In today’s health conscious world, we are looking to be mindful of what is the best thing for our environment and when it comes to building a pool, its only natural to stop and consider what will be right for your family: building a salt water pool or using traditional chlorine.
The good news is that chlorine IS salt, so either way you can’t go wrong. The purpose of using either salt or chlorine is to remove organic material from your pool and keep it clean and sanitary. Salt water pools require the installation of a salt water chlorine generator which uses the process of electrolysis to free the chlorine molecule from the salt. The alternative is adding chlorine directly to your pool. Either way, its chlorine that’s doing the work so its all about the method you prefer.
Salt water pools are gentler on the skin, and do not require shocking in order to keep stable sanitary conditions and so many people prefer this option. Additionally, while salt water pools create stubborn rings on dark tiled surfaces, they don’t need to be drained and scrubbed like a traditional chlorine pool.
If cost is an issue, its important to note that adding a salt water chlorine generator to your pool or upgrading an existing pool to use one, may add as much as $3,000 to your budget. The maintenance costs of salt versus chlorine may be smaller, but there are still considerations. Every pool requires maintenance and the saltwater generator will need to be inspected on a weekly basis to make sure that proper PH and alkalinity is being achieved. Saltwater pool owners can add muriatic acid, if necessary, to maintain the proper balance between 7.4 and 7.6. Homeowners will also need to be sure and clean the generator cell on a regular basis by soaking it in vinegar for a few hours. There may also be additional electrical costs as generators need to be run four to six hours a day in winter and 10-11 hours a day during summer in order to do the job.
For pools that need to be winterized and shut down when temperatures dip, salt water pools will require a floating chlorinator as salt water generators only function at 60 degrees and above. There is no escaping the need to chlorinate!
Salt is corrosive and may limit the way that your backyard and deck can be designed and soft stone, such as limestone, would need to be avoided.
While a trendy alternative, staying the course with a chlorine pool is always a good and easy bet. California Pools can walk you through the pros and cons and take a look at maximizing your budget so that upfront costs such as installing a salt water chlorine generator don’t compromise your creative vision. A great way to get started on your pool building journey is to take a look at our commonly asked questions page locate