Southwest US backyard with pool

Pool Ionizer Buyer’s Guide

FREE Startup Kit

When you subscribe to our monthly newsletter

Hose filter and test strips
Hose filter and test strips

Stay in touch

ClearBlue Mineral System

What is a Mineral System?

What is the Best Pool Ionizer for You?

Copper is an underrated mineral for your pool. It’s truly amazing how effective it is for keeping algae in check. The use of copper for water care dates back to Roman times, but it’s only taken off in swimming pools in the last 20 years.

The big chemical companies were the first to jump on it with copper-based algaecides. If you go into any pool store, you’ll find bottles of blue-colored liquid on the shelves. It works great and it is the go-to for many pool professionals. But copper algaecide liquids are expensive, they have chemical additives, and they are difficult to dose properly.

Electronic pool ionizers are a fairly recent phenomenon. While there are plenty of detractors, those who use them swear by the benefits – the biggest one being the reduction of chlorine and other chemicals. Whereas copper algaecides have to be manually dosed from a bottle, pool ionizers are automatic. Whereas copper algaecides use a chemical composition for dispersing the minerals, pool ionizers use raw, elemental minerals with no additives.

One thing is for sure – people love their ionizers. All of the systems get great reviews for cutting down on chemicals and making the pool easier to manage. It’s just a matter of picking the right one for your situation.

Pool Ionizer Buyer's Guide - Showing 4 different pool ionizers

What to expect from this guide

This guide focuses on electronic copper pool ionizers. It does not discuss mineral cartridges, copper algaecides, or other ways to fight algae with or without copper.

For simplicity, the guide focuses on the top 4 pool ionizer systems, listed in no particular order: MineralPure R-40, ClearBlue Mineral System CBI-350P-25, Main Access Power Ionizer, and Remington Solar Sun Shock Pool Ionizer.

We summarize the key points for each system and give a comparison table at the end. This guide is meant to be high-level, but we’ll point you to the details if you want to dig deeper. At the end of this 5-minute read, you will have a good idea of which system is best for you.

Let’s get into it.

Summary of Best-Selling Pool Ionizer Systems

Brand / FeatureMineralPure
ClearBlue Mineral SystemMain Acces Power IonizerRemington Solar Pool Ionizer
Capacity40,000 gal25,000 gal25,000 gal22,000 gal
MineralsCopper (Silver available)Copper, zinc, silverCopperCopper
Power240 V or 120 V manual switch240 V or 120 V auto-sensing120 VSolar
Unique Feature500 mA
Max Output
Constant Current OutputTemperature ReadingSolar Power
Cell Life1-4 years6-12 months6 months6 months
Cell Change15-20 minutes,
Tools and tape required
5 minutes,
no tools or tape
12-20 minutes, tools and tape required5-10 minutes, no tools required, messy
Warranty5 years4 years1 year1 year
EPA RegistrationN/A90859-2N/AN/A

MineralPure R-40 Pool Ionizer


You could say that the MineralPure line by Clearwater Pool Systems is the OG of pool ionizers. They were the first to spin the technology off from NASA, where it was developed during the Apollo program in the 1960s. Variations of the MineralPure system have been on the market since 1989, making it the longest-serving member of the guide. The R-40 model is good for up to 40,000 gallons.

MineralPure R-40 Pool Ionizer

A long legacy can sometimes lead to latency in keeping up with the times. The MineralPure system uses basic electronics and a working replica could be built by a hobbyist in a few hours with parts from Digikey (not recommended for safety reasons). That said, simplicity has its virtues and pool ionizer technology is certainly simple. If you want a rugged, proven system and don’t mind paying for it, the R-40 has proven itself capable.


The latest version of the Clearwater system has a digital screen, but the R-40 available from Home Depot has a couple of LEDs and a 5-position knob as its user interface. It hasn’t won any design awards, but it does the job. The 5-position knob is used to set the output level from 0 mA to 500 mA in 100 mA increments. One LED is the ‘Power Indicator’. Another set of two LEDs called the ‘Alternating Electrode Indicators’ tells you which electrode is charged. Like most pool ionizers, the direction of current flow switches periodically so the electrodes wear evenly.


Installation is straightforward if you’re comfortable with simple PVC plumbing and basic electrical work. The power supply works on both 120 V and 240 V, but you have to open the front panel to flip a switch. Most people will want a professional to hook it up. If you get the electrical wrong by wiring to a 240 V service when it’s set to 120 V for example, you could damage the controller. If you position the ionizing chamber in the wrong place or in the wrong orientation, it’ll be a cut-and-rework job.

The documentation is complete if a tad amateur. They use plenty of caps and exclamation marks to highlight the key points and it has a ‘hot off the dot matrix printer’ feel. Regardless, it’s a good idea to read through it before getting started, even if someone else is installing it.

Setup and Maintenance

Once you have it all hooked up, there is more than enough “horsepower” to get your pool fully ionized in no time. The MineralPure is by far the most powerful of the bunch which can definitely speed up the sluggish ionization process. However, you will need to keep a close eye on the water balance and copper levels because you can easily overdose the copper with this beast, especially on a smaller pool. This can lead to staining, green hair, and grumpy spouses.

The monster of a mineral cell will give you up to four years of life. However, many reviews say it lasts about a year. The default version is copper only and they have a copper/silver version available. They recommend using an old toothbrush and lemon juice to clean it every year or so. Installation of the cell is a little cumbersome because you have to wire the electrodes by hand and use Teflon tape to seal it up. Removing and cleaning it is a messy job, but you don’t want to skip it because scaled-up electrodes will stop releasing minerals.

MineralPure R-40 Replacement Copper

Replacing the cell is fairly easy, but takes a few steps. The two wires that connect to the electrodes need to be removed which will usually require the appropriate wrench. Then, the cell is unscrewed from the tee where it can get a little gummed up. The threadings on the new cell must be wrapped with Teflon tape and then the cell is threaded in. It might take a couple of tries to fasten it to the plumbing with no leaks – and you have to shut off the pump and block the water each time. Once it’s threaded in and sealed, you must re-attach the wires using a wrench.

Unique Features

The MineralPure R-40 has the highest power output of the bunch – by 3X. If you have a large pool, a pool that doesn’t get much sun, or don’t want to worry about phosphates and other algae stimulants, this might be useful for you. As long as you test for copper on a weekly basis.

Price and Availability

The price of the R-40 system is currently $695.00 at Home Depot making it the most expensive system in the guide.

MineralPure R-40 Reviews

Must Have for Any Pool!!!

“This product and technology is absolutely brilliant. The product works flawlessly. Installation was a breeze with some simple pvc plumbing knowledge. I have a 20,000 gallon inground pool with a sand filter. I do shock the water every once in a while and I use Sodium Carbonate to keep the PH in check. No more tablets and constant chlorination (nice savings $$$). No chlorine smell at all, as the chlorine levels are in the safe drinking water range. .2 ppm!!!”

– LeeS on

Works great but electrodes last only a year

“Pros: 1. My 12000 gal pool is much more pleasant to swim in without toxic chlorine. 2. Very low maintenance. 3. Quality controller and enclosure. Cons: 1. I have to replace the $160 (2023) electrodes every 12 months. 2. I have to set the ionizer on 5 (max) year round here in Florida to keep the ions close to recommended 0.3ppm. R40 won’t cut it for a 40000 gal pool. I keep my ph at 7.2. 3. Some bluish staining in my newly marcited pool. Not sure this is due to copper but likely.”

– alby on

Read more reviews on the MineralPure R-40 on

More on the MineralPure R-40

Manufacturer’s Website

Listing on

MineralPure R-40 Operating Manual

MineralPure Installation Video

ClearBlue Mineral System CBI-350P-25


If the MineralPure is the elder of the guide, the ClearBlue CBI-350P is the whippersnapper. This model launched in 2022 making it the latest release in the category. Not to worry though, the manufacturer has been making ionizers since 2004 and their latest creation is an evolution of their proven design.

ClearBlue Mineral System Controller


You wouldn’t call the ClearBlue system a marvel of technology, but it stands above the rest in design and features. The digital interface has two modes: Increase and Maintain. Both are set using up and down buttons to a number between 0-99. A ‘Mineral Action’ LED indicates that minerals are flowing with a blue light and a problem with the cell with a flashing red light. This comes in handy when it’s time to replace the cell.

The Increase mode is used to ramp up the minerals on a fill and the Maintain mode is used to maintain the level. Whereas the MineralPure system instructs you to turn it up until the copper level is adequate, the ClearBlue system automates the process. You’re less likely to forget it’s turned up and overdose. The manual gives you a guideline for how to set these modes depending on your pool size, but you’ll still have to test the copper level and adjust the settings according to the readings.

The QR code on the front of the panel comes in handy. You can use it to register the warranty when you first purchase it and it directs you to the quickstart guide to help set it up. You can also purchase replacement cells right from the page that comes up.


Installing the ClearBlue system is similar to the MineralPure. The mineral cell threads into a tee which needs to be glued into the plumbing. The controller has a standard wall plug which makes powering it up easy if you have an outlet nearby. If not, you can cut the plug off and wire it to a timer, automation relay, or anything hot. Unlike the MineralPure, the ClearBlue system works on either 120 V or 240 V automatically. There is no risk of powering it from the wrong source and no hassle of opening it up to change modes.

The ClearBlue operating manual is the most professional of the bunch. It says a lot of the same things as the other manuals but it is presented in a vibrant, professional format. Again, there are important tips in the manual that shouldn’t be ignored. As much as it’s tempting to toss it out with the box, it’s worthwhile giving it a read and keeping it around for reference.

Setup and Maintenance

The maximum power of the CBI-350P-25 is 100mA which makes it a slower burn for ramping up the minerals. But it’s much harder to overdose so staining is a lower risk. The longest the Increase mode can run for is 99 hours or around 4 days which is never enough time to cause problems. In fact, you may have to run the increase mode for multiple 99-hour cycles to get an adequate copper reading. According to the manufacturer, this is by design since stains are the number one complaint with pool ionizers and copper in general.

The CBI-350P-25 system comes with the ‘Premium’ mineral cell which is a proprietary blend of silver, copper, and zinc. It is designed to last about 6 months or one pool season which is comparable to the Main Access system described next. The benefit of a shorter cell life is it doesn’t need cleaning. All pool ionzier electrodes are self-cleaning to some extent because they are always releasing material which removes scale as well. But the longer a cell is in the water, the more it will scale up. For replacement cells, you have the “Premium’ option along with the ‘Standard’ version which is copper and zinc with a 6-month average lifespan, and the Long Life version which is copper and zinc with a 1-2 year lifespan.

ClearBlue Mineral Cell with a Pink Plug

The ClearBlue mineral cell is the easiest to replace of the four systems. You simply unplug it from the controller and unscrew it from the tee. The new cell screws in by hand and seals with an o-ring and plugs into the controller – no tools or Teflon tape are needed.

Unique Features

The ClearBlue Mineral System uses a ‘constant current’ circuit on the output. This means that the controller adapts to the water chemistry by increasing and decreasing voltage automatically to maintain a constant output at all times. Whereas the Power Ionizer needs to be turned up continuously as the cell wears down, the ClearBlue adapts automatically to make sure the output is always stable for the given settings.

The ClearBlue Mineral System is the only pool ionizer that is registered with the EPA as a pesticide device. This matters most if you are a retailer because then you don’t have to worry about it getting pulled from the shelves. Technically, all ionizers should have a registration. As a user, it gives you a sense of security that it’s being tested and monitored by a government agency. Whereas the other systems are listed under UL, NSF, and electrical safety standards, the ClearBlue system has been tested and certified to kill algae, bacteria, and viruses at a rate that ensures the water is safe for swimmers.

Price and Availability

You can get the ClearBlue system for $649.99 on Amazon putting it in the same range as the MineralPure. The simplified Mineral Lion system, also manufactured by ClearBlue, comes with a copper and zinc cell and is $399.99 on Amazon.

ClearBlue Mineral System Reviews

Five Stars

ClearBlue Mineral System

“This is the first year we have used a Clear Blue system and we are more than pleased! Our pool stayed clear all summer long and required very little effort to maintain it. The cost of maintaining the Clear Blue pool is much less than the cost of maintaining a Chlorine pool, which we had previously owned, and the water quality is much better. I would recommend the Clear Blue Mineral System to anyone”

– Bobby on

Five Stars

ClearBlue Ionizer

“The first year we used the ClearBlue Ionizer it worked as expected. Our pool was clean all summer and we didn’t have to use much chlorine. We followed all other pool cleaning requirements as well, and we kept our above ground 24′ round pool pump on 24/7. Our pool was not heavily used by many people. It’s fairly easy to figure out the settings. The second year we used it we didn’t need to have it on very much since the copper level in our water was even higher than the recommended value. We cleaned the buildup on the prongs and will see if we need to use it this summer. One thing we would’ve liked was to have the ionizer come with a protective container.”

– Sherry on

Read more reviews on the ClearBlue Mineral System on

More on the ClearBlue Mineral System

Manufacturer’s Website

Listing on

ClearBlue Mineral System Operating Manual

ClearBlue Mineral System Installation Video

Main Access Power Ionizer


The Main Access Power Ionizer is another well-established player in the pool ionizer space. The system has been on the market since the 90s and is arguably the most popular pool ionizer on the market. The Power Ionizer is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” incarnate. It ionizes water, of that there is no doubt. However, if you have design tastes and like modern tech, it’s not going to fit the bill. It hasn’t changed in over 20 years and it shows.

Main Access Power Ionizer

While the Power Ionizer is sometimes marketed for ‘any pool up to 40,000 gallons’, it is designed for aboveground pools. Everything from the external power transformer to the large temperature readout, to the plumbing connections, screams aboveground. You certainly could adapt the fittings for hard plumbing used in inground pools, but it’s not common. While the control module itself does not have a UL listing for electrical safety, it uses an external transformer that’s listed. I guess that’s safe, but with the knockoff replacement parts popping up on Amazon, I’d be careful what you’re plugging into it. Electrical safety around water is no joke!


The installation of the Power Ionizer is the most straightforward of the bunch. If you’re installing it on an aboveground pool, you don’t need to do any gluing because it’s designed to work with the threaded fittings that come with the pool filter. The ionizing chamber screws onto the filter and then the flex hose that normally comes off the filter is attached to the other side of the chamber. The control model is propped up on the hose chamber itself so there is nothing to mount there. And the power supply just plugs into an outlet. It’s not pretty, but it works.

Setup and Maintenance

Like all mineral systems, you have to balance the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness before ramping up the minerals. With the Power Ionizer, you also need to ramp up the total dissolved solids (TDS) to at least 1,000. This is to ensure the controller can conduct electricity between the electrodes. Whereas the ClearBlue system has a ‘constant current’ circuit that compensates for low water conductivity, the Power Ionizer needs the water resistance lowered in order to work. The TDS is usually increased using salt which is why the Power Ionizer is sometimes billed as a ‘Hybrid Salt System’. The salt is put in the water to assist the ionizing function – not to generate chlorine like a salt system. But be careful before you put salt in your aboveground pool because it will void some manufacturer warranties.

Apart from the TDS, the setup for the Power Ionizer is similar to the MineralPure system. You need to crank up the dial for a few days to ramp up the copper and then turn it down again once it reaches the desired level. This adds to the risk of overdosing because it’s easy to forget to turn it down or have someone crank it up on a whim. While the Power Ionizer doesn’t have the grunt of the MineralPure system, it’s about twice as powerful as the ClearBlue system when the TDS is in range, making the risk of staining high.

They refer to the mineral cell as a replacement chamber and it is made of copper only. It is sometimes advertised as copper/silver, but we purchased a ‘genuine manufacturer’ replacement chamber and had it tested in the lab because we were curious how they could sell it for under $90. The lab analysis came back with 99.90% copper with some other impurities. The cell should last one pool season, but some customers report getting more than one season from a cell.

Main Access Power Ionizer Replacement Chamber

The Power Ionizer replacement chamber is difficult to swap out because it has so many connections. You have to unscrew the four mounting screws, lift off the controller, and pull the wires from the terminals. If you’re lucky, you won’t have much corrosion, and everything with come apart, but you might have to fight with it for a bit. Then, you have to unscrew the chamber from the plumbing and try not to get wet (it’s best to plug the jets first if you have screw-in plugs). Again, hopefully, it’s not too scaled up and it just comes off, but you might need a pipe wrench if it’s glued on with scale. The threaded fittings need to be re-wrapped with Teflon tape before the new chamber is fitted. It might take a couple of tries to make sure you have enough tape to prevent leaking. Then, you have to hook all the connections back up.

Unique Features

The Power Ionizer is the only one of the lot that has a temperature reading.

Price and Availability

Price-wise, Power Ionizer is the lowest of the installed systems, coming in around $275 from Amazon.

Power Ionizer Reviews

Five Stars

Works Amazingly Well!

“We bought one of these years ago, and we’re hooked. Each year when opening our above ground pool, we replace just the inner chamber. The main unit itself lasted several years, and it was time to get a new one. All that is needed is one bag of shock per week, and this ionizer handles all the algae. It is amazing how much time and money this saves us each year.”

– Jilly on

Three Stars

Easy to Start Up

“I have had this on a few days and seems to be doing a good job. Not installation friendly. Instructions very vague. I went to their website to make sure I was preparing pool correctly and they have a video that explains what you need to do. They have chemicals on the web site that go with Ionizer but I cannot find anywhere to purchase them. I sent a question on their contact site. I also called their phone number that no one answered or returned my voice mail request. Not sure if this is a good buy since their has been no product support so far.”

– Michael Krieg on

Read more Power Ionizer reviews on

More on the Main Access Power Ionizer

Manufacturer’s Website

Listing on

Main Access Power Ionizer Operating Manual

Remington Solar Sun Shock Pool Ionizer


The Remington Solar “Sun Shock” Pool Ionizer simplifies the pool ionizer to a new level. It’s basically a solar panel wired to a chunk of copper. You toss it in the pool and let the sun and copper work their collective magic. I wouldn’t call this system ‘professional grade’, but judging by their ratings and reviews on Amazon, it works.

The Remington Solar Pool Ionizer is not registered with the EPA as a pesticide device. We believe that it would be hard to show that it consistently maintains a copper reading adequate to safely reduce chlorine levels. The manual says “do not use any other chemicals in your pool” which is laughable to a pool professional and probably illegal. It goes on to say “we recommend using a small [amount] of sanitizer (2 – 3 ppm) to keep your pool microbe free”. This is the same amount recommended without any pool ionizer device, so they’re probably just covering their butts.

Remington Solar Pool Ionizer


There is no installation for a solar pool ionizer – you just assemble it and toss it in the water. If parts of your pool don’t get sun, you can tether the floating ionizer to one area. The rate of copper release is dependent on how much sun falls on it. So for most pools, it should be in the sun as much as possible to have enough juice to build up a copper residual. They suggest 4 to 5 hours of direct sun for a pool of up to 22,000 gallons. Reading through their manual, it suggests that many customers required two or more units for it to be effective.

Setup and Maintenance

The water prep is the same as the other systems. The pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness need to be balanced. The ideal copper level is 0.2 – 0.4 ppm, but many users will have a hard time reaching this level with a solar pool ionizer. Luckily, ionized copper is reactive in low concentrations, so as long as it’s producing copper ions, it will help control algae.

The Remington product, like most solar pool ionizers, has only one anode. So, there is no ‘self-cleaning’ action that you get from two electrodes with an alternating current. You need to clean it “every 5 to 7 days” according to the manual. They tell you it’s doing that on purpose, to remove scale from the water, but removing scale is not something you need to worry about if your water is balanced properly. A wire brush is provided for cleaning which will do a better job than a toothbrush and lemon juice, but is still a messy chore. Folks in the reviews suggest wearing gloves to avoid long-lasting stains on your hands. One person said to wear a mask because the dusty material that came off was irritating to the lungs for a few days. Maybe that’s why the manufacturer suggests cleaning them when they’re wet.

Changing the anode is easy, but can also get messy. You don’t need any tools or tape, but you might want gloves and a mask per above. You simply remove the netting and unscrew a single nylon wingnut to remove the old anode. The new anode unscrews from the base and then the new one screws in. Fasten the wingnut and reattach the net and you’re done.

Remington Solar Copper Anodes

Unique Features

The Remington Solar Pool Ionizer is the only one that is powered by the sun and does not need to be installed into the pool plumbing.

Price and Availability

Price-wise, you’re looking at around $120 for a single system on Amazon. However, if you don’t get enough sun or your pool is on the large side, you might need to double up.

Remington Solar Pool Ionizer Reviews

Five Stars

Saved my summer!

“I was a little hesitant to purchase due to price. It was one of the cheaper ones that I could find. I would have paid more for this thing if I had known how well it worked. I fought algae in my pool all spring and summer. Opened my pool in March and it never got clear until I put this in, the end of July. With in a week, my pool was crystal clear. It states that it will reduce chemical usage by 80%. I was very skeptical. It reduced my chemical usage by about 95%. If you need an ionizer, buy this one. Costs less than others and works amazingly.”

– Jesse Forsythe on

Four Stars

Seems to work

“It actively corrodes the copper cylinder. Seems to work, pool has been crystal clear and not green, not sure if how much it’s doing or it’s just an added safeguard, no issue with it using a salt water chlorinator. Have had to clean the electrode once, wear gloves or it will stain your hands for a day or two”

– Timothy Oligher on

More on the Remington Solar Pool Ionizer

Manufacturer’s Website

Listing on

Remington Solar Pool Ionizer Operating Manual

Links to Amazon on this page are affiliate links.

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more tips and get a free hose filter and test strips to kick your season off right. You can unsubscribe any time. We’ll check in a bit later to see how your opening went and make sure you get the most from your pool all year.

Subscribe NOW to get your FREE startup kit!

Hose filter and test strips
Hose filter and test strips