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THE SENSIBLE HOME

Ozone Is a Solid Pool, Spa Purifier

May 12, 1996|JAMES DULLEY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

QUESTION: Swimming-pool chemicals are expensive, and they irritate my eyes and skin. How effective are activated oxygen purifiers for pools and spas so I can use less chlorine? Do they cost much to operate?

ANSWER: Activated oxygen, ozone, is one of the best and safest swimming pool and spa purifiers. An ozone purifier can cut chemical usage by 80% and eliminate burning eyes, faded and bleached bathing suits, dry skin, etc.

Many major cities use ozone to purify their drinking water. You may have been drinking and showering with ozone-purified water for years.

A very low concentration of ozone gas in water is not harmful to people or pets, but it destroys bacteria, viruses and tiny particles. Within several minutes, ozone converts back to pure oxygen.

Ozone gas breaks down bacteria and virus cell-walls in seconds and kills them. Chlorine takes hours to slowly penetrate these cells. Chlorine can react with common compounds in the pool to create cancer-causing chemicals.

An ozone purifier for a pool or spa is simple to install yourself. Just plug it into an electrical outlet and run a small flexible tube to the filtration plumbing. Many ozone units use less electricity than a 100-watt light bulb.

Most use venturi injection. The velocity of the pool water going through the standard filter system creates a low-pressure area in the venturi. This naturally draws in and dissolves the ozone gas in the pool water.

A short venturi adapter pipe included in the kit replaces a small section of existing plastic pipe. Whenever the filter pump starts, ozone is drawn in. Some larger systems use a tiny fan to continually introduce the ozone.

Ozone gas, a natural flocculator, produces crystal-clear water. Once it destroys the viruses, bacteria and other contaminants, ozone causes the minute particles to coagulate into larger clumps. Although still tiny, these clumps can now be trapped by your filtration system.

The simplest ozone purifier design uses an ultraviolet (UV) light inside a closed tube (generator). The UV rays turn plain air into very low concentrations of ozone gas. This is how the sun creates the ozone layer around the Earth. The replaceable lights last for 10,000 hours of on-time.

Corona discharge pool purifiers create ozone with an electrical arc inside a small cabinet. This is how lightning naturally creates ozone. Ozone is the sweet fresh smell after a thunder storm. This design can produce higher concentrations for large or heavily used pools.

Write for Update Bulletin No. 494 showing a buyer's guide of 10 manufacturers of pool and spa-size ozone purifiers listing ozone output, design type, size of pool each will handle, electricity usage, prices and installation instructions. Please include $2 and a business-size SASE. Send to: James Dulley, Los Angeles Times, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244.

Metal Mesh Lath Should Do the Job

Q: I own an older house with real plaster walls. I plan to remodel one room and add new efficient windows and a skylight. What type of lath can be used under the plaster for my remodeling job?

A: Older houses typically have one of three types of lath under the plaster. The most common type is wood lath. Horizontal wood strips are nailed close together over the wall stud. Perforated gypsum board lath was used too.

For your remodeling job, metal mesh lath is probably the easiest to work with. A stiff steel mesh is nailed to the wall studs. As the plaster is spread over the mesh, it flows through and down a little. When it sets, it is locked into the mesh. This is ideal for small repair areas.

Letters and questions to Dulley, a Cincinnati-based engineering consultant, may be sent to James Dulley, Los Angeles Times, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244.

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