We live in Southwest Michigan, have an older 40,000 gallon in-ground pool surrounded by trees and all kinds of vegetation. It seemed like trying to keep the pool clean was a never ending job. In July 2022 a friend recommeded that I buy a pool ionizer to clarify our pool and cut down on algae. The results are promising so let me explain.
On Amazon there are a ton of companies selling solar power pool ionizers. They basically look like a mushroom with solar cells on a flat top and then a 10-12″ cylinder that goes down in the water. In that cylinder is a mesh basket filter, a steel spring and a copper-silver anode.
The solar cells generate direct current (DC) voltage with the negative going to the copper cylinder-silver anode. The postive voltage goes to the metal spring that is the cathode and it encircles the anode with a slight gap in between. The slight current causes positively charged copper-silver “cat-ions” to come off the anode and then they float in the water until they bond with negatively charged microorganisms, such as bacteria and algae, and cause them to break down and due. Your filter then removes them.
Is this dangerous? No, the voltage and current are really low. The use of silver and copper to clean/purify surfaces has been known for hundreds of years. So, it’s definitely proven.
What did I buy?
Well, I read reviews on Amazon plus the friend recommended the model I bought. I went sith the EAAZPOOL Solar Ionizer for a 45,000 gallon pool. They make one for smaller pools but I needed this larger one.
Assembly is super easy – turn the solar cell covered main unit upside down, screw in the anode on the bottom, put the spring in place, put the basket on and then use the plastic thumb screw to hold everything in place. It also comes with a big rubber band that you put around the outside of the main body to further seal the seam where the top and bottom halves of the case come together. You then place it in the water and it runs when the sunlights hits it.
If you disassemble the unit in a few days and check you will notice the surface of the copper-silver rod will be getting discolored and over time it will even become pitted.
About once a week you take the unit part and wire brush the anode and the wire cathode, plus rinse out the basket.
For us, the most striking difference was the clarity of the water improved. While algae formation decreased some, I had hoped for more. This season I am putting a new anode and cathode in the existing unit and adding a second unit. Our pool only gets direct sun from about 11am until about 3pm because trees block the light so I don’t think enough ionization is happening. I’ll use the test strips they supply to make sure I don’t add too much.
The following are both the unit and the refill kit if you need it – my anode and cathode lasted from July to October just FYI.
Yes, they do work. Everybody I know with one likes it. My results with the definitely clearer water are promising and I think the second one in my case, with both a big pool and limited direct sun light, will cut back the algae they way I want.
I hope this helps you out. I’ll post an update this summer once I see how using two units works.
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