UV Pool Systems – FAQ

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Q. What is a UV pool system?

A.  An ultraviolet (UV) pool system uses the power of ultraviolet light to enable pool and spa owners to lower the chemical content and eliminate chlorine byproducts, making pools safer, healthier and easier to maintain.  UV pools systems destroy pathogens that enter your water and reduce the need for chemicals.  They also eliminate the need for an algaecide, reducing chemical costs.   A UV sanitizer for your pool sits after your filter and pump, and before your heater.  It comes in 120V and 240V configurations, and is easy to maintain.

Q. How does the UV pool sanitizer work?

A. As pool water is circulated through the wet reactor chamber of the Ultra UV or the UV-C50 system, one or more UV-C germicidal lamps contained in the reactor(s) expose the pool water containing bacteria, viruses, algae spores, pathogens and microorganisms, to the high intensity light waves emitted by the UV-C lamp(s). This causes the DNA of these pathogens to be disrupted and unable to multiply. Without the ability to multiply, these pathogens die and are rendered harmless. It is easy to understand that bacteria laden water enters the reactor, and drinking quality water leaves the reactor back to the pool. Consult the Technical link for a more technical explanation of this process. (Note: While drinking quality water exits the Ultra UV pool sanitizer and the UV-C50 sanitizer, it is not intended for use in sanitizing drinking water and should not be used as such. Drinking water sanitizers have different technical requirements (alarms, etc) then do swimming pool UV systems).  For more information click here.

Q. How does one properly size a UV system?

A. A UV system for a swimming pool is sized to match up with the water flow of the pool circulation pump(s). Consult the Ultra UV Owner’s Manual or the UV-C50 Owner’s Manual to see which matches the flow rate of a specific circulation pump. Information accompanying the pump can provide this flow rate, as can the pump supplier’s literature or website, or the dealer or installer that provided the pump. And, remember that the Ultra UV pool sanitizer is convertible to allow for increasing the killing power of the UV system if a system was selected originally that was undersized due to under estimating the pool’s circulation pump output rate of flow.  For more information click here.

Q. Do I still need to use chemicals in the pool?

A. An Ultra UV pool sanitizer and the UV-C50 UV sanitizer treats the water as it passes through the reactor chamber of the system. When organic materials, such as skin scrapings, urine, sweat, bird droppings, dust etc. enter the pool, there must be a low level of sanitizer present to treat the pool water until it reaches the UV reactor. Owners of UV systems report sanitizing chemical reductions of 50%-70% in many cases. Chemicals for control of pH, and other chemicals the pool owner may have used prior to the installation of their UV system should still be followed, as the Ultra UV system and UV-C50 system imparts nothing into the pool water when killing bacteria in the pool water. This is a real plus over alternate sanitizing methods that add chemicals to the pool water during the sanitization process.

Q. If chlorine is used after UV installation, will the chlorine smell still be present?

A. One of the side benefits of the Ultra UV system and the UV-C50 system, is their ability to reduce or eliminate mono-chloramine in the pool water. Chloramines are the by-products of chlorination and are the “chlorine smelly” odor associated with chlorinated pools. With proper Ultra UV and UV-C50 sizing and chemical maintenance, the chloramine “chlorine” odor can be eliminated and the pool returned to a safe and enjoyable environment.

Q.  How much do UV systems cost?

A.  Most UV systems for residential pool and spa applications will cost between $500 to $800.00.  Like most products for your home the cost is roughly equivalent to the quality.  Most systems are based on the size and flow rate of your pool or spa.  Larger pools with greater flow rates may require a larger system, or more than one plumed in parallel.  Some systems are expandable to accommodate larger applications.  Commercial pools that require NSF certification can be much more expensive.

Q. Salt vs. Chlorine

A salt system itself does not provide any sanitation in a pool or spa.  The term “salt water pool” is a bit of a misnomer.  A “salt water pool” is, in fact, a chlorine pool.  A salt systems main purpose is to convert or break down the salt to chlorine.  The salt cell or chlorine generator does this through electrolysis, producing hypochlorous acid (HClO) / sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) the sanitizing agent in the water.

Q. What is the best pool sanitizer?

Although there are now many options to supplement chlorine, ozone and UV stand out as the most effective and practical.  In fact, only UV and ozone are able to effectively eliminate pathogens that chlorine alone cannot.  There is a key difference on how these two supplemental forms of sanitation work.  Ozone is released in the water and dissipates rapidly, providing oxidation.  The ozone gases are then released into the air or directed to a degasser vessel.  An ultraviolet system sanitizes the water as it passes by the lamp in the UV chamber.  There is no residual with a UV system, making it the better choice.

Q. How is the UV system installed in the average pool?

A. The Ultra UV pool sanitizer and the UV-C50 pool sanitizer installs in the circulation system, after the filter and before any heater or chemical injection points. Designed to accommodate 3 different pump output flow rate ranges up to 130 GPM (40.4 m3/hr), installing the Ultra UV and the UV-C50 systems is a simple and low cost procedure for the pool builder or homeowner. Consult the Ultra Owner’s Manual or the UV-C50 Owner’s Manual for detailed installation instructions.

Q. How much electrical power is required to operate the UV system?

A. Another one of the big advantages to the Ultra UV pool sanitizer and the UV-C50 sanitizer is their low power draw and resulting low operating cost. Even an Ultra UV system with 3 lamps draws less power than a 200W bulb. All Ultra UV and UV-C50 systems are cord connected (subject to the requirements of the jurisdiction where the unit is being installed) Plugs used in most countries are normally available.

Q. Is the system available in the electrical power used in my country?

A. All Ultra UV systems and UV-C50 systems are available in either 120V/50/60 Hz or 230V/50/60Hz electrical power.. Note: Do not operate the Ultra UV system or the UV-C50 on any power not indicated on the silver service plate on the front of the unit. These systems are NOT dual voltage. The pool owner should contact the supplier if the voltage indicated on the Ultra UV and UV-C50 unit’s service label does not match the available power source.

Q. Can the Ultra UV pool sanitizer be upgraded in the field to accommodate a higher flow?

A. One of the key features of the Ultra UV pool sanitizer is its ability to be upgraded by adding one of more (up to a total of 3) additional UV lamps to the system. This way, the pool owner who has not accurately calculated the output of their pool pump and finds the system they chose to be undersized, it is a simple matter of obtaining an upgrade kit from their supplier and making the upgrade right at the installation, in a matter of minutes. This unique feature also allows the pool owner’s Ultra UV supplier to provide the full range of Ultra UV systems from inventory, simply by upgrading a unit they have in stock to the desired unit, without waiting for the desired unit to arrive from Ultraviolet Systems Inc.

Q. Can the Ultra UV and the UV-C50 pool sanitizers be used with a time clock on the pool?

A. Yes. The Ultra UV and the UV-C50 system contains a pressure sensing switch that senses when the circulation pump goes OFF. When this is sensed, the switch turns the UV system OFF and then back on when the pump comes ON, all automatically. No interlocking of the UV systems to the circulation pump is required. Note: In installations where the Ultra UV and UV-C50 systems are located below the pool’s water level, the UV system is full of water all the time and the built-in bypass mechanism of the pressure switch should be employed, as noted in both the Ultra UV Owner’s Manual and the UV-C50 Owner’s Manual.

Q. How much maintenance to the UV pool sanitizer is required?

A. Aside from a periodic cleaning of the quartz tube(s) and scheduled lamp replacement (easily accomplished by the homeowner), no other maintenance of the Series 2 system is required. Consult theUltra UV Owner’s Manual and the UV-C50 Owner’s Manual for full specifics.

Q. What is the life of the UV lamp(s)?

A. All Ultra UV systems and UV-C50 systems incorporate low pressure, high output, long life (LPHOLL) UV-C lamps. All UV lamps are rated at 13,000 hours (or 18 months) of useful life. The pool owner should not be confused by the fact that a lamp is still glowing after this useful life, as a lamp looses its killing power at the lamp End-Of-Life (EOL) and should be replaced to bring the Ultra UV and UV-C50 pool sanitizer unit back to its design output.

Q. Where does a pool owner obtain replacement parts?

A. The pool owner’s first resource for replacement parts is their supplier. If the supplier is unable to provide warranty or non-warranty parts, the pool owner should contact Ultraviolet Pools in any of the methods shown in any of the Contact Us links of this website, and Ultraviolet Pools will be pleased to assist them.

Q. Will Ultraviolet Systems Inc. answer questions from homeowners?

A. All questions concerning the Ultra UV system and the UV-C50 system can be directed to Ultraviolet Systems Inc. We will be happy to address any questions you might have concerning UV and Pool/spa sanitation. By all means contact Ultraviolet Pools by any of the methods indicated in any of the Contact Us links on this website. Ultraviolet Pools will be pleased to answer any product, technical, or general questions in the shortest time possible. Questions not involving the UV unit or regarding pond operation should be directed to the pond supplier who is an expert in those areas.

Q. What is the warranty on the Ultraviolet Pools Ultra UV pool sanitizer?

A. Due to the high quality of each component and the system itself, Ultraviolet Systems is proud to offer one of the industries most generous warranties on its Ultra UV and UV-C50 systems. Consult the Ultra UV Limited Warranty and the UV-C50 warranty for specific details.

Q. Is the UV lamp covered under the warranty?

A. Yes. Unlike other warranties that only cover part of the lamp life, Ultraviolet Systems covers the lamp for the full 13,000 hour useful life, as stated in the Ultra UV Limited Warranty.

Q. Is the UV system compatible with salt chlorine sanitized pools?

A. The Ultra UV pool sanitizer and the UV-C50 pool sanitizer is made from polymeric materials throughout and is compatible with pools equipped with salt chlorine generators. Due to the bacteria killing capability of the UV system, the pool owner need not generate as much chlorine as would be required without a UV system, so the salt level in the pool can be reduced and the chlorine generation setting can be lowered. A little trial and error will show the pool owner what salt generator settings are best for their pool. Note: If the pool is operated with Sea water, contact your Ultraviolet Systems supplier or Ultraviolet Systems Inc. for information regarding selection of the proper UV system for Salt Water application.

Q. Is the UV system suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations?

A. The Ultra UV and UV-C50 systems have been designed to operate in both an indoor and outdoor environment, and is fully protected from the elements. With a 100% polymeric exterior, no chance of rust or corrosion is present. However, to keep the system looking new over its life, some protection from adverse weather (sun, rain) is recommended. Note: The UV system and the UV-C50 system must not be allowed to freeze. Damage to the internal components, accessories, or even breakage of the reactor vessel itself can occur, and this is not covered under the Limited Warranty.

Q. Are UV pools safe?

A. Pools equipped with a UV systems are considered one of the safest.  With UV there is no residual that enters the pool and all sanitation is done inside the UV chamber which is housed inside the unit. There is no chemical emitted by the UV system, unlike other forms of sanitation. Furthermore, the UV system enables pool and spa owners to significantly reduce the content of harmful chemicals.