Keeping your pool water clean and free of bacteria and algae is important, but while most pools use chlorine as the primary method of sanitation, many people have started using ozone generators in addition to it. Even though they've been around for a few decades, they're only now starting to become more affordable to average pool owners and are beginning to be used more across the nation.
How Does A Pool Ozone Generator Work?
Ozone, otherwise known as O3, is an unstable chemical made up of 3 oxygen molecules. It attempts to stabilize by attaching itself to other particles in the water and in air and when it does, it oxidizes them. Oxidation kills most types of bacteria and its so effective, that even our immune system uses some oxidation to kill bacteria within our own bodies.
When ozone is introduced to the pool, it reverts back to O2 within about 20 seconds, so it's something that has to be continuously generated and introduced into the water for it to be effective. This is in contrast to having to “shock” your pool every week or two to keep the water crisp and free of algae and other contaminants.
Benefits Of A Pool Ozone Generator?
A pool ozone generator can reduce the amount of chlorine that pools use by anywhere from 60% to 90%. That means less red eyes, less irritated skin, and less of what many call “swimmer's asthma”, which results from breathing in chlorine fumes while swimming.
Another reason is that chlorine-based pool sanitation routines can easily get out of balance if you're not careful with the chemicals that you're using. A pool that has too little chlorine won't protect your water from contaminants like algae and bacteria, while one with too much can cause health side effects even in healthy swimmers.
There's also the cost to consider. While an ozone generator is a one time cost, you have to continue to buy the chemicals to put into your pool. Even though ozone generators won't reduce your pool's reliance on chlorine completely, it can reduce it a vast amount and lessen the amount that you have to spend on these chemicals every summer.
Yes, they really work! But, you're unlikely to completely eliminate chlorine and shock treatments from your pool sanitation rounds any time soon. It's always best to have 2 types of sanitation going to make sure you get great disinfection. However, some people are sensitive to chlorine, so it might be the best option.
Ozone goes through water similarly to how it goes through the air. Because the generator combines oxygen molecules, it will join with any small microbe that float through the water. It will keep your pools completely crystal clear! That means no bacteria, no algae, and no green film on the surface!
Is a pool ozone generator dangerous?
The short answer is… it depends. As you should know, ozone is dangerous for humans and other living things to breathe in or consume. If it isn't in water, you may be subjected to breathing it in. This is very dangerous. It can cause throat irritation, lung inflammation, and even cause headaches and dizziness.
If you keep the pipes or hoses in the pool, it shouldn't be a problem. You're not breathing in the water, anyway, so it's safe in that sense. Since ozone is a heavier gas, it will stay in the water until it separates into normal oxygen molecules. At that point, it rises from the water and goes back into the air.
The bottom line is that ozone generators work wonders for pools, regardless of it being in-ground or above ground. It is a great way to clean your pool and some people leave it on constantly. There shouldn't be enough ozone to “shock” your pool, but it will keep it clean. Keep in mind that you still may need to use a little bit of chlorine, but not very much.
It won't replace chlorine, but it will make your job easier. Bacteria, algae, and other gross microbes that float around will no longer be there. The ozone will kill these tiny things and make your pool crystal clear at all times. Some may need to be installed by a professional, but it's a one-and-done thing!