If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably thinking about switching your chlorine pool to a salt water pool. Salt water pools have gained popularity because of the idea that they don’t contain chlorine. Maybe you or a family member is allergic to chlorine, or you’ve been hearing about the benefits of a salt water pool and are ready to make the change.

Before you switch over to salt, we’ve got some news to break to you: a salt water pool is still a chlorine pool. You read that right. Salt water pools are not 100% chlorine free. Salt water pool systems create their own chlorine through a process called electrolysis. The big difference is that you do not have to add the chlorine in yourself, the salt takes care of this on its own.

Even though both types of pools contain chlorine there are still many differences between the two and you should consider both before choosing. Let’s dive into the differences when it comes to maintenance and benefits of salt and chlorine pools.

Salt Water Vs. Chlorine Maintenance

Salt Water Pool Maintenance:

  • While there is less frequent maintenance needed, salt water pools are more expensive up front.
  • Multiple water chemistry challenges often require a professional to help.
  • pH levels tend to be higher and require increased monitoring.
  • The salt cells used are expensive and require frequent cleanings, they also have to be replaced every few years.
  • Salt water that splashes out of the pool can cause damage to your pool deck or grass.
  • The salt can also corrode your pool equipment, such as a ladder, diving board and slide.
  • More likely to experience damage and at a much earlier rate.
Salt water pool, image via CLASSIC POOLS & LANDSCAPING INC.

Salt water pool. Image courtesy of Classic Pools and Landscaping

Chlorine Water Maintenance:

  • Regular maintenance is required weekly.
  • Chemicals and pool chemistry need to be checked and regulated weekly.
  • Chemicals, chlorine, and tools (pump, heater, filter) can be expensive to maintain.
  • Strainer baskets need to be cleaned every few days, you should also skim the top of the pool every few days.
  • Need to purchase a vacuum. Vacuum your pool every week in order to keep the water clean and reduce the amount of chemicals you need to add.
  • Finding the right balance of when to clean can be tricky. Over cleaning your filter can actually hinder the filtration process.
  • Fewer maintenance issues that require a professional. Straightforward to maintain.
Image courtesy of <a href="https://homestars.com/companies/2794225-solda-pools?sort_by=with_photos&">Solda Pools</a>

Image courtesy of Solda Pools

Salt Water vs. Chlorine Pool Benefits

Salt Water Benefits:

  • Do not cause irritation to skin and eyes like chlorine only pools can.
  • Salt water pools are safer than chlorine. While short-term exposure to chlorine is fine, long-term exposure has been linked to some health risks.
  • Softer feeling water. If you have a water softener in your home, you’ll understand and appreciate the difference. Chlorine only water can sometimes feel abrasive.
  • No environmental issues, unlike chlorine.
Image courtesy of <a href="https://homestars.com/companies/2780503/reviews/302309?review_id=302309">Premier Pool Group</a>

Image courtesy of Premier Pool Group

Chlorine Water Benefits:

  • Chlorine is commercially available and is much cheaper than saltwater.
  • Chlorine ensures your pool water is clean, removing any bacteria left behind by swimmers or the outdoor elements.
  • Easy to use, no need to call in a professional to clean it every week.

The choice is up to you. If the benefits of a salt water pool outweigh the maintenance costs, then go ahead and enjoy your new pool. If you need help choosing or want to talk to someone about your options, find a pool professional on HomeStars.

What do you think about chlorine vs. salt water? We want to know! Reach out to us on social media and let’s keep the conversation going!

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Posted by Jessica Greaves