Pool Care Pool Water Chemistry

What’s a Pool Mineral System: The Complete Guide

What’s a Pool Mineral System: The Complete Guide

Pool mineral systems like pool chlorine and other sanitizers can help maintain a clean, clear, and safe swimming pool. They are known to help reduce the amount of chlorine you use to keep the swimming pool sanitized. Despite their many benefits, they also have a list of drawbacks that you might want to know before making your switch.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about pool minerals and why they’re essential.

What’s a pool mineral system?

A pool mineral system is a chlorine-free alternative to conventional sanitizers such as chlorine and bromine. It consists of an ionization, mineral purification system, and other components designed to keep your pool clean.

The common types of minerals used are silver and copper. Sometimes, zinc is also used. But are these metals or minerals? Yes, they are naturally occurring mineral metals with exceptional water sanitization properties.

  • Silver has been used for antibacterial purposes for ages. Its properties in killing bacteria make it an excellent mineral to use in a pool mineral system.
  • A lot of algaecides are copper-based; they have copper as a common ingredient. Examples are copper sulfate and copper chelates.
  • In addition to its water purification properties, zinc tends to surrender ions faster than other metals.

Some pool mineral systems also contain limestone for their chlorine acid-absorption properties. It’s been known to help stabilize and neutralize pool water pH.

What Are the Benefits of Using Pool Mineral Systems

Mineral systems have recently grabbed the attention of many pool owners, and for some good reasons. It has proved to offer some real benefits, which include:

1) Soften the Pool Water

One of the best benefits that pool owners get from using mineral sanitizers is that they soften water. Soft water makes for perfect conditions where people can enjoy their swims without worrying about having dry skin or irritated eyes.

They soften water allowing for perfect swim conditions without dry skin or irritated eyes. Softened water also ensures no scale build-up, which damages tiles over time.

2) Reduces Chlorine Use

While you do require some chlorine in addition to the mineral sanitizer for keeping your water sparkling clean, mineral systems help reduce the amount of chlorine that’s used in pools by as much as 70%.

This also means that pool owners need to spend less on chlorine while still getting clean and clear water. Pool owners can save a lot per year by installing a low-maintenance system instead of relying solely on liquid or tablet chlorine.

3) Reduce Pool Equipment Wear

Mineral systems further help reduce wear and tear on pool equipment. Chlorine is a harsh sanitizer, and when used too frequently, it can damage equipment.

Reducing chlorine use with a mineral system means that pool owners do not have to worry about their cleaning or filtration systems getting damaged from harsh chemicals. This also helps reduce the frequency of repairs and replacements, which saves money over time.

4) No Bad Smell (Pool Smell)

Another great benefit of a pool mineral system is that it does not produce any bad smells in pools. Chlorine produces chloramines which give off a foul odor when people swim in them. Mineral systems do not have this problem.

5) No Measuring Needed

Apart from helping save time and effort to keep their pools clean, pool mineral systems also take away the measuring hassle you have to do when adding other pool sanitizers. There is also no need to wear gloves since mineral systems are safe to use, unlike harsh chlorine.

What Are the Drawbacks of Using Pool Mineral Systems?

1) You Still Need Some Chlorine

Despite pool mineral systems having the capability of keeping your swimming pool clean and safe, they aren’t enough on their own. You still need some sanitizer (chlorine) as a boost.

Chlorine is known to completely deal with bacteria, algae, and more pool contaminants. So, adding some to your swimming pool when using the mineral system can help a lot.

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2) Might Cause Oxidations Stains on Pool Surfaces

Even though pool mineral systems are great for preventing stains, they might cause oxidation stains on the surfaces of your swimming pool. When the metal ions added to your swimming pool get oxidized, they tend to form a compound that sticks to the pool surfaces.

An example is a greenish substance that forms when copper gets oxidized. Some of these types of pools stains can be very stubborn when it comes to coming off your surface, so make sure you keep an eye out.

The good news is, if you clean the stains early, they won’t cause a problem. When adding water to the swimming pool, you can use a hose filter to prevent more copper ions from entering the pool water or use a metal sequestrant to prevent staining.

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3) You May End Up Spending More Money over Time

Even though pool mineral systems are relatively cheaper than chlorine or other sanitizers alone, they aren’t potent enough to keep the pool clean and safe. You will still need some sanitizer to use along with them.

At first, you might spend less on chemicals, thanks to the switch to the mineral system. However, as time goes by, you might end up spending more money depending on your pool’s volume, weather, and how effective your pool maintenance and maintenance schedule is.

What are the different types of pool minerals systems?

There are three main types of pool minerals systems:

1) Skimmer Mineral Systems

The Skimmer Mineral System is the simplest to install and maintain. It injects chlorine into water flow right before your skimmer basket, controlling algae growth without adding anything directly into the pool water.

In-skimmer Mineral systems have an easy installation and require minimal maintenance required throughout the season. Some even have automatic regeneration that ensures a clean, clear pool all season long.

They require no plumbing or electrical work and can be installed in minutes by simply placing on top of a surface skimmer (if present) or directly into a dedicated return line.

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2) Floating Mineral Dispensers

A floating mineral dispenser is a perfect award for any pool owner. It not only dispenses chlorine and minerals in a super-easy manner, but it’s also an adorable little floating dispensing station.

It has a cartridge that both wields your minerals and chlorine. When the chlorine decreases, the buoy turns on its side to make sure you remember to replace it with a new cartridge.

The mineral cartridge is automatically refilled every few weeks with a simple twist-off replacement process that takes just seconds.

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3) In-Line Pool Mineral System

The In-Line Pool Mineral System is a system that dispenses chlorine and minerals in line with your existing plumbing. It starts working as soon as the pool pump turns on and has no moving parts to wear out or break down.

It’s a great way to ensure that your in-ground or above-ground pool has the right amount of sanitizer and minerals. It increases skin and hair health, prevents eye irritation, reduces stinging eyes when you get out of the pool, eliminates unsightly calcium build-up on walls making cleaning an easier job for you.

This water care system is easy to install and does not require additional plumbing or special electrical hookups. It has a self-adjusting control that continuously monitors the combined chlorine in your pool, dispensing only minerals as needed while never overdosing.

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How to Use Pool Mineral Systems

Assuming you’re considering switching to pool mineral systems, what type have you picked? Whichever you decide, you want to know how to use it before adding it to your system. Where does it start?

Step 1: Prepare to Switch

Switching from conventional pool sanitizer to pool mineral systems is a straightforward process. What you want is to keep an eye on the current sanitizer levels (chlorine or bromine).

You want it to drop before adding the minerals. If chlorine is your primary sanitizer, reduce it to about 0.5 ppm. If you’re currently using bromine, lower it to 1 ppm.

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Step 2: Test Your Pool Water for Metals

With minerals being also metals, you will want to know how many metals your pool water has before adding more.

There are a few ways you can test metals in the pool water, but I recommend taking a pool water sample to a local pool store near you for accurate measurement.

If that isn’t possible, order a pool metal testing kit and do it yourself. Follow the guidelines on the user manual to make sure you’re using it properly.

If the metal levels are above the recommended levels, you will have to add a metal sequestrant to lower the levels a bit.

Pro tip: When using a pool mineral system, you always want to use a hose filter to remove minerals and metals that might cause unbalancing in the levels already in the swimming pool.

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Step 3: Balance the pool chemistry

Water balancing is something you do pretty often. Right? Repeat the same here. You want to test and balance the pool water chemistry to ensure they are at optimal levels before switching to mineral systems. Refer to the table below.

ChemicalLevel
Total Alkalinity100 – 150 ppm (ideal level is 125 ppm)
Water pH7.4 – 7.6
Calcium Hardness200 – 275 ppm (concrete or Plaster pools)
175 – 225 ppm (all other types of pools)

Step 4: Add the Pool Minerals

Now comes the practical part of adding the minerals. In this step, you must have chosen an ideal pool mineral system for you.

But whichever you pick, be it in-skimmer, floating, or the in-line system, you always want to follow the guidelines set by the manufacturer on how to use the product. That includes how and when to change the cartridges.

Step 5: Supplement the Mineral System with a Sanitizer

As I mentioned before, mineral systems require a supplementing sanitizer to boost their sanitization effects. So, after adding the minerals, you want to make sure the alternative sanitizer level is at the right level.

Keep the chlorine levels at 0.5 ppm and if you’re using bromine, keep it at 1 ppm. Add a little by little while retesting to get it right.

How Do You Shock a Mineral Pool

In typical cases, you would shock your swimming pool once every week. The same routine applies even when you switch from chlorine pool to mineral pool.

However, if your pool is hosting a lot of swimmers and more often or you’ve started noticing some cloudiness, it’s best to increase the shocking frequency. However, the type of pool shock you use will change.

After adding the minerals, you will want to use a chlorine-based shock to kill any bacteria and algae bloom lingering in the pool, clearing water.

After things start going and the time comes for the first regular shocking, you want to use a non-chlorine-based shock.

It’s the best option since the hard work has been left to the minerals, and you want to avoid raising the chlorine levels above 0.5 ppm.

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Ideal Pool Mineral Shocking Routine

Period Shocking ScheduleType of Pool Shock to Use
After Adding MineralsShock the pool afterwardUse chlorine shock
During hot summer or repeated use Shock the pool once a weekNon-chlorine shock
If you start to see cloudiness, during heavy use or after a heavy stormShock the pool afterwardNon-chlorine shock
When the pool is used less frequently and during cool weatherShock the pool weeklyNon-chlorine shock

Related Questions

Can you change a saltwater pool to a mineral pool?

Yes! In fact, you can convert any swimming pool to a mineral pool by installing a mineral system. You can decide to use still the salt system you have but reduce the chlorine level to 0.5 ppm or simply switch to adding chlorine after adding the mineral system.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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