Salt Water Pools vs Chlorine: 5 Salt Water Pool Pros & Cons to Help You Decide
There's nothing like swimming in the ocean, but it can be difficult to find the time to hit the beach often in busy day-to-day life. If you love the feeling of ocean water, why not opt for a saltwater pool at home? Saltwater pools offer much of the same experience but have a lot of advantages compared to natural ocean water or chlorinated pool water.
Those who want an ocean-like experience may find a home with a saltwater pool is their best option for achieving this at home, so we'll jump into the pros and cons of investing in one.
The Vast Benefits of Saltwater Pools
Saltwater pools require low maintenance and minimal upkeep. The water is easier on the skin than traditional chlorinated pools. Let's dive into more pros of owning a saltwater pool.
Saltwater Pools Are Easy on the Skin, Hair & Nails
Chlorine and natural salt water can be harsh on the skin, drying it out. Furthermore, it can result in dry hair and even the premature demise of swimwear. However, a saltwater pool dramatically minimizes these effects.
As mentioned earlier, saltwater pools contain 10 times less salt than the ocean. There is 3,000 ppm (parts per million) of salinity in a saltwater pool, while there is 35,000 ppm of salt in the sea. Some saltwater pool users find the water feels silkier and softer, offering the sensation of ocean water without the smell and remnants of salt and sand.
The comforts of saltwater pools also benefit from not having to experience burning eyes and dry hair, as these pools can make the surfaces of the body feel supple and moisturized. Swimsuits and towels will last longer and hold their colors without harsh chlorine.
Saltwater Pools Require Less Maintenance
In addition to the benefits for the hair and skin, saltwater pools require less maintenance than traditional chlorine pools. There is no need for algaecides because the saltwater system naturally assists in preventing algae from growing in the water or sticking to the pool's walls, resulting in less scrubbing and cleaning.
Saltwater pools use a chlorine generator, which does most of the work that routine pool owners must do. This generator provides a slow introduction of chlorine, while traditional chlorine methods tend to cause a massive increase of the chemical at once. While saltwater pool users will still need to utilize pool balancing chemicals, they typically require less of those solutions than chlorine pools.
Saltwater Pool Owners Experience Less Expensive Upkeep
After a chlorine generator is in place, the water is up to the required quality, and the chemicals are balanced, ongoing costs are relatively low. The salt's overall cost will depend on the type of salt used and the size of the pool.
On average, users can expect to pay between $10 and $25 for every 40 pounds of salt. High-end brands can run as much as $40 for a 40-pound bag, which is still less than the cost of chlorine tablets, costing between $60 and $70 for a 25-pound bag.
Once a saltwater pool is set up, it is relatively easy to keep the water clean. A touchpad panel or phone app can control many modern chlorine generators, so users will know when the pool needs additional salt or chemical balancing.
Disadvantages of Saltwater Pools
While there are many perks to saltwater pools, there are also some potential drawbacks. The primary disadvantages include higher initial expenses, repair costs, and potential salt damage.
Higher Initial Expense
Start-up costs of a saltwater pool will require several hundred pounds of salt and installing a saltwater chlorinating system. The system can cost between $1,400 and $2,000, plus installation. However, this expense can be recouped over time because users will save money on costly chlorine tablets.
Salt cells should be replaced every three to eight years. Owners will pay between $300 and $600 for each salt cell, which requires frequent cleaning. Saltwater may not be compatible with all types of pool installations and equipment for those with existing pools.
Salt Can Be Damaging
Saltwater is corrosive and can damage metal, paving materials, and vinyl pools. Some installations in and around the pool can experience premature breakdown unless adequately sealed to keep the saltwater at bay. Saltwater pools could potentially cause harm to:
- Outdoor furniture
- Pool heaters
- Diving boards
- Plaster finishes
Ultimately, fiberglass pools are the most resistant to saltwater exposure and hold up well versus other options.
Enjoy the Benefits of Saltwater Pools
From softer skin, less imposing smells, and lower maintenance and costs, those considering purchasing a home with a saltwater pool or converting their existing pool into a saltwater one can enjoy an array of benefits. However, consult a local pool professional before deciding whether a saltwater system is suitable for your home.