There are many different sanitation methods available to increase the visual clarity of your pool water and to kill off disease causing organisms in your pool. The pool mineral system is a low chlorine sanitation alternative that you can use for an enhanced swimming experience.
What Is a Pool Mineral System?
A mineral sanitation system is an alternative sanitizing method that can be used in place of the conventional chlorine high pool sanitation methods.
Pool mineral systems make use of natural minerals like silver and copper to control bacteria, algae and unwanted organisms in pool water.
Silver has many antibacterial properties and copper functions as an algaecide. These natural capabilities are being harnessed to effectively sanitize pool water.
Sometimes minerals like zinc are also added along with copper and silver for their antibacterial and antibiotic properties. Certain mineral systems also use limestone as it absorbs chlorine acid and helps to stabilize and maintain the pH of the water.
Whatever the mineral combination, you always need to partner it with a supplementary sanitizer like chlorine or bromine to reap the full benefits.
Even though mineral pool systems are not completely chlorine free, they are the alternative with the lowest chlorine use when compared to other pool sanitization methods.
Ever thought about converting your pool to a saltwater system? See my guide to find out more. Like mineral systems you can enjoy better water quality and reduced maintenance costs.
The Benefits of Mineral Pool Sanitizers
The many options that you can choose from to switch to a mineral pool system all come with a relatively low investment upfront.
You can even try out a mineral pool system for a few weeks before deciding to completely switch over to it. You just need to lower the chlorine levels and use a mineral dispenser cartridge.
Improves Quality of Water
Mineral pool sanitizers offer the best water quality when compared to all other pool sanitization methods. They reduce chlorine consumption by about 50% and this makes the water silkier and less harsh on skin, hair and swimwear.
Since the water quality is so great, it also lowers the chance of red eye and dry skin.
Makes Pool Equipment Last Longer
Although pool filtration systems are designed to handle the high chlorine content of pool water, pool fittings and other equipment are subject to wear and tear due to the harshness of the chlorine or bromine.
Mineral systems drastically lower the chlorine content of water, thereby reducing the wear and tear on pool equipment making it last longer.
Reduces Chlorine Smell
When chlorine reacts with sweat and other bodily fluids it produces chloramines. Chloramines cause the irritating pool stench that you encounter in most public pools. When you cut down the use of chlorine in the sanitation system, it automatically curbs the pool smell as well.
Low chlorine content also means that the water you are letting out into the drains is cleaner and better for the environment.
This makes mineral pool systems a more sustainable alternative to conventional pool sanitization methods.
The Drawbacks of Mineral Pool Systems
Cannot Completely Cut Back on Chlorine
Although mineral pool systems cut back on chlorine or bromine usage considerably, it is not possible to completely cut off these chemicals.
While natural minerals do a great job in curbing disease causing organisms from setting up shop in your pool, they need a little push from these supplementary chemicals to keep your pool completely germ-free.
Might Cost More
Mineral pool systems require the addition of both minerals as well as chlorine or bromine. This means that you will have to spend money on both these agents.
Although you will only have to spend half as much as you used to on the chlorine or bromine, you might end up having to pay more money in total to keep your pool clean.
Oxidation Stains from Copper
Types of Pool Mineral Systems
Mineral pool systems are easier to handle than other methods. The minerals usually come in the form of cartridges.
You don’t have to sit and measure the ideal levels of chemicals to be used, you just need to replace cartridges when they run out.
Here are the different ways you can switch to a pool mineral system:
Skimmers are part of the pool’s filtration system. They prevent water from overflowing and suck the excess water back into the filtration system.
Skimmer baskets act as a sieve and prevent debris from clogging the pool filters.
In-skimmer dispensers are easy and hassle-free, you can place the mineral dispensers right into the skimmer baskets to start sanitizing your water.
The minerals will be released into your pool water as the water flows through the cartridge in the skimmer.
These dispensers can last almost six months making them a super low maintenance option.
You can attach cartridges of minerals to floating dispensers. These dispensers are another low investment option to consider if you are looking for a mineral sanitation system for your pool.
These cartridges slowly release minerals and supplementary sanitizer while floating around in your pool.
They flip over on their sides once the cartridges are empty, letting you know you need to attach fresh cartridges.
This is also a cartridge based system that needs to be connected to your plumbing system. This is the only method that requires some elbow grease. You need to install the inline system into your existing plumbing system
The minerals will be released when the water passes through the cartridge and you need to replenish the cartridges as and when they run out.
How to Use a Pool Mineral System
Switching to a pool mineral system is a low cost and simple process. It is easier to switch to a pool mineral system than changing to a completely chlorine-free alternative.
You just need to follow these simple steps:
Let Chlorine and Bromine Levels Drop
You need to let the chlorine levels drop to 0.5 parts per million (ppm) and the bromine levels to 1 ppm. Once these chemical levels are lowered you can get ready to add the minerals to your pool water.
Test Water Hardness
You need to test the hardness of the water in your area. Water that is too hard will reduce the effectiveness of the minerals and chemicals and also leave white flaky residue in your pool water.
Test for Metals
Make sure to take a sample of pool water to your local pool store to check if your water has a high concentration of any metals. You can use metal sequestrant if levels are too high.
You need to test the chemical composition of your pool water using test strips or liquid test kits. The ideal pool chemistry levels recommend pool water have total alkalinity of 80-120 ppm and a pH level of 7.2-8.0.
Once you have made sure that all is right with regards to the chemical composition of your pool water, you can add the minerals.
Add Supplementary Sanitizer
Mineral pool systems work best only if they are supplemented by another chemical like chlorine or bromine. Once you have added the minerals you can add chlorine or bromine, according to your preference.
Make sure to keep chlorine levels at 0.5 ppm and bromine levels at 1 ppm. Increasing the concentration of these chemicals will reduce the effect of natural minerals.
Shocking a Mineral Pool
Shocking your pool regularly is essential to kill off unwanted organic matter and to increase the efficiency of your pool sanitizers.
Chlorine shocks introduce highly concentrated chlorine into your pool water and help you kill off bacteria and algae by increasing the amount of free chlorine in your water.
Non-chlorine shocks also help in clearing up murky water and reducing chloramines, but they are not useful in killing off bacteria and algae.
When you are switching to a mineral pool system, you need to use a chlorine shock before you can properly switch over. This ensures that any algae or bacteria that might be in the pool is completely killed off.
You should use a pool shock at least once a week, even with mineral systems, to keep the water clear and clean.
After the initial chlorine shock, you can switch to non-chlorine shocks for your mineral pool. Just keep in mind that you need to chlorine shock occasionally to keep bacteria, viruses and algae away.
Mineral pool systems increase the quality of pool water making it easier on hair, skin and clothes. It is also relatively low maintenance and easier to handle than conventional chlorine systems.
With so many benefits you don’t need to hesitate before switching to a mineral pool sanitization system.