Salt or Chlorine? What Should You Choose

Posted by Tim Roadnight

Salt or Chlorine? What Should You Choose

Installing a pool at your home, you will have to make a decision as to whether you want a saltwater pool or a chlorinated pool. You won’t be able to make an informed decision until you know the differences between the two, so here we look at the differences as well as the pros and cons of each so you can make the right choice for you.

What is the difference between a saltwater pool and a regular pool?

When it comes to saltwater versus chlorine pools, the primary difference is really cost. Salt water pools are more expensive as an investment initially, however, over time they are often a more cost-effective option. You won’t need to buy additional chemicals for a salt water pool since they are able to make chlorine for themselves; however, a saltwater pool will involve additional monitoring to ensure that the pool’s chemical balance stays at optimal levels.

Salt Water Pools – An Overview

Although there is a common misconception that salt water pools are salty in the same way as the sea, this is not actually the case. Salt water pools have only 10% of the Atlantic Ocean’s salinity, at around 3,500ppm of salt. You will simply need to add salt to your pool on a monthly or weekly basis, and it will then react chemically in the chlorinator unit which is inside the pool’s water line to produce chlorine when the salt water passes through. Therefore, the salt water pool is able to consistently produce chlorine on its own without needing it to be added in liquid or tablet form.

Chlorine Pools – An Overview

When chlorine is added to a pool, it destroys the algae and bacteria to keep the water clear, sparkling and sanitized. Every pool has to be regularly monitored for its pH balance and chlorine level; however, chlorine pools require less monitoring for chemical balance than a salt water pool because if the level of salt in a saltwater pool runs too low, chlorine will no longer be produced by the pool’s chlorinator and therefore algae and bacteria will not be eradicated.

Problems With Salt Water Pools

One concern if you have a saltwater pool is that the chlorine, which is being produced by the pool, can burn off rapidly in a warm climate because of the sun. If this occurs, stabilizer or cyanuric acid must be added to the water, which slows the chlorine’s evaporation from the water down and helps to retain it in the pool. In a chlorine pool, you need to add chlorine liquid or tablets to the water, and these tablets already contain a stabilizer or cyanuric acid. You will still have to monitor the levels of chlorine pools in exactly the same way as with salt water pools, and the correct limits must still be maintained for pool safety.

Problems With Chlorine Pools

One of the problems that some people find with chlorine pools is that they can have a harsh effect on the eyes, skin, and hair. Salt water pools may have a less harmful effect since the chlorine will be produced slowly rather than added all together in liquid or tablet form.

No matter whether you choose to have a chlorine or a saltwater pool, proper pool maintenance is key. Poolknights can ensure that all maintenance is kept up-to-date and your pool remains clean, sanitized, and ready to use whenever you want to swim, maintaining optimal chlorine and pH levels, saving you the time and effort of carrying out these routine tasks yourself.

If you are in the Houston TX area contact Poolknights with a question regarding salt or chlorine, issues you may have with your pool or if you would like to schedule a consultation to learn more about our swimming pool maintenance programs.