If you’re buying a new pool or looking to upgrade your sanitation system, there’s a good chance you’ve come across mineral pools. Often promoted as an alternative to chlorine or saltwater systems, they use a blend of natural minerals to sanitise your pool and keep it clean.
But how exactly do mineral systems work? Do they still need chlorine? And are they better than traditional sanitation systems?
In this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know about mineral pool systems, including what they do, why they’re so popular and how to keep them in peak condition all year round (hint: it’s easier than you think). In the end, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the right sanitation system for your pool.
Unlike manually dosed chlorine, but similar to saltwater pools, a mineral pool system uses a blend of naturally sourced minerals to help disinfect your pool. These minerals – usually magnesium, potassium and sodium chloride – dissolve in the pool water before passing through a chlorinator. Here they’re converted to active chlorine, which keeps your pool free of bacteria and algae.
Most mineral pool systems work along the same lines, with some incorporating ozone purification or oxidisers to minimise the need for chlorine. Either way, mineral pools are an effective way to remove microparticles from your pool and keep chlorine levels stable. This provides greater water clarity, reduces the need for additional chemicals and creates a more luxurious bather experience.
Why choose a mineral pool system?
There are many reasons why Australians are choosing mineral sanitation systems for their backyard pools:
Water clarity is the first thing people notice when they convert to a mineral pool. That’s because mineral pools tend to use glass media, which provides better filtration than sand. This is mostly due to glass media’s negative charge, which attracts debris more effectively and allows it to slide off quickly during backwashing. The other factor that contributes to clearer water is magnesium. As a natural flocculant, it binds together fine particles and helps remove them from your pool water.
Let’s face it, chlorinated pools can wreak havoc on your skin, eyes and hair. No wonder sensitive swimmers avoid them! But mineral systems like MagnaPool are different. They produce fewer chloramines and don’t contain sodium chloride (salt), which means that the pool water is softer and more luxurious. And thanks to the transdermal transfer of magnesium, mineral pools can benefit sensitive skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and dry skin. Studies show that bathing in mineral water can improve your skin barrier function and reduce the number and duration of eczema relapses compared to the use of topical steroids alone.
It’s normal for chlorine pools to smell of chlorine, right? Wrong. If you can smell chlorine, then it means that your pool is full of chloramines, a by-product of ammonia (urine or sweat) and chlorine. This can reduce chlorine’s ability to sanitise properly and produce odours that trigger breathing difficulties and asthma attacks. A mineral system like MagnaPool, however, produces 40 per cent fewer chloramines than traditional pools. This means no nasty smells or breathing issues.
Compared to traditional chlorine and saltwater pool systems, mineral pools generally require less maintenance. Thanks to the magnesium present it will help prevent cell calcification in the chlorinator cell. What’s more, the flocculating abilities of magnesium, not to mention the superior filtration of glass media, keep your pool clearer for longer, reducing the need for pool cleaning. Having said that, you still need to keep up a maintenance schedule, like topping up your minerals, backwashing your filter and checking/cleaning your cell every month. However, it’s minimal compared to a traditional chlorine pool. To find out more, see 9 Tips for Looking After Your MagnaPool.
Top tip: Minerals systems like MagnaPool can also be monitored and controlled using an app. This means you don’t have to be at home to check chlorine output or salt levels. It can all be managed on your phone – anytime, anywhere. You can find more information about our Hydroxinator PRO.
Mineral pool systems are more environmentally friendly than traditional chlorine pools. There are a few reasons for this. The glass media filtration used in mineral pool systems can save up to 65% of water during backwashing. The filtration is smoother and less densely packed, which allows for more efficient water flow. If you have a MagnaPool system, the backwash can be diluted( (five parts water to one part backwash) to irrigate your garden and reduce water loss since it contains no sodium chloride. This unique feature is not present in other mineral systems that use salt. Additionally, some mineral pool chlorinators, such as MagnaPool's hydroxinator, can be synced to a variable speed pool pump, reducing energy consumption with the touch of a button.
Top tip: When you’re shopping around for a mineral pool, make sure it’s Climate Care Certified. This means that it meets the Swimming Pool and Spa Association (SPASA) requirements for sustainability, energy efficiency and reduced water consumption. Find out about MagnaPool’s Climate Care certification.
When your chlorine output is managed by your chlorinator or hydroxinator, you won’t have to keep checking your chlorine levels or adding chlorine by hand. In fact, your days of wearing goggles and gloves are over! Plus, the use of glass media and the natural flocking ability of magnesium will keep your pool cleaner for longer, reducing (or even eliminating) the need for clarifiers, algaecides and chemical flocculants.
Top tip: look for the Hydroxinator PRO version that uses both pH and ORP sensors to monitor and guide the chlorine and acid use, helping maintain perfect health and balance
Although mineral pools may have a higher initial cost, they have lower running costs. This is due to three main reasons. Firstly, using glass media reduces the need for frequent and extended backwashing, which ultimately results in lower annual water bills. Secondly, magnesium has the ability to attract particles, reducing the need for chemicals and pool cleaners and resulting in further reductions in maintenance costs. Find out how MagnaPool can save you money.
It's amazing how minerals transform your pool water into a luxurious and comfortable swimming experience. Did you know magnesium-rich water can help alleviate aches and pains, hydrate your skin, and even reduce stress? Compared to traditional chlorine systems, mineral pools produce fewer chloramines, making the water less harsh on your eyes and hair. You can even swim without goggles and not worry about any sticky residue or unpleasant smells after. You'll even save time post-swim since there's no need for a shower or washing your hair. Just dry off, and you're good to go!
You may have noticed that there are similarities between mineral pools and salt chlorinator systems. First, they both use chlorinators to monitor and adjust the chemistry of your pool water, and second, they require less maintenance and fewer chemicals than traditional chlorine systems.
But there are some differences, too. Minerals systems don’t just use salt. They blend magnesium chloride, potassium chloride and sodium chloride to make the water softer and provide therapeutic benefits. And if you get a sodium-free system like MagnaPool it reduces skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema or rosacea, plus if you are into recycling you can reuse your backwash water for irrigation on your yard (dilute with fresh or rainwater first)
If you’re thinking of reaping the benefits of a mineral pool system, conversion to MagnaPool is fairly simple. To begin with, you’ll need a hydroxinator, a media filter (if you don’t already have one), glass media (if you’re currently using sand or zeolite) and MagnaPool minerals.
Pool owners who already have a salt chlorinator can just swap out their unit for a hydroxinator. If you don’t have one, you’ll need a pool professional to connect it to the plumbing line. Note: You can still use a cartridge filter if you don’t have a backwash line. Just make sure it’s large enough to cope with magnesium’s super ‘flocking’ powers!
Next, you’ll need to test the pool water. This includes a salinity and TDS test. You can do this yourself or take a water sample to your nearest pool shop. These readings will help you determine how many bags of minerals you need to add to the water.
Once you’ve calculated this, add the minerals and let your system run for at least 24 hours to help with circulation. When this process is complete, you can start swimming! For an in-depth guide on converting to a MagnaPool, see this article.
Top tip: If your saltwater pool has a TDS above 1500 ppm (the normal range is 4,000–4,500 ppm), you may need to partially or completely drain your pool before converting to MagnaPool. We recommend partial and gradual draining to avoid hydrostatic popping (i.e. your pool lifting out of the ground). Reduce the water by two-thirds and top it up with fresh water. Continue to reduce levels over the course of the year until all the salt is gone.
Once your mineral pool is up and running, there are a few things you need to do to keep it in optimal condition all year round:
Mineral pools are a great alternative to traditional pool sanitation systems. Not only do they improve water clarity, protect your pool equipment and reduce maintenance, but they also minimise running costs and provide therapeutic benefits. Plus, installation or conversion couldn’t be easier. Just make sure you have the right equipment and follow our simple instructions for setup and maintenance. Ready to experience the MagnaPool difference? Contact one of our approved dealers to get started!