Saltwater Pools vs Chlorine Pools – Pros and Cons


Ever since its incorporation as a standard form of pool maintenance, people have had a love-hate relationship with chlorine. This chemical is great for keeping things clean, but it triggers a lot of health issues in sensitive individuals. It’s also a very hands-on component that requires regular testing and applications to remain at optimal levels. So it’s no surprise that everyone has been looking for a better solution for decades. Enter saltwater pools.

Contrary to what you might believe, saltwater pools have actually been around for a while. They have nonetheless begun to get their moment in the spotlight. Perhaps that’s because our busy modern lifestyles have caused people to take another look at them. Saltwater pools are far more hands-free than traditional systems. They also eliminate a lot of the problems that most people generally have with chlorine pools.

However, it’s important to note that saltwater pools still do use chlorine. The chemical is simply present at lower levels than would be found in traditional swimming pools. It’s also used in a slightly different form. Therefore, there aren’t as many health-related side effects that come from using saltwater pools as there are when homeowners use traditional systems. But it’s not all roses and sunshine with saltwater systems either! So here’s a look at what’s good about them and what’s not.

Saltwater Pools – Pros

  • No harsh chlorine smells.
  • Not as likely to irritate eyes or skin.
  • Probably won’t turn blonde hair green.
  • May not be as likely to dry your hair out as a chlorine system.
  • Fewer health issues arise from swimming in these pools in general.
  • Less wear on swimsuits, pool toys, pool tiles, etc.
  • Water may feel better for swimmers.
  • Pool owners no longer have to use (and store) corrosive chemicals.
  • Lower maintenance overall.
  • May cost less to maintain.

Saltwater Pools – Cons:

  • More expensive start-up costs than a traditional chlorine pool. Saltwater systems initially cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars apiece.
  • Fuel cells have to be replaced every three to seven years, which costs anywhere from $200 to $ every time. However, this is still less than the average yearly cost of purchasing chlorine.
  • Calcium buildup can be an issue, clogging up the works in your pool and causing unsightly spots. But this problem is treatable by adding other chemicals to the water on a regular basis.
  • Salt corrosion is a major concern. Replacing rusted metal fixtures, such as pool ladders and light units, is the tip of the iceberg here. Saltwater can also damage lawns and paved areas.
  • People whose in-ground pools are backed up by metal pieces could be in for some seriously expensive trouble if their pool lining springs a leak.
  • Saltwater systems generally run on computer-based systems, which can easily be damaged if there is a power surge.

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