Salt Water vs Chlorine

Salt Water vs Chlorine - Image 1


Contrary to what most people think, saltwater systems are not chlorine-free. The system comes with a chlorine generator, so you add salt to the water (pool-grade, not table salt) then the salt is converted into chlorine which sanitizes the pool water. The water still contains chlorine, just a lot less which gives the water a softer feel and eliminates stingy red eyes and tight skin. 


When it comes to your pool, ideally, you want something that will be easy to maintain. Saltwater pools are generally lower maintenance and more user-friendly since the chlorine generator does the hard work for you. They still require balancing chemicals but use less than traditional chlorine. One thing to keep in mind, saltwater is corrosive. Salt is highly corrosive to metal but will also erode natural stone. So, when making the switch to saltwater it is crucial to ensure any pavers, concrete, or furniture have been properly sealed or are OUT of the splash zone!  


Another thing to consider is the cost. While pool-grade salt is generally cheaper than chlorine, and a chlorine generator uses fewer balancing chemicals, it can cost up to a few thousand dollars to upgrade to a chlorine generator. Not to mention you will need a professional to handle repairs and will have to run the system 24/7 to generate enough chlorine to clean the pool water.


Chlorine pools use chemicals to neutralize microscopic bacteria and debris, sanitizing the water. That process creates chloramines which are a disinfectant byproduct and are responsible for that “chlorine” smell, as well as that stingy-eyed, dry skin feeling. Chloramines must be shocked out of the pool at least once a week to maintain comfortable swimming conditions.


That being said, if you plan on having a traditional chlorine swimming pool you should also consider your space. You will need to buy balancing chemicals and will need a safe place to store them away from pets or small children. It is also a good idea to think about the cost of chemicals which over time could add up to more than the cost to install a saltwater system. In addition, traditional chlorine pools are a little more tricky to balance. You will have to perform weekly maintenance tasks such as checking your water levels and adding the proper chemicals to balance the water.


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