Of all the choices you will ever make for your pool, deciding on the right pool systems is undoubtedly the most important. It is an investment. With whole home water system widely available, it is imperative that you do some investigation to ensure you find one that best works for the needs of your household. Not all are equal, and not all have the same functions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the purpose of pool systems is to maintain clarity, cleanliness, and safety of pool water. They all offer unique features, different maintenance instructions, competitive pricing. Apart from this the all-important health benefits they offer is improved water quality. To make it easier, we did the homework. These are the best pool systems:
Chlorine has been the most common, if not the sole, method of sanitizing pools for well over a decade. You can buy granular, gas, and liquid chlorine, even chlorine tablets. Chlorine works by oxidizing other contaminants in the water, a powerful chemical reaction. It is also a residual sanitizer, which means that it continues to work for quite some time after adding it to the water. It cheap and easy to use.
However, despite its great price and user-friendliness, chlorine comes with some risk. Several health problems have direct correlation to chlorine. When it reacts with organic material, such as your skin, it creates chloramines and other by-products of disinfection. These cause allergies, asthma, dry eyes, lung irritation, dry skin, and other respiratory complications.
Chlorine also damages materials, such as swimsuits and towels. It can be especially toxic, a known environmental hazard that requires manual handling. What is more, over-chlorination smells horrible, like lingering chemicals, and is not as popular as it was before.
By directing pool flow over an ultra-violet, or UV light, it is possible to have a gorgeous pool. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, UV light denatures bacterial DNA in the water that passes it. They also destroy other chemicals, like chlorine, all while offering an array of features for pool sanitation one cannot find easily elsewhere.
However, they have one flaw: Since they sterilize bacteria to prevent reproduction, they do not kill existing bacteria, which travel deeper into the pool. Furthermore, UV pool systems only disinfect and sanitize pool water, no oxidation. Oxidation is necessary to remove synthetic contaminants, such as metals, and other waste. They work best in combination with an oxidizer.
Salt water systems have been popular for pools since their introduction in the 1980s. Next to conventional chlorinated pools, salt systems require less maintenance, smell better, and cause less irritation to skin and eyes. Additionally, it is especially beneficial for those wanting “softer” water. Salts have many advantages for pool systems.
However, they are not very free of chlorine. They produce their own from the high levels of sodium chloride. Since it still contains even trace quantities of chlorine, there are still by-products of disinfection to worry over. What is more, you still need to handle salts manually and store them carefully, as well as keep them from corroding the area of tiles, ladders, pipes, filters, pumps, and other pricey equipment.
Ozone pool systems allow you to reduce your consumption of chlorine, and as far as oxidizing goes, they are stronger than chlorine. They work by injecting ozone gas directly into the plumbing of the pool to oxidize chlorine-resistant pathogens and other contaminants. This chemical reaction is what creates ozone. Like salt water systems, the water in an ozone pool is “softer” than most.
As a toxic gas that accumulates under pool covers and in pump rooms, ozone requires complex systems to use it properly and safely. These include ozone destruct chambers, as well as degas vessels, and others. What is more, ozone is a corrosive gas that can damage rubber gaskets, covers, and other equipment for the pool, reducing its quality and value.
Hydroxyl-based systems remove all irritation and chemical odors. The result is the best quality of water for as few chemicals as possible, making these the safest option. They create hydroxyls that start oxidizing dangerous contaminants in the water immediately. These hydroxyls have a short lifespan, are highly reactive, and offer the strongest oxidation of all water treatment options available today.
Hydroxyl systems also make “softer” water, but creating minimal disinfection by-product. It effectively destroys all pathogens and other contaminants resistant to chlorine, and it does so without corroding pool materials and equipment. It does require an occasional algaecide, and does use a low quantity of residual chlorine, about the equivalent of tap water.
Regardless of the pool systems you consider, the one you choose must balance the basic tenets of maintaining a pool, which involves pH control, oxidation, algae control, alkalinity, circulation, and manual cleaning. It is also important to test your water beforehand to know what contaminants you are filtering. No matter your needs, a system is out there that will make pool life easier and without worry.