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Pool Ionisers v.s. (Salt) Chlorinators

Pool Chemical Testing kit

Pool Ionisers VS. (Salt) Chlorinators

As a swimming pool or spa owner you must have done a few Google searches to explore the different alternatives in pool or spa sanitation. Your search will have given you an endless thread of possibilities, the next even more promising than the first. Fact is; there are a lot of alternatives and solutions available and different sources tell different, sometimes contradicting stories.

In this blog post we would like to share with you how pool ionisers compare to other pool sanitisers to help you choose which system suits you best.


Chlorine is the most commonly used to sanitise pools and spas worldwide and is a very effective sanitiser and oxidiser. Chlorine will dissipate by heat and UV over time, and therefore it requires the addition of stabiliser to the pool water to make sure the chlorine keeps its residual effect.

However, there is a reason why there is a growing demand for alternatives to chlorine. Simply put, chlorine is not good for you. You only have to do a search on ‘health risks of chlorine’ and you will find pages of search results that might alarm you (allergies, asthma, pregnancy problems, cancer, heart problems etc.).

Health effects aside, chlorine also has an impact on your pool’s surroundings and swimming suits. Additionally, there are the risks involved in keeping the chlorine at a safe level and the transport and handling of chemicals. The ongoing chemical costs (chlorine, stabiliser, algaecides, acid, buffer etc.) that a chlorine pool locks you into, is the real reason why you might find pool stores “hesitant” about low chemical solutions that will affect the ongoing revenue that you will bring to their store.

Salt Water or Mineral pools

Even though a salt water or mineral salt pool sounds like a chlorine-free alternative, these sanitisers are just chlorinators in disguise. What they actually do is convert salt (sodium chloride, or more recently also magnesium and potassium chloride) into chlorine. So even though these pool systems are being marketed to provide mineral sanitation, a salt chlorinator (Australia’s most used popular pool sanitiser) means 100% chlorine in your pool.

Of course it allows you to stay away from handling chlorine yourself, but a salt system is the most expensive and corrosive pool sanitiser. A salt or mineral salt chlorinator might save you money on chlorine but the costs of replacement salt cells, stabiliser and replacing your equipment that is corroded due to the salt will astound you. With the effects of high levels of chlorine, described in the section on chlorine, salt chlorinators may prove to be a less than an ideal solution.

Ozone & UV

Ozone is a very powerful oxidiser that is usually used as a back up to the residual sanitiser, such as chlorine systems or salt water chlorinators. Ozone might be an effective oxidizer, but only has a very short life being active, as it is only effective when the pool pump is operating and has no residual protection in the pool. Besides that, ozone gas is very toxic and has little effect on algae.

Ozone is also sometimes confused with UV. UV is a powerful sanitiser, however just like Ozone it has no residual sanitising capacities. Therefore, UV always requires an additional sanitiser and algaecide (e.g. chlorine) to make sure bathers are protected against viruses, bacteria etc.

Ozone and/or UV can be a great solution to back up the residual sanitiser and help reduce chlorine usage by up to 50%. On their own, however, these systems will not be able to kill algae or bacteria efficiently enough to meet regulations.

Pool ionisers

Using pool ionisation to sanitise pool water is probably the least expensive effective method for use in pools. Mineral copper and silver ions kill bacteria and viruses and prevent the growth of algae in your pool, even if the pump is not operating. The residual sanitising power of copper and silver has a distinct advantage because these ions are unaffected by UV and heat. Therefore, unlike chlorine and salt, an ioniser does not need stabiliser to keep the ions working in your pool as a biocide and algaecide, even if the pump is not running.

Not only will an ioniser cut the chemical costs, a pool ioniser like Bionizer reduces the number of hours that you need to run your pool pump for thus saving a dramatic amount of power plus wear and tear on equipment. Also copper and silver ions do not corrode your pool equipment or pool surroundings and allow you to backwash your pool water onto your garden undiluted without doing any damage to plants or garden.

What an ioniser doesn’t do is oxidise your pool water: getting rid of the organic compounds that get in your pool water and make it go cloudy and hazy, e.g. suntan lotion, body oils, perspiration, ammonia etc. In addition to an ioniser you will need an oxidiser module or chemical oxidisers. At Bionizer we leave it up to you to choose your method of oxidising; our powerful Eco-Oxidizer or a chemical oxidiser such as chlorine or chlorine free options as Potassium Monopersulphate and Hydrogen Peroxide are all effective oxidizing methods. Some pool ionisers don’t offer an oxidising module at all. Alarmingly, some other ionisers have such a high power-draw oxidising (salt) module that they actually make chlorine as the backup oxidising substance so be aware if choosing these systems that you will actually be swimming in chlorine plus ionised water.

Our advice

At Bionizer we believe that you should choose a solution for your pool and spa that suits you and your family’s needs. Whether that is chlorine, salt, ozone, our products or another system. Our products are tried and proven in over 29 countries in all climates and in pools as large as 1.5 million litres.

As far as the pool ionising method goes, it is a fact that pool ionisers are not for everyone as all pools are different as are pool owner’s preferences and needs. Chlorine at undesirable higher levels masks an unbalanced pool as it bleaches many impurities and only makes the pool water look “healthy”; the opposite is the reality. An ioniser “likes” well-balanced pool water as it uses natural minerals to maintain the pool. By keeping the pool water balanced, a stunning healthy and economical pool is the result. That only requires a couple of pool water tests every week and a couple more every month. But, for some time inhibited pool owners, this makes maintaining an ioniser pool a challenge. That is why we listen to your story and your situation before recommending our products to you. We actually have the pool experience (20 years) to overcome time challenged pool owner’s problems so if Bionizer is not for you and your pool we will tell you and refer you to a more satisfactory method of maintaining your pool to suit your family and your needs.

Because in the end, we want our customers to have the perfect pool system for their pool and enjoy their pool instead of struggling balancing and maintaining it.

Are you unsure about which pool sanitiser suits your pool? Talk to one of our pool experts to discuss your personal situation and we will happily give you our free advice.

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Customer Reviews


Customer Reviews

Jenny T. (South East Queensland, QLD) 01/2021

Product Review
Our new bionizer pool is a game changer. After 12 years as a Learn to Swim Teacher it is a treat to spend time in our pool and not smell like chlorine. The Fresh Water Pool is always inviting.
We choose a bionizer pool system to avoid the use of chemicals. It is so wonderful to eliminate harsh chemicals from our pool maintenance routine.
The support team are always available and ever helpful with any query we have as new bionizer customers.
Our family of 4 children & 3 grandchildren, all mermaids, love the beautiful bionizer pool. They spend all day in there and never stingy eyes or chlorine smells.
So pleased we made the change!

Stephen English 10/2020

Google Review
We have just been through the third winter with our pool. In January we bought a pHBoss so we now have all three devices. The pHBoss is so good that I have not had to add anything to the pool apart from one dose of buffer since late January. A completely automatic pool! Fantastic! A 31.5 degree pool and we swim in it nearly every morning around 7 am.

Gregory Peck 11/2020

Facebook Review
We highly recommend these products and this company for quality and excellent service. We have been investing in the Bionizer System for two years now and our pool has never looked better or clearer. The low maintenance required now has ensured it has already paid for itself. I am especially happy that we feel safe swimming regularly especially with my wife's medical condition and her rehab time required in pool. No more strong chlorine smell can only be a positive and good for you. You will be really happy. Do it

Joel 02/2021

Product Review
I use my pool every day summer and winter. I am running the Bionizer unit, Eco oxidiser and PH Boss -55,000L pool with glass filter. My pool has never look better since installing, I love that fresh water feeling. Keep your water balanced and let Bionizer do the rest, best investment I have made for our pool.

Paul H (South East Queensland, QLD) 03/2021

Product Review
When my saltwater chlorinator failed after only 3 years, and the second saltwater cell in 3 years failed at the same time, not surprisingly my pool went as green as your front lawn! I thought there has to be something better than this so I did some online research and stumbled across Bionizer's website. I thought this sounds to good to be true. I did lots of research and spoke to Brian whose knowledge about pool water is second to none! Although it was virtually double the price than replacing the saltwater chlorinator and cell, I was attracted by the claims of the virtual eradication of chemicals and significantly less pool pump use which saves in electricity costs. I was also attracted significantly to the claims around the quality of the water with no chemicals in it and the benefits to skin and health of swimming in what would apparently be like drinking water. I bit the bullet and bought the Bionizer complete with the Eco-oxidizer and the PH Boss.

It took about 2-3 weeks, around 50 litres of liquid chlorine, a couple of phone calls and lots of advice and guidance from Brian and a lot of consistent perseverance but we eventually got the pool water balanced and cleared and now it is crystal clear. The Bionizer was installed around mid January 2021 so for the last few weeks, the pool has been clear and looking wonderful. I have done next to nothing since except test copper levels each week and ensure the water remains balanced and that's it! I've not had to do anything else and the claims are true!!

As someone who suffers from chronic urticaria (hives) and other allergies, swimming in chlorinated water was doing nothing for my skin or allergies. Now I get out of the pool and my skin is not irritated. There is no more trademark tackiness of your skin that you get with chlorinated water. This system is simply fabulous!! I am delighted with the results and would strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to kiss goodbye to all those awful chemicals, the endless trips to the pool shop for water analysis, the ever increasing costs of all the chemicals and the hours spent labouring trying to keep your pool water from going green!

Do yourself and everyone who swims in your pool a huge favour and install the Bionizer system. I'm sure you will conclude it will be one of the best decisions you ever made!!!

Robert Rovere 12/2020

Google Review
We first bought a Bionizer at the start of 2019 to try it and recently also bought the Eco Oxidizer to take our commitment to the next level because we were so happy with our purchase. We were astounded at how little maintenance our pool has needed since we added these quality products to the upkeep of our pool. The initial outlay has already paid for itself in full quite easily since.

Visitors even comment on how clean they feel in our pool and they love that there is no chlorine smell on their body or hair. Skin conditions like my eczema are not aggravated and my wife who has MS now feels confident to exercise daily and feel safe about spending all that time in the pool due to the health benefits of using our Bionizer. The pool always looks good and I have attached pictures for you to see for yourselves.

On a personal level the staff at this company are a pleasure to deal with, very caring and compassionate to their customers needs and give excellent service as they are very passionate about health and their products. If you are thinking of investing in these products then you will be very glad you did.