Traditional Chlorine, Salt or Mineral Pools; What is the Difference?
26 February, 2021
Understanding the differences between a ‘traditional’ chlorine, a saltwater and a mineral pool can be difficult. To give you a better understanding when making the right decision for your pool, we are going to give you a comprehensive explanation on the pro's and con's of each pool type.
A chlorine-based pool, traditionally has been the more popular choice because it is the easiest way to kill bacteria. Chlorine works through a series of chemical reactions which breaks down the cells in harmful bacteria to render them harmless. Typically, this is the cheapest upfront way of sanitising your pool, however this can change to be one of the more expensive pool types season by season, especially if the pool is left untreated and chlorine levels drop.
The biggest pro to a traditional chlorine pool is the relatively inexpensive cost for the initial set up. The cons to this pool type are the smell, potential irritations to the skin and eyes due to the harshness as well as it not regulating well - it requires the most amount of manual labour compared to the other pool types.
Contrastingly there are two, more natural, alternatives to a traditional chemical based pool – salt and mineral water. First things first no pool will be completely without chlorine. All pool systems need chlorine however there are several ways in which this is severely reduced in other pool options such as a salt or mineral pool.
Many of the negatives in a chlorine pool are not the case in saltwater pools such as irritations and smells, you get softer water, and more regulation. There will be far less peaks and troughs with a saltwater pool and the sanitisation levels, but it is still advised to continue checking the chemical levels for the required adjustments. An important thing to note about saltwater is that is still uses the same chemicals as a chlorine pool, instead of adding direct chlorine, salt is added which acts as a chlorine generator.
The biggest downside of this type of pool is that while it is beneficial to the swimmers using the pool, it is not necessarily the same for the pool itself. Saltwater is notorious for being corrosive, therefore the ladders, rails, furniture, and equipment may breakdown quicker. This is preventable so speak to your local pool shop and they will discuss options and devices that can be added to the pool to slow down the corrosion.
Lastly there is mineral pools, more specifically we will discuss a Mineral Swim pool. There are several ways that the Mineral Swim system helps to reduce the need for harsh chemicals. The first is by using 100% natural Dead Sea minerals in conjunction with ozone water purification. Together they dramatically reduce the load on the chlorinator. In most instances, a chlorinator’s output will be halved. Secondly, the flocculation effect makes pool filters more effective. This pool type is the healthiest with the least amount of added chemicals, ultimately reducing the amount by up to 80%.
Other benefits include the overall water quality, removing all the negatives of a traditional chlorine pool and saltwater pool (the corrosive nature), and the health/therapeutic effects of the magnesium levels in the pool water. In contrast the downside to a mineral pool is the initial upfront cost. While this is the most expensive option initially, however further savings are often realised in things like the reduced electricity usage and chemical costs.
Tip: A normal chlorinated pool has a range of 1.0 & 3.0 PPM where a mineral pool should have no more than approximately 0.5PPM to reap the full benefits. Your local pool shop dealer will be able to provide the exact number for your pool during the initial consultation and recommendations through pool health checks.