The 6 Best Pool Ozone Generators
A Brief History of Pools
If there's one thing our species has always been keenly aware of, it's that diving into a pool of clear, cool water is incredibly refreshing.
Of course, when our ancestors did it, they had to jump in lakes and rivers, and there was the omnipresent fear of death by crocodile (this is still true in Florida and Australia). That's why it quickly became clear that having a man-made pool would offer some considerable advantages over swimming in nature.
The first known pool was built in modern-day Pakistan in the 3rd century B.C.E. It was a large tank, measuring about twelve meters long by seven meters wide, with stairs around the outside. The bottom was made of water-tight clay bricks, plaster, and tar, and the whole thing was likely used for religious ceremonies rather than splashing around in fur bikinis.
The Greeks and Romans enjoyed public pools as well. These were used for hygiene as well as socializing, and of course, training for naval combat.
Spending leisure time floating around in a pool really hit its stride in Britain in the 19th century C.E., however. That's when competitive swimming started to become popular, and several swimming societies were formed as a result. Of course, these races needed to be held somewhere, and indoor pools began cropping up in the London area.
However, many of these pools were fairly dirty, as there wasn't a suitable method for filtering out microbes at that time. The only method for cleaning the pool was to completely drain and refill it, and that was only done when it became disgustingly clear that a change was necessary.
Starting in 1910 at Brown University, attempts were made to sterilize the water with chlorine and other chemicals. In 1975, pools in the U.S. began to be treated with ozone, and UV radiation was utilized to eradicate algae and bacteria.
Today, pools are increasingly common, with an estimated 10 million households in America having a pool on the premises. Keeping all those pools sanitary takes a lot of work, which is why most owners have automated cleaners, or use cleaning services.
Then again, there's nothing quite as fun as watching your body turn green when you jump into your pool and then pretending you're the Incredible Hulk.
Why You Need a Pool Ozone Generator
When you think about pool chemicals, chances are your mind goes right to chlorine. However, many pools are moving away from chlorine in favor of other sanitizing agents, like ozone.
Ozone is an unsteady allotrope of oxygen. We flunked chemistry, so we don't know exactly what that means, but the upshot is that this unstable molecular structure causes it to latch onto anything it comes in contact with, and most bacteria dies almost instantly when upon becoming oxidized.
It sounds dangerous — and it is, for microbes — but it quickly reverts back to harmless oxygen once it hits the water.
Ozone doesn't just kill bacteria, either. It also wipes out viruses, mold, fungi, and bodily oils, leaving your water almost completely sanitized. Chlorine does this as well, but ozone works 3,000 times faster, and it requires lower concentrations to be effective. Using fewer chemicals can save you money over time, without having to compromise on the safety of your water.
It's also less likely to irritate the eyes or skin, and although it does have an odor similar to that of chlorine, it's not as potent.
Unlike chlorine, ozone doesn't affect the pH balance of your water, which is delicate and difficult to maintain, nor will it eat away at your pool's lining. This makes it lower maintenance than many other cleaning options.
It should be noted that, even if you install an ozone generator, there's a chance that you'll still need to add chlorine, bromine, or some other form of cleansing agent, as it takes ozone longer to penetrate a large pool. If your generator doesn't have a high output, expect to have to add some other sanitizers.
Installing an ozone generator doesn't mean that maintaining your pool will be entirely hands-off, but it should reduce the amount of time you have to spend working on it — which means you can spend more time lounging around it.
Tips for Keeping the Perfect Pool
Having a pool is a wonderful luxury, but unless you want to have your very own backyard swamp, they require a lot of work. To keep your water clean and clear, there are a few things you should keep in mind — but luckily, if you have an ozone generator, you're already ahead of the curve.
Make sure it always has the proper water level. If it gets too low, it can damage the pump, while if it gets too high, that can cause the skimmer door to work improperly. Try to make sure that it's level with the skimmer.
Speaking of which, keep that skimmer basket clean. It's what keeps visible debris out of the water, but if it gets too full, all that junk will eventually float right back out. Clean it out at least once a week, and check the hair and lint pot while you're at it.
Take a brush to the water a couple of times a month. This can prevent algae build-up and ensure that your generator doesn't have to work too hard.
No matter how clean you keep the water, however, it's a good idea to drain and refill the whole thing every five years or so. All those cleaning chemicals can add up over time, which actually impedes the ability of new cleaners to work effectively. Starting fresh is a good way to keep everything running smoothly.
If you carve out an hour or two a week, you should be able to enjoy an immaculate pool every day of the year. Then again, if it gets too clean, those pesky neighbor kids might want to come over and use it all the time.