What Is Algaecide and How Does It Work?
Algaecides are used for two reasons — as a part of regular pool maintenance to prevent algae from invading your pool, and as a last resort to remove algae that has established itself in your pool.
To treat algae in your swimming pool, you need to raise chlorine content in the water. However, your best option is to use algaecide, which is a chemical that disrupt the algae’s regular cellular processes.
It’s not exactly clear exactly why that works, but there are two theories. First, it’s thought they disrupt energy transport or algae cell division. Second, it’s possible they inhibit the synthesis of new cell proteins, which are crucial for cell survival.
The Most Common Types of Pool Algae
There are literally tens of thousands of algae out there, but thankfully we only have to deal with a few of them. When it comes to what you might find in your pool, the three main types of algae are:
The most common algae in swimming pools, it floats in the water and turns it a hazy-green. It can spread to the pool walls, floor, and stairs.
This algae is less common, but it’s much harder to get rid of. Black algae may not change the clarity of the water, but you’ll find black spots on the pool floor and walls.
Not all that common, this algae is commonly mistaken for dirt, sand, or pollen and can be most often found in shady parts of the pool.
Now that we know what kinds of algae you’re dealing with — and what an algaecide is — it’s time to find the algaecide that you should use.
What Is Copper Algaecide?
Chlorine shocking is the easiest way to get rid of basic green algae, but sometimes you need to step up your game and shock the system with copper algaecide. Most algaecides are copper-based — either made of copper sulfate or copper chelates, which are chemical compounds with a metal as the central atom.
At Emerald Spa and Billiards, the copper algaecide we recommend is Swimmer’s Advantage, which is most effective at battling green, black and yellow algae.
It is a non-foaming, non-staining formula that, with use a few times per year, keeps you pool cleaner and requires less chlorine than polyquat algaecide.
What Is Polyquat?
An alternative to copper algaecide is the polyquat, which are quaternary ammonium compounds instead of a copper formula. They treat and prevent algae growth in a different way.
Chemically speaking, they have a positively-charged end that’s attracted to the negatively charged cell membranes of algae, and a “tail” composed of a chain of carbon atoms. This diffuses through the cell membranes, tearing them open, and causing the algae to die. The downside of polyquats is that they require more dosage, are usually more expensive than non-polymeric quats, and tend to cause foaming.
When comparing copper algaecide to a polyquat alternative, we recommend you use Swimmer’s Advantage over a polyquat option.
Come To Emerald Spa and Billiards for the Chemicals Your Pool Requires
If you’re dealing with algae in your swimming pool, Emerald Spa and Billiards in Grand Rapids MI can provide you with the copper algaecide that will remedy the situation. We’re your one-stop-shop for high-quality pool chemicals, filters, vacuums and all the accessories your pool requires. Stop in and talk to our expert staff today!