Ozone Pool: How It Works, Pros & Cons

Clean, luxury inground pool overlooking green bare hills on california sunny day

If you’re considering upgrading your pool’s disinfection system you’ve probably looked into some of the most popular options.  There’s in-line chlorinators which allow chlorine tablets to automatically erode without the floating chlorine system.  Then there’s the salt chlorinator or salt system which is sold as if it’s a silver bullet solution but has more drawbacks than you might expect. If you’ve been searching online you may have heard of an ozone pool which is another method of disinfection.

How Does An Ozone Pool Work?

Ozone is used as a supplemental disinfection method. The reason you don’t rely solely on ozone is that it is added to the pool as a gas.  This means over the course of about 20 minutes, the ozone gas will dissipate and you’re left with no residual in the pool itself.  Residual is what we call the disinfection potential of the pool water as it sits in the pool exposed to the elements. 

The residual disinfection will theoretically neutralize any microorganism that might find itself in the pool water.  The most common residual disinfection is chlorine.  However, some prefer bromine, which acts much the same way as chlorine.  However, bromine is far more susceptible to dissipation from the sun.  

In reality, there are many microorganisms which chlorine or bromine cannot destroy without being at levels far above those safe for swimming.  This is why ‘shocking’ the pool is so important when you have a chlorine only disinfection method.  You must raise the chlorine level up above 10 PPM to destroy those pesky microorganisms which your normal chlorine levels cannot neutralize.  

What an ozone pool does is use ozone gas to consistently shock the water as it passes through the pool equipment. Ozone gas is 3000 times more powerful than chlorine at oxidizing microorganisms and many other contaminants which find themselves in your pool water.  Another great perk is that ozone reduces the buildup of combined chlorine, or chloramines which are what cause red eyes, burning skin, and green hair.  

Ozone System Types

There are a couple of primary types of ozone systems for swimming pools.  Both of them are located at the pool equipment, and produce ozone gas.  The most commonly used on residential pools are UV light generated ozone.  These systems are quite simple.  There is a UV light bulb and a tube connected to the plumbing of the pool at the equipment. 

black and white ozone pool UV light underwater in blue pool

As the water passes by the tube in the plumbing, it draws air into the pool plumbing through the Venturi effect.  When the air passes over the UV Light bulb before entering the tube which is connected to your pool plumbing, ozone gas is produced.  UV light bulbs produce ozone gas when exposed to the air.  

The other method of producing ozone is called corona discharge. These systems are capable of creating massive amounts of ozone, and these systems are more common on commercial swimming pools. Corona discharge ozone generators create ozone by forcing air over high voltage metal mesh. When air is exposed to high voltage the O2 molecules split and recombine into O3 which is ozone.

How Much Does Each Ozone Type Cost?

Of course, each of these ozone system types come with a cost. You’ll find that an ozone with corona discharge will probably be $1,000 more than the regular ozone. UV light generated ozone will generally be $500 more than regular ozone.

Pros And Cons Of An Ozone Pool

There are two main benefits of having an ozone pool. These pros don’t matter which system you have. FIrst, an ozone pool will be an easier pool to maintain. Second, it will use less chlorine. You have lower demand for chlorine when you are consistently oxidizing your pool water without chemicals.  

There aren’t many cons of an adding an ozone system to your pool. There are some challenges to installation if your pool equipment is located below pool water level. However, this is nothing that cannot be overcome.

Ozone Pool Summary

As you can see, an ozone pool has many benefits. There are several ozone system types to select. These include UV light and corona discharge. Ozone pools are easier to maintain and require less chlorine. This is because ozone gas is 3,000x more powerful than chlorine. Therefore, it can reduce buildups of chlorine in your pool. You will have a much better experience with less irritation in an ozone pool.