Lately, a major trend in both public and residential swimming
pools has been the conversion from traditional chlorine-maintained
water to salt water. But why are so many people and organizations
making the change? Is there something wrong with a traditional,
There are some large differences between the two pools, but what
many people don't realize is the presence of chlorine is not one of
them. When you install a salt water pool, the saltwater is run
through an electric generator that creates chlorine naturally. The
level of chlorine is lower than a traditional chlorine-based pool,
but the pH level is higher.
Let's take a look at the main differences in price, health
benefits and concerns, and maintenance level between salt water and
chlorine based pools.
Salt Water Pools
Cost: The initial upfront cost of
changing your pool from a chlorine based pool to a salt water pool
is high, but over time the cost to maintain this type of pool is
usually less than chlorine based pools. The initial cost of set up
can vary greatly depending on the size of your pool but it usually
ranges anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.
Health Benefits and Concerns: One of
the main benefits that people report after switching to salt water
based pool is the way the water feels "softer" on their skin
in comparison to chlorine based pools.
Maintenance: Salt water pools are the
clear winner when it comes to less maintenance. Although you do
have to perform weekly maintenance to fight against calcium build
up and check the PH levels, the maintenance is significantly less
than chlorine based pools because the generator runs
self-sufficiently. The problem with salt water pools is lack of
proper maintenance can cause excess salt to corrode metal objects
in and around the pool such as pool ladders, handrails, or even
nearby lounge chairs.
Cost: In general, the long term
maintenance costs of chlorine based pools are higher than
maintaining a salt water pool.
Health Benefits and Concerns: Chlorine
is often irritating to people with sensitive eyes or skin. Though
there are experts that state chlorine should not be used in
swimming pools because it is a powerful chemical agent, when used
in appropriate levels, it is completely safe.
Maintenance: Due to its often
inconsistent chemical balance, chlorine pools require the owner to
be active and up to date with testing the pools chemical levels. In
addition to checking the chlorine levels, the pH level needs to
remain consistent. A high pH level will prevent the chlorine from
working efficiently and a low pH level will cause the water to
become acidic and make it difficult to swim. Though it is
challenging to maintain, it is important to keep a consistent pH
level to ensure a clean and safe swimming environment.
If you ultimately decide to make the switch from chlorine to
salt water, it is important to realize that your pool will not
maintain itself. While there is a significant reduction in
maintenance time with salt water pools, it still requires a
responsible owner to check and maintain the pool. Both pools have
their benefits and drawbacks and the type of pool that is right for
you will depend on your budget, needs, and pool use.