Heap-of-SaltSaltwater Pools and Chlorine pool systems have their pros and cons. The cost, maintenance and health concerns are the most important factors for pool owners.  Below we have presented some of the pros and cons for each system.  This will enable you to make an informed decision as to which system works best for you. Salt Water Pool systems are more expensive to install or convert than chlorine based pools, but will require less maintenance.  If pool chemistry is balanced, you usually just need to add salt to maintain, which makes maintenance costs much lower.  Although salt water pools use lower levels of chemicals, chlorine is a still present in the water. Salt water pools are considered much safer as salt is a natural substance and is less drying and damaging to our skin than the harsh chlorine chemical tablets.  Because salt is a natural corrosive, pool surface or decking material can be adversely effected.  While day to day maintenance cost may be less - salt is corrosive and should seal all natural masonry materials yearly. This cost should be added into yearly maintenance cost. A saltwater pool should not taste salty like the ocean. Instead, this system is meant to provide you with the same benefits as a chlorine-based system pool, without the large amounts of harmful chemicals. Pros
  • Easy to maintain, just add salt.
  • Pool water is safer for family and pets
  • Less harsh on your skin and hair
  • Lower pool supply/maintenance cost
Cons
  • Chlorine still present in the water – although much lower levels than  a chlorinated pool
  • Takes longer than chlorinated pool to balance if bacteria is present
  • Higher initial cost when installing or switching to a salt system
  • Pool equipment (filters, pumps, etc…) do not last as long
  • Corrosive to pool surface and decking material – needs to be sealed on an annual basis
Chlorine Pools are the most common types of pools built today. Due to the harsher chemicals used in a chlorine pool, water analysis is recommended frequently to ensure proper chemical levels. Chlorinated pools perform better in clearing bacteria in water. Chlorine clears the               water faster if there is bacteria present or if the pH levels are off. Clearing the water will only take 24 to 48 hours, but a saltwater system may take three to five days depending on the levels. Chlorinated pools do not corrode or damage your pool surface or decking material.  The chemicals will not cause the stone or quartz material to deteriorate and your pool surface and decking will last longer in Chlorinated pools vs a salt water pools. Chlorine is harsher on a person’s skin and hair than salt.  Pools with chlorine levels that are too high can cause hair to turn green or irritate and burn a person’s eyes.  It is recommended that you use gloves when handling chlorine as not to burn the skin. Pros
  • System will clear the water up faster than a saltwater system if there if bacteria is present.
  • Less upfront cost to install
  • Easy to operate – just add chlorine tablets to pump or floating device.
  • Will not damage pool surface or decking
Cons
  • Must balance all chemicals
  • Harsher on your skin and hair
  • Higher monthly pool chemical/maintenance cost
For more information about salt water pools vs chlorine pools, contact your Houston Pool Builder, St. Croix Custom Pools.