Saltwater Pools: Benefits, Considerations, and More

Written by: Zach Riggs



Time to read min

Are you considering building your dream pool and wondering whether or not you should go for a saltwater pool? Or are you considering converting your current pool to a saltwater pool system?

The big question for many pool owners regarding how they will sanitize their pool is, "Should I use chlorine or salt water?"

We will dive into saltwater pools and examine the pros and cons. First, let's clear up confusion over saltwater pools.

Dispelling Saltwater Pool Myths

The first myth is that many people think a saltwater system is chlorine-free. Though, that is not the case. While saltwater pools use chlorine to clean the pool, it's not the same as a traditional chlorine system.

Saltwater pools have a chlorine generator. That is the pool's filtering system.

The sanitization system works by adding pool-grade salt to the water. Your chlorine generator then converts that salt into chlorine. The chlorine then goes back into your swimming pool to sanitize the water.

So, a saltwater pool has chlorine in it, but it is much less chlorine than you find in a traditional chlorine system.

In addition, you'll find that the water in a saltwater pool is softer than in a traditional chlorine pool.

Finally, the second myth is that some people think a saltwater pool is as salty as the ocean. Again, this is different, as saltwater pools have about one-tenth the salinity of the sea.

Now let’s look at the saltwater generator.

What is a Saltwater Generator?

Your saltwater pool system uses a salt-chlorine generator that uses electrolysis to break down dissolved salt into hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite. This is where the sanitization happens.

In a saltwater pool, your generator does this continuously, so you never get a buildup of chloramines. If you've ever noticed a strong chlorine smell from a traditional pool, it's caused by this buildup of chloramines. The good news is that it doesn't happen in a saltwater pool.

You know the saltwater pool system myths and what the chlorine generator is, so let’s move on to the advantages and the negatives.

Benefits of Saltwater Pools

They're Gentler on Swimmers

Saltwater pools have lower chlorine levels than traditional ones, so that swimmers will notice less skin irritation. They'll also see that their eyes aren't irritated after swimming, and they won't have any issues with their hair like they would with a chlorine pool.

In addition, saltwater pools don't fade swimwear and towels like a chlorine pool would. A saltwater pool provides a very gentle swim.

Lastly, you won't find that chlorine smell in a saltwater pool. Some people dislike this and want a more "natural" sanitization system.

They are Safer

You may be safer because you aren't handling harsh chemicals like in a traditional pool. One of the most significant benefits of saltwater systems is that they use much less chlorine than a traditional chlorine system. This means you don't need to handle or use as many harsh chemicals.

The Water is Softer

You notice a soft feeling of water. It feels more like a luxurious bath.

The Pool Requires Less Maintenance

The salt cells in your saltwater pool system produce chlorine as needed. Because of this, you will find you have less maintenance than in a regularly chlorinated swimming pool. In a user-friendly pool, you don't usually need to add algicide because the salt system helps prevent algae from growing in your collection. The chlorine generator does all the heavy lifting.

Do note, though, that you still need to add balancing chemicals regularly, and you need to test your water regularly.

They are Cheaper to Maintain

You will find that pool-grade salt costs less than chlorine.

While you do need to add pool chemicals, you will find you need less, so you are saving money in the long run.

Things to Consider

The Initial Investment is High

Saltwater pools are more expensive than traditional pools because the initial spending is much higher.

Your upfront costs, such as purchasing and installing a chlorine generator, may be cost-prohibitive for some people. You must replace the equipment every three to 10 years or so.

Also, you may need repairs on your chlorine generator at some point, and it's not a do-it-yourselfer task.

Salt Can Be Corrosive

Ensuring that all pool equipment and features are salt friendly before switching is crucial to prevent corrosive damage. This includes having a salt-friendly heat exchange for your pool heater, selecting diving boards made from corrosion-resistant materials, and opting for handrails constructed with marine-grade steel to prevent rusting. Most modern light fixtures are already salt friendly, but it's still prudent to verify with a pool professional. Consulting with an expert is essential when building a pool or converting to a saltwater system, as they can guide you in selecting the right equipment and accessories to ensure your investment remains enjoyable and long-lasting.

Final Thoughts on Saltwater Pools

People love saltwater pool systems, and saltwater pools have many benefits. They are gentler on skin and eyes, the water feels lovely, and the approach to water care is more straightforward and natural. It can be a wonderful experience if the fit is right.

Yet, it is important to realize they have unique needs and requirements. Once you sort through the pros and cons, you can decide if a saltwater pool system is right for you.

Whether you've got a saltwater pool or a traditional chlorine pool, you've come to the right place if you're looking for quality pool chemicals shipped to your door. At Pool Goods, we are here for you to help you enjoy every day in your swimming pool with the best pool chemicals on the market shipped right to you!