Saltwater vs Chlorine vs Ozone Pools

Having a pool in our backyard is a dream for everyone. Like others, you also want to install a pool in your backyard to keep yourself safe from the scorching heat of the summer. 

But the heck is- there are different types of pools, including chlorine, saltwater, and ozone pools. Each of the pool types has upsides and downsides. 

Now, the question that may arise in your mind is- Salt Water Pool Vs. Chlorine Vs. Ozone: Which one is the best? 

Saltwater pool will be your best trait if you are ready to spend $1700-$2500 at the beginning to purchase a saltwater generator. Though the initial cost will eat up a lot of bucks, it causes less skin and eye irritation than your traditional chlorine pool. 

To compare each of the three pool types and choose the best one, stick with us till the end. 

Salt Water Pool

A saltwater pool is a pool that uses salt instead of chlorine to keep the water suitable for swimming.  Indeed, it’s the substitute for your traditional chlorine pool. Though saltwater pools don’t use chlorine, it’s not chlorine-free. In other words, there is still chlorine in the saltwater pool. 

Generally, it uses a salt-chlorine generator. When you add salt to your pool, the salt chlorine generator converts the salt into chlorine to disinfect the pool water. 

How Does a Salt Water Pool Work:

Saltwater pools rely on ECG (electrolytic chlorine generator) to sanitize the water and keep your swimming pool free from algae and dirt

The generator breaks down the Salt Cell which is generally called table salt (Sodium Chloride – NaCl) using an electrolysis process. The electrolysis process creates a chemical reaction and produces chlorine (Cl) to sanitize your water. 

Indeed, you don’t need to apply chlorine directly to your pool in the saltwater pool. In other words, it’s an eco-friendly way to chlorinate your pool.

Pros

  • The Saltwater pool is soft and doesn’t cause eye and skin irritation like the chlorine pool.
  • Require less maintenance workflow compared to your chlorine pool.
  • You don’t need to store dangerous chlorine in your home.

Cons

  • An expensive type of pool
  • Need an expert and certified technician to repair
  • May damage some materials

Chlorine Pool

A chlorine pool is a traditional pool almost every pool owner owns. Unlike your salt system pool, you need to add chlorine to your pool directly to disinfect the water. It acts as a residual sanitizer, it can effectively sanitize your pool for a long period of time.

However, chloramines will develop in your pool if you use chlorine as a sanitizer, which has several health issues. So, you need to adjust the choline level along with other chemicals to keep your chlorine pool well balanced. 

How Does A Chlorine Pool Work:

A chlorine pool works simply. Just bring chlorine powder from your local chemical store and add it to your swimming pool. The chlorine reacts with your water and disinfects the water by killing germs, bacteria, and algae. 

Pros

  • Easy to run and sanitize your pool water in a faster way
  • Require lower upfront cost
  • You can find the chlorine (both granule and tablet) in almost every store

Cons

  • Can irritate your eye and skin
  • Need to test the water frequently

Ozone Pool

A pool that uses ozone gas to disinfect pool water is known as an ozone system pool.  Though ozone gas is harmful to humans, it can effectively kill contaminants of your pool. Like chlorine, the ozone gas will sanitize your swimming pool water within the circulation system. 

ozone molecule

Keep in mind; you can’t buy ozone in a tank like other gases as it’s unstable and untransportable. You should get an ozone generator to produce ozone to purify your pool water. 

How Does An Ozone System Work:

An ozone generator produces ozone and purifies the water when the pool water passes through your pool circulation system. The water will get sanitized by the ozone system before it returns to your pool. Ozone generators use two methods to produce ozone- corona discharge and ultraviolet light. 

Pros

  • Make the pool maintenance a breeze
  • Make your pool odor-free
  • Effectively kills pool contaminants

Cons

  • Ozone generator requires a lot of money to get
  • The ozone pool system has toxic gas that can accumulate in the pool pump area as well as under pool covers. Therefore, degas vessel or ozone destruct chamber may be required for safe pool

Salt Water Pool Vs Chlorine Vs Ozone: Which One Is The Best?

Let’s check out what the differences lie between these three pool types. 

Cleaning Efficiency

Whether you own chlorine, salt, or an ozone swimming pool, all of them can sanitize your pool water by killing germs, bacteria, and algae. Chlorine is more efficient in sanitizing your pool compared to the other two types of pools. However, if you install an ozone generator and apply chlorine to your pool of the same type, you can sanitize the water more efficiently. 

Water Balancing Effect

You will find zero water balancing effect if you have an ozone swimming pool as the ozone has a neutral pH. But pH and other chemicals may go out of the range if there is a lot of dirt and low chlorine level in your pool. Indeed, both chlorine and saltwater pools can affect the pH and other chemicals of your pool water.

Health Issues

Both chlorine and ozone are harmful to humans. You may experience eye and skin irritation if you have a chlorine or ozone pool. But a saltwater pool is safer and you will experience little to no skin irritation by swimming in a saltwater pool. 

 Maintenance

Maintaining a chlorine pool is simple. It has no equipment at all. So, you don’t need to think about maintenance. However, you should shock your chlorine pool once a week. On the other hand, you need to clean each salt cell of your salt generator manually. When it comes to the ozone pool, you should perform the maintenance workflow once a year. 

Cost

In the beginning, you should spend $1700-$2500 to get the saltwater generator. Then, it will cost you only $70-$100 to buy the salt or other chemicals. In contrast, it costs you around $1000-$3000 to purchase an ozone generator. Lastly, you don’t need to spend a single penny on equipment if you have a chlorine pool. It takes between $300-$800 per year to operate a chlorine pool. 

Types of Ozone Pool Generators

You can find two types of ozone generators in the market- corona discharge Ozonator and Uv Ozonator. Now, let’s explain how these two Ozonators produce ozone. 

Corona Discharge Ozonator

Corona Discharge Ozonator or CD ozone generator uses high-voltage electrical discharge to generate a ring of energy. The energy it produces will break down the air’s oxygen (O2) molecules into single atoms and form ozone (O3). It may sound a bit tricky, but the science behind it is simple. Take a look at the following picture from RiverPoolSandSpas to understand the process. 

UV Ozonator

A Uv Ozonator uses ultraviolet light to turn the air’s oxygen into ozone. In this case, the air should pass over UV lamps that shed light at 185  nanometers. The energy of UV lights will break down the oxygen molecules when the air passes over the UV lamps and form ozone in this process.

Whether it’s a corona discharge Ozonator or a UV, it’s a must to dissolve the ozone when these Ozonators produce ozone. Otherwise, it can’t sanitize pool water by killing bacteria.

 Regarding this, these Ozonators use a method called Venturi Injection. It creates a pressurized vacuum to draw ozone into your pool water to disinfect the pool. 

Are Ozone System Pools Safe?

No, ozone system pools are not safe. Ozone is poisonous, which is harmful both for humans and bacteria. But it will no longer be dangerous as long as it stays within the water. The problem is- Ozone doesn’t exist for a long time in the water. Therefore, you must remove the ozone gas before it reaches your pool water to protect yourself from the harmful effect of ozone. 

Despite having these downsides, there are a lot of health benefits of ozone pool. Eye irritation, rashes, and faded swimsuits will not be any issues you need to deal with the ozone pool systems. Therefore, the Ozone pool system will eliminate the odor of your traditional chlorinate pool system. 

How To Maintain an Ozone Pool?

Maintaining an Ozone pool is no different than maintaining a regular or chlorinated pool. The upside of having an Ozone pool is- you don’t need to use chemicals to disinfect water. As you don’t need to add chemicals, it reduces the pool cleaning workflow. 

Just vacuum your pool bottom and walls once a week to remove dirt, debris, and particles from the pool. Also, remove leaves from the pool water to keep the pool clean like crystal water.

You can also add chlorine to your ozone system to increase the cleaning efficiency. 

You should also maintain the equipment of your ozone system. Check the inside of the unit to ensure the ozone module works properly. When the ozone module reaches 15000 hours of operation, replace it.

Also, don’t forget to change the ozone tube every year. 

How To Convert Chlorine Pool To Ozone

Converting a chlorinate pool to Ozone is a piece of cake. Just remove every piece of equipment like a chlorine generator from your pool. Then, get an ozone system from the market. Next, install the ozone generator by hiring a professional. Now, you are ready to disinfect your pool with the power of ozone. 

However, we recommend you run both the ozone pool and chlorinator. A pool ozone generator is not efficient in killing algae. But the chlorine can kill the algae effectively and leave the pool dirt-free. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How to tell if a pool ozone generator is working?

    You can easily identify whether the ozone generator works or not by observing the red, green, and orange light. If these lights are on, understand your CD ozone generator functions properly. On the other hand, the unit will glow if you have the UV version. 

  2. What is the healthiest pool system?

    Mineral ionization pool is the healthiest pool system. It reduces the need for harmful chlorine and uses the power of ozone to oxidize the pool water. It causes no eye irritation, skin irritation, and faded swimsuits like the chlorinate pools. 

  3. Which is better, chlorine or ozone?

    Ozone will be better when it comes to disinfecting the pool water. It's 3,000 times faster than chlorine to sanitize the pool. Therefore, it has a lot of health benefits as it doesn't cause red-eye, eye irritation like the chlorinated pool. However, ozone can't kill algae as chlorine does. Therefore, it's expensive to get an ozone generator. But chlorine is inexpensive, easy to use, and efficient in killing algae, bacteria, and germs. 

Conclusion

If you don’t want to spend a single penny, the conventional or chlorine pool will be your best trait. However, you can go to the saltwater pool to swim in the pool without suffering from skin and eye irritation. We don’t recommend you to have the ozone pool in your backyard as it’s dangerous for swimmers. 

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