, a once a month dosage may be required. This non-chlorine shock dissolves instantly and you can swim immediately after adding it to the pool. This oxidizer, available through Clearwater or at any store that sells pool supplies, simply puts oxygen in the water to get rid of the organic contaminants, and dissolves a bio-shield that can build up around algae cells preventing the copper ions from getting to the algae and killing it.

2. UV Light (Ozone)

Ultraviolet (UV) oxidation is a destruction process that oxidizes organic contaminants in water. It works by the adding oxidizing agents such as ozone (O3) to the contaminated water. An UV light (ozone) system when combined with ionization, will give you the closest thing possible to a "hands-free pool."

Would you like to know more about Ultraviolet light? Click here

3. OZONE (Corona Discharge)

Ozone is a form of oxygen also known as "active oxygen". It is a natural purifier, created by combining three oxygen atoms and is a strong cleaning, purifying and oxidizing agent. As it reacts with organics, it oxidizes unpleasant odours and kills germs, bacteria and viruses. Ozone does not leave behind contaminants in the water that smell, look or taste bad; nor does ozone leave behind potentially hazardous by-products, such as chloramines that can irritate your eyes, dry out your skin, fade swimwear, and damage pool and spa or water storage equipment. In fact, unused ozone reverts back to life-giving oxygen.

With ozone, water is treated up to three thousand times faster, without undesirable by-products such as chloramines and bromamines (created by the use of traditional chlorine and bromine chemicals).We sell the state of the art Corona Discharge unit in various sizes.

Would you like to learn more about Ozone (Corona Discharge)? Click here

With ozone in place, oxidizing is automatically done!

In private pools?

This completely chlorine-free technique allows you to do without all poisonous chemical products, like chlorine and algaecides, in your own private pool.

In public pools?

In 1997, in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, USA, a scientific study was undertaken over a period of several months, to document the effectiveness of copper/silver ionization in public swimming facilities. The results indicated that the use of copper/silver ionization, combined with small amounts of chlorine (1/3 of the normaly used amount of chlorine), Cu, produces a far faster, longer-lasting and more effective level of disinfection than that seen using the traditional chlorine-only method, due to the incredible (and unexpected) synergetic effect of the ionization process.

Using these techniques, public swimming pools can reduce their use of chlorine by up to 70% and achieve a reduction of their output of toxic trihalomethanes by up to 150%. Although the use of chlorine disinfection still continues in the treatment of swimming pools in Europe, there exist, in Belgium (St. Vieth and Leuwen) and France, public swimming pools which, for already more than 30 years, have been disinfected solely by copper/silver ionization.


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