Friday, March 22
DIY

Feedback: Recommendation comes at a cost

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The use of copper sulphate in swimming pools

In a recent column a reader recommended the use of copper sulphate in swimming pools to keep the water clear.

Tony has been good enough to send me the following: For many years, copper-based products have been available in different forms to effectively keep algae under control in swimming pools.

It is inexpensive but it comes with a hidden cost. It stains pool surfaces and corrodes pool fittings and pump components and so on. Copper sulphate, when exposed to chlorine, low PH or low alkalinity, dissolves and converts to cuprous and then cupric oxide.

Even a few grams added into a white marbelite pool will create a light blue stain, usually near the return aim flow. As more copper is introduced the blue stain spreads.

The light blue colour initially looks fine and owners overlook that the surface was originally white. Over time the blue stains can turn an ugly brown and eventually black.

Fibreglass pool surfaces turn brown. High concentrations can deposit onto hair and fingernails, causing green stains. The pool stains cannot be removed with “stain removers”. The only solution is to resurface the pool.

* Please keep your questions or comments coming to don@ macalister.co.za or SMS only to 082 446 3859.

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