Tips and Troubleshooting
- For instance the harshness and health risks of Chlorine and Stabiliser (Cyanuric acid) can be largely negated by the use of Hydrogen Peroxide or the Bionizer ‘Eco-Oxidizer’ instead.
- Use the boost function to increase copper levels.
- Check Anodes for wear.
- Increase Ionising Time or Ionising Output.
- Check that the Bionizer is switched on.
- Check that the Bionizer program is still set.
- Check pH and Total Alkalinity levels.
- Check that the pump is working.
- If chlorine stabilizer has been used in the past, check that stabilizer level is below 80 ppM. The only way to reduce stabilizer level is by diluting. For example, draining half the pool and refilling with fresh water.
- Check to see that you have not used a flocculent that removes metals from the water. If you have done so, empty half the water from the pool / spa and refill – adjust the Bionizer to start-up levels and re-ionise the pool water to normal ion levels. Once normal levels are achieved return Bionizer to normal operating mode.
- Do the “Bucket Test” on page 24 to check that the Ionising output of the Bionizer is operating correctly. If the pool water is low in copper, but the bucket test shows a high result, follow this procedure:
- Backwash the filter for 15 seconds or so and then stop.
- Then backwash the filter again for a second or two and capture a small amount of the backwash water. The sight glass on or near the filter is ideal for water sample collection.
- Test some of this water with the Bionizer Copper Test Kit.
- If the ion reading is high then the filter sand / media is trapping ions. Backwash the filter and SLOWLY pour about 500 ml of Hydrochloric Acid into the skimmer box with the filter running. Wait for 15 minutes and test the copper in the pool again. If the copper reading is still very low then change the sand to Glass Medium for pool filters.
- If you are running a new pool with a cement/quartzon type finish then it may be that the surface has released small particles/dust (especially if you are brushing the pool quite frequently) and these have been caught in the filter and are causing the ions to be trapped. In this case:
- Backwash the filter (sand) or clean the filter (cartridge).
- Pour 500mL to 750mL Hydrochloric Acid into the skimmer box while the pool pump is running. Pour the acid slowly.
- Attach a “sock” to the basket in the skimmer box. Filter the pool normally for several weeks and clean and replace the “sock” regularly during this time. This should remove most of the particles from the filter and the ions should then be released into the pool. The “socks” are inexpensive and are readily available at your nearest pool shop.
- Test pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness and adjust to the recommended levels.
- A filter in need of backwashing/cleaning and/or other filter faults can also cause cloudy water.
- If the water remains cloudy after these checks then use a compatible flocculant such as Bionizer Blue™ as the cloudiness will be dust or pollen particles or the like that are not removed by an Oxidizer.
- If you are not using an Eco-Oxidizer or other oxidizing device in conjunction with the Bionizer, then use of an oxidizer such as Hydrogen Peroxide or an Oxy Shock such as one that contains Potassium Monopersulphate should clear the cloudiness. Also some liquid chlorine may be used. Add to the pool late in theday and run the filter for several hours and the water should be sparkling again by morning. The liquid chlorine used should be unstabilised.
SOLUTION:Test Total Alkalinity – green clear water can be an indication that T/A is too low. There is no need to adjust the total alkalinity (T/A) unless it drops below 50 – 60. If raising the T/A try to keep it in between 80 – 120. Do not add too much buffer, as the higher buffer level will cause a higher pH, and increase your acid usage. The water may tinge clear green if the T/A gets too low for any period of time. The ioniser will not cause any corrosion if the T/A is low (under 60). The levels of water balance that we prescribe fall into the area that is neither corrosive nor scale forming.
- Check there is power to the unit.
- Check the reset button on the bottom of your control unit.
- Check the 4 amp fuse inside the unit. (See page 32 for information about internal fuse location and replacement).
The red light flashes when water conductivity is low or anodes are worn from use. Conductivity can be low due to:
- Recent rains or
- Pool water level being topped up.
- To check conductivity adjust “Output %” setting downslowly. If red light goes out before zero output is reachedconductivity of the water is low.
- If anodes worn from use, replace anodes.
- If water conductivity is low, add one bag of pool salt per 50,000L to pool water and brush until dissolved.
ALL THE LIGHTS ON THE ECO-OXIDIZER ARE FLASHING
If all the lights on the Eco-Oxidizer are flashing then simply add calcium hardener to the pool to a level of 250 or so.
Another solution is to add a 10 kg bag of pool salt (50,000 litre pool) and brush in. Both these solutions increase the water’s conductivity level so that the Eco-Oxidizer can deliver the chosen level of power to the oxidizing cells without restriction.
Situation: The lights will stop flashing once this is completed.
If the lights still flash after these “fixes” have been tried then please contact Bionizer to arrange an inspection of the product.
- Worn Bionizer anodes, where the user did not see the red light on the Bionizer flashing.
- pH allowed to drift too high.
- High phosphate level in the pool water.
- High biological loading, such as large amounts of leaves in the pool and skimmer basket.
- Pool pump not pumping sufficient water, or failed completely.
- Weather changed from mild to hot, and the Bionizer Ionising Time or Ionising Output was not sufficient to treat the pool.
- Generally incorrect pool balance.
- First, the algae needs to be killed. The quickest and easiest way to do this, is to Super-chlorinate the pool. See Super-chlorination on page 29.
- Run the filter for 24 hours, to ensure that the Chlorine is circulated well throughout the pool and the filter.
- Hint : Since you are using a Bionizer and are not likely to have any Chlorine stabiliser in your pool, Superchlorination should be done in the early evening, so that the Chlorine stays in your pool overnight. This way, you won’t have Cyanuric acid left in your pool after the algae attack has been removed.
- Next, the dead and dying algae must be removed from your pool. Thoroughly brush down the sides and floor of the pool. Run the filter while doing this, so that the particles get trapped there.
- Check your filter’s pressure gauge often. When the pressure rises to 50kPa or more ABOVE THE USUAL RUNNING PRESSURE, it’s time to backwash (sand filter), or clean the filter cartridge (cartridge filter).
- For a heavy algae attack, you may need to backwash or clean the filter several times.
- Once the water has cleared up, there are several problem areas that you need to check for further algae infestation :
- If you have a pool blanket, wash down the underside of the blanket with liquid chlorine, as there will be algae spores attached there. An easy and safe way to do this, is to fit the blanket into the pool upside down, and use a bucket of chlorine, your pool brush and a garden hose to wash it down. This way, excess chlorine that spills off the blanket only ends up in your pool, not on your lawn or pool surround.
- If possible, remove the “dress ring” that surrounds your pool light and check behind there. This is a favourite place for algae to hide.
- In and around the skimmer box also needs to be cleaned well.
- Any other nooks and hiding places, such as the underside of decorative rocks and so forth.
- Check your Copper level weekly, and adjust the Ionising Time and/or Ionising Output of the Bionizer as needed, to keep a level of between 0.5 and 0.6 ppM Copper in the pool.
- pH and Total Alkalinity are two of the most important pool parameters. Check them weekly and add acid and buffer as required. A pH BOSS takes the time and guesswork out of pH, by measuring and controlling pH constantly whenever your pool pump is running.
To super-chlorinate your pool apply one litre of liquid chlorine to every 10,000 litres of pool water. Thoroughly brush the walls and floor of the pool and run the filter for at least 24 hours. It is also advised to treat the pool water with Bionizer PFP™ Phosphate remover at the same time.
- Backwash several times during and after this period.
- Turn off the filter for at least six hours (or overnight) to let any residue settle to the pool floor and then vacuum any residue to waste before resuming normal filter cycle. This will ensure that all algae are removed from the pool.
- Check that the pool water is balanced as per the Snap Pool Balance chart.
- Commence normal pool operation again.
Proper circulation of the pool water is vital to the health of the swimming pool water and to the prevention of algae. Long periods of time between filtering can give surface introduced algae time to protect itself with a wax coating thus resisting the copper and infesting the pool.
We strongly recommend filtering to a minimum amount per day to keep the water in a healthy condition. It is not about ‘filtration’. It is about ‘circulation’. A Bionized pool can be circulated/filtered to bare minimum time periods. Let your eyesight be the guide to whether the pool water is clean and healthy.
We also strongly recommend the use of “The Circulator”. This great addition to your pool will save you many hours of filtering time, a good deal of money, wear and tear and tons of CO emissions. No pool should be without them and they fit 90% of all pools. An 8 hours per day filtering cycle will reduced by around 3 hours per day with the Circulators fitted to your pool. If you have a fiberglass/composite type pool the fittings may not be suitable so call the office to check.
- If the anodes are in good condition, check Calcium Hardness level and correct as necessary (See Pool Snap Balance Chart)
- If Calcium Hardness level is correct, add one bag of salt per 50,000L pool size to increase the conductivity of the pool water..
- Disconnect power from the unit by switching off the power at the source and removing the plug.
- Remove the screw covers at each corner of the control unit and undo the screw in each corner.
- Carefully lift off the top cover and locate the power supply circuit board as shown in the picture below.
- See location of the 4 amp fuse in the photo below:
- Carefully remove the fuse taking care not to damage any components in the unit or on the circuit boards.
- Check the fuse and replace if blown. The fuse will only blow if too much current is applied to the control unit and it is a protection device that prevents damage to the rest of the electronic circuitry and components.
- If the fuse is not blown then carefully replace it. Re-fit the lid of the control unit, tighten the screws and replace the screw covers in each corner.
- Reconnect the unit to the power source and switch on.
- If the Bionizer still does not show a display or will not operate then remove the unit (after disconnecting the power and pulling out the plug as well as disconnecting the power cord attached to the unit from the pump) and send it to your supplier.
- Pack the control unit carefully with protective material and mark FRAGILE before sending to your supplier. Please include the product warranty form or proof and date of purchase with the Bionizer unit being returned.
Tips and Tricks
- It is important to spend a few minutes a week to monitor the water balance and to learn the trends of the pool.
- After a couple of weeks a clear pattern will be identified as to how many hours and at what current control levels the ioniser should function.
- Do not haphazardly alter the pH, or add algaecide, or try to alter perfectly clear water. Give the pool water time to stabilise and remember simplicity is the key.
- Always keep the pH, Phosphates, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and Copper Ion levels at the correct levels. See the Snap Pool Balance Chart.
- Brush the pool or operate your auto pool cleaner once a week and your pool water will settle down into a healthy sparkling body of water.
2 Tests Each Week
Test every week (adjust if required):
- pH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.0 – 7.4 pH
- Copper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.5 – 0.6 ppM
3 Tests Each Month
(If weather/conditions are very wet/windy then do these 3 tests weekly)Total Alkalinity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 – 120 ppM Phosphates (Algae Food) . . . . . . . . . . . . . < 500 ppB Calcium Hardness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200 – 250 ppM
Correct phosphate levels are as important as correct pH levels and are easily controlled by using Bionizer PFP™ Phosphate remover. When levels of phosphates are above 500ppB in the pool water there is a risk of algae as phosphates are food for algae.
Follow these rules and check your Bionizer regularly to ensure it is operating correctly and the anodes are not worn. Do these simple steps and we promise your pool will be the source of joy it was meant to be.
Using a Bionizer to manage and control your pool or spa rewards you with sparkling and healthy water which is a pleasure to swim or spa in.
The copper/silver mineral anodes are “sacrificial” and designed to lowly disintegrate, contributing mineral ions to the pool water.
After an average of 18 – 30 months, (depending on respective conditions and pool size), the anodes will wear away and require replacing.
This will be apparent when the ion readings start to drop for no apparent reason. The red light on the control box (Maximum Output) will light up and the message “Check Anodes” will appear on the display screen.
When this happens it is indicating that the anodes are wearing down.
NOTE: When the anodes are worn it will not damage the Bionizer. This is also true if the pump fails or there is no water passing the anodes when the Bionizer is operating – no damage to the unit or pool equipment will result and there will be no risk of fire or explosion as can occur with many salt chlorinator electrodes if they are left running.
Adjusting Ionisation When Anodes are Worn
If they are becoming worn reduce the Ionising Output setting until the red light goes out.
Increase the length of ionising time that the unit operates to compensate.
Examining the Anodes
NOTE: At this time it is important to check the anodes.
- The Anodes can simply be inspected for wear through the clear BioPod cartridge.
- If there is noticeably more wear on one end of the anodes, remove the cartridge, turn around, and re-fit.
- Don’t forget to have the filter turned off and the taps or valves closed to prevent water from spurting out when you remove the BioPod from the pipeline.
- Unscrew the barrel union nuts on either side of the BioPod Cartridge.
- Remove the old BioPod Cartridge. Make sure that the O-rings fitted to the fittings that are glued to the pipe are correctly seated in place.
- Fit the new BioPod Cartridge. It can be fitted either way around.
- Screw the barrel union nuts back in place to a firm hand tightness. Do not use a tool, as it could damage the plastic threads.
- Refit the ring terminals from the Bionizer output cable, and screw the wing nuts on tightly.
How Often Should I Check?We recommend checking your anodes for wear every six (6) months. It is always a good idea to have a spare set of anodes on hand. To Order Anodes: For replacement anodes call or email your local distributor or check the Bionizer website for details to order over the internet.
- Don’t allow direct sunlight to shine onto the display screen. The LCD as it is called is not covered by our warranty if left out in sunlight.
- Don’t leave any old sand whatsoever in the filter when replacing the old sand/medium in your filter. Make sure the filter is clean before adding the new sand or glass media. We recommend the use of recycled glass or silica sand for sand filters…we do not recommend the use of “Viron Glass Filter Media” as it is a synthetic product and not genuine recycled glass thus causes problems as it in many cases is not compatible with Bionizer. We also suggest that both Zelite and Rived Sand not be used as these tend to not be compatible with Bionizer also. Glass is a fine micron medium and is very long lasting so worth the extra small outlay.
- Don’t operate an auto pool cleaner (Kreepy Krauly/Barracuda etc) while initially ionising the pool as these will inhibit the water flow and therefore slow down the time it takes to achieve the correct level.Only use suction cleaners such as Kreepy Krauly, Barracuda etc once a week, and remove when not in use. This will ensure good flow through your filtration.
- Don’t operate any waterfalls/features while initially ionising the pool as these features may also inhibit the water flow.
- Don’t add any chemicals (despite what your pool man tells you) other than some liquid chlorine when required. Obviously acid, buffer and calcium for water balancing may be used. (See water balance) Never use calcium hypo-chlorite.
- Don’t use any flocculants (pool water polish / clarifiers) that remove metals or minerals from water (such as Alum based types), as they will inhibit Bionizer operation. If at any time a flocculant is required to remove dust etc from your pool then we recommend “Bionizer Blue™” as it is compatible with Bionizer. This specially formulated flocculant does not remove metals from the water, and traps the residue in the filter where it is easily backwashed away. This saves having to vacuum the particles off the floor of the pool. The water returns to a parkling blue after treatment with Bionizer Blue.If there is still any cloudy look, we recommend treatment with Bionizer PFP™… a superior phosphate remover especially compatible with Bionizer managed pools.
- Don’t backwash the filter too frequently unless clearing trapped residue after shocking the pool. One backwash session every 3-4 weeks is ample (give a quick rinse after each backwash). Overdoing backwashing the filter causes “tunnelling” in the sand reducing the filter’s effectiveness and reducing filtermedium.
- Never open the control box. Unplug it before removing it from it’s usual position.
- Do check the pH and Copper levels at least once per week. Check pH every 2 or 3 days if it rises rapidly or until it becomes trained to stay low. The Bionizer pH Boss will eliminate pH problems and irksome testing.
- Do increase the Bionizer Output Level (increase ion production) to compensate for times of heavy rain and bather load that may deplete the ion level and put the pool at risk of algal attack. The Boost function is there for this purpose also.
- Do try to keep the pH between 7.0 and 7.4 as copper is less effective against algae when not within this neutral range.
- Do try to keep the calcium hardness level around 200 at all times unless you have a fibreglass pool so 150+ is adequate.
- Don’t take advice from anyone who is not experienced with ionisers. This type of expert opinion is often prejudiced by the criteria surrounding costly pool chemicals. Additionally, recommendations more often than not reflect the criteria followed with chemical based pools and are not applicable to ionised water. Be guided by these instructions at all times.
- “Shocking” the pool after initial start-up should only be required if the pH and copper levels in the pool have been let lapse and created an algal attack. Use of a ‘pH Boss’ will eliminate any threat of algae attack that would be caused by your pool’s pH being too high.
- This can occur during times of extreme heat and/or rain. In this instance a one-off heavy dose of liquid chlorine to dissolve the coating is the cheapest and easiest solution. This heavy concentration of chlorine will dissipate rapidly as unstabilised Chlorine is 90% removed from your pool in 3 hours of sunlight, leaving the pool ready to swim in once again. (Refer super chlorination section.)
Bucket TestIt is highly unlikely that your Bionizer will not generate ions. Should there be any doubt the following quick check will confirm if the unit is working or not.
- Put 10cm of pool water in a plastic container or bucket.
- Remove the BioPod Cartridge from the pipeline and stand vertically into the water in the bucket. The water level should be just below the connection bolts.
- Turn on the Bionizer and ionise the water for several minutes.
- Note the self clean light glowing and the screen display. This demonstrates that the unit is working.
- After several minutes in ionise mode use the copper test kit to check the water in the bucket. It should show copper ions are now present in the water.
- If there are no ions present in the water see Point 3 of the Bionizer Support Pages on page 26 before calling your Bionizer distributor / supplier.
- If you have been adhering to the simple pool regimen that we suggest then any problems are rare and also easily rectified.
- Do not use undissolved and/or granulated chlorine or chlorine tablets in an ionised pool. It may have the effect of forming a crust effect on the surface of the anodes and reducing the anodes life and reducing Ion output.
- When replacing the mineral anodes, ensure that they are free of water. Ensure also that the O-Rings are in place inside the Barrel Union fittings before screwing the Barrel Union nuts into place.
- Keep test kits in a cool place (not the Fridge) in hot weather/hot climates. Store out of direct sunlight.
- The use of a pool cover is recommended as it saves time and effort in keeping debris out of the pool whilst the pool is not being used. It can save 30,000 litres or more of water loss (evaporation) per year on the average size pool. Note: www.discountpoolcovers.com.au for great quality and prices on pool blankets and rollers.
- Take a few minutes each week to thoroughly brush the walls, steps and floor of the pool and clean the skimmer box and remove leaves and debris from the pool. This small chore will repay you repeatedly by ensuring a sparkling clean swimming environment at all times.
- At certain seasonal times of the year (spring/summer) the pool may tinge green or develop green residue on the bottom. This can be mistaken for algae but is often pollen. The easy test is:if it is slimy it is likely to be algae.
- Using chlorine to try and kill “algae” (really pollen) will only bleach the pollen so it disappears. It is likely to reappear in your pool days later. If you continually mistake this for algae and continue the chlorine cycle until the pollen season is finished you will suffer the effects of too much chlorine and your pool will be out of control.
- To rectify this problem use a flocculant that does not remove minerals or metals from the water – e.g. “Bionizer Blue™”. This process may have to be repeated several times if the pollen is still in the environment and there are trees and shrubs surrounding your pool.
- We strongly recommend the use of an automatic pool cleaner once a week or so in the pool. This will save a lot of time and effort and also keep the pool clean and free of any algae causing contaminants.
- Do not operate the auto pool cleaner or any water features during the ionising/start-up phase as they slow the water flow considerably. The pools that operate best always have very good water circulation so limit the auto pool cleaning times if possible.
- We recommend using “Glass” Filter Medium in your filter. This medium is superior to other mediums such as river sand or zeolite in our opinion. River sand is not a quality medium and is not recommended. Make sure all old sand/medium is removed completely before replacing it with the new medium in an existing filter. This is important!
- If you have a heated pool (this especially applies to indoor pools) that uses a pool blanket when the pool is not in use it is recommended that you maintain a residual Oxidiser level (hydrogen peroxide/chlorine) at minimum 0.5ppm in the water. This is to prevent any harmless environmental bacteria from hiding beneath the pool blanket thus causing a “smelly sock” type of odour. We recommend the Bionizer Eco-Oxidizer totake care of this.
Water Stress - Prevention Better than CureAs algae can diminish the copper levels in water it is important to use the Boost function of the Bionizer to compensate for periods of heavy rain, wind and/or abnormal pool load (i.e. lots of bodies in the pool all day). Use the Boost function if the Copper Ion levels fall to 0.3ppM or less due to any of these factors. These conditions rapidly increase the amount of algae spores that would normally find their way into your pool. By doing this before or soon after the rain/wind/extra load is experienced you are prepared for any increased loading on your pool. This action will exponentially reduce the chance of an algal attack stemming from these conditions.
Don't Neglect Your FilterThe filter’s primary responsibility is to remove fine suspended debris from the water. If it is not maintained properly, cloudy water will be a constant problem.
- Sand filters should have their media/sand replaced every two or three years. Use Glass Filter medium for swimming pool sand filters, as it is an excellent fine micron media that will only require replacing every 6 to 8 years.
- When replacing the medium in the filter make sure that all of the old medium is completely removed from the filter. Up ending the filter and hosing out is one way to ensure this. This is important! Take care not to damage any laterals or seals inside the filter if changing filter medium.
- We don’t recommend D.E. filters as the medium can double the number of anodes required for efficient operation. And who needs the expense and hassle of an “old school” D.E. filter anyway?
- For Cartridge Filters clean cartridges regularly and inspect for holes or wear. Regardless of the filter type, damaged or missing gaskets or any incorrectly fitted parts can be responsible for cloudy water. Many water quality complaints are finally traced to the pool’s filter.
Remember Water BalanceProper water balance is necessary for water health, clarity and also water hue. Maintain the pool water as outlined in the Start-Up section. We recommend the addition of a “pH Boss” to your pool. pH problems and troublesome testing now disappear. We also recommend the addition of an “Eco-Oxidizer” to reduce the need to chemical oxidizers and help maintain overall water balance and clarity.
Skim the SurfaceUse a surface skimmer net to collect all floating debris. A leaf net works best for this particular task. This task can be greatly minimized with a properly functioning pool filtration system with adequate flow and a properly functioning skimmer weir. This inexpensive device increases the velocity of the surface water into the skimmer; thereby ensuring its ability to remove surface material from the pool, keeping it crystal clear. It acts as a one-way street allowing debris in but not out. This device is often underestimated. Installing one greatly reduces the amount of time required to clean the pool properly and keep it clean.