Here are some frequently asked questions (with our answers):
- What exactly is CuLator Metal Eliminator? CuLator is a patented non-toxic polymer which binds ionized metals out water and does not release it back into the water. CuLator is manufactured in the USA in Fort Lauderdale. CuLator products are 100% patented polymer.
- What is the 4.0 Power Pack? CuLator Ultra 4.0 is exactly the same as the PowerPak 1.0 BUT it has 4 times the amount of polymer, lasts a lot longer, and comes with a protective GatorEgg which allows it to be placed in the PUMP basket. The 1.0 can ONLY be placed into the SKIMMER basket. The 4.0 is great for people on well water, large pools, startups, filling after resurfacing, problem pools, heater blow outs, and people who don’t want to place anything into the skimmer basket. Most people start with a 1.0 and then move to the 4.0. Also, the 4.0 can be used in professional pools and you can string them together for very large pools and securely place them into a surge tank. The 4.0 saves money and is a great product for the entire summer season. It usually lasts 4-6 months depending on the quality of the pool water.
- What’s the difference? The PowerPak 1.0 is mainly used for smaller pools or people who are just starting to have some staining or water discoloration. If the problem is larger or the metal levels are higher, then they should use the 4.0. The main difference is the amount of CuLator polymer and the Ultra 4.0 has the protective GatorEgg which allows placement into the pump basket.
- How does it work? CuLator works because the polymers have a negative charge on them and “claws” that act like a sequestering agent and GRAB positively charged metals out of the pool water. CuLator does not dissolve in water. Once metals are removed or ELIMINATED from the water, they will not be release back into the water. So, CuLator is a chelator which binds stain-causing metals out of water for removal and elimination.
- How does one little pouch help 20K gallons of pool water? Metal ions in the pool water are very attracted to the patented CuLator polymers inside the pouch. The attraction is like a magnet and works at lightning speed. The binding action is a chemical bond and is difficult to break. Because the CuLator polymers have a very high binding capacity, it doesn’t take much to treat a big body of water. This is great for reducing waste, shipping, and plastic bottles and helps protect the pool surface and the environment.
- What are some benefits/advantages in using CuLator over other products (ie: Natural Chemistry’s Stain Free or ITS Stain Away – Metal Sequestering)? Metal sequestering agents are temporary solutions while CuLator is a more permanent one. When you pour a sequestering agent into the water, it lasts about 3 weeks and is broken down by chlorine, sun, and time. The sequestering agent doesn’t really REMOVE the metals, but rather holds them in solution temporarily until they break down and release the metal ions again (unless you are using CuLator). If the sequestering agent is made with phosphonic acid, it breaks down into…phosphate! So, you don’t want to use a phosphonic acid based sequestering agent. CuLator is 100% polymer and NO PHOSPHATES. With all that said, sequestering agents work great for temporary solutions, like when you are filling with well water, or at start-up. For people on well water, we recommend a regular dose of sequestering agent (non-phosphate based) and a CuLator Ultra 4.0. That combo seems to work great for most people. CuLator, if used regularly, allows someone to reduce the over-use of sequestering agents and all those problems with TDS and phosphates that come with them. Plus, CuLator is non-toxic and doesn’t dissolve in the water, so you aren’t swimming in it like you are a sequestering agent.
- How do I determine if CuLator is the right product for me? If you have ANY metals, then CuLator is right for your swimming pool. If you are using a sequestering agent, then you should a CuLator. If you are on well water or have a heater blow out then you need CuLator. If you are using a copper algaecide you should treat with CuLator after. If you have faux stone features, travertine (or any real stone) or bricks around the pool, you need CuLator. If you have plantings or grass near the pool, then CuLator is a must. If you have a salt generator or a salt system, use CuLator. Salt water systems are very bad for staining because ALL salt has some iron mined with it. If you look at the salt, there is always a yellowish tinge…that is iron and a lot gets into the pool. Look at the bag…99% salt 1 % other. So, if you dump 100 lbs of salt into your pool water…you can get up to a pound of other things including iron! Usually, that is enough to stain a pool. The other issue with salt pools is the pH always creeps up. When the pH gets above 7.4-7.6, then there is a much great chance of staining. CuLator helps prevent metal staining in all types of pools even if the pH goes up too high. Metal staining begins at .3 ppm…yep! So, if you have anything above a .2, use CuLator. However, to PREVENT staining from occurring, I recommend a 4.0 to EVERY pool owner every season as an insurance– just in case. Metals come from everywhere (above), so why bother with staining if you can really prevent it with CuLator!
- Does the pool operator have to do anything else before/after they use CuLator? Not really! CuLator works in all types of water and in a wide range of pH. The operator only has to place the CuLator in the skimmer (1.0) or the pump basket (4.0) and make sure the pump is on for at least an hour to hydrate the polymers. After that, they just have to check the bag once a week, or so, to make sure everything is good and to see if there is any color change inside the bag (that means the metals are trapped inside).
- How long does CuLator last? The PowerPak 1.0 lasts for a month or longer depending on how much metal is in the water. Let’s say you have .5 iron in the water and the CuLator pulls that all out…you still have .5 capacity left. So, the 1.0 could last another month or two depending on if there was more iron getting into the pool. There is no way to test if the CuLator is done other than doing a total metal test to see if the levels are increasing. The Ultra 4.0 can last for an entire summer season. Just think of the 1.0=1 month and the 4.0=4 months. Many people just get a new 1.0 and keep the old one in the skimmer until they are sure the old one is done working. If the bag tears or breaks, no worries, the polymers are non-toxic and will get stuck on the filter media and keep working until they backwash or rinse. The 4.0 often expands to fill the GatorEgg completely. A good rule of thumb is when the 4.0 shrinks to half its expanded size, or when it feels squishy or sandy inside the bag, then it is time to replace.
- Are there chemicals or situations that would affect the performance of CuLator? Sort of… if you use lanthanides (phosphate removers), the CuLator will bind them out of the water; so, it can diminish the working capacity of both products , but only by a small amount. However, the liquid would have to be poured directly onto the CuLator, which is not easy to do. If you are using an algaecide, then I would take the CuLator out for a few days and then place it back into the pool water after the treatment is complete and the CuLator will pick up all the used up copper and prevent staining. CuLator can be used, dried out and reused. When dried, the polymers will turn hard like plastic, but will re-hydrate and continue to work as soon as they hit the water. Also, if the pH goes below 7 (the bags are a double layer of a special cotton) the low acidic pH will begin to slowly eat away at the bag. If you place the CuLator bag directly in a chlorine tab, the CuLator will still work fine, but the bag will be weakened by the tab (think bleach on a T-shirt). Usually, if the CuLator is on a tab, it will last at least three months before starting to show signs of weakness. It is best not to place them on a tab, but then again, the tab should be in a floater…not in the skimmer.
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