Saltwater Pool vs. Chlorine


Saltwater pools are growing in popularity and more and more homeowners, hotels, and country clubs are installing them. There is an increasing demand for saltwater pool systems in the northern NJ counties of Morris, Sussex, Warren and Bergen as well as across the entire state of New Jersey.


When it comes to saltwater versus chlorine pools, there’s one main and obvious difference. Chlorine can irritate skin. Everyone who has ever gone swimming in a pool may have on occasion suffered the consequences of too much chlorine. Install a saltwater pool system and you will no longer have the strong chlorine odor or the stinging of red eyes.


Maintenance of a Saltwater vs. Chlorine Pool


Saltwater pools have soft water that feels almost like silk. This is because the mineral-rich salts soften the pool water. Salt chlorinators still generate chlorine in a saltwater pool, but it’s done at significantly lower levels than a chlorine pool.


The chlorine is produced by the salt system or salt generator, which is made up of a salt cell and control box. This apparatus basically creates chlorine from molecules of salt through a process call electrolysis. The salt system is mounted on the filtration system. As the water is moved by the saltwater pool pump through the filter, hypochlorous acid is produced and released into the water in regular doses as it returns to the pool.


In contrast, chlorine pool owners must frequently test the pool water and make trips to the store to replenish the supply of tablets or grains. For this reason, saltwater pool maintenance is considered easier and less time-consuming.


Since pool owners don’t have to store chlorine on-site or handle harsh chemicals, saltwater pool systems are regarded as environmentally safer. That’s why they’re sometimes referred to as green pools.


If algae become a problem, owners may have to shock the pool. The shocking process in traditional pools involves using large amounts of chlorine to kill the algae. With algae problems in a saltwater pool system, the process is similar. However, a calcium hypochlorite shock would be used instead.


Cost of Saltwater Pool Ownership


While owning a saltwater pool requires less maintenance and can be easier on you and the environment, it does come with a higher price tag. A salt system average cost can range between $400 and $2,000. Installation costs can vary as well. The salt itself is relatively inexpensive. Over the long term, salt is cheaper than chlorine, but it would take several years to make up the difference in costs.


Salt is also very corrosive compared to chlorine. That is bad news for items made of steel, such as ladders and handrails. Knowledgeable installers know this and can convert the steel components into sealed steel, composites or even plastics. And, remember, swimming pools also have metal screws, plates, and stainless-steel trim that will also have to be protected from saltwater corrosion.


Depending on what it’s made of, the saltwater can also wreak havoc on your deck. As water spray evaporates, the deck is left covered in salt. Certain types of bluestone, flagstone, and travertine are especially vulnerable to salt corrosion and may require special treatment.


Silky smooth water that doesn’t dry out sensitive skin is enough to justify the cost of saltwater pool systems for many owners. When saltwater pools are installed properly, and owners follow suggested maintenance procedures, problems are few and benefits are many.


So, the decision to own a saltwater pool or chlorine pool is up to you. Either way, pool season is always a favorite time of year. Marco! Polo!


To learn more feel free to contact the pool builder specialists, Atlantic Pools and Spas. We are located in Lake Hopatcong, NJ and provide new pool construction, pool remodeling, outdoor living, pool equipment, pool lighting, pool equipment and pool maintenance. We provide services to the Morris, Sussex, Warren, and Bergen County areas.



Previous article