Recipe for a Chlorine Free Swimming Pool

clean-refreshing and chlorine-freeMaintaining a clean, clear pool without the use of chlorine will require a bit more effort and expense, but it IS possible!

We’re not talking about “natural pools”, those that are green, with aquatic plants. I’m talking about a blue pool – without chlorine.

Follow our recipe, and you can maintain a blue and sanitary pool without chlorine. You will use other chemicals, purifiers and oxidizers, along with improved filtration and circulation.

Big DE Filter

Shown is the Largest Hayward DE filter, the DE7220

Our first ingredient is a large D.E. filter. When we say Big Diatomaceous Earth Filter, I’m talking about the 72 sq. ft. filter on residential pools of 30-50,000 gallons. If your pool is smaller, you could install a 60 sq. ft. DE filter for pools in the 10-20,000 range, or a 48 sq. ft. for a 5-10,000 gallon pool or spa.

A DE filter is required because it is the best type of filter and can remove the smallest particles (down to 2 microns) from the water. Removing these particles from the water helps to ensure that the products you are using to sanitize are able to work most efficiently, and aren’t focused on trying to destroy solid material that your filter can remove from the water.

A bigger filter has more surface area to trap dirt and bacteria. This results in longer filter cycles and more efficient filtering. Larger filters also allow you to filter the water more rapidly, meaning they can handle higher flow rates.

Improved circulation is always good, and is a part of the our chlorine-free pool recipe. Optimize your flow in the pool by aiming return fittings to flow in a circular pattern. Keep the water level at the mid-level for the skimmers to work at their best. Brush the pool weekly to remove dust and film, and either vacuum the pool thoroughly or run the pool cleaner regularly.

Run your Pump More Often

Hayward Ecostar pool pump image

Not exactly the most eco-friendly thing to do, unless you are using a 2 speed or variable speed pump, but in order to operate your pool without chlorine, you will need more filtering to continually remove micro-particles from the water.

It need not be 24 hours per day, but should probably be at least 18 hours, in season. With extra timeclock on-off dogs, you can set it to turn off for only 2 hours at a time, several times per day, or night.

Nature2 Mineral Purifier

Nature2 Express purifier and cartridge shown

Nature2 and other mineral purifiers use minerals like copper and silver to destroy bacteria and algae in pool water. One unit will work for pools up to 25,000 gallons. Larger pools can use multiple units. Just as with the filter, it is better to oversize and add an additional unit if you are on the borderline of the recommended max pool size.

Ozone Generator

Image of Del Ozone's Total Eclipse pool ozone system

Pool Ozonators generate ozone gas which acts as a disinfectant and an oxidizer.  When used alone, ozone generators can reduce your chlorine use by 60-90%, so they are a powerful component to the chlorine-free system. Pool Ozonators are installed in line with your filter system. You cannot create a residual of ozone gas in the water (as you can with chlorine or bromine), so the system is only disinfecting the water while it is running. For some really great information about how ozone generators work, visit our good friends at Del Ozone.

Chlorine-Free Shock and Algaecide

image of non-chlorine pool shock

Weekly use of these products is something most pool owners are used to, whether they use chlorine or not, but their use becomes even more important when you are trying to maintain this delicate balance, and so it is part of our recipe. Once algae is present in the water it will be difficult to clear it up without the use of chlorine shock, so prevention is the key here.

Just maintenance dosages of a good algaecide will be required. No need to double the dose. And for the non-chlorine shock, likewise follow the label instructions for a regular shock.

Don’t add your algaecide and chlorine-Free shock to the pool at the same time, as they may interfere with each others contributions or polymer structure.

Enzymes to Prevent Build Up

image of Pool Perfect + Phos-Free enzyme and phophate removal formula

Weekly use of Pool Enzymes will speed-up the break-down of organic compounds (like oils, sweat, scum, sunscreens, lotions, etc.) so they can be absorbed by the pool water without negative side effects. This will remove and prevent unsightly waterline rings, scum lines and stains and allow the Nature2 and Ozone systems to sanitize more effectively.

Pool Perfect is a great choice or you can try Pool Perfect with Phos Free. Pool Perfect with Phos Free not only prevents waterline/scum rings but also will remove phosphates from the water, which are key contributors to algae growth. If you have a particularly heavy bather load in a given week multiple treatments are a good idea.

Using all of these products together should ensure a clean and clear pool. It is very important to make sure that you continually follow the same procedures each week. If your pool is clear, continued use of these products together will keep it that way.

And that, is how you can safely and sanely operate your swimming pool, without using chlorine. A chlorine free pool is possible. Have you done it? Leave a comment below if you can add to the topic of a non-chlorine swimming pool.

Jackie Wolski
InTheSwim Staff Blogger

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