Top 5 Chlorine Alternatives For Everyday Pool Owners
Without a doubt chlorine is hands down one of the most popular choices for most pool owners, but is it the best choice? Chlorine is often times thought to be the correlation between irritated skin and red eyes swimmers thus forcing the hands of many pool owners to look elsewhere for pool sanitation. Because of this we’ve compiled a list of the top five alternatives to chlorine that any pool owner can utilize.
Salt is an extremely popular alternative to chlorine. Saltwater pools use electric generators to create chlorine and sanitize the water but this chlorine does not irritate the skin, eyes or create a pungent smell. This happens when the water passes through a salt sell which receives an electric charge. This then creates chlorine. This process is constantly running in order to keep free chlorine high and chloramines low. The free chlorine is what’s responsible for keeping your pool water crystal clear and sanitized. In contrast, having high chloramine levels is what’s responsible for the irritation to swimmers skin and eyes as well as the chlorine smell. It may seem slightly counter intuitive but when this happens you generally need to add more chlorine to counteract this. Because of this, saltwater pools are extremely desirable. It creates low chloramine levels while also being able to maintain balanced salinity levels thus creating extremely comfortable water that does not smell or irritate swimmers. The salt used in saltwater pools is just your standard non-iodized salt which is usually cheaper than the chemicals needed in your standard chlorine pool. But, there is one thing to keep in mind and that is the fact that salt sells do require occasional cleaning and generally they only last between three and five years.
Unfortunately non-chlorine shock does not have the ability to sanitize your pool water on its own but it does have the ability to oxidize organic pollutants such as sunscreen, body oil and even urine. By using a non-chlorine shock you are oxidizing the pollutants thus helping to keep a lower level of chloramines in the water. This allows you to add less chlorine to the water because it is able to work more effectively. Non-chlorine shock is exceptional for pools that are highly trafficked as well as indoor pools. One of the key reasons why non-chlorine shock is great for indoor pools is due to the lack of direct sunlight. Sunlight will naturally oxidize organic pollutants and since there is little to no sunlight hitting an indoor pool this makes it a great additive to indoor pool water. You can also use this in hot tubs and spas. Like in pools it will oxidize organic pollutants and dead organic matter thus allowing the sanitizer to destroy bacteria and algae.
If you’re looking for an alternative to chlorine, bromine is your solution. While it may be slightly more expensive than chlorine is exceptionally more convenient than chlorine. By using bromine to sanitize your water you will in turn require much less testing of the water and it will remain more stable in comparison to chlorine. This allows for water stability for a greater duration of time. Like chlorine, bromine can be used with an automatic chemical feeder but it unfortunately cannot be protected against UV rays. Unlike chlorine which can use cyanuric acid to help protect it against UV rays bromine does not have anything that can stabilize it against burn off so you will need much more of this chemical to sanitize your pool. Often times you will use bromine for indoor pools and spas because you do not need to worry about any potential burn off due to UV rays like you would in an outdoor pool. With this being said there are still countless outdoor pool owners that’s whereby the use of bromine the only thing you need to take in a consideration is the potential raising of chemical cost depending on the amount of direct sunlight your pool receives.
The theory behind an ozone generator and how they aim to help you keep your pool water sanitary is through the breakdown of organic contaminants. Through the use of an ozone generator you can lower your overall chemical usage by as much as 60-90%. As a standalone unit, and ozone generator cannot completely sanitize a pool but in conjunction with chemicals such as chlorine they can greatly reduce the total amount of chemicals needed in the pool. Chlorine, like the ozone generator attacks organic contaminants within the pool water. This in turn lowers free available chlorine. Because of this process chloramines are created in through the use of an ozone generator fewer chloramines will be produced due to the substantial drop in overall chemicals needed for sanitation.
Mineral Pool Water Systems
These mineral pool water systems are becoming one of the fastest growing pool sanitation methods amongst pool owners. One of the main reasons behind this is largely due to the fact that they are extremely easy to maintain while also giving up to a 50% reduction in chlorine use. These mineral systems range from your simple prefilled floating chemical dispensers all the way up to a complete pool sanitation system. These complete pool sanitation systems are unique because they feed trace amounts of silver and copper into your pool, combine salt and minerals to create soft and clean pool water and they are also exceptionally easy to maintain. Because of the prefilled mineral cartridges the floating chemical dispenser is a breeze to maintain and operate. If you find yourself installing one of these systems it is highly recommended that you super chlorinate your water to burn off all foreign contaminants and then activate the mineral system cartridge.