Ionization alternative

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New member
Jul 21, 2007
Hello all,

I am new to this forum and new to pool ownership. I just bought a house that has a pool, hot tub, and koi pond so I am still trying to learn the ropes. Currently the pool and spa are chlorine based systems. I was hoping to get away from chlorine as it is a fairly harsh chemical to deal with, even when properly maintained (which I am currently having difficulty with). I used to work for a company called Carefree Clearwater ( when I was younger. I made all of the units for the company, but I never actually installed/used them so I only know them from a technical perspective. I asked around from some of the pool stores and they didn't seem to like ionization in general, but most of the units I found online were just simple transformers attached to anodes, which is a terrible system since you have no way to control the output. So I was wondering if anyone had any real experience with these systems, specifically the Carefree Clearwater, but any ionization system experience would be helpful.

Thanks for any assistance.



Well-known member
Mar 29, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Hi Zipper, welcome to the TPH forum. I will say that most of the members of this forum use either Salt water chlorinators or employ the BBB system (Bleach, Borax, Bicarbonate). You will get a lot of skeptical people when it comes to Mineral based sanitization systems. Mainly because it introduces metals into your pool and it's claims as a sole replacement for chemicals tends to be stretched. As you may have read, you still need to use an oxidizer such as chlorine in conjunction with the system, so really, it is not a standalone unit. There are way more qualified people here to go into detail about this.

All I can say is prepare to be converted away from "The carefree clearwater system". Congrats on your new pool/spa and koi pond!!!


TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
When used appropriately chlorine is not at all harsh. Almost all of the problems with chlorine come from pools where the chemistry is not properly maintained. If you follow our BBB approach you will often find that people ask you what you are using instead of chlorine, because we avoid all the problems that people expect chlorine to have.

Copper and silver are not effective against viruses and have much slower kill times for many other pathogens than chlorine does. Plus effective doses of copper/silver need to be very very close to, or at, the levels that will cause stains. Small deviations in the chemistry will result in unsightly stains (which can also reduce the amount of copper/silver in the water below effective levels).


I find it intersting that you don't contact the company you supposedly used to work for to get info on their systems. I am sure you still have contacts there (as I am sure that you still work for them and you post is just an attempt to advertise them in the forum). We have already had an ecosmarte rep on here that refused to anwer any of the questions about her units and in general copper/silver systems STILL need to be used with chlorine for proper sanitation. In Auatralia they have passed legislation that requires them to be used at normal and not reduced chlorine levels and in Canada they can only be registered as algaecides--not sanitizers and silver is NOT registered at all, only copper! At far as your Koi pond I would not recommend an ionizer. Copper can stress koi and should only be used as a treatment in a hospital tank when dealing with specific parasites! Biological filtraton and mechanical filtration are a much better choice for the health of your fish! (have have kept fish for about 40 years now and have kept saltwater/reef systems for about 30 so I know a bit about this!)

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
Longview, Texas
Please read your PM, > notifications, just under the pool school button.

This is a VERY old thread and of no real contribution to TFP in reviving it. It's closed.
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