Pool Enzymes, What they are and are they worth it?

Written By Timothy Te

01st March 2021

Aside from our regular swimming pool chemicals, pool enzymes are becoming increasingly popular in the Australian pool owner community because they make pool maintenance tasks so much easier. Today we’re going to take a look at the different W’s of enzymes. What is an enzyme? When do I add enzymes? Where should I add enzymes? Who should use enzymes? And Why should I use enzymes?

What is an Enzyme?

Let’s put on our science caps for a second as we explain what enzymes are. Enzymes have been present for as long as there has been life on the planet. Basically, an enzyme breaks down non-living organic and inorganic matter, and they especially excel at breaking down oils and fats. It’s found everywhere, even inside the human body and it basically accelerates the biological process. In pool-speak, there are different kinds of enzymes from commercially produced enzymes that have specific targets (think oil spills) to broad-spectrum or natural enzymes that work on a wide variety of things.

For our swimming pools, it’s mostly natural and broad-spectrum enzymes that are being sold. These work by accelerating the breakdown and decomposition of oils and other contaminants in our pool, giving our pool chemicals an easier time in keeping our pool clean.

When do I add enzymes?

Enzymes should be added (or used) if you feel like your regular pool maintenance routine just isn’t cutting it. This may mean that there’s something that you haven’t accounted for and just makes pool maintenance much tougher. But if your current pool maintenance routine is working just fine then you don’t need the added expense of enzymes for your pool.

A sure sign that you may need to add enzymes to your spa or your pool is if you have a recurring problem with scum lines and floating oil.

Where should I add enzymes?

This depends on what type of enzyme you have. If you have an enzyme designed for pools, then add it to your pool. If you have an enzyme designed for spas then add it to your spas. It is very worth noting that commercial enzymes have specific uses so be sure to purchase and use the correct enzyme that fits your actual need.

Who should use enzymes?

This is closely linked with the answer to “When do I add enzymes?” If you don’t need to use enzymes, then don’t. But if your pool needs a little bit of a boost in sanitising then you should give enzymes a try!

Why should you use enzymes?

Enzymes shouldn’t be your primary chemical of choice for sanitising your pool. Think of them as a “boost” for your sanitisers. Enzymes alone CANNOT sanitise your pool no matter what the marketing materials say. Yes, they break down oils and contaminants to your pool, but they do not get rid of them, that’s the job of chlorine and your pool sanitisers.

A Rough Scientific look at Pool Enzymes

Enzymes serve as catalysts for chemical reactions. For the purposes of our pools, enzymes are added to start the breakdown of oils and other contaminants which may take a while to occur without the use of an enzyme. Once this reaction has started and is in full swing, the enzymes move on to the next molecule, making it extremely efficient as it doesn’t get “used up”.

Chlorine and Enzymes: A Mutual Relationship

Chlorine excels at getting rid of LIVING contaminants like bacteria and algae and struggles with more complex contaminants like oils. On the other hand, enzymes do not target living contaminants, but they excel at breaking down non-living contaminants like oils, lotion, sunscreen, and others. This is an excellent example of when you should start to consider using enzymes in your pool if your chlorine is struggling with excess contaminants caused by bather load and if you’re constantly dealing with high chloramine levels in your pool.

Our Recommended Enzyme: Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer

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If there's an enzyme product we can recommend, it's the Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer! It's a fairly new product that reduces the cyanuric acid levels in our pools safely and without the need to waste thousands of liters of water!

Read more in our Product Spotlight: The Bio-Active Cyanuric Acid Reducer here.

Conclusion: Are enzymes worth it?

If you need the added help in keeping your pool sanitised, then yes, 100% enzymes are worth it. But if your current maintenance regimen is working and you’re not facing any issues when it comes to sanitising your pool then no, they’re not worth it. Adding enzymes to an already well-maintained pool is just an added expense that’s hard to justify, plus it’s just another set of chemicals to keep track of.

Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Happy swimming :)

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Written By

Timothy Te

Pool Guru at Mr Pool Man

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