Chlorine Pools vs Salt Water Pools

Concrete Pools, RaleighIf you’re considering having a pool built for your Raleigh home, and you’re trying to decide if a chlorine pool or a salt water pool is right for you, you’re in the right place. We’re taking a closer look at both options, sharing the pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision and choose the best custom pool for your home.

Choosing a Salt Water Pool

A salt water pool is a bit misleading, as many people think it’s like swimming in the ocean. In fact, salt water pools aren’t comparable to sea water at all. Ocean water has a salt concentration of around 30,000 parts per million (ppm_ while swimming pool salt water has a concentration of between 3,000 and 5,000 ppm.

Instead of simply adding salt to the pool, the pool actually relies on two installed components – a salt cell and a salt chlorine generator. As water circulates through the pool, it enters the generator and flows through the salt cell. The generator creates a very low-voltage electrical current that activates electrolysis in the water in the slat cell. This naturally separates the salt compound into two elements, sodium and chlorine. The chlorine cleans the water of bacteria, then re-bonds to the sodium, all in a safe, harmless chemical reaction.

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The Benefits of a Salt Water Pool

Salt water pools offer the following benefits to Raleigh homeowners:

  • The salt water is much gentler on the skin and eyes than chlorinated water. It also doesn’t cause swimwear to wear out or fade as quickly.
  • The pH of salt water is generally close to neutral naturally, so there are no chemicals needed to balance the pool water.
  • There are fewer chemicals needed overall, and maintenance of the pool is much less intensive and frequent than a chlorine pool.
  • The water feels softer and more gentle, and there are no odors of chlorine.
  • Salt is inexpensive and does not need special storage or considerations, though it should stay dry.

The Disadvantages of a Salt Water Pool

Salt water pools do have multiple benefits, but there are drawbacks to consider, too, including:

  • Salt water pools are expensive to install and often require installing a  fiberglass pool, rather than a concrete pool or a vinyl pool liner.
  • Salt is corrosive, and over time, can ruin the deck, leave an unsightly salt ring stain around the pool, or kill grass around the pool area.
  • Pools with salt water require specialty accessories specifically made to handle salt water, including heaters, lighting, and masonry treatments.
  • Repairs to pool components are generally intensive and require a professional.
  • Replacing a salt cell every three to five years can be inconvenient and expensive.

Choosing a Chlorine Pool

Since pools were installed, chlorine has been the common way to sanitize the water and prevent bacteria and algae from growing. Chlorine and other chemicals are added to the pool to sanitize it while balancing the pH, and a pump and filter are installed to continually keep water flowing, filtering out debris like leaves. The chemicals and components work together to keep the pool clean and fresh, though regular maintenance is necessary.

The Benefits of a Chlorine Pool

Chlorinated pools offer homeowners several benefits, including:

  • Chlorinated pools have a lower up-front investment cost than salt water.
  • There aren’t any specialty accessories needed for a chlorine pool – the standard lighting, heating elements, and masonry can be used.
  • Pools can be made from vinyl liners, fiberglass, or concrete.
  • Repairs and maintenance can often be done easily and aren’t generally expensive.
  • Pool pumps can be energy efficient, and a solar blanket can be used to heat the water, keeping energy costs low.

The Disadvantages of a Chlorine Pool

Like the salt water pool, chlorine pools do have factors you may need to consider, including:

  • Chlorine can be irritating to the skin and eyes, especially children and people who spend a lot of time in the water.
  • More chemicals are required to keep the pool in balance.
  • The maintenance for a pool is intensive, requiring regular testing, chemical adjustments, and cleaning.
  • Chemicals for the pool can cost between $300 and $800 dollars a year.
  • Chlorine and other chemicals must be carefully stored in a cool, dry, ventilated area, away from children and pets.
  • The pool needs to be “shocked,” (a larger amount of adding chlorine in order to destroy chloramine, bacteria, and algae) every few weeks or after a heavy rain.
  • Some find the odor of chlorine to be unpleasant.

Contact Us for Salt Water and Chlorine Pools for Your Home in Raleigh

At Prestige Pools, we can install both salt water and chlorine pools at your home. Because we are experienced with both options, we can help you weigh your options and determine which one is best for your home, budget, and preferences. To learn more about both types of pools, reach out to us today!


10 Things to Know Before Building a Swimming Pool

You’re considering installing a swimming pool for your Raleigh home, and no wonder – with summers so hot, having a pool is the only way you and your family can stand to be outside for any length of time! The idea of spending leisurely weekends relaxing while the kids splash and swim is definitely an appealing daydream for any homeowner. But, you also know that installing a concrete in-ground pool is a big decision to make, and you’re not sure if it’s worth the maintenance and cost that goes with it or if you have the space for it. To help you make your decision with confidence, here are 10 important things you should know before contacting a Raleigh pool company.

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1) Inground Pools Raise Home Value

In Raleigh, having a pool is a selling point for a home, and having one can increase the value of your home by as much as 7 to 10 percent. This can provide you with an excellent return on investment when it comes time to sell your home in the future, while providing you years of fun and memories in the meantime.  A custom concrete pool or vinyl lined pool can be a great option to help raise the value of your home.

2) Pools Can Be Energy Efficient

Even if it’s hot outside, the pool can stay chilly long into the summer without a pool heater. Electric and gas pool heaters are an effective solution, but they can cause your energy bills to skyrocket. Instead, you can consider a solar blanket to heat your pool. These sheets look like bubble wrap and allow the sun’s rays to heat the pool while the cover’s bubbles keep the heat from escaping at night. Your pool heats quickly and stays warm, while offering added protection from leaves, debris, and evaporation, meaning your filter doesn’t have to work as hard and you don’t have to use additional water to fill it!

3) You Can Install a Swimming Pool with a Home Equity Loan

Depending on what kind of pool you get, you may not have the money to pay out of pocket. Because installing a pool is considered a home improvement, you may be able to take out a home equity loan where you borrow against the value of your house. In many cases, home equity loans offer a lower interest rate than other types of financing, saving you money in the long run.

4) Owning a Pool May Affect Your Insurance Rates 

Because owning a pool can increase risk of accidents, you should check to make sure your homeowner’s policy covers swimming pools. In Raleigh, this typically isn’t a problem because pools are very common around here. 

Whether you add coverage or increase your liability coverage, you may see an increase in your premiums, though this is often only around $50 to $100 on average per year, and a small price to pay for peace of mind. Also, your pool installation company can help you choose safety measures that will reduce the increase in premiums. 

Custom Concrete Pool Builders5) Consider A Pool Maintenance Schedule

Maintenance is often one of the biggest causes of hesitancy when it comes to building a swimming pool. While opening and closing the pool are lengthier tasks, those are only done twice a year. Regular maintenance includes: 

  • Skimming the pool for leaves and debris (if there are trees around your home there will be more)
  • Check and backwash your filter
  • Test your water chemistry once a week 
  • “Shock” the pool with a chlorine treatment after heavy storms or if the pool seems murky.

Your pool installation company will provide you with a more in-depth guide, but it’s pretty easy to keep up with!

6) Automate Your Pool Maintenance

If you really want to avoid maintenance, including cleaning, testing, and checking the filter, you can automate your maintenance. Consider:

  • A pool chemical monitor that checks your chemical levels and tells you exactly what you need to add to achieve balance.
  • An automatic pool cleaner that cleans, scrubs the walls and floor, and vacuums debris
  • An automatic timer for your pool pump or heater to connect to your breaker.
  • Electric solar cover reel

7) Installing a Pool Improves Fitness 

Swimming and just walking in the pool is a low impact activity for adults that is gentle on joints and muscles. For kids, instead of staying inside during the summer, they’ll want to be out in the pool playing games, swimming, and being active. 

Having a pool makes it easy and convenient to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, and the result is a healthier, more fit family! 

8) Discuss Your Pool Installation with Your HOA

If your neighborhood has a homeowner’s association (HOA), having a pool installed may require some paperwork or specifications. For example, many HOAs require pumps to be “hidden” from view, while the pool itself must be a specific distance from your property line.  

The same applies to your city, check your city ordinances to determine what permits your builder may need and if there are any limitations on what you can have. This will save a lot of headache in the future!

NC Pool Building Company9) Almost Any Yard Can Fit a Pool

If you’re worried about how a pool will fit in a small yard, pools can be custom designed for your needs! Most homes in Raleigh have lots large enough to accommodate a pool, whether you want a narrow lap pool or an L-shape. A custom pool builder will work with you to achieve a lovely pool that works for your property. 

10) You Can Add Extras Over Time

If you want a custom pool with all the bells and whistles (slides, lighting, automatic maintenance) but your budget says says no, you don’t have to have an all-or-nothing pool. As long as you have the pool, a pump, filter, and the wiring and plumbing infrastructure set up, you can add the extras at a later time!


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