Are Salt Water Pools Really Better Than Chlorine Pools?

A hot new trend in both commercial and residential pools is to replace traditional chlorine-sanitized pools into salt water pools. There are excellent reasons for the popularity, but is it right for everyone? Fortunately, the decision is simple once you have the facts.

What Is Salt Pool Chlorination?

Traditional swimming pools require automatic addition of chlorine, along with frequent testing and adding of chemicals by the pool owner to maintain a safe water condition. It’s long been considered one of the major hassles of owning a pool.

Salt water pools don’t require the same maintenance. They use a generator to electrolyze the salt and break it down to provide chlorine as needed. It takes a little time at first to fine-tune the perfect rate of electrolysis, but once set up, it’s very low maintenance.

What Are the Advantages?

Besides reduced maintenance, a salt water pool has some notable benefits compared to chlorine pools. The cost of operating one is cheaper than using chlorine, since salt is not only less expensive than pool chlorine, the system requires much less added salt compared to chlorine.

Perhaps the most notable advantage is that the pool smells and feels better compared to chlorine pools. The salt softens the water, making it feel much more comfortable on the skin. The smell of chlorine typical for swimming pools is eradicated, and since the pool has only about 10% of the ocean’s salt, you barely can smell it – and when you do, it’s reminiscent of the ocean, not bleach. Also, if any of your swimmers have sensitive skin, salt sanitation can completely alleviate the discomfort they feel from harsh chemicals in the water.

What Are the Disadvantages?

The generator doesn’t need much maintenance, but when it does, you’ll probably need a trained technician to check it. The set-up costs are more than chlorine pools, although the long-term costs may be the same or lower. Also, the system won’t sanitize water below 60 degrees.

Ask your pool professionals if the benefits of salt water pools are right for you. All pools can be converted, and for new installations, it probably makes sense for both financial and comfort reasons.