Ionizers have been utilized in the water treatment industry for several decades. An ionizer is basically a device that releases metal ions into the water to inhibit microbial contamination. The pool ionizers purify water without leaving any residual or harmful byproducts in the pool. Before ionization, chlorine was largely used for pool sanitation. In recent years, there has been increasing concerns of disinfection byproducts (DPBs) and the noted discomfort from inhalation and dermal irritation from halogenated chemicals. This has paved the way for the adoption of sanitation alternatives and the rapid demand for ionizers being used for residential pool water purification. Today, it is easy to find these ionizers in different configurations with each designed for typical purposes. Despite several benefits of pool ionizers, it is essential to select an appropriate ionizer for your pool if you wish to realize its full benefits. This post discusses how to choose an ionizer for your residential pool.
How to Choose an Ionizer for Your Residential Pool
When we talk about how to choose an ionizer, there are several factors one must consider. The following are a few important ones:
- Pool Water Capacity: While choosing a pool ionizer, the water volume of the pool must be considered. Generally, most above ground swimming pools are less than 10,000 gallons and most inground pools are over 10,000 If one has a diving board, the swimming pool will be over 20,000 gallons. Therefore, an increase in water capacity requires a need for an ionization system that can handle the larger volume of water.
- Type of Ionizer Metal/Alloy: In general, there are two types of metals or metal alloys used in the ionizer electrodes for the swimming pool market: the copper/silver alloy and the pure copper variety. Copper/silver electrodes are more often used in commercial hot water systems to control legionella and some are still used for swimming pools. It is argued that copper/silver is a more effective biocide. However, recent research has shown copper alone is highly effective in deactivating many species of waterborne pathogens. Copper is much better at controlling algae and the key advantages of copper only electrodes are lower cost, availability, and reduced potential of staining.
- Type of Metal Ions Generator: The operation of an ionizer device is triggered by an electronic circuit called an ion generator. These generators are small electric current passing devices that are available in both AC and DC voltages. Solar powered options work well for smaller swimming pools and require the addition of chlorine. Higher wattage units would not require the use of chlorine, they often have a variable power settings, and are easy to connect to modern controllers or timers. You can choose one that is suitable for your application. Larger swimming pools will require increased voltage and ability to handle a higher amperage and is recommended to be at least 24VDC.
- Water pH Level: Maintaining the pH level of water is essential for any sanitation method. Ionization systems that utilize titanium plates may increase the pH of the water from the release of hydroxyl radicals and offer no key advantage. Otherwise, ionization is pH neutral; meaning, the addition of ions does not change the pH level such as the addition of chlorine. Therefore, choose the ionizer that does not affect the pH level. The pool pH level is better managed at 7.
- Experience: Many manufacturers have entered and left the water treatment market as they could not support the market or did not understand water chemistry. Be sure that you choose an ionizer from a company that has a track record and offers support after the sale. Premier vendors offer free training and support for all of its customers whereas smaller companies or inexpensive imitators do not offer such options. This is very important as pool stores or service companies may recommend chemicals that would adversely effect your water chemistry.
Considering these factors, you can select appropriate pool ionizer but it is also important to choose the correct manufacturer or supplier. Intec-America is a prominent manufacturer of high-quality copper ionizers. The company offers 100% chlorine-free and contamination-free solutions to its clients. They are one of the first organizations to adopt NASA’s water ionization concept in residential and commercial water disinfection systems. Their extensive experience, intensive research, and efforts assure the quality of their pool ionizers.