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Ionizers for Pools

Metallic ions help reduce chlorine and oxidizer usage.
The Pool and Spa Informational Website

An Alternative Pool Sanitizer.


Scroll down to browse through some archived SWIMMING POOL questions and answers.  Please click the Pool Topics Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Pool Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Pool Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Pool Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for pools and spas, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools. Saltron Reliant salt chlorine generators, for all types of pools.
Unltravioloet (UV) sterilizers, for all ypes of residential pools and spas. The Circulator improves pool water circulation.
ColorQ digital water analyzer. Mineral Purifiers utilize metallic ions, such as copper and zinc, to help provide sanitation.  While these metallic ions do provide sanitizing action, the use of oxidizers, such as chlorine, bromine or ozone, is a must.  You can choose from a choice of two affordably-priced models. WaterLink SpinTouch Tester, for pools and spas.

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How to use an Ionizer or Mineralizer, as an alternative pool sanitizer? Ionizers and Mineralizers are devices that supply metallic ions to the swimming pool water. The metallic ions function as an algaecide. Used properly, the ions are maintained at very low levels, avoiding the possibility of staining or discoloration. Mineralizers and Ionizers utilize an electrical current, to facilitate the release of the metallic ions. Mineral Sanitizers accomplish a similar end result without the use of electrical circuits, by utilizing an erosion principle. Mineralizer, Ionizers and Mineral Sanitizers are not stand alone pool water treatment products, but can reduce the total amount of chemicals required for proper pool water maintenance. A solar-powered pool mineralizer is another option, which requires no installation.  Minerals alone cannot destroy organic buildup and contamination and cannot destroy dead microorganisms and organic debris. The reliance on metallic ions, for aid in sanitizing, requires pool water oxidation and the use of products such as: salt chlorine generators, chlorine, bromine, non-chlorine shock or ozone. All, oxidizers can be used with Mineralizers and Ionizers. The overall water chemistry should be based upon the manufacturer's recommendations. Ionization products that make claims about 100% chlorine are doing this without the sanction and approval of the US Environmental Protection Agency. In the real world, they perform better with low levels of chlorine, bromine or other oxidizers. Stating "100% Chlorine-Free" helps sell the product, but does not solve the problems caused by lack of proper oxidation.  If problems arise, refer to the Pool Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼

Ionizers Have Their Limitations?

I have a vinyl above ground pool with a power ionizer. I have been told conflicting advice about chlorine. The person who sold us the pool said don't add Chlorine and to use a non chlorine shock, adding it to skimmer basket. The folks at the pool supply store says our pool has no Chlorine and we need to add chlorine shock, by broadcasting on pool surface. One says don't use a Cl floater. The other one says, yes, use it. I'm confused! Help?

Hill T., 6/12/2018

My guess is that you went with the ionizer, because you didn't want to use chlorine. Am I right? If the dealer told you, that you still needed to use chlorine, would you have bought it? Telling you to add non-chlorine shock is disguising the fact, that you need to add chSaltron Reliant salt chlorine generator, for pools.emicals to oxidize wastes. In addition, the ionizer is not a complete sanitizing system. Chlorine is both an oxidizer and a sanitizer. Your system will work better and provide better results, if you try and maintain 1-2 PPM level of free chlorine. Because of the ionizer, the amount of chlorine required, to maintain any given level will be much less, than if the ionizer was not there. I suggest that you add enough quick dissolving or liquid chlorine and get a stable 1-2 PPM level of free chlorine. Keep adding chlorine, until you have a stable level. It may take more chlorine, than you think, berceuse of the condition of the pool. Once there, try and keep it there.  Adding shock to the skimmer is not a good idea.  Choose a shock that is quick dissolving, in order to avoid liner fading issues.  Liquid chlorine is ideal, as it disperses instantly.  A salt chlorine generator would have been a much better choice. It sanitizes and oxidizes and does not contribute to the chemical buildup problems, associated with the use of chlorine floaters and stabilized chlorine.  I hope that the information provided was helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 6/12/2018

Improving Water Quality With A Pool Purifier?

We have a 24 foot round pool.  The average depth is 4.5 feet and we live in northern Iowa. The past 2 summers our pool water has remained cloudy.  The chemical levels test good, except the Alkalinity is a little high.  Will the SolarPur and Solar-Clear help to clear that up?  Also, it appears that the SolarPur and Solar-Clear help one save on Chlorine and Shock  What about other chemicals, like algaecide, etc.?  Thanks for any help and advice you can give!

Rob V., 8/17/2017

If the chemistry is right, that can mean that the filter is not very efficient.  If that is the case, you might Nano-Stick Clarifiers, forall types of pools and spas.start with a filter cleaning and inspection.  Adding a Nano-Stick Clarifier can help remove those ultra-fine particles, that can pass right through many filters.  The Nano-Stick is simply hung, from a ladder or rail, and lasts 4-6 months.  Probably, you'll need a lot of chlorine to kill and decompose the algae. Try boosting the free chlorine to 5-10 PPM and keep it elevated, until you see improvement.  The Solar-Clear or SolarPur Pool Purifiers can help you avoid a recurrence.  It will kill algae, but you still need chlorine to decompose the dead algae. It provides some backup sanitation and that helps you use less chlorine. It is more effective, than most algaecides. Because you use less chlorine the other water chemistry factors are less subject to change.  I hope that the information provided was helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 8/17/2017

Ionizer Needed Chlorine To Maintain Water Quality?

I purchased this powered ionizer, for above ground pools and I think it is time for me to replace the cartridge in this ionizer. I am debating buying another cartridge, because the replacement price is going to be around $150. Can you please share your opinion and/or suggestions about this product or any others similar to it? What is your personal experience or advice regarding these ionizers? Being a new above ground pool owner, I am not able to determine if this product is worth re-investing my money again every 2 or 3 yrs. Please advise & Thanks for all your help.

Debbie R, Dallas, TX, 11/25/2017

Wastes must be oxidized, with the use of chlorine, bromine, ozone, potassium monopersulfate or hydrogen peroxide. WHAT ARE
Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools.YOU ADDING TO OXIDIZE BATHER WASTES? THIS PRODUCT WILL NOT DO ANYTHING TO ELIMINATE URINE!  Mineral sanitizers and ionizers usually suggest the use of chlorine or bromine or some other oxidizer, at lower levels, to destroy the wastes. In my opinion, stand alone ionizers fail to provide proper water quality and add to the risks of staining. In many cases, the dealer tells the pool owner that no chlorine is needed. Just add a gallon of laundry bleach weekly.  Guess what! Most laundry bleach is chemically identical to liquid pool chlorine, only at about 1/4 - 1/2 the strength.  And if you have to add chlorine, There are above ground, Salt Chlorine Generators in the same price range, as the refill, that can work in most any type of pool. I am really interested about what other chemicals, you are adding. Please get back to me.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/26/2017

To be honest with you, my pool guy, (who bailed on me in July), was treating my pool, as if the ionizer was not there. He said,  he wasn't too sure that these ionizers were very efficient, so he just kept caring for my pool with chlorine and shock, which of course kept my pool clean and blue. However, I was in Florida for a month when my pool guy quit, and when I got back, I had a green tinted pool. Since then, I lost my job, and have had a hard time buying the chemicals necessary to get all the algae out. Not too mention it has been raining almost every other day or 3rd day here in Dallas for the past several months. When the pool supply places test my water, I have had ELEVATED levels of both pH and alkalinity and 0 chlorine. When we finally got the ph and Alk level. Then I treat with algaecide, then 5 to 6 lbs of shock and floating 1 inch stabilized chlorine tabs. I vacuum, and still am unable to get my pool totally blue.  I think the rain is killing my chlorine levels, because I cant seem to keep it up. And those 1-lb pkgs. of shock are so expensive, it is ridiculous. I have been looking for pool chemicals online, but am unsure which ones are the best value for the money. My vinyl is solid White, with the exception of a 7 inch color design around the top edge of the liner, right about where the top of the water level should be.  I am not concerned about bleaching any color from my vinyl, yet the pool supply people, keep wanting to sell me the more expensive shock treatment made especially for vinyl pools.  Every week, when I go to the pool supply store, it is costing me anywhere from $80 to $130 in chemicals. So that is the reason I was inquiring about the efficiency of my power ionizer and whether or not I should invest in another ionizer cartridge, due to the pricing of the item. I was hoping to save on over-all chemical costs. And, after reading the info you suggested a Salt Chlorine Generator, I am a little confused. Do I have to have a salt water system already set up on my pool, to use a salt chlorine generator?  Any suggestions or advice you provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your help.

Debbie R., Dallas, TX, 11/28/2014

Like I said, an ionizer cannot work without chlorine or some form of oxidizer. At best, it can help reduce chlorine usage. YourSolar-Powered Mineralizer for pools. pool was being maintained on chlorine. When the chlorine was stopped, that is when algae took over. The low pH and TA are the result of the algae and not the cause. It seems the product did little to deter algae and I would not invest in a replacement cartridge. Because this is a device, their claims are not regulated by the EPA. They can boast about no chlorine, but in the real world, the truth gets exposed. I suggest that you add chlorine and get the free chlorine level elevated.  Liquid pool chlorine is vinyl-liner safe and cost effective. Or read the labels and use a cost effective choice, since money is a consideration. It will probably require a lot of chlorine. A Solar-Powered Dual-Ion Ionizer-Mineralizer is something that can help you reduce chlorine usage, after you have eliminated the current problem.  A salt chlorine generator is the easiest way to add chlorine and to make use of this product, you will have to add some salt to the pool water.  This is a much better option that just an ionizer. Good luck with the clean up and I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/28/2014

Hawaiian Bloom?

Dear Alan, thank you for your informative and very helpful website. Here is my situation: I have a 20,000 pool in Maui, Hawaii. The pool has a copper-silver ionizer system that works fine when conditions are perfect which they usually are (after all, itís Hawaii!) but I need to supplement when it rains, which rarely happens but this winter has been very unusual with lots of rain. So, I donít know what Iím doing anymore. What used to work isnít working and Iím out of my league. First after a big flooding storm the pool became filled with silt run-off. I finally got that cleared up with daily vacuuming and filtering 24 hours a day for 7 days and using a pool clarifier. Then after a day or two of crystal clear water the pool turned green and I got an algae bloom (which I was in denial about and didnít treat until I couldnít see the bottom of the pool). After two rounds of copper algaecide and several rounds of shocking with cal hypo, I now have a somewhat cloudy pool that wonít return to crystal clarity. Iíve added the pool clarifier and itís not responding. It doesnít seem like algae because the pool is not slimy nor does it smell like algae, however, there is a brown powder-like substance that collects a bit on the steps and I donít know if itís leftover silt or maybe mustard algae. The water is in good balance (pH 7.7, alkalinity 85). I am about to put 2 pounds of dichlor in the pool on the recommendation of a pool guy here. He said it will clear up everything. Is this a good idea? Is it better than shocking with cal hypo since itís not calcium based (which negatively affects the ionizer)? Do I need to put it in at night (pool guy said no)? I have no cyanuric acid or chlorine stabilizer in the pool, since it is usually a non-chlorine pool. He also said to put a 3Ē chlorine tab in the skimmer to help in a regular basis. Is this actually going to do anything? Or am I just burning up chlorine for no good reason, since Iíve no cyanuric acid in the pool and I donít want to put any in at the recommendation of the ionizer owners manual? Thanks so much! And if youíre ever in Hawaii, come and visit! Aloha.

Debra G., Maui, Hawaii, 2/17/2016

Until you get the water clear, I suggest that you pretend that you have a chlorine pool. Your ionizer will not solve the problem - chlorine will! There was nothing in your letter about chlorine levels. You need to boost the Free Chlorine level to 5-10 PPM and keep it there until the water clears up. Dichlor will work fine. Day or night - the sooner the better. To help protect the
chlorine, it might be a good idea to add cyanuric acid to boost theUnltravioloet (UV) sterilizers, for all ypes of residential pools and spas. level to approximately 25 PPM. The brown material is probably silt. Mustard algae is very powdery in appearance and brushes easily. The pH of 7.7 should be lowered to closer to 7.2, as it will help the chlorine work better. As the water improves, add another dose of the clarifier. I suspect that you have a sand filter. If that is the case, you might consider using zeolite, a sand filter replacement media. Dead algae can pass right through a sand filter. A zeolite filter media will remove the dead algae and help restore even better water clarity. Once the pool has returned to optimum condition, you can resume normal operation, which should include shock treatment on a weekly basis, after periods of heavy rainfall, after periods of heavy bather usage or at the first signs of a loss of water quality. Your copper-silver ionizer cannot perform the oxidization function necessary to break down pool wastes and contamination - shock treatment can! The 3" tablet in the skimmer could be of benefit, although I dislike that method of addition.  You can minimize the use of chlorine and get better water quality, by adding an Ultraviolet Sterilizer. I hope that the advice helps and I really would like to drop in for a visit. I haven't been there in lots years. Aloha.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/17/2016

Thanks, Alan, for your timely and thorough reply. Yes, I do have a sand filter and will give your recommendations a try. Aloha.

Debra, 2/18/2016

An Ionizer vs. A Salt Chlorinator?

I'm building a new concrete 26X42 pool and I'm having a little difficulty deciding on the purifier to use. One of my concerns is to eliminate as much as possible any chemicals used (i.e. I hate the smell and feel of chlorine). So I've looked at several chlorine generators and Copper/Silver Ionizers. Some vendors swear by the generators because you don't have to handle chlorine. But, they can't answer my concern that the Chlorine content of the pool is probably no different (i.e. regular Chlorinators). On the other hand, Ionizers claim to use little or no Chlorine. What can you tell me about the relative strengths, beyond trivialities, between generators and Ionizers? Any recommendations are appreciated.

Mike S., 8/22/2010

With an Ionizer you will still have to add chlorine, bromine or non-chlorine shock on a regular basis. Otherwise, organic byproducts will buildup to problem levels. The use of chlorine or bromine will act as a backup sanitizer and help assure betterSaltron Reliant salt chlorine generator, for pools. water quality. The ionization unit will reduce the use of chemical sanitizing products - how much less will depend on your particular usage pattern.  The overall pool chemistry must still be maintained, as with any pool. Your concern about chlorine should be eliminated, if you add a salt chlorine generator. Under normal conditions, it is chloramines that prove odorous and irritating. With a salt chlorination system, all the water passing through the cell will be free of odorous and irritating chloramines and there should be much less of a sensation of chlorine being in the pool. If you use a Solar-Powered Dual-Ion Purifier-Mineralizer and a salt chlorine generator, you will be able to lower the chlorine usage and extend the life of the salt cell. My own long-term, experience bears this out. It is the chloramines - not the chlorine that are smelled. There are no chlorine containers to handle or store! As with any chlorine pool, you will have to maintain all of the other water chemistry parameters. Test the salt level, periodically to assure that the amount is within the proper range. Good luck with your decision. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/13/2010

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Ionization 101?

Is there any research that proves that ionization or mineral purifiers are effective pool treatment options, with comparison to chlorine or bromine treated pools?

Toby W., Christchurch, New Zealand, 5/11/2012

While I don't have any research findings on ionization, I'm sure that such material exists. Ionization units and Mineralizers have been around for at least 30 years. The theory is sound: metallic ions, usually copper, zinc or silver, help provide sanitizing and algae control. You still have to maintain the overall water chemistry. It will reduce chemical consumption, but will not eliminate the need for shock treatment for oxidation of wastes, debris and byproducts. If you want to completely eliminate the need to handle all chlorine and shock treatments, you should think in terms of a salt chlorinator. If an ionization unit is used with a salt chlorine generator, it will allow the free chlorine results to be maintain at a much lower 0.4 PPM and still have optimum results. This lower chlorine requirement will extend the life of the salt cell. I hope that I have been of some assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/11/2012

An Ionizer Is Not The Best Choice???

I have an 8400 gallon pool, vinyl liner, variable speed pump, sand filter, Destin Florida 32541. It's a vacation rental home with heavy bather load, lots of kids. Water temperature above 90 in the summer. Does an ionizer need to have both copper and silver? Do they serve separate purposes? I'm getting conflicting advice from different websites, and am about ready to settle for an ionizer with copper only. I would then use my chlorinator with bromine tablets to maintain a constant 0.9 ppm bromine instead of 0.4 ppm chlorine. [Bromine instead of chlorine so as to avoid the stabilizer buildup in pool water that will occur with chlorine tablets.] I'm searching. Does this sound like a viable plan? Also, am I correct in concluding that the mineral purifiers are more expensive to operate in that they require the cartridges to be changed twice a year, whereas an ionizer, powered electrically, require the electrodes be changed every 2-3 years. Thanks for your help.

Chuck, Destin, Florida, 1/28/2011

You received some bad advice!!! An ionizer will not preclude using chlorine or bromine. Your concern about the build up of
MegaChlor salt chlorine generator, for spas and swim spas. cyanuric acid is well founded and correct. Using bromine will avoid that problem. However, bromine cannot be protected, from the destructive effects of the Sun's UV rays, as can chlorine. Bromine will prove costly to use, in the hot Florida Sun, and is a poor choice, for you! With an ionizer, people would have been dialing up the copper output, at the first sign of trouble. That would be an unlikely solution and could result in too much copper and green hair, fingernails and staining problems. I suggest that you add a salt chlorine generator. It lends itself to automation and output can be controlled, to suit the requirements. All that you should need, after the initial salt addition, is acid to control the pH. With chlorine or bromine tablets, regular additions of soda ash would be required, because of the acidic nature of the tablets. I hope that this information will prove helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 1/28/2011

Floating Fungus?

Our pool continually gets a powdery fungus in itÖthe water is clear but just light weight fungus. Iím so tired of my husband spending every night after working cleaning the pool with the vacuum. We have an ionizer. What do we need to make the chore easier? He was just out of town for a week, and the pool didnít get itís daily cleaning and itís taking him hours to vacuum to clean the liner, sides and bottom of this fungus. Our local pool people have been no helpÖand this has been going on for years, since we had it installed, almost 10 years now. I suggest throwing out the ionizer and going with a regular cleaning pump. Do you have a good suggestion?

Pat F. 9/25/2018

An ionizer is not a complete sanitizing system and requires regular additions of an oxidizer, such as chlorine. Dealers like to down play this need for an oxidizer or chlorine, as a means of making the ionizer seem more attractive. This mold, algae or
fungus evidently has become resistant to the ionizer and requires increased sanitizing and oxidation. That usually means chlorine. The easiest and best way to do chlorine is with a salt Remote Controlled Pool Surface Skimmer.chlorine generator. A salt chlorine generator is chlorine without all the negatives. No chlorine odor, no handling, storage or buying chlorine and much better water quality. You'll have to buy some salt - common, non-iodized food grade or water softener grade - inexpensive! Thereafter, you need to add more salt only to replace that lost through pump out, splash out, backwashing or overflow. With a salt chlorine generator, all you need to do is add an initial dose to stabilizer to bring the level up to 40-60 PPM. Thereafter, the overall water chemistry should be maintained in the usual manner. Because salt chlorinators destroy chloramines so effectively, you will find the swimming conditions more pleasant and easier to maintain. You can continue to use the ionizer, with the salt chlorine generator, if you choose. Want to skim the pool surface with no effort at all? Check out The Remote-Controlled Pool Surface Skimmer. Proper salt level is important. Too little and not enough chlorine will be produced. Too much could shorten the life of the salt cell. Salt PockeTesters are the easy way to test the salt level. I hope that this information has been helpful. I hope that this information is helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/25/2018

Too Much Copper From Ionizer?

I had my copper ionizer set too high and I ended up with too much copper in solution. Instead of 0.3 PPM, I have 0.8 PPM. It hasn't caused a problem, because I am keeping the pH close to 7.0. I know that adding a metal treatment will inactivate the copper. So how can I get it down to a safer level and still keep the copper effective? Thanks.

Peter G., Beaufort, SC, 4/9/2012
METALTRAP Filters remove iron, copper and manganese.

Too much copper can lead to green hair and fingernails, as well as pool staining and discoloration. Fortunately, there is a
simple solution, other than replacing water. Turn the ionizer off. Attach a small submersible pump (pool cover type) and a length of garden hose to a MetalTrap Filter. Test the copper level. Keep recirculating the pool water through the MetalTrap Filter, until the copper level is below 0.3 PPM. At that point you can stop recirculating the water through the MetalTrap Filter. When the copper level drops to 0.2 PPM, turn the ionizer on again, but at a lower, more appropriate setting. This should solve the problem.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/9/2012

Sequester Or Not To Sequester?

We have many customers that are switching to ozone, ionization or mineral cartridges. We live in an area that has high mineral content, and to solve this issue we have had our customers use heavy amounts of a sequestering agent. This has solved many of the staining and discoloration issues. My question to you is will the use of a sequestering agent inhibit the effects of a mineral cartridge using silver or zinc? And if so what do you suggest to eliminate minerals while still using the mineral cartridges if the customer doesn't have a water softener? Sincerely.

Justin N., 10/31/2008

Chemicals used to treat calcium and other metals can interfere with ionizers and some Solar-Powered Mineralizers - especially those that rely on copper and/or zinc. While not all sequestering or chelating agents may cause problems, I can't tell you which products will or won't. However, there is a better way to lower the copper level. Attach a METALTRAP Filter to a small submersible pump, with a garden hose, and use it to recirculate the pool water. As the water passes through, copper will be removed. Continue, until the copper level has dropped in the safe, recommended range. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/31/2008

A Case For Ionization?

We just bought a house with an indoor pool. It is a bromine system now. The problem is I am very sensitive to bromine and chlorine and I break out in a really bad skin rash, after swimming that takes weeks to go away. I don't have the problem when I go into a lake or pond. The ocean tends to dry out my skin, but doesn't give me a rash. If we switch to ionization does that end the problem? I see that there are a number of manufacturers - how do I know which product is better? Some have cartridges to be replaced-are there electrodes that need to be replaced? By how much will I reduce the amount of bromine needed in the pool? It's a 16x32 foot pool 8-9 ft deep. Since we are going to be using the pool a lot, through the year, what would be the better system? I know I have asked too many questions for one day, sorry. But, we are very excited to have the pool and I can't go in yet- please help.

Jonathon R., 4/25/2011

You have made a convincing case for avoiding chlorine and bromine. However, it is not that simple! You can sanitize the pool
Solar-Powered Mineralizer for pools.without chlorine or bromine, by using a mineral sanitizer or an ionization unit. However, you must add oxidizers to destroy organic wastes and contamination. For this purpose chlorine or bromine are frequently used, but in your case this would not make sense. That leaves one other product: non-chlorine shock. Still there is a complication. Unless you drain the pool and replace the water, adding non-chlorine shock to the pool, will convert the bromides (from bromine use) to active bromine sanitizer. And, if you were to drain the pool, the addition of non-chlorine shock might still convert into chlorine, based on the expected presence of some sodium chloride. Using an ionizer or a mineral sanitizer and non-chlorine shock could still be worth considering, as there would be less odor and less of a chlorine or bromine presence. Something better would be the combination of ozone and ionization. An ozone generator can help eliminate all of the wastes. Ionization units use electrode plates to add silver and copper ions to the pool, at controllable rates. Solar-Powered Dual-Ion Purifiers-Mineralizers use a more controllable method, to add metallic ions. I hope that this information will help you make the best decision. Please let me know how things work out!

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/26/2011

Ionization And Chlorine?

We have a 120,000 litre ionised pool with spa to which we add 5L of liquid chlorine to weekly in summer and about 3L in winter. The pool is always crystal clear. I have recently started using a company to do the pool maintenance for me and they keep telling me the chlorine levels are too low. Should an ionised pool have a specific chlorine reading? The pH level is always too high after 1 week (usually needs about 1 cup acid weekly) - is this normal or is there a better product to use than liquid chlorine to maintain a better pH level? Sorry, being Australian, I can only work with metric!

Wendy, Australia, 9/2/2007
Unltravioloet (UV) sterilizers, for all ypes of residential pools and spas.

Liquid chlorine is a good choice. You should maintain the same free and total chlorine levels as any other chlorine-sanitized pool or spa. Even though
you have an ionizer, the levels should be the same. However, the presence of an ionizer should allow you to use less chlorine to maintain any given level. Liquid chlorine has a high pH and regular additions of acid are required. Adding an Ultraviolet Sterilizer will reduce the amount of chlorine used and make pH control much less of an issue. I hope that this information is helpful.

Alan Schuster, 9/3/2007

How Do Ionizers Work?

Could you explain how an Ionizer works? Simply, if possible. Thank you very much.

Tom M., Ukiah, CA, 12/2/2010

Most Ionizers work on the principle of adding a low level of silver and copper ions to the water. Ions are the electrically charged soluble form of these metals. The copper ions function as an algaecide. The silver ions function as a bactericide. At these low levels, staining and precipitation should be eliminated. The Ionization unit contains a silver and copper electrode and
The Circulator for all types of pools.the regulation, of the current between these electrodes, will control the amount of copper and silver ions released into the pool water. The device is plumbed in line and operates with the same cycle as the filter. A Solar-Powered Dual-Ion Purifiers-Mineralizers is another type of device, utilizing metallic ions and minerals, instead of the electrodes. In either, case the sanitizing principle is similar. In addition to the copper-silver Ionization, there must be oxidation. For this purpose chlorine or a non-chlorine shock are usually used, in order to destroy organic contamination and build up and to destroy dead algae and debris. An ozone generator can accomplish the oxidation, while reducing the chemical usage.  The overall water chemistry must be maintained for bather comfort, water quality and to protect the pool surfaces and equipment. These products will not necessarily allow you to eliminate chlorine completely, but will allow you to get satisfactory results, while maintaining a lower level. No matter how you sanitize a pool, it will greatly benefit and be more effective with better circulation.  The Pool Circulator can be installed, in the return jets and will dramatically improve circulation, thereby eliminating dead zones, which promote algae growth.  I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 12/2/2010

Floating Ionizer?

You've given me valuable information before about salt water chlorinators. I've just come across a floating, solar-powered ionizer. How do you rate this product compared with a salt water chlorinator?

Kevin R., United Kingdom, 4/5/2009

Model SR salt chlorine generator, for all types of pools.
This product does not produce chlorine. It is an ionizer and probably releases copper and silver ions into the pool water, when
there is sunlight to power the solar cells. Ionizers do not have to work 24/7 and this type of unit might produce enough sanitizing ions, even if there are cloudy periods. It is however, not a complete stand alone product. It must be used with chlorine or other oxidizers, in order to destroy wastes and to act as a proper sanitizer. Salt chlorine generators are much better choices, as they can act as a complete, stand alone, sanitizer. When a salt chlorine generator is used with a solar-powered pool purifier/mineralizer, it lowers the level of chlorine required to maintain water quality, by providing some backup sanitation. It will also extend the life of the salt cell and make pH control easier.  I hope that I have explained the difference.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/5/2009

Black Patches?

Hello, my name is Jan and I live in Brisbane Australia which has a sub tropical climate. I have been reading the interesting information on your web site, particularly with regard to Vitamin C and pH reducer powder for clearing of stains. My problem is this. I have a 50,000 litre in-ground copper ionised pool ( 2 sacrificial copper anodes) with vinyl liner, which is now approx. 7 years old. Recently light black patches of staining have appeared on the floor of the pool - less noticeable when the pool is in full sunlight but once the shadows come over it, they are quite obvious. I keep the pH at 7.4 - 7.6 and the water is very sparkling and clear. What would you suggest I use to get rid of the staining - could the abovementioned treatments be of help to me? I get a bit despondent with pool shop people as they all seem to give such differing opinions on what one should do, so mostly I look after it myself now and I have to say it appears to be in very good shape - apart from the staining of course! Thanks you very much in anticipation of your help. Regards.

Jan B., Brisbane, Australia, 4/15/2005

Trying to apply vitamin C and pH reducer granules to the blackened areas is worth trying. If the cause of the staining is copper, especially likely in the presence of high calcium hardness levels, it could be successful. And if that is the case, I would pay more attention to the copper level and try and keep the pH at 7.2-7.4. However, there are other possible causes for such a problem: algae, leaf stains and a fungus growing on the reverse side of the liner. For the latter, there is little to be done and it will not respond to chemicals being added to the pool water. Shock treatment can help deal with algae and leaf stains. People using ionizers usually try to avoid chlorine, but sometimes it is necessary to solve a problem. An ozonator is a practical way to oxidize the wastes and reduce the chemicals being added for oxidation. Black algae sometimes requires a regimen. Browse through the archives on that subject, for additional insight. Good luck and I hope that this information will help.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/15/2005

Too Much Copper?

Thanks great website. I need your help I have a pool guy coming to clean my pool every week suddenly the pool sides are turning blue and under the pump where it was leaking it is purple this has been going on for a week now. He says everything is fine as far as the chemicals are concerned. the pool is in ground 20x40 the water looks clear but the sides and the baskets are turning a sky blue. Can you help? Also I also have a copper ionizer, as well.

Joe K., 5/11/2006
Stain Reversall Kit.

I am not sure what kind of ionizer you have, but I suspect that your problem is too much copper. It could be set too high.
I suggest that you have the water tested for copper and manganese. Treatment may be necessary and that can present a problem with an ionization unit. The stains may require using ascorbic acid. Try placing a few vitamin C tablets on a stained area. If it works, the pool should be treated, with METALTRAP STAIN Remover. You may have to lower the pH of the pool to 7.0, discharge all of the chlorine and add a pound of the METALTRAP Stain Remover, for each 10,000 gallons. I hope that this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/11/2006

You were right it has a high content of copper. It is recommended to unhook the ionizer, which uses copper electrodes and empty half the water and then treat. Would that be your recommendations? Thanks so much. I will recommend this site to all my pool buddies.

Joe K., 5/12/2006

That would lower the copper content and make more staining less likely, but you still have to deal with the stains. There is a better way to lower the copper level, without interfering with the ionizer's performance. Use a small submersible pump and a length of garden hose and connect this to a METALTRAP Filter. This cartridge-like device will remove the copper , as water passes through it. Monitor the copper levels and stop the recirculation, when the level drops under 0.3 PPM. In the future, operate the ionizer at a lower setting.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/12/2006

The Shocking Story?

I have been using an Ionizer on my pool for several years. I was instructed to use a non-chlorine shock, on a regular basis. I understand the need to shock the water because the Ionizer will not destroy organics and dead algae. I am wondering if I can use a chlorine shock, instead of the non-chlorine shock? I like the Ionizer, but maybe chlorine shock would be more convenient and cheaper? Thanks.

Bill W, 6/4/2009

Most people, buying a Ionizer, do so to avoid chlorine completely. The combination of an Ionizer and non-chlorine shock does just that. So far as I know, ionization units can be used with chlorine or non-chlorine shock or, better still, an ozone generator. The presence of an ionizer will allow you to maintain ideal conditions with less chlorine.  I know that certain Solar-Powered Mineralizer products, ones that work on a erosion principle, may not be able to be used in bromine-treated pool water, but can be used with chlorine. These products will not necessarily allow you to eliminate chlorine completely, but will allow you to get satisfactory results, while maintaining a lower level. In any event, I suggest that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations, so as to assure proper functionality and product life. I hope this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/4/2009

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