Traditionally, pools have been maintained using chlorine, but over the last several years, pools using saltwater system have become increasingly popular. When deciding on which system to use, you need to know some facts about saltwater pools vs chlorine pools.

SOFTER FEELING WATER

Many people are initially drawn to saltwater pools vs chlorine pools due to the “softer” feeling of the water.  The salt content of a saltwater pool is far lower than that of the ocean, and many swimmers report not being able to tell that anything has been added to the water.   Another factor that many people favor about saltwater pools vs chlorine pools is the lack of “chemical smell.”  Use of saltwater is also said to be gentler on skin and eyes than traditionally chlorinated water.  However, pH balance is also pivotal in maintaining a healthy swimming environment that won’t irritate swimmers.  And pH must be balanced in both saltwater and chlorine pools.

SALTWATER POOLS ARE STILL CHLORINATED

While you put salt rather than chlorine directly into the pool, saltwater systems have a mechanism which turns the salt into chlorine once it is in the water.  This is achieved by the addition of a salt water chlorinator to your filtration system.  However, the level of chlorine is likely to remain more constant if it is produced by the generator rather than manually added.   As with a traditionally chlorinated pool, saltwater pools need other chemicals to remain balanced, so chlorine is not the only thing in play when it comes to pool health.

SOFTER FEELING WATER

Many people are initially drawn to saltwater pools vs chlorine pools due to the “softer” feeling of the water.  The salt content of a saltwater pool is far lower than that of the ocean, and many swimmers report not being able to tell that anything has been added to the water.   Another factor that many people favor about saltwater pools vs chlorine pools is the lack of “chemical smell.”  Use of saltwater is also said to be gentler on skin and eyes than traditionally chlorinated water.  However, pH balance is also pivotal in maintaining a healthy swimming environment that won’t irritate swimmers.  And pH must be balanced in both saltwater and chlorine pools.

WEAR AND TEAR ON POOL EQUIPMENT AND BACKYARD SURFACES

Saltwater is more corrosive than traditionally chlorinated water.  This can mean that certain materials used for decks and pool equipment may deteriorate more quickly when they come in contact with saltwater.  Also, in some cases it can have a detrimental effect on the grass and plants around your pool.

COST OF CHEMICALS VS. REPLACING THE SALTWATER GENERATOR CELL

Pools of any kind require upkeep, and while saltwater pools are sometimes assumed to be lower maintenance there are a number of factors to take into account.  Saltwater pools vs chlorine pools have different upfront costs and also varying continuing costs.  Upfront, a saltwater system will cost more than a traditional chlorine system.  The main reason for this is due to the need for the saltwater generator.  However, after installation, the cost of maintaining the saltwater pool for the first few years is lower than a traditionally chlorinated pool.  You don’t have to buy, store and handle the chlorine tablets and powders when you use saltwater.  It may seem as if this saves on upkeep expenses, but after about three years the generator cells will need to be replaced.  The cost of replacing these cells will cost about the same amount that you saved on chemicals, if not more.