Anybody know? I am wondering if I can replicate the effect more cheaply by using my own chemical mix. Also, I like to tweak chem levels instead of adding something premixed.
Snake oil I presume?
Specifically, weight %
Inorganic Salt 40-65
Boron Salt 10-15
Inorganic Acid 25-35
Aluminum Salt 0.5-5
That's all folks!
Bio-guard does market their products very well.
Does the mineral springs chlorine generator need these special salts to operate, or is there no difference in how it works vs. other brands? Thought I had read that it was the same unit as the Intellichlor. What does boron salt do? Aluminum salt? I presume the acid is to lower pH, but wouldn't muriatic acid do this? I have the unit, and am just trying to figure out how to operate it cost effectively. I am very happy with the water clarity and feel.
Nothing, Treat a mineral springs system like any other salt system, and you will save money.
Bioguard puts their label on a major brand salt gen. I believe they are using an Aqua-rite. Use a good quality pool salt and you will not have any problems. You will probably only buy a couple bags a year for maintenance. Good luck.
Actually, I believe Bioguard is using Pentair's IntelliChlor now.
Thanks, golfgeek, looks like I can watch the pool chemistry and salt levels, and avoid using expensive Renewal. I think my unit is a branded Aquarite, by the way.
Bioguard is smart, residual income for their dealers. They use the Aqua Rite - Goldline(Haywrd now). Look into how to clean your cell.
This is from http://thepoolbiz.blogspot.com/
Perhaps itÂs because they prefer that the public thinks their 'essential minerals' in their Mineral Springs program are a 'proprietary blend of minerals' instead of common salt and borax. Yes, the same Borax that Ronald Reagan used to shill for on Death Valley Days. I guess if youÂre selling common salt and a laundry additive for something like $40.00 a 30 lbs. bag, you need to control who you release that information to.
You can achieve much the same results of a bag of Mineral Springs Beginnings with about $5.00 worth of salt (a forty lbs. bag at the Big Box store), a 4 lbs. box of sodium tetraborate decahydrate (20 Mule Team Borax) that sells for $2.99, and a little over a quart of muriatic acid to neutralize the borax.
If you use the median percentages for a bag of Renew, itÂs 2.4 lbs salt, about 7 ozs. of 20 Mule Team Borax, and 4 ozs. of liquid muriatic acid. ThatÂs between $1.50 and $2.00, depending on where you shop. How much are you paying for Renew?
HereÂs excerpts from an e-mail from a lady whose had quite enough of the whole Mineral Springs program:
'I stumbled across your blog as I was hunting for cheaper prices for Mineral Springs-Renewal that we have to put in our pool every week. I started reading all the articles and although I thought I was a fairly-informed consumer.
I can see I was totally wrong when it comes to these systems. So my question is--what now? Our pool was put in by [Big Pool Company], (Atlanta, Georgia area) in August 2007. We have had no troubles except now--trying to keep the PH low and the cyanuric acid up and the price of the Renewal--it is totally stupid--up to 26-30 dollars per week--no, I did not sign up for this! We take a pool water sample to our local [Big Pool Company] store in Loganville, GA and they test it for free--we never leave there without needing 90-150 dollars of chemicals.....
Our pool is still under warranty and after reading your articles and all the links--I want our of this system--any suggestions???? Any advise would be appreciated.'
$26 to $30 a week for $2.00 worth of salt and laundry powder... Think IÂm making it up? Look at the MSDS for Renew and do the calculations yourself. The 'Inorganic salt' is salt. The Boron Salt is a product very similar to 20 Mule Team Borax. The Inorganic Acid is a granular acid to balance the pH from the high pH Boron salt (I substituted an equivalent amount of liquid muriatic acid in my calculations), and the Aluminum salt is just in there as a desiccant, to keep things dry. When you add it all up and replace with off-the -shelf bulk items, it comes out to about $2.00 for 4 lbs.
IÂve talked about all this before. Click on the Label Getting Screwed Buying Salt. ItÂs all there. And the BioGuard links have been Renewed, for a lot less than $30 a week.
Labels: Chemical Manufacturers, Debunking Salt, Getting Screwed Buying Salt, Pool Stores
Here is a link that...
I also have this system. It was just installed in April of this year and I have NEVER used the Renewal product. I'm not sure of the the Beginings as I was not here the day the PB started up the system. I do know that he used a couple of pucks in the begining that I had to get out. I have had to do very, very little water maintenance this summer. I have never owned a pool before and had no idea it would be this easy. I've used a little bleach as a supplement to my SWG and a little borax for the pH and this is it! I've spent only about $40 this whole season and half of that is still sitting in the garage unused! My water has been crystal clear all summer.
So, I guess the bottom line is...yes, there are other things that can be used that will save you a BUNCH of money! :)
I don't understand why I need to add borax to a Mineral Springs pool. I am always adding acid to keep pH down, and thought borax was used to increase pH. Please enlighten me!
You don't have to add Borax. But that's what the Mineral Springs hype is; Borax. Borax acts as an algae suppressant, in that it suppresses the CO2 level of the water. Algae, being a plant, needs CO2 to metabolize. It also makes the water feel softer, just like the salt does. And if they put the Borax in with a bag of plain salt, they can call it "essential minerals" instead of "plain old salt". That's it. It's just Sales & Marketing, or Smoke & Mirrors, as I like to call it.
Another effect that Borax has is that, when you achieve a level above 30 ppm, it has a stabilizing effect on pH. I don't understand exactly why, but between 30 and 50 ppm - the recommended range for Borax in pool water - it will make the pH more resistant to change. But you're right, when initially added, Borax will raise the pH of the water. It has a pH of about 9.0. That's why Mineral Springs has granular acid in it, to offset it. But once neutralized, it acts as a buffer against changes in pH.
But if you want to really laugh; it's against the law to sell Borax as an additive to pool water in California. The state doesn't want borates in their waste stream (pool discharge water) so none of the Borax products have ever been allowed for sale out there; ProTeam, Optimizer, Endure, etc. But that doesn't stop the Mineral Springs sellers. They just sell bags of salt with a few percent of stabilizer - cyanuric acid - in it so they can keep calling it "essential minerals" instead of salt and stabilizer. So, imagine how much worse a California pool owner must feel when they find out they've been taken to the cleaners for $40 a bag for salt and stabilizer.
The really funny part is, Bio Guard used to host all of their MSDS's (Material Safety Data Sheets that are required for transportation and list all the ingredients of a product) on their website. But as soon as the online community started talking about the contents of Mineral Springs, they took them offline and instead posted a note to contact Bio Guard if you want a copy of their MSDS.
Last but not least; you're not violating anyone's patent by using 20 Mule Team instead of any of the pool store borate products. The patent for ProTeam, the original, expired a while ago. So anyone can buy Borax in bulk and package it as a pool additive. I've called the Dial Corp help line, and while they're aware of it's use as an algae suppressant in pools, they don't endorse it's use that way. But when I told them I was going to use it in my pools, they sent me a bunch of coupons so I could buy lots and lots of it. Go figure.