What is CuLator® (pronounced "C-U-Lator")?

Before we get too technical

CuLator is a patented polymer contained in a little bag called a PowerPak. When placed into the skimmer basket or the pump basket, the CuLator removes and eliminates stain-causing metals out of pool water.  CuLator prevents pool surface staining and water discoloration by removing metals from swimming pools.  CuLator eliminates stain-causing metals like iron, rust, copper, and manganese.  CuLator is manufactured in the USA by Periodic Products Inc.

Now, let's get technical:

CuLator® Metal Eliminator and Stain Preventer is a patented technologically advanced product designed to rapidly eliminate metals from fresh and salt water. CuLator takes conventional chelating or sequestering agent groups and binds them to a unique, insoluble and non-toxic polymer backbone. This allows metals to be physically removed and eliminated from pool, spa or fountain water, rather than temporarily sequestering metals in the water. The chemistry to produce these polymers was developed over 25 years of scientific research.  So, what does all that mean?  CuLator does not dissolve in pool water, grabs metals out of water and off sequestering agents and keeps them locked inside the bag.  This allows you to ELIMINATE the metals from your pool and spa! When metals are removed from pool and spa water, staining and water turning colors are prevented.

CuLator Metal Eliminator and Stain Preventer PowerPak 1.0
CuLator looks like a white or yellowish powder inside the PowerPak

What is the benefit of using CuLator?

CuLator prevents metal staining and water discoloration by eliminating metals from pool and spa water. Sequestering agents are only a temporary fix because they break down with chlorine, time and sunshine. Once they break down, they release the metals back into the water…ready to stain again. Most sequestering agents only work for three or four weeks.  If your sequestering agent uses phosphonic acid, that will break down into phosphates.  CuLator is phosphate free.  CuLator Metal Eliminator doesn’t dissolve in water, doesn’t break down, and doesn’t release the metals it traps.  Once the metals are bound and removed from the water, they stay inside the CuLator PowerPak ready for you to toss them in the garbage.  CuLator is the only way to get all the metals out of pool without draining the swimming pool water.

How Does CuLator Work?

Why use CuLator Metal Eliminator and not just a sequestering agent?

Filters and sequestering agents do not filter out all metals from water.  Filters (unless they are FillFast Filters) only remove particulate and oxidized metals.  Sequestering agents only temporarily hold the metals in pool water.   CuLator binds and eliminates all stain-causing metals from pool and spa water. Once the metals are bound to CuLator, they do not release back into the water. Because CuLator stays inside the bag, it is easy to grab the metals out of the water and dispose of them.  Using CuLator helps maintain a metal free pool which is healthy; prevents water, hair and clothing discoloration; staining on pool surfaces and equipment.

Sequestering agents temporarily surround the metal ions and slow down the oxidation and precipitation of metal oxides onto the pool surface. Unfortunately, sequestering agents are unable to remove significant amounts of metals through a pool’s filtration system. All sequestering agents break down over time and need to be constantly added to the pool water. Many sequestering agents are also phosphate-based. Sequestering agents are only a temporary solution.  When you use sequestering agents, the metals are still in the pool.  Only a “total” metal test will give more accurate results when sequestrants are used.  Unfortunately, sequestrants mask the test results of “free” metal tests.  So, if you have sequestering agents in the swimming pool water, and you have that water tested, it can test at zero even though there are metals in the water.  Always ask for a”total” metal test.

Zag Basket 2
Copper Cyanurate Stains
Lee Pool Filters
Iron Stained Filters
Iron Stains on Plaster Pool
Wade Bosse Pool Black Water Before
Metals Turn Water Colors
Pool Stairs Before Treatment
Iron Stains on Fiberglass
Hair Turned Green from Swimming
Green Hair from Copper

What happens if I don’t use CuLator in my pool?

If you have metals in the water, there are three major problems that may occur:

1.  Metal staining on pool surfaces and equipment when pH goes too high.

2.  Water discoloration when you shock the pool.  Usually the water will be a clear green, brown, purple, or black color.

3.  Hair, and clothes turn green or blue from metals in the water.  

How much CuLator do I need?

The amount of CuLator Metal Eliminator and Stain Preventer required to eliminate metal staining problems is dependent upon the level of metal in the pool. As with all pool chemistry, testing the water is the only way to know the amount of metal in the pool. Use a metal test kit that measures “total” metal levels not just “free” metals. This is especially important if sequestering agents have been added to pool water because sequestering agents mask the metal test results. If you already have metal staining on the surface, the tests will not read those metals. The tests only read dissolved metals in the water.

One CuLator PowerPak 1.0 will eliminate 1.0 ppm total metals from a 20,000 gallon pool.

One CuLator Ultra 4.0 will eliminate 4.0 ppm total metals from a 20,000 gallon pool.

One CuLator Plus will eliminate 1.0 ppm total metals from a 20,000 gallon pool.

One CuLator SpaPak will work to eliminate 1.0 ppm total metals for up to six months.  

Used CuLator with cobalt trapped inside the bag.
Used CuLator with Cobalt Trapped Inside
Used CuLator With Copper (Blue) Bound Out Of Swimming Pool Water
Used CuLator with copper trapped inside.
Used CuLator Ultra 4.0 with iron removed from pool water trapped inside.
Used CuLator with Iron Trapped Inside

How do I know if CuLator is working?

One way to see if CuLator is working is to have your water tested for total metals before and during use.  Another way is to pull the CuLator bag out of the skimmer, or pump basket, hold it up to the sun (or light) and see if there is a color change inside the bag.  If the CuLator bag contents turn yellow, then iron has been removed.  If the CuLator bag contents turn blue, then copper has been removed.

For best results change CuLator after one month.  However, you may leave CuLator in longer than a month.  The Ultra 4.0 may be used for the season (just check regularly).  If the contents of the CuLator bag are still puffy, you still have some binding capacity.  Change the CuLator when the contents are watery or feel like sand.  If the bag is torn or damaged, replace immediately.

How long before CuLator starts to work?

CuLator works on contact.  However, it takes some time for CuLator to remove all the metals.  Just be patient and remember, CuLator is a little bag in a big body of pool water.  The more you run the filter pump, the faster the metals will be removed by CuLator.

As soon as water passes over the CuLator bag, the ionized stain-causing metals will get trapped by the CuLator and stay inside the bag.  Then, the CuLator polymers will start changing colors.

Used CuLator with Copper Removed from Swimming Pool
Used CuLator With Iron Bound Out Of Swimming Pool Water

How do I know when CuLator is done?

Fort best results change the CuLator 1.0 (removes 1.0 ppm total dissolved metals) after a month.  However, the CuLator can last much longer depending on the levels of metal in your swimming pool.  Let’s say your pool has .3 iron in the water (that’s enough to stain the pool).  The CuLator will remove and eliminate that iron down to zero.  However, the CuLator still has .7 capacity.  So, just leave the CuLator in for another month or two.  In most cases, the CuLator will change color inside the bag.

For the CuLator Ultra 4.0 it is much easier to see when the CuLator is done working.  When you first put the CuLator Ultra 4.0 (removes 4.0 ppm total dissolved metals) into the pump basket, it will puff up like a grenade (check the pressure after 15 minutes of running the pump motor just to be safe).  As the CuLator Ultra 4.0 binds metals out of the water, it will shrink to half its size, feel watery or like sand inside the bag.  Those are indicators which show you need a new CuLator Ultra 4.0 for your pool.