Chlorine Free Pools

Chlorine free pools have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is because they have a lot of benefits including reduced chemical usage, lower chlorine levels and fewer chemicals. However, proper care is required to ensure that the water is maintained properly and that the system is checked regularly. If not, your pool may experience heavy copper and silver staining which can occur within a short space of time. This page discusses the good and bad aspects of chlorine free pools.

Chlorine free pools have become increasingly popular in recent years. This is because they have a lot of benefits including reduced chemical usage, lower chlorine levels and fewer chemicals. However, proper care is required to ensure that the water is maintained properly and that the system is checked regularly. If not, your pool may experience heavy copper and silver staining which can occur within a short space of time.

“Remember, most chlorine free or natural systems are simply low chlorine, not zero chlorine. Many use copper and silver to sanitize the pool water”

Chlorine free pools – Your options

This video above shows how copper and silver works to significantly reduce the amount of chlorine and chemicals needed to maintain healthy pool water. This is because the copper and silver anodes dispense small amounts of copper and silver into the water.  These particles works to kill algae and bacteria. Because of this, little to no chlorine is needed to keep the water clear.  In Australia, there are several companies that make low (or no) chlorine systems. Some of these include:

What are the pitfalls

Generally, most people are happy with these systems and believe that they spend less money at the pool shop on chemicals. Others love how nice the water feels. However, from time to time, some pool owners can experience severe staining of the surface. This is because theses systems work by producing a certain level of copper and silver ions floating (or suspended) in the water. Basically, these ions work to kill off any algae and bacteria in the water. However, the water becomes out of balance then these copper and silver in the water can stain the surface.  Because the water carries higher levels of copper than a normal salt water pool, this copper staining can be quite pronounced.

How much do chlorine free pools cost

The cost of a chlorine free pool is usually about three times the price of a normal salt water pool.  These systems have a higher initial setup cost.  This means that it will take some time to pay back the initial investment with chemical savings.  There is also the cost of replacing the copper and silver anodes every few years as well.

Chlorine free swimming pools – Do they reduce chemical usage?

One of the main selling points of these systems is that your pool will require fewer chemicals to maintain the water balance. This is because of the reduced requirement of chlorine.  However, most of these systems still use salt and produce a small amount of chlorine. Because a salt water generator increases the pH of the water the reduced levels mean that the water chemistry is more stable. Therefore, the water will need fewer chemicals to re-adjust the water.

On the other hand, chlorine free pools still generate low levels of chlorine. By doing this, you still will have some chlorine in the water.  Some manufacturers refer to this aspect of the system as an oxidizer unit.  This is just a fancy name for a salt water chlorinator. However, as mentioned earlier, the amount of chlorine needed is less than a normal pool.

Chlorine free pools with copper staining
Metal from chlorine free pool staining the surface of the pool. Photo supplied by: https://www.thepoolstainremovers.com.au