Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Can algae be electrocuted?


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 jowo

jowo

    Lepton

  • Members
  • 2 posts
  • LocationPhilippines

Posted 13 March 2009 - 01:17 AM

I have a swimming pool. Of course algae is always a problem and I use chlorine and copper sulphate together with maintaining the proper pH to keep it under control.
However, I'm wondering whether algae could simply be electrocuted? Obviously there would need to be extremely careful controls but would dipping the positive end of a 220v AC cable into the water at one end of the pool and the negative at the other end, then turning on the power for a few seconds kill algae?
I've spent some time searching the Internet for any reference to using high voltage electricity as an alternative method of controlling algae but have found nothing.
  • 0

#2 iNow

iNow

    SuperNerd

  • Senior Members
  • 14,669 posts
  • LocationAustin, Texas

Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:07 AM

I doubt it. Electrocution kills people and animals because it screws up the electric signals in the brain and heart. Algae is much simpler, lacking nervous and pulminary systems, and likely won't be as impacted by the change in voltage.

I really don't know, though. The above is just a guess. I'm sure someone can come in after me and post an actual answer grounded in real understanding.
  • 0

#3 DrDNA

DrDNA

    Perceived Expert In Some Field

  • Senior Members
  • 1,464 posts

Posted 13 March 2009 - 02:41 AM

IObviously there would need to be extremely careful controls but would dipping the positive end of a 220v AC cable into the water at one end of the pool and the negative at the other end, then turning on the power for a few seconds kill algae?


No.
1. Your circuit breakers wouldn't allow anything of any consequence to happen before they blew.

2. There is no such thing as a positive and negative pole in AC (alternating current)

3. Unless your pool is well insulated, the shortest route to ground probably is not the opposite end of the pool. Most likely the plumbing nearest your point of entry is.


If you ever decide to bypass the circuit breakers, please let me know.
It would certainly be a hit on YouTube.
  • 0

HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!

#4 Fyre4Man

Fyre4Man

    Lepton

  • Members
  • 9 posts
  • LocationIllinois

Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:15 AM

No, since algae is a simple type of orgnaism, and I believe it's prokaryotic it can be harmed.
  • 0

#5 Sisyphus

Sisyphus

    Trickster Archetype

  • Moderators
  • 6,212 posts
  • LocationNew York City

Posted 13 March 2009 - 12:39 PM

As others have said, the biggest hazard of electric shock to humans is overloading the nervous system, which can stop the heart and lungs among other effects. But that’s not the only hazard – a more straightforward one is simply burning. Where electricity meets resistance, it heats up everything in its path (that’s what an electric stove is), and since the body is not nearly as good a conductor as something like a copper wire, very high voltage passing through you is going to fry your insides along the route the current takes. I’m guessing it would also fry algae, so no, they’re not immune to electricity.

That said, I still doubt you’d be able to make it work, for the reasons DrDNA mentions. It would also be very dangerous to try to get around those obstacles, so I discourage the attempt.
  • 0
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

#6 Mr Skeptic

Mr Skeptic

    iDon't-Believe-You

  • Moderators
  • 8,309 posts
  • LocationDunkirk, NY

Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:10 PM

I've seen trees survive a direct hit by lightning, though it did take significant damage. Plants aren't nearly as susceptible to electricity as humans because they don't have a nervous system that could be stopped, their heart won't stop, etc. And electrifying your pool is just asking for a Darwin Award, so just don't.
  • 0
Our voting system is broken! It nearly guarantees that we will have only two political parties that have any chance of winning, and that they will be very similar.

#7 insane_alien

insane_alien

    Genius

  • Senior Members
  • 10,094 posts
  • LocationScotland

Posted 13 March 2009 - 03:20 PM

also, considering the size of algae and the size of the pool and the voltage difference, the voltage across the algae is going to be in the microvolt region if not nanovolts.
  • 0
Tired of waiting around for a reply on the forums? Use IRC, 'I don't know how' is no longer an excuse.

"Special" Relativity, stupid ideas seem smarter when they come at you really fast.

#8 jowo

jowo

    Lepton

  • Members
  • 2 posts
  • LocationPhilippines

Posted 13 March 2009 - 04:09 PM

OK, Thanks to all. I won't try it! (Well, perhaps on a small scale with a petri dish and a 12 volt battery!)
  • 0

#9 DrDNA

DrDNA

    Perceived Expert In Some Field

  • Senior Members
  • 1,464 posts

Posted 13 March 2009 - 07:53 PM

I've seen trees survive a direct hit by lightning, though it did take significant damage.


I believe that tree damage due to lightening strikes is 'primarily' a consequence of the cells boiling and exploding in the direct path between the strike and ground.....hence, sometimes, only one side of a tree suffers very severe damage while the other side looks relatively unharmed.

Someone, please correct me if this is incorrect.
  • 0

HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!

#10 SkepticLance

SkepticLance

    Primate

  • Senior Members
  • 2,917 posts
  • LocationNew Zealand

Posted 13 March 2009 - 10:02 PM

Ozone is an excellent algicide, and is made by discharging electricity through air. You can control algae in a private pool in this way, and there are commercial products to make the ozone.

Just on the side, if you use copper sulfate, remember that it is incompatible with aluminium. If you have aluminium ladders or rails, you will see the copper corrode them.
  • 0
If I wasn't so modest, I'd be perfect!

#11 Externet

Externet

    Molecule

  • Senior Members
  • 1,188 posts
  • LocationMideast U.S.

Posted 22 March 2009 - 05:01 PM

I would venture to say that if the algae and organisms have cells, they will be ruptured by the pass of electric current and die, in seconds.

And the 220VAC live or phase wire, if its other return neutral is grounded, you do not need to submerge both in the pool centre. The phase wire will create the current towards the body of the pool.
The circuit breaker does not need to trip, the current can be easily limited with a light bulb in series:

220VAC--------breaker or fuse--------bulb-----------water---------pool surfaces(Ground)

Obviously any grounded metal attached to the pool surfaces will concentrate the current towards its sorroundings.
:eyebrow: I would try. Nothing to lose. No risks of anything if done with common sense and safety precaution. You don't throw a live wire to the pool. You dip them first and then turn on.
The highest the wattage of the 220V light bulb, the highest the current forced trough the water. And ions from chemicals in the water, also will increase the current.

If the 220VAC is two phases, floating from ground, you can dip both in the pool ends as you say, with the bulb in series. It won't trip any breaker.
  • 0
Abolish the deciBel !

#12 lifestream

lifestream

    Quark

  • Senior Members
  • 38 posts

Posted 24 March 2009 - 01:25 PM

well instead of electrocuting, use high resistance wires in water and just boil whole pool and let it cool down ( well electric bill will be pretty high)
  • 0

#13 cameron marical

cameron marical

    Molecule

  • Senior Members
  • 669 posts

Posted 28 March 2009 - 05:09 AM

And electrifying your pool is just asking for a Darwin Award, so just don't


asking for a darwin award? what do you mean?

well instead of electrocuting, use high resistance wires in water and just boil whole pool and let it cool down ( well electric bill will be pretty high)


i think that would use alot of uneeded excess energy.
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users