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Salt Water Pool Systems ( Saltwater Maintenance vs Chlorine Swimming Pools)

If you want to get a great looking pool, understanding how salt water pool systems work is the place to start. From pumps to chlorine we have you covered

A salt water pool with a slide

If you’ve ever thought about getting a pool, chances are you haven’t thought of salt water pool systems. That’s because salt water pools aren’t nearly as common as regular water pools are. Still, there are a lot of people that are starting to look at these as a great option for a variety of reasons. We’ll go over what some of those reasons are right here. After all, you may want a saltwater swimming pool yourself once you know what you can do with it.

What is a Salt Water Pool?

If you’ve never even heard of a salt water pool you are definitely not alone. There are also plenty of people who have only heard about them once or twice but don’t know what they are. Truthfully, a saltwater pool isn’t a whole lot different from a traditional pool system. That’s because the salt is really only there to help get rid of the microorganisms and bacteria that start to grow in any pool.

If you’ve noticed, the ocean and other saltwater bodies of water don’t have the same types of organisms that pools and other bodies of water do. By adding salt to your pool system you can get rid of some of those things as well. But, if you’re like most people you’ll probably be wondering how this is different from a chlorine pool (the standard in home swimming pools). Well, it’s only slightly different in the long run, because it’s a different way of doing the same thing.

A saltwater pool is one that actually creates its own chlorine, which may seem strange, but it’s definitely something to think about. The  pool systems you’ll find actually use electrolysis to clean the water in your pool.  An electrified cell screens the salty water and actually creates chlorine. That chlorine then cleans up the pool the same way it would if you were adding your own chlorine. So the point is that your job is a whole lot easier.

Salt Water Pool vs Chlorine Pool

So why would you opt for a salt water pool vs chlorine pool? Well, saltwater pool systems are somewhat easier to run during the day-to-day process. Because the saltwater swimming pool creates its own chlorine, you’re not going to have to carry chlorine around or pour it into the pool. You don’t have to worry about buying it (a lower expense) and you won’t have to worry about mixing it into the pool. All of those things are taken care of for you.

A chlorine pool means that you have to take care of some of those things yourself. You have to purchase chlorine (which admittedly has become inexpensive lately). You also have to get it into the pool and mixed well. Of course, it’s important to point out that newer systems make this process a whole lot easier as well. New systems let you add chlorine in large batches into the pump which then measures and releases chlorine for you.

If you’re looking for something easy to use, it’s going to be a tossup which will be better for you. Of course, if you’re going to get a simple chlorine pool or choose saltwater pool systems you’re getting more out of the salt water. But you’ll want to take a look at the maintenance differences when you’re using salt water too.

Salt Water Pool Maintenance

The main disadvantage of saltwater pool systems is how much maintenance you’re going to have for them. As far as the disadvantages of this pool you’ll find that it’s very similar to a traditional chlorine pool because it has similar levels of chlorine. The chlorine is made itself, but it’s actually identical in structure to what you would normally buy in the store. That means, these pools aren’t any safer for you than a regular pool.

One thing you need to be careful about is corrosion, as salt water pool systems can cause metal pieces to corrode over time. Anything that the water comes into contact with could corrode. This is because of the mixture of salt water and electrolysis that keeps your pool clean. Now, there’s no reason to worry about that electrified cell hurting you or anyone else in your pool, but it will cause trouble for metal, so you want to keep that out of the pool.

You’ll also need to make sure that all of the chemicals in your pool are still properly maintained. You don’t want to ignore everything else thinking that electrolysis will take care of it. That’s only for the chlorine. Everything else needs to be taken care of by you and it needs to be stabilized by you. That way, your pool will stay in better shape for a whole lot longer.

SaltWater Pool Health

Ingesting or even inhaling the chlorine can be dangerous from a respiratory standpoint, though the little you would inhale while swimming in a properly chlorinated pool will be fine for your health. The important thing is to look at the other aspects of maintenance and the expenses that you’ll incur when you’re looking at different types of pools. A saltwater swimming pool, as we’ll discuss a little more later, is going to cost more than a standard chlorine pool, but maintaining it can help cut down that cost.

Salt Water Pool Cost

The overall salt water pool cost is actually going to be a little higher to start out, because you have to spend the startup cost of that generator. Where you can purchase a simple chlorine pool for a couple hundred dollars, salt water pool conversion starts around $1,500. Of course, that’s for only the generator that’s going to convert the pool you already have, not the entire pool structure.

If you’re going to purchase a built in pool and have it installed and add in the salt water pool systems components you’ll spend upwards of $50,000 on the process. If you’re just going to use salt water pool conversion with what you already have however, you can generally do it under $2,000. It’s going to be up to which type of pool system you want or already have. Keep in mind, however, that the more you take care of this type of system the less maintenance it’s actually going to need in the long run. That’s important when you’re looking to save some money.

These pools will cost you in the way of salt instead of chlorine. Of course, if you’ve ever looked at the cost of salt versus chlorine you’ve probably seen just how inexpensive it is. That’s why a lot of people looking at a salt water pool vs chlorine pool compare the ingredients they’ll need to add and decide salt is a great investment. You will also need to continuously monitor the generator itself to make sure it’s not getting coated or clogged. If it does you want to take care of it right away so you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a new generator. With proper salt water pool maintenance, however, you can avoid that.

Above Ground Salt Water Pool vs Inground Salt Water Pool

The truth is, an above ground saltwater pool is going to be just as simple as an inground saltwater swimming pool. The system is the same and it will work just the same. Of course, you may get a longer life out of a pool that is inground simply because of the type of materials used. Above ground pools that are made professionally instead of simply purchased at the store can be high quality, but most people opt for the vinyl versions.

If you’re putting in an inground pool, however, you’re likely going to have some type of concrete or other stone structure. These tend to last a long time and they are more durable. They also have less susceptibility to damage from the weather (unless there are earthquakes of course). Still, these structures do need more care over time. You’ll have to resurface a concrete pool, for example. If you have a simple vinyl pool above ground you may be able to simply replace it for less money than this.

Some have found that salt water pool systems have a tendency to cause damage to inground pools at a higher rate than normal. This means you may need to get the pool refinished a little bit sooner than you would normally with a traditional chlorine pool. This is important to keep in mind if cost is a big factor for you. After all, resurfacing or refinishing a pool is definitely not a cheap job. It’s something you’ll spend a decent amount of money on.

Improving Your Salt Water Pool Systems

If you really want to upgrade your pool however, and get even more benefits from it, you can get saltwater pool systems and a UV system. A UV disinfection system is one that actually helps improve the quality of your pool water even more. And it does it super easy.

This system actually works alongside the salt water system, but it’s going to be an added cost for you to get started. Once it’s up and running, however, it’s going to reduce the amount of chlorine that’s needed in your pool. It’s also going to help improve the quality of your water. You’ll definitely notice a difference when you’re swimming in this type of pool, because it’s going to feel a whole lot different without all of that chlorine.

The key is making sure you keep this system up and running too. And of course, you need the added cost for the startup. If you’re looking to save money this may be something you skip over, since it’s not a necessity, but it can definitely be a benefit for you and your family in the maintenance department. It can also be great on your skin and your health because of that traditional chlorine that’s now gone. Make sure you at least consider it before you decide it’s not going to be worth the money.

Choosing Your Salt Water Pool System

The salt water pool system that you will likely find is going to be similar to any other. That’s because most of these systems are the same type of thing. Just make sure you’re looking at all of the features and that you’re paying attention to how much you want to spend on each of them. You may be surprised just how much you can get out of saltwater pool systems. They’re all about getting you a better swimming experience.

If you want to cut down on your day-to-day work and costs this is a great way to do it. Of course, you’ll have to remember the added costs you get in other areas. Keep in mind that this is not an unchlorinated pool. It’s simply a pool that you don’t have to add chlorine to. It’s also not something you can set up and forget. You’ll have maintenance with this type of pool as well. It’s simply going to be a different type of maintenance and a different type of pool.

If you’ve ever swam in a pool with a saltwater pool system you’ll definitely notice the difference, but it’s up to you whether it’s a difference worth the extra startup costs. All we can do is help you see what the benefits really are, and what you’re getting yourself into. The rest is going to be up to you.

So what do you think about saltwater pool systems? Does it sound like a great idea for you and your family? Or do you think that extra cost might not be worth what you’re actually paying? No one can make that decision for you, but you’re definitely going to want to think about if this is the right options for your home.