Pros and cons of salt water pool

Advantages and disadvantages of salt water pool

Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of owning and running a saltwater pool so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s a suitable fit for your house.
Many people believe that the water in a saltwater pool will be identical to that of the ocean, but this is not the case. A saltwater pool has around ten times less salt than the ocean, and this amount must be maintained in order for the pool to remain clean and clear.

Saltwater pools include an electrolytic chlorine generator that breaks down the salt in the pool to make chlorine, whereas standard chlorine pools rely on regular chlorine or bromine inputs to sanitize the water. When the salt is broken down, the chlorine released into the water sanitizes the pool water in a similar way to store-bought chlorine, with one important difference: Chloramines, which are a byproduct of store-bought chlorine and are chiefly responsible for unpleasant chlorine odors, eye redness, and skin irritation, aren’t produced as much in saltwater pools.

Pros and cons of a salt water pool

PRO: Swimming in a saltwater pool is gentler on the eyes and skin.
In a saltwater pool, the electrolytic chlorine generator splits the salt into its component components via electrolysis, releasing chlorine into the pool water to disinfect it. The presence of chloramines in the water can be minimized by avoiding the use of store-bought chlorine products.

PRO: Swimming in a saltwater pool is gentler on the eyes and skin.
In a saltwater pool, the electrolytic chlorine generator splits the salt into its component components via electrolysis, releasing chlorine into the pool water to disinfect it. The presence of chloramines in the water can be minimized by avoiding the use of store-bought chlorine products.

PRO: They are usually less expensive to maintain than chlorinated pools.
Testing the chemical balance of the water, adding store-bought chlorine, shocking the pool when necessary, and adding additional chemicals to help balance the pH, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, free chlorine, free bromine, and reduce any heavy metals present in the water are all routine chemical maintenance tasks associated with owning and operating a non-saltwater pool.

PRO: Owners of saltwater pools don’t have to worry about storing harmful chlorine at home.
With a saltwater pool, chlorine tablets aren’t required.

PRO: Compared to regular chlorine pool water, saltwater feels gentler.
Chlorine pools use store-bought chlorine to keep the pool water balanced, but these items often include binders and additives that break down in the water, increasing total dissolved solids and making the water feel harsher on the skin.

Because of the low levels of chlorine and total dissolved particles in saltwater pools, they have a soft feel. Because the electrolytic chlorine generator regulates the quantity of chlorine in a saltwater pool, chlorine levels are often lower than in a traditional pool, where owners frequently “shock” the pool with high levels of chlorine. Furthermore, using an electrolytic chlorine generator to generate chlorine results in less binders and additives in the water.

CON: Some materials may be harmed by salt.
Although the process of breaking down salt in the water to make chlorine to clean the pool has many advantages for swimmers’ skin, eyes, and hair, the salt is a corrosive component that can destroy metal objects such as heaters, ladders, diving board brackets, and other metal objects.

CON: A chlorine system for the pool costs between $100 and $400 to build, but an electrolytic chlorine generator can cost up to $2,500 to install. In a saltwater pool, the generator cell, which costs between $200 and $700, will need to be updated every few years. The electrolytic chlorine generator in a saltwater pool simply supplies chlorine as needed, so users don’t have to worry about adding chlorine or having to use several chemicals to keep the pool water composition balanced. Simply add salt at the start of the swimming season and evaluate the levels every two weeks. To keep the pool’s chlorine levels stable, add more salt as needed.

While repairs to a chlorinated pool’s filter or pump should be handled by a qualified technician, any problems with the pool’s water composition can usually be resolved by testing the water and adding the required chemicals to restore the proper balance for safe swimming.

Unfortunately, most people lack the necessary competence to cope with repairs on their own when it comes to a saltwater pool. The electrolytic chlorine generator is a complex piece of equipment that should only be fixed by a qualified technician to guarantee that it is in good working order and that the water is safe to swim in.

Keeping concentrated forms of dangerous chemicals in the home, shed, garage, workshop, or even a small pool box can be hazardous to people, animals, and plants in the surrounding area, but it’s necessary to have these chemicals on hand with a chlorine pool to maintain the chemical balance of the water.

Users never have to worry about storing bottles or buckets of dangerous chemicals like chlorine, bromine, stabilizer, clarifier, algaecide, and more because saltwater pools use electrolysis to divide salt and create the needed quantity of chlorine using the electrolytic chlorine generator.

CON: The salt corrodes these metals over time, weakening ladders and brackets and generating rust. As a result, it’s critical to inspect the pool’s inside and exterior, as well as all pool equipment and any neighboring structures, such as a shed or deck, on a regular basis. When feasible, remove pool water off these surfaces, but if damage is discovered, replace or repair the objects or structures.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Saltwater Pools

Is it possible to convert your chlorinated pool to a saltwater pool?
Pools are enjoyable, but chlorine isn’t always. While the necessity to keep swimming pool water clean, clear, and hygienic cannot be avoided, chlorine additives can be avoided. Chlorine is an excellent sanitizer, but it can make your eyes red and your hair brittle.

Related: – Does salt water pools hurt your eyes

Saltwater pools are just as sanitary as chlorine pools, yet the water feels smoother and more refreshing. For these reasons, and since saltwater can mean lower maintenance expenses and easier upkeep, many pool owners have switched from chlorine to saltwater.

What is the Difference Between a Saltwater and a Freshwater Pool?

A saltwater pool is one that converts bulk salt into chlorine using a saltwater chlorine generator. The converted chlorine kills bacteria and algae, as well as oxidizes soil and chloramines, in the same way as traditional pool chlorine does.

What is a Saltwater Pool and How Does It Work?

While salt alone has some disinfection properties, constructing a saltwater pool isn’t as simple as dissolving salt in a pool and calling it a day. A salt chlorine generator machine, on the other hand, transforms sodium chloride, or common salt, into chlorine.
So, yes, chlorine is present in a saltwater pool. Saltwater pools, in contrast to standard chlorinated pools, produce a pure form of chlorine that is given in a controlled manner to avoid unpleasant byproducts called chloramines.

The salt is directly added to the pool water. The water from the pool is sucked into the generator and passed through the salt cell. Metal blades coated in ruthenium or iridium are charged by electricity in the cell.

The water that exits the machine after electrolysis is now chlorinated water.

Pool salt system pros and cons

Pros of Salt Water

  • There is little or no chlorine odor.
  • The water in the pool is smoother and gentler.
  • Chemicals are less expensive.
  • There is no abrasion or burning on the skin.
  • Salt is safer to work with and keep than chlorine.
  • Salt is frequently cheap and easy to come by.

Cons of Salt Water

  • Replacement of the salt-chlorinator electrode cell on a regular basis
  • The expense of a saltwater chlorine generator is high up front.
  • Chlorinator salt in bulk is bulky and difficult to store.
  • Salt cell cleansing should be done on a regular basis.
  • Powered by electricity
  • In the pool, metal corrodes.

Advantages of a Saltwater Pool

Saltwater pool users enjoy the smooth, silky, and soft feel of the water. The sensation is similar to swimming in clean, fresh lake water or even ocean water, but without the saline smell or sand.

The pleasant sensation lasts even after you’ve finished swimming. The harsh after-swim feeling is well-known among chlorinated pool users: dried-out skin, burning eyes, and hair stripped of its oils. A user’s skin may feel soft and hydrated after swimming in a saltwater pool, rather than dry.

Swimsuits and towels last longer and retain their colors without the use of corrosive chlorine.

By adding a chlorine generator to a pool that uses chlorine additives, the pool can be transformed to a saltwater pool.

After the chlorine generator is installed and the pool water has been brought up to the appropriate standard, the ongoing costs are rather minimal. The price of a 40-pound bag of pool salt ranges from $5 to $20. This is a huge cost savings when compared to 40 pounds of chlorinating tablets, which cost $250 to $350 each year.

It’s quite simple to keep the pool water clean once it’s been set up. Unlike chlorine, salt is readily available and inexpensive. Many contemporary chlorine generators may be operated using touch-pad control panels or smartphone apps.

The Drawbacks of Saltwater Swimming Pools

While upkeep is minimal, the initial costs might be quite high. The chlorine generator alone costs between $800 and $1,000 for saltwater pools. Every 3 to 8 years, salt cells must be replaced, and each cell costs $300 to $600.

To get a saltwater pool up and running, you’ll need hundreds of pounds of salt to get the water to the right temperature. Bulk salt, like other bulk items, necessitates a lot of storage space, therefore you’ll need a shed and a cart to transport it.

Cleaning salt cells with a cell cleaning stand or a bucket is required on a regular basis (about every 500 hours). Muriatic acid, a dangerous chemical, is used to clean the cells.

Saltwater pools and pool equipment are not compatible with all types of pools or pool equipment. Salt will damage metal wall panels in vinyl pools. Some railings and ladder bolts will rust as well.

The chlorine generator may not be able to produce enough chlorine to winterize the pool in cold climates. As a result, standard chlorine additives may still be required during the winter.

Keeping chlorine levels low in standard chlorinated pools can help prevent the less-than-ideal side effects of swimming in chlorine.

Do Saltwater Pools Have a Salty Flavour?

The majority of saltwater pools do not have a salty taste. To put it in perspective, the salt in seawater is concentrated to over 35,000 parts per million (PPM) (parts per million). The salinity of saltwater pools is around 3,000 PPM. As a result, the amount of salt—and the taste of salt—in saltwater pools is roughly ten times lower than in seawater.

Is it possible to heat saltwater pools?

Heat is applied to saltwater pools in the same way that it is to chlorinated pools. A solar heater, solar blanket, heat pump, or electric, gas, or propane heater are some of these options. Solar is the least expensive and most environmentally friendly option. Solar heaters are mounted on the roof, whereas solar blankets are floating pool covers that absorb the sun’s heat. If you have a heater in your pool, you can continue to swim while the weather cools. You can control the temperature of your pool and not have to worry about the water being too chilly before jumping in.
check out our posts on pool heaters for saltwater pool and making a DIY solar pool heater

Tips for Maintaining a Saltwater Pool

  • Check for build-up in the salt cells on a regular basis.
  • Maintain your pool’s standard pump and filter, as the pool still requires water circulation.
  • Invest in pool-specific salt.
  • During peak season, use salt strips to test the pool water.
  • Check rubber O-rings and pump seals for symptoms of corrosion on a regular basis.

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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