A pool mineral system is a long-term, low-maintenance way to sanitize pools. As the name implies, it relies on minerals like silver, copper, and sometimes zinc for filtering the water.
They’re not as harsh on your hair and skin as chlorine can be, but they do require you to add more chemicals to your pool periodically.
Pool mineral systems offer many advantages over traditional chemical sanitation methods like chlorine and bromine. Not only are they cheaper upfront than other forms of sanitation, but they are also safer for both people and their pets. They require less maintenance, too, and they even give your pool that sparkling look.
How Do Pool Mineral Systems Work?
Pool mineral systems are like a hybrid between traditional chlorination and filtration when it comes to sanitation systems. A pool mineral system relies on a combination of copper and silver ions as its sanitizing agents.
Below, we’ll explain how each part works in sanitizing your pool.
Copper Ionizer: Copper is actually a red herring in the pool sanitation process. While it does kill off bacteria, it’s mostly used to kill black algae. That’s because as soon as the copper hits the water, it turns into a cupric ion [Cu(II)].
This is why pool mineral systems are often marketed as “anti-bacterial” and “anti-fungal” filters. The Cu(II) can really neutralize chemical residue in the pool, making it a very effective sanitizing agent.
Silver Ionizer: While copper may be the star of traditional sanitizing systems, silver is often touted as the best of both worlds. That’s because it’s a natural anti-bacterial agent that also can neutralize chlorine and bromine without actually acting as a disinfectant. It does this by forming silver ions [Ag+].
These are very effective at oxidizing the chlorine and bromine residues, tricking them into changing colors that are difficult to see when looking at a large quantity of water.
Zinc: You’ll also notice that there are two different “zinc” options on the market. Zinc is often used in swimming pool filters to help get rid of organic waste, and it’s also an effective anti-fungal agent. That’s because as soon as it breaks down in the water, it forms zinc ions [Zn(+2)].
The problem with this form is that it can bond with other metals present in the pool, such as copper and silver, making them ineffective for sanitizing purposes.
What Are the Advantages of Using Mineral Sanitizers in Your Pool?
Pool Water Is Softer in the Skin
People choose to use minerals to sanitize their pool water because they don’t create harsh chemicals that will damage your hair and skin. When you apply chlorine or bromine to the water, you can actually “burn” your nose or eyes just by swimming because they’re so strong and harsh on your skin and lungs.
However, if you’re choosing to use a pool mineral system, the chemicals are mixed with water and minerals already present in your pool. As a result, they’re gentler on your skin and lungs, they don’t leave an aftertaste, and they don’t make you cough or sneeze while you swim.
Helps With Skin Disorders
Many people have sensitive skin and allergies when it comes to swimming pools. However, there are different options for treating these issues, such as hypoallergenic or anti-corrosive agents that will help make swimming more comfortable for everyone in the family.
As we mentioned before, traditional sanitizers like chlorine and bromine can also lead to respiratory problems such as allergies.
Mineral pools are often considered anti-allergenic, reducing the risk of allergic reactions. If you have someone who suffers from eczema or psoriasis, a mineral pool might help relieve their symptoms.
It Reduces Wear and Tear on Pool
Chlorine can be harsh to the body to your pool equipment. Sure, certain pool parts, such as the pump and filter, are built to tolerate repeated exposure to chlorinated water. However, with time and use, the chemicals wear away the plastic and other pool parts.
With minerals sanitizing your water, your equipment won’t suffer that much wear and tear compared to chlorine. This extends the longevity of your pool and can save you money in the long run.
Less Chlorine Needed
One of the great things about applying a pool mineral system is that you don’t have to use as much chlorine or other sanitizers as you would with traditional methods. They also help control algae growth, which means you can reduce the amount of chemicals needed to balance your water chemistry.
Can Give Your Pool That Sparkling Look
One of the reasons people choose to use mineral-based systems is because they’re so visually appealing. You can see a small amount of clean white or light blue grains swimming in your pool surrounded by beautiful clear water. It will make your pool stand out from those that are just filled with murky-looking chlorine.
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Mineral Sanitizers in Your Pool?
Minerals Won’t Completely Replace the Need for Chlorine or Bromine
Despite all of its benefits, a mineral system alone will not be sufficient to prevent and eliminate all germs and algae that may make their way into your swimming pool.
You’ll still need to add chlorine or bromine to your water to fight germs and viruses and keep algae blooms at bay.
They Can Be Pricier Overtime
The good news is that mineral pool systems are generally less expensive than using chlorine or bromine as a standalone solution. The bad news is that minerals aren’t powerful enough to clean everything on their own. Unfortunately, this means that you will have to purchase extra sanitizer to keep your pool healthy.
While utilizing two chemicals to sanitize your pool may appear to be a hassle, in the long run, you may wind up paying less money than you would if you used standard sanitizers like chlorine or bromine.
Moreover, the final calculation comes down to personal factors such as the weather, usage, and the size of your pool.
Look Out for Oxidation Stains
If you decide to use minerals as a standalone system, be aware that it may cause oxidation staining. This happens when the minerals change the color of your water, which can sometimes lead to darker and permanent stains.
It’s usually only an aesthetic issue and not something you can physically see or feel, but it can be a concern for some.
Step by Step Guide on Using a Pool Mineral System
Making a switch to minerals is an easy procedure. One thing to bear in mind, however, is that the chlorine or bromine levels in your pool must be reduced a little before you can add minerals to the mix.
If you currently use chlorine for sanitizing your pool, wait until the chlorine level lowers to 0.5 parts per million (ppm), or 1 ppm if you currently use bromine. Then, when you’ve already adjusted the ideal concentration, follow these easy steps to get started.
Step 1: Test for Water Hardness
If you’re starting with an empty pool (above ground or Intex pool), determine your water supply’s hardness. If it exceeds 225 ppm (275 ppm for concrete or plaster pools), fill the pool with a hose filter.
We always recommend utilizing a hose filter while filling your pool to keep unwanted minerals and metals out. Using a hose is much more important for a pool mineral system.
Step 2: Test the Levels of Metals
Before adding mineral sanitizer to the pool, you must first test what kind of metals are present in your water supply and the levels of each type of metal that is in there. Then, you can use metals testing strips or kits. These often measure if the water is safe for drinking.
You can also take a sample of your pool water to your local pool shop for testing. If the levels of metals, particularly copper, are high, add a metal sequestrant to balance out the levels.
Make sure your water doesn’t contain high levels of aluminum, copper, iron, or zinc.
Step 3: Balance the Pool Water
Test and balance your water until you reach the ideal levels:
|Total Alkalinity||100 ppm – 150 ppm (125 is the optimal range)|
|pH||7.4 – 7.6 (7.5 is the optimal range)|
|Calcium Hardness||200 ppm – 275 ppm for concrete or plaster pool;|
175 ppm – 225 ppm for other types of pool
Step 4: Add the Minerals
Remember always to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regardless of which mineral method you choose to use (skimmer basket, floating dispenser, or inline system.) Additionally, make sure you change the cartridge from time to time.
Step 5: Add Sanitizer
Whether you choose chlorine or bromine as an alternative sanitizer for your pool mineral system, make sure to measure pool chemistry first and add gradually. Test in between the process until levels reach the optimal ranges:
One of the greatest advantages of using mineral systems is you can easily try it out. And if it’s not something you’re comfortable with, you can easily revert it to the traditional method.
The only way to determine whether a mineral pool system could work for you is to give it a try. We put our bets all in that once you get a feel of that silky pool water, you’ll never go back again to using chlorine!
Visit our website to find great pool articles. Cleaning your swimming pool and maintaining it is easier than you think. A few helpful pool guides are listed below. Make sure your family enjoys a clean, safe swimming pool.