Salt Water Pool vs Chlorine Pool: Choosing the Right Pool for Your Backyard

Salt Water Pool vs Chlorine Pool: Choosing the Right Pool for Your Backyard

Choosing the right pool for your backyard involves several decisions, but one of the most important choices you’ll need to make is whether to opt for a salt water pool vs a chlorine pool. Both have their advantages and considerations, and this guide will help you understand the key differences and benefits of each. We’ll also include valuable insights for pool builders and installers.

Understanding the Basics of Salt Water Pools

A saltwater pool uses a salt chlorine generator to convert salt into chlorine through a process called electrolysis. In this system, salt dissolves into the pool water and is then converted into chlorine gas as it passes through the generator. This chlorine gas dissolves in the water to form hypochlorous acid, the disinfectant that keeps your pool clean.

While saltwater pools still contain chlorine, the levels are much lower than those of traditional chlorine pools, which gives the water a smoother feel that is less harsh on the skin and eyes.

Key Benefits of Salt Water Pools

Saltwater pools have several key benefits that make them an attractive choice. They are gentler on the skin and eyes due to the lower chlorine levels, reducing irritation and providing a more pleasant swimming experience.

Additionally, once the initial salt is added, saltwater pools require fewer additional chemicals, leading to cost savings over time. The continuous conversion of salt to chlorine ensures consistent and automated sanitization, reducing the need for manual adjustments. Furthermore, the lower chlorine levels mean less of the distinctive “chlorine smell” that is often associated with swimming pools.

However, saltwater pools come with some considerations. Salt chlorine generators can be expensive initially, adding to the upfront cost of a saltwater pool. Additionally, the salt can be corrosive to metal components, pool fixtures, and surrounding surfaces if not managed properly.

The salt chlorine generator also requires periodic cleaning and maintenance to ensure efficient functioning.

Managing pH Levels in Salt Water Pools

When using a saltwater chlorinator, it’s essential to also invest in a pH controller. This is because the active chlorine produced by the saltwater generator eventually reacts and deactivates, leading to byproducts that raise the pH levels in your pool. Elevated pH levels can result in calcium and mineral deposits forming on the pool walls and bottom, affecting the pool’s appearance and potentially damaging the surface over time. A pH controller helps maintain balanced pH levels, ensuring your pool remains clean, safe, and free of unsightly deposits.

Understanding Chlorine Pools

Chlorine pools, on the other hand, use commercially available chlorine tablets, granules, or liquid to sanitize the water. Chlorine is added manually to maintain the desired level of disinfection. This requires regular testing to ensure appropriate levels, but also allows pool owners to quickly adjust chlorine levels to respond to contamination or algae growth.

The benefits of chlorine pools include lower initial costs, making them more accessible to a wider range of homeowners. Additionally, manual chlorination offers flexibility, allowing for adjustments based on specific needs. Chlorine and other chemicals required for pool maintenance are widely available and relatively inexpensive.

Despite these benefits, handling chlorine requires care and protective measures due to its potential hazards. Higher chlorine levels can lead to a strong odor and potential skin and eye irritation. Moreover, the ongoing cost of chlorine and additional chemicals can add up over time.

Salt Water Pool vs Chlorine Pool: The Verdict

Choosing between a saltwater pool and a chlorine pool ultimately comes down to personal preference, budget, and maintenance considerations.

  • A saltwater pool is ideal if you want softer, less irritating water, prefer automated sanitization with consistent chlorine levels, and are willing to invest in a salt chlorine generator and its maintenance.
  • A chlorine pool is better suited for those seeking lower initial costs, don’t mind the smell of chlorine, and are comfortable handling and managing pool chemicals manually.

Salt Water vs Chlorine Pools and Their Impact on Fiberglass Pools

fective, but each brings unique considerations. Fiberglass pools are known for their durability and smooth surface, making them naturally resistant to algae growth and requiring fewer chemicals than other pool types.

  • Salt Water and Fiberglass Pools: Saltwater systems are generally well-suited for fiberglass pools. The non-porous surface of fiberglass makes it less prone to corrosion than concrete or metal pools. However, it is essential to maintain proper water chemistry to prevent potential damage to metal components like ladders or fixtures. Fiberglass pools paired with saltwater systems often provide a gentle swimming experience and reduced need for chemical maintenance.
  • Chlorine and Fiberglass Pools: Traditional chlorine systems also work well with fiberglass pools, as the non-porous surface helps reduce chlorine consumption. Homeowners can easily maintain a stable chlorine level, ensuring effective sanitation. However, the higher chlorine levels in conventional pools may lead to quicker fading of the gelcoat finish over time, though this can be mitigated with proper maintenance and balanced water chemistry.

Making an Informed Choice for Your Pool

In the end, the choice between a saltwater pool and a chlorine pool hinges on individual needs and preferences. By understanding the key differences and benefits of each type, you can make an informed decision that will ensure years of enjoyable swimming.

Need more guidance? Whether you’re a homeowner considering a new pool or a pool builder guiding your clients, Explore Industries is here to help you navigate the waters of pool ownership. Contact us to learn more about our leading portfolio of premium fiberglass pools, products, and services, or to connect with a Dealer near you.