Do a search for “pool mineral ionize system,” and you will find articles both in support of and against this alternative method for pool cleaning. It can be hard to determine what is truth and what is hype from companies that have a financial interest in your decision. To cut through the marketing, it is often best to look at scientific studies, which help give a definitive answer on whether pool mineral ionizers are effective as pool sanitizers.
How Swimming Pool Mineral Ionizers Work
The process by which mineral ionizers work is fairly simple. There is a cartridge with hard metal ions (usually copper or zinc); as the water flows through the cartridge, the ions are released into the pool water. These ions bond to bacteria and algae cells and disrupt the intake of nutrients, causing them to die.
Are Pool Mineral Ionizers Effective?
This is a difficult question to answer. They are effective in that they do have bactericidal properties. But in field studies, pools with mineral ionizing systems and no chlorine consistently tested with high levels of bacteria.
One reason for this is that water flows too slowly through the cartridges, so the ionization of the water is too slow to be uniformly effective. The ionizers require the pool pump to be running in order for water to flow through the cartridges, and this happens at a rate of about 0.1 percent a minute. At that rate, only 6 percent of the water is treated every hour. Most pool owners who use mineral ionizers find that they still have to treat the water with chlorine regularly to prevent algae or bacteria buildup.
While swimming pool mineral ionizers may reduce the need for chlorine, they do not eliminate it. Whether they are worth having, then, is up to the individual pool owner. Some find the added cost of the ionizer worth being able to rely less on chlorine, while some decide that they are better off sticking to traditional pool sanitizing systems.
If you are a Palm Beach County pool owner and need advice or assistance with pool maintenance, Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches is only a phone call away. Fill out a , and one of our team members will call you to set up a maintenance schedule that works for you and your pool.