Pros and Cons of Saltwater Pools

Jun 17, 2015

Saltwater pools are all about chlorine generation. Salt is added to the pool which gets converted into chlorine when water passes from the chlorine generator cell. Saltwater pools are like standard pools, in that they require maintenance and you have to clean them on a regular basis. However, the way it is done is different from ordinary pools. Here are the major pros and cons of saltwater pools.

Saltwater Pros

Lower Chlorine levels
Saltwater pool systems are not entirely chlorine-free, but they do contain lower chlorine content as compared to standard pools. In this type of pool, salt is converted into chlorine by chlorine generators through the process of electrolysis. During this process, water is sent across a special metal cell that is charged with an electric current, which in result, creates chlorine.

Kinder to the Skin
Due to the considerably lower content of chlorine in these pools, saltwater pools are less damaging to the human skin. It is especially good for people with skin sensitivities and allergies as they cause little or no irritation.

Allows Hassle-Free Underwater Swimming
The salt ratio in these types of pool is lesser than that of the ocean and is equivalent to that of the human tear. Thus, swimmers can safely keep their eyes open even under the water. This results in a better and safer underwater swimming experience.

Low Cost of Maintenance
Pool maintenance can be ensured by installing a salt water plant which automatically provides chlorine as required. However, recurrent monitoring of the system is required to ensure its smooth functioning. But this hardly costs anything, and as such, salt water pools provide a good long run payoff.

Saltwater Cons

Expensive to Set-up
Saltwater swimming pools are more costly to set up than standard swimming pools. But note that it is set-up cost that is high; the long term cost is comparatively lower as the chlorine generator does the automatic cleaning of the pool instead of manually adding chlorine to the pool.

Pool Damage
The salt content in the water can have deteriorating effects on parts of swimming pool that come in contact with water. It affects equipment; pumps, heaters, underwater pool liners, handrails, lightening work in the long run in addition to general wear and tear. You need to seal the deck around the pool so that the salt does not affect it.

Salt Damage to Plants
The waste water from a salt water swimming pool can be hazardous to plants and soil fertility. It is important that the detrimental effects of using this type of swimming pool be kept in mind while taking the decision. The use of saltwater pools has been restricted in some towns and localities.

Use of Electricity
Saltwater pools require electricity to generate a pollution-free pool. Providing electricity according to the needs of the pool may increase the operating cost of these pools. Additionally, in case of a sanitation problem with these pools a proper trained technician would be required to resolve the problem unlike standard pools where the immediate answer is to add more chlorine.

Weather Influence
The system falters in its ability to produce chlorine in cold water. An alternate method needs to be devised in order to keep the water pollution-free. This is a potential concern for people living in colder climates.

High pH Levels
High phosphate ratio may cause the generator to breakdown. Failure to control the high pH levels can result in calcium precipitant to stick to the pool surface, making it very coarse. In order to keep pH level in consistency, it is advisable to frequently add phosphate remover to the pool.

What’s the Verdict?

The standard chlorine pools require more maintenance while salt water pools can save you from this hassle (provided you have the money). Salt water pools are relatively new as compared to their chlorine counterparts, but more and more commercial buildings (like hotels and water parks) are choosing them mainly because they are less expensive to keep clean.

In the end, the choice is yours. The ultimate aim is to enjoy a cool dip in the scorching heat; it’s your call to do it with more or less chlorine!