Troubleshooting

Some easy to follow instructions if you have a problem.

After ten years in the market with thousands of systems working worldwide, it is clear that the Enviroswim system is one of the easiest & most forgiving systems on the market when it comes to maintenance. However, there are a few people that contact us when issues arise with their pools and history has shown us that the issues are nearly always related to water balance, pool pumps or advise given by service techs or pool shops who often give the wrong advice albeit usually with good intentions but lacking the knowledge when it comes to Enviroswim.

Before you contact us thinking there is a problem with the Enviroswim system please run through the following checks.

Firstly, it is very important that whoever is maintaining the pool reads the operating manual from front to back.  This includes Pool Techs & Shops.

Enviroswim has very few checks & balances when compared to a conventional pool. The following test should be completed at regular intervals throughout the year, even winter!

A simple Alkalinity and pH test kit can be purchased from Bunnings or a Pool Shop. We recommend you get a test kit and do the test yourself by the pool. It is simple to do and takes far less time than driving to the Pool Shop.

Tests: Total Alkalinity, pH Level & Copper Tests. IN THAT ORDER!!!

1. Total Alkalinity level

In order to prevent pH bounce & fluctuation the total alkalinity level should be maintained between 80 – 130 parts per million.(ppm) to help buffer pH levels. Once the level drops below 80 ppm Sodium Bicarbonate (buffer) should be added to the pool to raise the level back above 80 ppm  (see operating manuals)

Always balance the total alkalinity (TA) level first. The reason for this is that the day that you add sodium bi-carbonate to increase the TA it will also push the pH to around 8.2 regardless of what the pool pH is at the time of adding the buffer. Once the bi-carbonate has fully dissolved (next day) you should reset/lower the pH by adding acid. If you don't follow this order you will simply be chasing your tail and wasting money.

Over time the TA will gradually decrease (burn out) as acid is regularly added to keep the pH within required parameters. Once to TA drops below 80 the process of adding bi-carb is repeated. This is important routine maintenance with any pool system. i.e.  most pools experience pH rise and require acid to be added frequently to ensure the sanitiser is effective.  The cost vs. benefits of maintaining a good pH balance should not be underestimated. Most pool issues are associated with poor water balance.

2. pH level

Once the TA levels is correct and the sodium bi-carbonate has had a day to fully dissolve you can rebalance the pH level by adding acid to drop the pH level down to 7.1 – 7.4 range  (see operating manuals)

3. Copper test

Make sure the pool pH levels has remained below 7.5 for 8 hours prior to conducting a copper test to ensure an accurate reading then make any required adjustment to the ioniser output control knob to raise of lower copper production. Once the setting point is found for your pool it usually only requires seasonal adjustments.

Tip: if a copper test is taken when the pH is high it will result in a false reading which can allow the copper levels to become higher than required.

Tip: Running a high pH can also cause scaling & staining on the pool surface.

IMPORTANT. All sanitisers including Enviroswim become ineffective as the pH rises. The following extract from NSW Health Dept shows how quickly Chlorine loses its effectiveness as the pH rises. Enviroswims oxidiser, copper & silver also lose their sanitising effectiveness as the pH rises.

The disinfectant power of Free Chlorine is relative to the pH of the water. As pH increases, the chlorine becomes less effective.  As pH decreases, the chlorine becomes more effective.


pH Effectiveness of Free Chlorine
6.0 97%
7.0 75%
7.2 63%
7.5 49%
7.6 39%
7.8 28%
8.0 3%

Source: NSW Health Advisory Dec 2012

Tip: the closer the pH is to neutral the more effective the system becomes and the more comfortable the water is for bathers. To avoid corrosion the pH should not be allowed to operate below 7.0 (acidic) for extended periods. 

Calcium Hardness (CH) Test.

Pool water low in calcium will draw calcium from the pool surface and can cause irreversible erosion damage to rendered pool surfaces such as pebblecrete and plaster. A calcium hardness test should be done at least four times a year to ensure the pool water calcium level is 175ppm – 250ppm. If the level is low, calcium chloride will need to be added to the pool.

Total dissolved solids (TDS)

For ideal operation Enviroswim requires a TDS level of between 1000 and 1500 ppm to provide conductivity for its electronic processes.  If the oxidiser display reading fails to reach “15” when the oxidiser knob is set to max the issue is most likely low TDS/conductivity. To increase TDS, refer to manuals.  

If your pool water is hard and high in calcium the Langlier Saturatuion Index (LSI) is a method for determining the scale forming potential of water. Some pool shops will calculate this index for you otherwise there are online calculators.

Summery: Poor water balance is the most common problem and can cause knock on issues like staining & scaling of cell plates and flow sensors.


Issue: Enviroswim oxidiser display numbers are unstable & fluctuating.

The most common cause of fluctuating oxidiser display is scale build up on the cell plates and flow sensor.

Remedy: Clean cell plates & sensor. Refer to manuals.


Issue: Oxidiser display will not read “15” when knob is set to maximum.

The  most common cause for this is low TDS caused by dilution from heavy rainfall. If the TDS is within operating parameters the cell plates could be worn, scaled or damaged.

Remedy:

1. Increase the conductivity of the pool water by adding some pool salt. refer to manual

2. Clean scaled cell plates

3. Replace worn/damaged cell plates

Issue: Display showing “pb”

Pb is a warning that there is no water flowing through the Enviroswim system.  If there is no water flow it will most likely be an issue with your pump or valve settings, not an issue with Enviroswim.

If there is water flowing through the system then the issues could be a loose or broken connection on the oxidiser cable connections (small white wire connection to the flow sensor). This applies to cell plates on pre Nov 2014 systems only. Post Nov 14 systems have hard wired and sealed connections.


Issue: High copper level.

Copper levels will continue to increase if the ioniser output knob and daily run times are set to high for the pool size & conditions. Check copper level regularly and make adjustments paying particular attention to seasonal changes. It is possible that the ioniser part of the system can be turned off for several months during winter if the water is cold with no bather load.  The residual level of copper will not deplete if there is no demand on the pool.  As long as the recommended residual level of copper is in the water the Enviroswim will perform 100% using only the oxidiser and ultrasonics.

Ioniser Settings.

Post November 2014 models                             


Ioniser knob Position

1. (ioniser knob fully anticlockwise) off
2. produces copper 2% of the running time.
3 .produces copper 3% of the running time.
4. produces copper 7% of the running  time.
5. produces copper 10% of the running  time.
6. produces copper 13% of the running  time.
7. produces copper 17% of the running  time.
8. produces copper 20% of the running  time.
9. produces copper 23% of the running  time.
10. produces copper 37% of the running  time.
11. produces copper 50% of the running  time.
12. produces copper 100% of the running  time.

Note: Positions 11 & 12 are mainly used to build the copper levels following initial filling with pool water when copper levels are very low or following heavy dilution from rainfall or floods.  Use these setting with care to avoid overdosing and unnecessary wear of electrode.

If the copper is accidentally overdosed the ioniser output can be turned off for weeks or even months until the level drops to the recommended operating level. The system will continue to perform 100% using just the ultrasonics & oxidiser.

The daily copper output is influenced in two ways.

1. The daily run hours of the enviroswim system

2. The set position of the ioniser knob.

Increasing either one of the above will increase copper production and decreasing will reduce copper production.


Pre November 2014 models                                                         

 


Ioniser knob position

1. (ioniser knob fully anticlockwise) off
2. produces copper 20% of the running time.
3. produces copper 40% of the running time.
4. produces copper 60% of the running  time.
5. produces copper 80% of the running  time.
6. produces copper 100% of the running  time.

Note: Positions 5 & 6 are mainly used to build up the copper levels following  initial filling with pool water when copper levels are very low or following heavy dilution from rainfall or flood.  Use these setting with care to avoid overdosing and unnecessary wear of electrodes.

If the copper is accidentally overdosed the ioniser output can be turned off for weeks even months until the concentration drops to recommended levels. The system will continue to perform 100% using just the ultrasonics & oxidiser.

The daily copper output is influenced in two ways.

1. The daily run hours of the enviroswim system

2. The set position of the ioniser knob.

Increasing either one of the above will increase copper production and decreasing will reduce copper production.

Issue: Pool Water Dull or Cloudy

If the pool is looking a little cloudy there are a few things to check.

  • Is the pool system running long enough each day for the conditions? i.e. high bather loads &/or temperatures may require longer daily run times.
  • Is the water balanced? High pH results in poor efficiency of the pool  oxidiser, sanitiser & algaecides.
  • Is the oxidiser set to "15" on the display? The oxidiser is responsible for providing sparkling water clarity. 
  • Has the pool been checked for "Phosphates"? Phosphates can enter the pool via rainfall, water tanks, animal droppings and fertilisers, they create an extra demand on any pool system and encourage algae growth. Pool shops & major hardware stores sell phosphate removers. 

Issue: Staining

All pools are susceptible to staining. Pool shop shelves are testament to this with a myriad of stain removers on the market.

Contrary to what you may hear from industry competitors, copper staining (turquoise) is one of the easiest stains to remove, iron or rust (brown/black) been one of the hardest. Even the impurities in salt can stain a pool.

If you are one of the few that has inadvertently overdosed the copper in your pool, fear not. Firstly turn off and disconnect the ioniser part of the system. As long as there is  0.2 - 0.3 ppm of copper in the water Enviroswim will work 100% without the ioniser connected.  Copper staining can be removed using citric acid or other organic based stain removers, they lift the stain back into a soluble solution. Depending on how high the overdose is, to avoid re-staining once the copper is back in solution the pool may need diluting. To determined this, conduct a copper test after the stain has lifted as the reading will rise as the copper comes back in solution.

As previously mentioned, there are many metals that can enter the pool causing stains. We think it is good practise to treat your pool with organic acid in place of hydrochloric once or twice a year just to keep it looking new & pristine. 

Winterising Your Pool

Winterising your Enviroswim treated pool is an area where large savings can be made. Once the water becomes too cold for bathing the daily run time of the pump/enviroswim can be reduced to save on electricity which is one of the highest pool running costs. The final winterised run time depends on the pools surrounding environment as the pump will need to run long enough for the filter to remove dirt and organic material that enter the pool. Many pools owners can reduce the run time to a few hours a week, others surrounded by falling leaves or dust require longer to oxidise and filter the rubbish. 

The residual copper & silver will take care of algae and bacteria as they continue to work 24/7 regardless of the pump run time. This is because unlike chlorine they do not evaporate and maintain their residual level in the pool water for weeks even months when there are minimal levels of bacteria or algaes for them to control. Therefore, it is important to continue to balance the pH & check copper levels regularly during the winter to ensure maximum efficiency of the ions and avoid possible overdose of copper/silver resulting in premature wear of the electrodes. The ioniser output should be reduced or even turned off for a while if copper levels start to increase above 0.3 ppm.

 Research has shown that many enviroswim owners fail to monitor or adjust the copper & pH levels during the winter months, instead they rely on a visual look at the water believing everything is OK because the water is crystal clear. This is a mistake and can result in high ion levels and in severe cases copper dropping out of solution by the end of the winter. The analogy we use is it is a bit like dissolving sugar in tea or coffee, there is a point where the sugar level gets so high it cannot remain soluble. Cooler water and zero bathers equals less copper/silver demands. All it takes is a few minutes of testing each month to make sure you pool is kept in good shape for the summer.

Always run the oxidiser on maximum (15) during winterisation as the oxidiser is required to treat suspended solids that enter the water. Vacuum the pool as & when required to avoid sediment building up which can stain and  cause extra demand and runtime of the system

Reminder: To ensure an accurate copper reading the pool water pH must be below 7.5 preferably 7.3 when the test sample is taken. High pH water will cause a false (lower than actual) copper reading. Follow these guidelines and you will save money and have a great pool ready for the coming summer.



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