VERY EASY START-UP1. Put the Floatron in the pool.
2. Maintain normal chlorine/salt levels (1.0-1.5 ppm) for 3-4 weeks. This lets the Floatron build up its minerals.
3. After 3 weeks test the pH and adjust if necessary (7.2-7.8)
4. Scrub the electrode once a week
When the mineral ions have built up to a sufficient level (after 3-4 weeks, or an ion reading of 0.2-.03, reduce chlorine levels to 0.2-0.4 ppm, and let the Floatron take over.
INITIAL ASSEMBLYYou are now one step closer to owning a hassle-free pool and reducing chemicals. Congratulations!
Lay the unit face down on a smooth surface and hold the spring electrode down in a compressed condition
Thread the end of the mineral electrode clockwise onto the silver metal screw stud at the base of the unit and tighten by hand.
Lay plastic washer onto end of mineral electrode and inside of spring.(THIS IS FOR OLDER STYLE FLOATRONS WITH THE BLACK SCREEN CAGE. NEW FLOATRONS DO NOT HAVE A WASHER AND USE A BLUE SCREEN CAGE)
Place screen cage over electrodes and screw the thumbscrew into the electrode. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN. To remove for cleaning, simply unscrew, remove the cage, and unscrew the electrode.
NOTESThe spring electrode is permanently installed and is not removable. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE BY TWISTING OR PULLING. Permanent deformation may result.
The purpose of the screen cage is to trap any deposits or residues which may form on the electrodes during normal operation. The screen prevents any particles from falling into the water.
Your Floatron is now ready for the water, but your water may not be ready for the Floatron. Read on.
STARTING UPThe FLOATRON will protect your pool against microorganism invasion. Its solar ionization process transforms your water into biologically healthy and algae resistant mineral water. Depending on the volume of water, weather conditions, and usage, the initialization period will range from about a week to several weeks.
The Floatron cannot ionize a pool instantly because it is designed as a trickle charger with a safe and effective low power output. Therefore, it is important to maintain normal chlorine/salt levels during this start-up period to let the Floatron build up its meneral ions.
Begin with normally chlorinated water, and normal pH for your pool. Use your regular chlorine test kit to maintain approximately 1.0 PPM (Parts Per Million) chlorine residual. More chlorine may be necessary if conditions warrant. Clear the water prior to floating your Floatron. If your water is less than clear, it may require a 'shock' dose of oxidizer / chlorine.
Free float while ensuring direct sunlight on the unit. If necessary, tether in a sunny part of the pool any suitable restraint may be tied to the tethering chain for this purpose.
Operate pump and filter system during daylight hours when your Floatron is generating ions. This will allow proper mixing and circulation of the minerals. Pump operation is unnecessary and optional at night, and the unit can be left in the pool overnight.
ION TESTINGThe mineral electrode is made of a unique alloy of several specific metals, predominantly copper. Included in your kit is a Free ion test kit which can help detect the presence of copper ions in the pool, thereby enabling you to determine if the water has an adequate level of protective minerals. Some filter media can inhibit accurate readings, which is why we recommend a computer water analysis for more accurate ion readings.
The target is to have the Floatron in the pool for 3-4 weeks, or until a 0.2 PPM ion reading is reached (whichever happens first). After this, chlorine reduction may begin.
If the ion reading climbs to .5 PPM or more, remove the unit from the water for a week and monitor ion level (weekly).
The purpose of ion testing is to initially determine that it is safe to reduce chlorine, and subsequently to establish a floating schedule which results in a steady ion reading of approximately .3 PPM.
For pools over 60,000 litres, NZ conditions are generally not hot enough for pools to over-ionise. Therefore testing can be virtually eliminated.
Pools under this size can float week in, week out, or for very small pools - under 30,000 litres we recommend floating 1 week each month (again we recommend a computer water test for more accurate readings). For smaller pools, monitor the ion levels with the test kit. You will soon determine how long to float your unit. For example, one day in, one day out, two days in, one day out, one week in, one week out, etc. Pools with screened enclosures will probably require full time floating as the output will be about half of that with normal full sun.
The reagents in the ion test kit provided free with the Floatron are very sensitive, and readings can be affected by various interferences. Accordingly, use the ion test as a basic and general indicator. We suggest a water computer analysis for more definite readings.
THE FIRST FEW WEEKSDuring this period you should witness the ion level build up to approximately 0.2 - 0.3 PPM. Remember, more ions are not better. The water has a capacity to hold only a certain amount of minerals, and attempting to exceed what is known as 'saturation point' may result in minerals collecting on pool surfaces.
It is important to spend a few minutes a week to check the ion level and to keep the electrodes clean (see 'Electrode Cleaning').
Upon reaching the recommended ion level of .3 PPM, initiate chlorine reduction by allowing the chlorine concentration to drop to about half of its normal level, or approximately .5 PPM.
The pH range may now be expanded from 7.2 - 7.8. The Floatron works well at higher pH values, so do not arbitrarily attempt to adjust the pH if it is within this recommended range.
Keep in mind that the general idea is to use your Floatron just enough to maintain an adequate ion level, and to determine how little chlorine is necessary to keep the water clear. Allow the water to settle down and seek its own balanced condition.
NOTE: NZ conditions are generally not hot enough for the mineral ions to build up above 0.5ppm in pools over 50,000 litres. Smaller pools may need more frequent testing.
ELECTRODE CLEANINGClean electrodes weekly.
The Floatron is the only purifier which, in addition to generating beneficial mineral ions, collects undesirable minerals such as calcium and iron. This has the effect of softening your water.
The sacrificial mineral electrode is designed to slowly erode away, and in the process will form a scale buildup which will require occasional cleaning. The spring electrode may also form a scale, which normally consists of calcium, and should also be cleaned.
The initial rate of buildup will be quicker in harder water, and will slow as the water becomes progressively softened.
Heavily scaled electrodes will restrict electrical flow and slow the ionization process, therefore it is advantageous to clean them on a weekly basis:
1 Lay unit face down, preferably on grass.
2 Remove thumbscrew, screen, and washer.
3 Unscrew and remove electrode
4 Blast with a jet of water from garden hose nozzle, to knock off loose material and scale.
5 Use the wire brush to remove the remainder of the build-up 6 Re-install the electrode AND/OR
With water running over the electrodes, slide the spring up and down, while making contact with the center electrode from various directions. The residues will wash away with the water.
The center electrode need not be cleaned down to bare metal, although the spring is relatively easy to clean completely. If the majority of the scale is removed, the will perform satisfactorily. It is not possible to clean the electrodes too much or too often. The cleaner the electrodes, the more efficient the operation.
Occasionally, the screen will require cleaning to ensure a free flow of water and ion exchange. Because the mesh is very fine, deposits can slowly choke the openings in the screen and restrict water flow. To clean the white mesh screen: Hose out loose debris.
a) Immerse screen in a jar of vinegar until visually free of blue / white scale buildup,
b) Mix about 1/3 muratic / hydrochloric acid to 2/3 water and place screen into a jar containing this mixture. The cleaning process will take a minute or less. Do not expose screen to the acid mix for more than a minute or so as it could soften the plastic.
Rinse screen and reinstall.
The dilute acid dip can also be used to clean the electrodes. Place the unit on top of the jar with the electrodes immersed, and remove when the bubbling action ceases. Do not leave electrodes submerged for more than a few minutes. Rinse and reinstall screen.
ROUTINEYou will get to know how the Floatron performs in your own pool within the first few months.
Initially you should spend a few minutes each week to monitor the water balance, clean the unit, and to learn the trends. After this time you will know how little chlorine is required, and how much floating time does the job etc.
Higher chlorine levels may be required with an increase in water temperature, increased swimmer load, rainfall, or new water added. If using liquid chlorine, add at or after sundown because the sun's rays quickly neutralize chlorine. The recommended levels are not absolute and may vary with changing water conditions.
What works best for your pool is determined by experience. Allow your water to seek its own balance. Do not arbitrarily alter the pH, apply large doses of chlorine (AKA 'Shock'), add algaecide, add conditioner, or try to change perfectly clear water. Give your pool water time to stabilize, and remember, SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY.
ELECTRODE REPLACEMENTThe mineral electrode is sacrificial and designed to slowly disintegrate. After an average of 12 - 24 months, depending on conditions, the electrode will wear away and require replacement. You will know this when it is 'pencil thin', or about 1/4 inch at the center.
To change the used electrode:
Remove screen and endcap, and clean parts.
While compressing spring electrode with one hand, rotate center electrode counterclockwise. If necessary, use pliers for leverage.
Continue to unthread until free.
The procedure for installing the electrode is in reverse order, and can be found under 'Initial Assembly'.
CLOSING / REOPENINGWe recommend leaving the Floatron in the pool all year round. This saves having to 'start-up' again (i.e. shock dose) once summer begins. Simply reduce filtering hours, and chlorine. Electrode cleaning should be carried out every 3-4 weeks.
If you do decide to close your pool down for winter follow these instructions:
Ensure ion reading .3 to .5 PPM. The mineralized water will protect against algae; the ions act as an algaecide, therefore no need to add additional algaecide.
Turn off all equipment, including pumps, chlorinators, etc. If the water is clear, no need to oxidize. If less than clear, add chlorine / oxidizer.
Drain water, winterize pumps, cover, etc. as desired.
Clean and remove electrode from the unit and store in an airtight plastic bag or jar.
Store your indoors.
If the pool was shut down with an insufficient ion level, or severe conditions were encountered late in the off season, less than clear water conditions may be experienced.
Top off water level, backwash, and vacuum as necessary. Add chlorine to clear any cloudiness, if present.
Test ion level. Float unit to reestablish .3 PPM.
If ion level is below .3 PPM, Temporarily increase chlorine for protection. Maintain enough oxidizer to ensure water clarity.
Verify pH is within 7.2 - 7.8 Range. Correct if necessary.
OPERATIONAL CHECKIt is highly unlikely that your Floatron will not generate ions. However,should there be any doubt, the following quick check will visually prove electrical generation:
1 Fill a clear, glass or plastic jar with pool or tap water.
2 Clean electrodes and leave screen off.
3 Place the Floatron on the top of the jar, resting on the lip, with the electrodes immersed in the water.
4 With full sun shining on the solar panel, very fine bubbles will be observed originating from the spring coils. This demonstrates that electrical current is being generated.
Absence of bubbles indicates a problem. Contact Floatron NZ for advice.
TIPSSpent cleaning acid may be poured back into pool.
Allow new plaster type finishes to cure for a month prior to using the Floatron. Baking soda works well to raise pH, and is readily available and reasonably priced.
Household bleach works excellently for small and medium sized pools. For large pools, too many gallons may be required, making more concentrated forms of chlorine more convenient.
Keep a tablet of chlorine in the skimmer, or floating dispenser, to provide a constant input of oxidizer into the pool. When necessary, add an additional boost of liquid or granulated chlorine to maintain clear water.
A toothbrush helps in electrode and screen cleaning.
A cutoff golf tee can be used to secure the screen if the thumbscrew is lost. Store chlorine in a cool and dark place.
Keep ion test kit in refrigerator.
Check water hardness, measured as total dissolved solids (TDS) at your local pool store. Readings of approximately 2000 PPM or greater indicate the need to drain and refill with refresh water. If that is not possible, partial draining and refilling is beneficial. With a high TDS, the water cannot absorb and retain minerals very easily.
The addition of cyanuric acid (stabilizer) is not necessary if you already use a stabilized form of chlorine, such as tablets.
The Floatron works well with a pool cover. The choices are to open the cover enough to float the unit, or cut a 3 inch "X" into the cover which allows the electrodes to remain in the water while the top is exposed to the sun.
Clear, high quality water without algae, and an abnormally low ion reading, does not necessarily indicate that your Floatron is not functioning properly, in this situation, call Floatron NZ.
When replacing the mineral electrode, ensure that the threads are dry and free of water.
In hard water conditions, over time, the solar panel may form calcium deposits which are left by water evaporation. To quickly and easily remove the scale, apply diluted acid / water (as described under 'Electrode Cleaning') with a toothbrush. Allow to dissolve deposits and rinse. Vinegar may be used although more time will be required to do the job.
DO'S AND DONT'SDo not automatically take advice for granted from those who are not experienced with the FLOATRON. This type of expert opinion is often influenced by the desire to sell or use chlorine and related pool chemicals. Additionally, recommendations more often than not reflect a chlorine based pool chemistry, and are not applicable to ionized water.
Do not add any clarifies or metal removers which will eliminate the beneficial mineral ions generated by your Floatron.
Do not use with baquacil or soft swim brand products, or others with similar chemistry. These chemicals must be removed from the water first.
'Shocking' ionized mineral water is poor technique. It's like an atomic bomb to the water. The water should be finessed. Oxidizer should be added at reduced dosages to clarify cloudy water.
DO NOT leave the electrode in the Floatron if you take the unit out of the water for an extended period as it may oxidise and 'fuse' to the unit, making it impossible to remove. Remove the electrode and store it wrapped in a paper towel or plastic bag. Be mindful of the oxidised powder which may fall from it after it has been stored.