Chlorine has not only been the safest, most economical sanitizer for a century, it's also given us worry-free drinking water. Unlike chlorine alternatives, you can trust chlorine to kill molds and algaes, work at all water temperatures, keep all types of pools clean and clear, and cost six to ten times less than its alternatives. It's approved in all states, and is the most economical way to maintain a healthy swimming environment.
However, chlorine alternatives have come a long way in the last ten years. Today, there are many mineral-based and chemical systems available. Bear in mind, even when using a chlorine alternative system, you also need a chemical oxidizer like chlorine to eliminate organic materials in the water. If you decide to use a chlorine alternative, you can trust your Pinch A Penny expert to point you in the right direction.
Revacil is a biguanide-based, chlorine-free sanitizer and algistat. The entire program includes a sanitizer, algae inhibitor and shock treatment. You can convert a chlorine pool to a Revacil program in a short period of time, however, converting back to chlorine requires following careful instructions. A messy reaction can occur if chlorine mixes with leftover biguanide.
Chlorine generators (sometimes called salt generators), produce chlorine from a mixture of salt and water. The in-line chlorine generator system produces chlorine directly into the pool from salt added to the pool water. The cell has a number of metal plates that are electrically charged by a power supply. Depending on the unit and manufacturer, you will maintain a salt level of anywhere between 3000-6000 parts per million in the water for the inline system to work properly. While this may seem like a high salt content, your pool won't be like the ocean. By comparison, typical sea water has a salt level of 35,000 ppm.
Nature2, a natural mineral purifier for pools and spas, cuts chlorine use up to 80 percent. Using a patented mineral process, Nature2 uses water flow to direct pool water through a cartridge
that contains a patented, coated ceramic mineral bed. It uses no electricity, has no moving parts. Nature2 helps prevent growth of new bacteria and algae by releasing trace amounts of metals,
usually silver and copper, into the water, which kills algae and bacteria.