Chlorine vs. Saltwater Pool: Which Should You Choose?

Both saltwater pools and chlorine pools have their benefits and detriments. Before you decide which one you would like to set up in your backyard, consider the pros and cons of a saltwater vs. chlorine pool and what they each have to offer.

Pros of a Saltwater Pool

  • Pools with salt chlorine generators tend to lead to less pool maintenance costs in the long term. They do not require as frequent chemical testing or balancing as chlorine pools do because saltwater is not affected by sunlight.
  • A saltwater swimming pool does less damage to eyes and skin, and saltwater is even safe to ingest in small quantities.
  • Saltwater pools do not leave any residue on pool filters like chlorine pools can. This makes it much easier to clean your filter.

Cons of a Saltwater Pool

  • A saltwater system is a fairly complex piece of equipment and still a bit of a specialty item so the initial cost of salt will be more expensive than a traditional chlorine pool. However, salt doesn’t evaporate, so you won’t have to replace it nearly as frequently as chlorine.
  • If the salt level drops too low in your saltwater system, then bacteria may start building up. You should maintain a salt level within your saltwater system that is lower than the natural ocean but higher than levels found in average tap water.
  • Saltwater pools can make your pool water feel thicker than chlorine pools. This is because saltwater reacts with the salt inside your body and can cause it to have a bit of a “slimy” feeling.

Pros of a Chlorine Pool

  • The initial cost for chlorine will be lower than salt initially, but you’ll have to replace the chlorine much more frequently than salt in saltwater systems.
  • Chlorine evaporates into the air when you add it to an inground traditional pool or an above ground pool, forcing you to recheck chlorine levels and your chemical balances on a regular basis.
  • Chlorine can leave a residue on the surface of your pool that is relatively easy to wash off, whereas saltwater can leave a bit of sludge if it dries, which is more labor intensive to remove.

Cons of a Chlorine Pool

  • A big drawback of chlorine is that it breaks down with sunlight, which means you have to treat what might otherwise be clear water for long periods of time.
  • If you swim in a chlorine pool immediately after adding chemicals or right before rain, you can experience bleaching or burning on exposed skin. Even eye irritation may occur if you swim too long without goggles on.
  • Exposure to too much chlorine can cause respiratory problems, meaning saltwater might actually be the better choice if you or someone in your family has asthma.
  • Chlorine can corrode metals over time, which means saltwater might actually be the better choice for metal kiddie pools, above ground pools, and decks.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to the owner’s preference. Saltwater generated pools are not as hard on your skin, eyes, and lungs and can be more preferable to people who have sensitivities. It just depends on what they’re after in a swimming experience. Also, chlorine might irritate the eyes or lungs for some swimmers, making salt a more favorable option. Hopefully with this list of pros and cons you’ll be able to make a more educated decision for your pool purchase.

Once you make your decision between a saltwater vs. chlorine pool you should consider what else you need to make your pool complete. You can find pool slides, ladders, railings, games, and swim-up bars all from Global Pool Products. Follow the links to check out our full line of made-in-the-USA pool accessories.

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