Minerals vs Chlorine: the only guide you need to understand the pool debate!
When you reminisce on swimming in your family/friends pool, you probably think about how refreshing the water felt, or how fun doing flips/dives/summersaults was. During these moments of reflection, it’s less likely that you consider whether you were swimming in a chlorine pool or a mineral pool.
It’s probably fair to assume you hadn’t really thought about pool water purification at all. What’s there to think about, right? Don’t you just pour some chlorine in once now and then and be done with it?
There is a lot of consideration to be had about pool water purification. There are several different options on the market, and it is important to make the right decision for your household. In this article, we are going to discuss two of the most popular water purification systems available: Chlorine Pools and Mineral Pools.
A basic chlorinated water purification unit is easily the most known and widely used system available. Commercially it has been around for the longest and has proved successful. Assuming proper maintenance, it does its job in successfully keeping the water clear from algae and bacteria.
As a brief overview, there are essentially three forms of chlorine you can buy, tablets, granules and liquid. Tablets slowly dissolve over time releasing a constant stream of chlorine into your pool. Granular chlorine comes in a solid form which you then dissolve down and add to your pool. Finally, liquid chlorine is similar to bleach and you effectively pour it into the water.
The latter two options can cause more fluctuations in your pools chlorine content as you add a large amount at one time. This causes a peak level of chlorine that slowly degrades. The tablet form, however, maintains a steadier release.
All options require a stabiliser to hold the chlorine in the water longer. This is due to exposure to UV light that causes quicker degradation of chlorine levels than normal. In addition to around weekly chlorine dumps, you will need to monitor the pH of the pool. This is to ensure that it sits at an appropriate level, otherwise the chlorine won’t work (pH=7.4-7.8).
The initial set-up cost for a chlorine pool is relatively low, however, the ongoing cost of purchasing chemicals such as chlorine and stabilisers eventually adds up.
Chlorine is such a common method of water purification that the equipment involved is relatively simple. Repairs are also fairly easy and can mostly be done DIY which is an advantage over some other methods.
While chlorine is the most widely used option on the market, this is mostly due to convenience and historical market dominance. This doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best option. There are some definite positives to a chlorine pool, but there are also many negatives.
The downside to chlorine
Firstly, if you have ever hung around a swimmer, you’ll know that the chlorine smell sticks to you, even if you haven’t been in the pool for a couple of days. For some people, that is enough to turn them off. No one wants to arrive at work or have a lunch date smelling like chemicals. Furthermore, if you’ve ever tried opening your eyes underwater in a chlorinated pool, you’ll know how much it stings. Even if you don’t open them underwater, they often become incredibly red, sore and irritated. Chlorine also increases the dryness of your skin and hair. This can be especially treacherous if you already have sensitive skin, such as those with eczema or psoriasis.
Issues like this arise because chlorine is an incredibly dangerous chemical. At the right concentrations, it is very toxic to humans. That’s why it is such an efficient killer of bacteria and algae. When handling and storing chlorine, extreme caution must be taken to ensure that safety is a priority to prevent harmful accidents from occurring.
Mineral pools are a popular alternative to chlorine pools. As their name suggests, mineral pools have mineral salts in them. Most of the chlorine in a mineral pool has been replaced with salts like magnesium chloride, sodium chloride and potassium chloride.
A common misconception is that they don’t use any chlorine. Typically, mineral pools use some form of chlorination, often generated from the salts. The amount of chlorine within a mineral pool is so low that you won’t even notice it. It just destroys any extra pathogens that evade the mineral system.
In addition to conventional mineral pool water purification systems, at Eclipse Pool Heating we stock the Theralux Quantam AOP. This purification system uses groundbreaking medical-grade technological innovation in UV light to convert water molecules into highly reactive hydroxyl radicals. These hydroxyl radicals quickly interact with the pathogen and destroy it. After which, they re-join and become pure, crystal-clear water while only costing you the same as a single light globe.
An exciting element of mineral pools is that you get to choose which combination of minerals you purchase. You can even harness the therapeutic properties of minerals direct from the dead sea with Mineral Swim.
The benefits of minerals
There are many benefits of a mineral pool compared to chlorine, beyond removing most, if not all, chlorine from your pool. There are some obvious positives inherent to mineral pools, such as reduced irritation of eyes and skin as well as no damage to hair.
After swimming in a mineral pool people describe it as a completely different experience, the water has an almost silky and soft feeling which you can notice somewhat transferring to your skin and hair.
The initial cost of the system is more than that of a chlorine pool, however, there are greatly reduced ongoing costs. Rather than constantly adding chlorine, you only need one mineral pack per year.
Furthermore, the maintenance time is slashed. You won’t have to undergo the arduous weekly task of adding chlorine to keep it disease-free. There is still some pH monitoring involved, but this is less regular than with a chlorine pool. While there are many clear benefits associated with a mineral pool, the system itself is more complex. This means that any repairs will need to be performed by a professional.
When it comes to mineral pools versus chlorine pools, there are slightly more upfront costs associated with mineral pools. However, you will ultimately reap the benefits of lower maintenance time and running costs relative to a chlorine pool. The positives outweigh the negatives with mineral pools compared to chlorine pools.
Avoiding irritated eyes, skin, and hair alone provides mineral pools with a fairly strong case to claim supremacy over chlorine, and that’s without mentioning the feeling of the water.
To discuss our range of mineral pool water purification products in Sydney Canberra and surrounds, please contact our friendly team on 0481 162 519 or through our online enquiry form here.