Saltwater Versus Chlorine Water Pools

There is nothing quite like a refreshing dip in a cool backyard pool in the summertime. That time is fast approaching in the Southeast with the summer months just around the corner. One question that comes up frequently, especially for vinyl lined pools, is whether to use chlorine water or saltwater. Both have great features, but there are also some negatives with each. Prestige Pools has experience with both types and can help you in making your decision. Here are pros and cons of each so you can compare them in order to see which one suits your situation better.

Saltwater

A saltwater pool uses salt as its primary way of sanitizing the water. Many people have a misconception that saltwater pools don’t have chlorine at all. In fact, they do have chlorine, just at a much lower level than a chlorine pool. The chlorine is produced at a steady and continuous level, whereas a chlorine pool uses chlorine sticks or tablets that are added. Less chlorine makes saltwater pools gentler on your skin, eyes, and clothes. The amount of salt in the pool water is like the salt content in human tears, about 1/10th the salinity of ocean water.

Uses a Salt Chlorine Generator

With a saltwater pool, a salt chlorine generator breaks dissolved salt into hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite using electrolysis. Hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite are two sanitizing agents used in chlorine-based swimming pools. The generator does not filter the pool water. A separate filter removes debris from the pool. The upfront cost of the salt chlorine generator is between $400 and $1,800 and the installation costs from $300 to $500. This makes the saltwater pool cost more initially than a chlorine-based pool.

Chlorine

As the name suggests, chlorine pools use this chemical to fight germs and keep the pool water sanitized. Chlorine and pH are the primary defenses against germs that can make swimmers sick. Chlorine is a naturally occurring chemical element and one of the basic building blocks of matter. Chlorine is produced from ordinary salt, by passing an electric current through a solution of brine, which is common salt dissolved in water, in a process called electrolysis. Saltwater and chlorine water both use the process of electrolysis to result in the release of hypochlorous acid (HOCl), the active sanitizing agent.

Advantages of Saltwater Pools vs. Chlorine Pools

Saltwater Pools

  • The cost of daily operations is cheaper than a chlorine pool. Salt for an entire season is approximately $20-$30.
  • Gentler on skin, eyes, swimsuits, and hair
  • Less chlorine, chemical smell than a chlorine pool
  • No need to store chlorine

Chlorine Pools

  • Lower initial costs
  • Sanitizes quickly
  • Easy to operate
  • Chlorine tablets are readily available at more pool supply stores
  • Safe on pool decks and furniture

Disadvantages of Saltwater Pools vs. Chlorine Pools

Saltwater Pools

  • Require a large initial investment with the purchase and installation of a salt chlorine generator
  • More complex than traditional pools necessitating experienced technicians even for minor problems
  • Can damage certain materials like vinyl liners, fixtures, underwater lighting, specific types of heaters, some types of masonry work

Chlorine Pools

  • Require ongoing water testing and maintenance
  • Chloramines in the water create skin and eye irritation
  • Higher cost for season at $300 – $800
  • May have a strong odor
  • Require careful handling and proper storage of the chlorine and chemicals

Call Prestige Pools

Prestige Pools can compare both types of pools, saltwater and chlorine, and help you decide which one is right for you. Call us at 919-779-1033 or complete the form below to request more information.

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