Chlorine is a versatile cleaning agent. It kills all sorts of bacteria and germs in your pool, oxidizes the water, and even prevents algae growth. While it is quite useful, not many like its strong odor. Others don’t like it because of severe allergic reactions to chlorine. For pool owners who do not want chlorinated pool water, there are a number of alternatives to choose from but are they as effective? It is important to note that chlorine alternatives the likes of bromine, ozonators, and ionizers still need a bit of chlorine to keep pool water pristine.
Bromine, often suggested by pool experts as a great chlorine substitute, is a fine choice for pool owners who suffer from allergic reactions brought about by chlorine. It is interesting to note that while Bromine is described as a gentler chemical, it is chlorine’s close cousin. This means that allergic reactions can still happen. This particular chemical does a fine job as a sanitizer though but unlike chlorine, it does not oxidize. This is the reason why most pool owners who use bromine get a hybrid version of bromine and chlorine to ensure that their pools are as clean as possible.
Ionizers are among the gentlest pool cleaners around. They are gentle on the eyes and do not emit unpleasant smells. Relying on copper and silver, this device sends these two metals into your pool through a low voltage current. Copper functions as the algaecide while silver works as the sanitizer. Once released into the water, bacteria, algae, and germs attach themselves to the metals and form larger compounds. These compounds would later leave the water through the filtration system.
Although you would still need chlorine to work with the ionizer, the chlorine reduction is still a significant improvement. It is important to note that ionizers work better if the pool pump is running continuously.
Another machine that you can use is the ozonator. This device releases ozone gas that gets rid of impurities in the water. With the ozonator, you can significantly reduce the chlorine you use in your pool. In fact, you’d reduce chlorine use by 90%.
Products that use polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) are different from the alternatives mentioned above. PHMB products do not require chlorine making them a favorite for those who want to veer away from the strong odor emitted by the chemical. One of the most popular brands with PHMB as the active ingredient is Baquacil. The main advantage of Baquacil and other PHMB brans is that it is not affected by sunlight the way chlorine is, making them more stable. Although products with PHMB are effective, they are usually described as expensive. They are not as expensive as one would think though. Take a look at our Baquacil products here.
Pool owners who do not like chlorine often switch to Baquacil or any product that uses PHMB. It is kinder to swimmers and do not require a lot of attention when it comes to keeping pool water balanced. Like chlorine, PHMB penetrates the cell walls of bacteria but unlike chlorine, the substance causes them to burst. They then get wrapped up in a heavy gel that makes it possible for them to sink.
Apart from it being more expensive than chlorine, PHMB products do not oxidize. When applying PHMB, pool owners are advised to drain the pool first because the substance is not compatible with chlorine.
Chlorine is very effective and it is quite cheap. It is widely used by pool owners around the world because it is a good sanitizing agent and kills bacteria and germs through a basic chemical reaction. Once chlorine hits the water, it starts to kill microorganisms by attacking their cells. These once-harmful bacteria would become harmless as soon as they are touched by chlorine.
Should you stick with chlorine or is it time to switch to chlorine alternatives?