Author Topic: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators  (Read 681 times)

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Offline peter-h

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The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« on: April 02, 2021, 09:02:00 am »
This is a very old topic. I used to run a pool in the 1990s and used the then popular Teledyne Laars ozone generators. They were very expensive junk; burnt out every year or so. Since then, on another installation, I have used various others, most recently a Prozone one, which is also expensive junk.

They use two main principles.

The powerful ones (Teledyne) just do a corona discharge into an air stream passing through them. These fail by carbonisation of the various insulators, which shorts out the inverter output and - being a crap design - blows up the inverter.

The less powerful ones use a UV source to make ozone in the air inside the box, and you pass air through the box. These fail by the UV tube burning out, which usually blows up the inverter :) These pics shows the failed tube in a Prozone unit - also an expensive piece of junk despite being made in the US




The problem is no matter what one buys, it is ALL junk. It is as if there was a parallel universe where everybody making stuff is useless and the customers just pay whatever... $1k/year for replacing this junk.

I am wondering whether one should simply buy a UV lamp, of the type which makes ozone, like this



(most of these are just UV; you have to get a specific type that makes ozone, but they look the same)

and when that blows up you just unscrew it and screw in a new one.

Is there some better way to make ozone, which is more reliable?




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Offline coppercone2

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 01:56:35 pm »
well you won't be doing anything with the tube, at best you can run more tubes at lower power, if this is possible, and add a circuit which detects tube failure and prevents it from being destructive, so higher quality inverters.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2021, 02:56:19 pm »
I don't think you could submerge a tube like that in the eBay auction (as it's a CFL with a built in inverter) so you'd need to find a separate inverter and tube combo, or a good old magnetic ballast that will survive nuclear armageddon.
 

Offline peter-h

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 03:01:09 pm »
The tube is not submerged. It merely has air passing by it. The air is drawn via a venturi on one of the pipes with water pumped, so there is suction.

The thing I don't get is that all this stuff is such junk and the users just keep paying, and nobody has looked at doing it properly.

I reckon, if you use a separate inverter (i.e. not buying one of the chinese UV tubes which have the inverter in the base) then a tube with terminations spaced further apart would last much longer.
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Online rhodges

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 04:17:00 pm »
Maybe a neon sign pro could make you something with the right voltage and gas?
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Offline BrokenYugo

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 06:57:15 pm »

The thing I don't get is that all this stuff is such junk and the users just keep paying, and nobody has looked at doing it properly.


Welcome to the "big toys" industry in general, RVs, hot rods, pools, boats, etc. From what I've seen they're all the same really, junky design/build and service/repair run so poorly one struggles to comprehend how it's sustainable. I think it's just so widespread the customer base accepts it as normal.

I suspect you're right and any Shenzhen special germicidal lamp (IIRC some are coated to block the shortest wavelength UVC that makes the ozone, that's the difference) or corona based ozone generator would do if it just has to make ozone in a dry chamber. Oversize and underclock as needed for 24/7 reliability.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 07:30:55 pm »
hmm.. treez specials.

the absolute maximum becomes minimum operating limit allowed by management for product sale

the desire to bring silicon to the realm of vacuum tubes, where transistor color is related to operating current. Anything over a bright yellow is cause for concern during engineering evaluations

I love when components fall off and burn through the plastic chassis (harbor freight ultrasonic cleaner).
« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 07:32:54 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline LaserSteve

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2021, 10:55:17 pm »
Plasmatechnics.com

Plasma Technics, Racine WI

Their mid level and high level products are well built. They are the OEM for a lot of brands.. I haven't tried their low end.

Steve
« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 11:08:08 pm by LaserSteve »
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2021, 01:28:49 am »
Maybe a neon sign pro could make you something with the right voltage and gas?
Theoretically could be as simple as many layers of glass sheets and stainless steel mesh, with plain air as the gas. The idea being that it would form lots of small sparks with a large combined surface area instead of a single large arc, yielding a higher efficiency for making ozone. Or maybe the energy required is small compared to everything else and an arc inside a glass tube with air flowing through the tube would be a good choice for simplicity.
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2021, 01:46:01 am »
I think most people that have pools have alot of money and they just don't really care

its like a thing for rich people to brag about, that they got their pool refurbished?
 

Offline james_s

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2021, 04:42:40 am »
My hot tub has an ozone generator, the tub is a 1997 model and I'm on the second lamp in the ozone generator. Originally it had a pair of 15W fluorescent chokes in series as a ballast, those shorted and popped the cathodes in the original tube. I replaced those with an Advance electronic ballast designed for triple tube CFLs and that has worked great ever since. I even used the original lamp for a few years, with resistors across the blown cathodes to fool the ballast, it was such a short tube that it had no trouble starting it cold cathode.

You can get dirt cheap corona type ozone generators from China, they're probably no worse than the ones that come with those things, so you could retrofit one of the existing units. If you want bulletproof, use an iron neon sign transformer instead of the electronic driver, those NSTs are current limited and can run into a direct short without burning up.
 

Offline LaserSteve

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2021, 11:14:25 am »
The reason I mentioned Plasma Technics is that
 their cells
Use a dielectric barrier discharge driven at a few 10s of Kilohertz.  Ceramic doesn't wear out. Their drivers have fault sensing as well.

Steve
« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 11:16:45 am by LaserSteve »
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Offline peter-h

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2021, 07:57:12 am »
The Plasma stuff looks really well made, but at what price? No prices on their website.

I managed to repair the crappy Prozone unit by removing the guts and putting in a £80 chinese one from Ebay.
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Offline LaserSteve

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Re: The complete junk business of pool ozone generators
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2021, 10:10:51 pm »
Plasma's Corporate President likes to talk to  Customers. Give him a call. My small psu was -145$. Its built like a tank.
Steve
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