Saltwater vs Chlorine Pools | Pros & Cons

June 3, 2022

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Both saltwater pools and traditional chlorine types have awesome features, and of course there are pros and cons to each style of pool water

Saltwater Pools

Saltwater pools use a process called “electrolysis” to produce just enough chlorine to disinfect the water. These pools use salt chlorinators, also known as salt chlorine generators, or just salt water systems.


  • – The lighter load of chlorine is gentler on skin, eyes, swimsuits, hair and more. This is a great choice if the pool is to be used by young children and athletes who ay be on the pool for long periods of time. The lowere Chlorine levels are still enough to disinfect, but not enough to fade expensive swimwear and gear.
  • – Many people dislike the smell of traditional chlorine pools. Saltwater pools don’t have the same chemical-heavy scent.
  • – Because of the natural chlorine, saltwater pools require fewer chemicals (and less attention) compared to chlorinated pools.
  • – The cost of day-to-day operations is much cheaper. The cost for a Salt Water pool can run $20­–$30 for an entire summer supply of salt, when Chlorine runs from $150–$180 for the summer.


  • – A saltwater pool is more expensive on the front end over the traditional pool because it requires a higher initial investment. Converting to saltwater can cost between $1000–$5000 depending on pool size.
  • – Compared to chlorinated pools, a saltwater pools system is more complex. Both minor and major repairs will call for the expertise of a licensed technician. Salt chlorine generators need to be checked and cleaned regularly. The generator is one more mechanical piece that can break or need replacing.
  • – Saltwater can damage, and can speed up erosion of the pool. Any accessories you would need or want to purchase need to be specific to saltwater pools.
  • – Saltwater pools will not produce chlorine in water colder than 60 degrees.

Chlorine Pools

Chlorine pools are popular because it’s cheaper to install and easier to maintain. Unlike its saltwater counterpart, chlorine is added rather than naturally produced.


  • – The initial investment is much less.
  • – Chlorine pools use less electricity. Saltwater pools require a special salt chlorine generator to convert salt into chlorine. Chlorine pools, on the other hand, merely require a pump (to circulate the water in your pool, which prevents dirt, bacteria, and algae from multiplying in the water), and cleaning equipment.
  • – Chlorine is fixture-friendly, so you do not have to worry about excess damage to your pools accessories.
  • – Most repairs can be done DIY (do-it-yourself). Otherwise, finding someone to fix a chlorine pools systems won’t be a problem.


  • – Chlorine is known to be harsh on the skin, eyes, and hair and can result in bleached swimwear and irritated noses, throats or lungs. Chlorine can an also be very harmful to any pool deck painting if you do not have the correct paint.
  • – Chlorine pools require constant maintenance to kill excess bacteria, which means that you need to check on chlorine content on a regular basis. In addition, other chemicals such as balancing agents, need to be added consistently. Bottom line: you need to up your budget to maintain a chlorine pool, and have someone checking on your pool’s chemical composition on a regular basis.
  • – You must keep chlorine products on hand, which cost more than pool grade salt, and this Chlorine has to be stored properly. You may have to dedicate an exclusive area free from moisture to keep components active.

Ultimately, Chlorine pools need more commitment while saltwater pools require a larger investment up front, but a good number still stand by their chlorine pools for its fixture-friendly features. Neither saltwater generation nor traditional chlorine is technically better, for both are effective methods of sanitization. Saltwater pools are often preferable among people with sensitive skin, allergies or asthma. Many public establishments such as water parks and hotels have begun to convert to saltwater pools simply because they require less manpower and are less expensive to keep clean.

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