Saltwater Pools: Advantages & Disadvantages

A saltwater pool is a great place to take a swim and enjoy the sun. However, saltwater pools also offer additional health benefits that range from soothing your skin to decreasing your stress levels. They are perfect for those who are looking for something different than the average swimming pool. Saltwater provides numerous benefits, but there are also a few disadvantages you may want to consider before taking the leap. Below we layout the advantages AND disadvantages for you to help you decide what is right for you and your family.

The biggest advantages of a saltwater pool are:

Less Maintenance
With a saltwater system, pool maintenance is much simpler. Saltwater pools still require some chlorine, but it’s minimal. With these pools, the salt cells will produce any chlorine as needed, but you will still want to monitor chlorine levels periodically to ensure everything is working properly. Additionally, cleaning your saltwater pool is only required about once a year, where you drain the pool, change the filter, and scrub.

Easier on the Eyes and Skin
Because they have lower chlorine levels, salt-water pools are much gentler on the eyes and skin. With lower chlorine levels, people that are sensitive to chlorine will have fewer irritations.

Softer Water
Like rainwater or water softeners, saltwater pools make water feel smooth and silky as opposed to the abrasive feel of chlorinated water. This many find desirable.

More Cost Effective
Though expensive upfront because of the purchase of a saltwater generator, saltwater pools are actually more cost effective in the long run. With saltwater pools, homeowners can forgo buying pool chemicals on a regular basis as well as regular maintenance fees compared to the regular chlorinated pool.

Disadvantages of Saltwater Pools:

Costs More
Salt-water pools require a larger initial investment up front, making them more expensive to build than traditional chlorine pools. Though it’s likely that with the money you save on chlorine, the saltwater system will pay for itself. A starting fee of a few thousand dollars can steer some people away from choosing it. The initial expenses to set up a saltwater pool can cost between $1,000 and $5,000, not including the cost of construction for the actual pool. This price can vary depending on the size of your pool, i.e., the bigger the pool, the more water you have and the more salt needed to add to the water. However, once the pool is set up and running, you’ll spend less money on it than a chlorinated pool. During the summer you can expect to spend $20 to $30 for the whole season. Upkeep of a chlorinated pool is much more expensive, and will cost about $50 to $60 a month depending on the size of your pool and the amount of time it’s used.

More Complex
Salt-water pools are more complex than traditional pools.  With modern electric saltwater systems, any problems that occur are likely to require the assistance of a technician.

Salt Can be Very Damaging
Salt can cause damage to certain materials, so you may have to avoid using specific types of heaters, fixtures, underwater lighting, liners and even some types of masonry work.

Making a Final Decision
If you can afford the extra cost up front, a salt-water pool can offer significant benefits you don’t get from traditional chlorinated pools. When it comes to making a choice, however, you should consider how often you and your family will actually use your pool, especially if you live in a region that enjoys fewer warm weather days. This should help you determine if a salt-water pool is right for you and your family.


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