Pool equipment – sanitisers
Chlorine is available in granular, liquid, or tablet form and can be stabilised or unstabilised. It can also be generated by a salt-water or mineral chlorinator. Each form has individual features and benefits.
Granular chlorine is convenient, easy to store and relatively cheap, but cannot be dosed automatically. Liquid chlorine can be dosed automatically, but is bulky, and has a limited shelf life due to loss of strength over time.
Chlorine is the most common thing we associate with swimming pools but moving forward there are now healthier alternatives to just swimming in high chlorine that can irritate skin, eyes and breathing.
Compare the difference of freshwater system to chlorine – Chlorine vs Fresh Water.
Salt chlorinators make chlorine, and come in different sizes to suit different pools, so select one that is able to produce sufficient chlorine for your needs. Rather than having to store and replace chemicals constantly, the use of high levels of salt placed in your pool are then put through the process of electrolysis to produce chlorine.
Compare the difference of freshwater system to salt – Salt vs Fresh Water.
Mineral pools are heavily marketed as being a natural, healthy alternative due to their use of magnesium and potassium salts. However, these salts are still used to produce chlorine as the main sanitiser and require exactly the same additional chemicals that chlorine and salt-chlorinated pools require. Mineral pools tend to give the water a softer feel to normal pool salt but may give the water a peculiar taste when swimming.
Compare the difference of freshwater system to minerals – Mineral vs Fresh Water.
Ozone / UV
Ozone is a sky-blue gas formed naturally by the action of the sun’s ultraviolet rays or when a large electrical discharge, like lightning, passes through oxygen. It is a relatively unstable, highly toxic gas that decomposes to re-form oxygen and is very effective against bacteria.
One of the most effective disinfectants and oxidisers, ozone starts killing bacteria and oxidising organic waste as soon as it is injected into the circulation stream.
All traces of ozone must be consumed or removed prior to it reaching the pool, so a residual sanitiser like chlorine or bromine must be used to provide continuous protection within the pool.
Due to its instability, ozone remains in the water for only a short time and has no effect on pH or water balance. Nor does it contribute to Total Dissolved Solids. It can even reduce the need for shock dosing but still relies on all chemicals associated with a chlorine pool.
Ancient Greeks found that water kept in silver containers mysteriously purified, and algae didn’t grow in copper water pots. In the late 19th Century, water was passed through various porous materials impregnated with silver, creating positive ions and purifying it.
The silver disinfects the water controlling bacteria and the copper prevents algae growth. The minerals left in the water form a residual that continues to sanitise the water.
In addition, oxidisation is used as water passes over the oxidising plates producing small, untraceable amounts of chlorine ensuring organic matter (dust, dirt, oils and body fats) and other contaminants are eliminated from the water. Small amounts of chlorine are produced when treating the water but is virtually untraceable in the pool water you swim in due to the residual of mineral ions.
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