Saltwater Pool vs Chlorine Pool

A freeform pool with a hottub and a stone deck and plants

For many pool owners, a chlorine pool is going to be the best choice. Saltwater pools can be great for those whose skin is overly sensitive to chlorine. But for most, the up-front cost of installing a saltwater pool, combined with the increased maintenance cost of repairing and replacing various pool parts, can make these pools cost-prohibitive.

Chlorine pools also seem to have an edge over saltwater pools when it comes to resale value. In many warm-weather areas, having a pool can increase a home’s value, but prospective buyers who aren’t familiar with saltwater pool maintenance may be more likely to go for the house with a chlorine pool instead.  

Chlorine vs Saltwater Advantages and Disadvantages

Swimming pool aficionados have recently been abuzz about saltwater pools, with some touting the skin health benefits of these low-chlorine pools. Read on to learn more about the key differences between chlorine and saltwater swimming pools.

How Chlorine Pools Work

Chlorine swimming pools rely on chlorine bleach and other pool chemicals to keep bacteria, algae, and other unpleasant substances at bay. Even if you’ve taken a pre-swim shower, you’ll leave behind dead skin cells, sunscreen, fabric softener or detergent residue from your swimsuit each time you swim. Chlorine kills any bacteria that may be present on your swimsuit and skin while you swim.

Advantages

Chlorine bleach and other pool chemicals are readily available at pool supply stores, making it easy to get everything you need in a single trip. Chlorine is highly effective at reducing a pool’s bacteria concentration, which can make swimming in a chlorine pool much healthier than swimming in a creek, pond, lake, or the ocean.

Furthermore, while it can be somewhat irritating to human skin, chlorine doesn’t corrode or harm your pool’s liner, filter, pump, or other components. In fact, chlorine can actually extend the lifespan of many of your pools moving parts by preventing bacteria and residue buildup.

Disadvantages

Keeping a chlorine pool pristine and beautiful all summer can require a little more money and elbow grease than your saltwater alternative. However, any extra costs you incur in pool chemicals will certainly be offset by the reduction in pool maintenance costs you can expect if you choose a chlorine pool.

For those with sensitive skin, hours of exposure to chlorine can sometimes cause irritation. You may want to consider applying a soothing lotion pre-swim, and always make sure to take a shower and rinse your suit after you swim to remove any potentially irritating residue.

How Saltwater Pools Work

Although the name “saltwater pool” can lead you to picture an ocean-like lagoon instead of your typical backyard swimming spot, a more accurate name might be “low-chlorine pool.” Saltwater pools still use enough chlorine to kill some bacteria, but a saltwater generator contributes to pool purification efforts by producing hypochlorous acid. This combination of saltwater and chlorine is enough to bring a saltwater pool’s bacteria levels down to a safe range.

Advantages

Saltwater pools can be less harsh on the skin than chlorine pools, so for those who find themselves avoiding swimming pools because of the breakout-related aftermath, a saltwater pool might provide a workable alternative. And because the pool’s water has about the same salt content as contact lens saline solution, swimmers can open their eyes underwater and not experience much pain or irritation.

Disadvantages

Installing a saltwater pool generator and pump can be pricey. And as anyone who has driven their vehicle over salted winter roads or lived near the ocean well knows, constant exposure to saltwater can be incredibly corrosive to metal, plastic, and rubber. Even though saltwater pools have a lower salt concentration than ocean water, this saline water is still far more corrosive than chlorine. This means that saltwater pool owners are likely going to be replacing or repairing many of their pool’s crucial components sooner than they might have expected.

Contact Dallas Swimming Pool Experts

Summerhill Pools provides Dallas and the surrounding area with premier swimming pool services, and our helpful technicians can answer any of your pool-related questions and work with you to find the chemical combination that fits your needs. Contact us today to learn more about the pool services we offer.

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