Chlorine Pools vs. Salt Water Pools
What’s The Difference Between A Chlorine Pool And A Salt Water Pool?
Technically speaking, saltwater pools are chlorine pools. We know this may sound a bit confusing and you might have read that first sentence a few times but you read it right. Salt water pools technically are chlorine pools. The reasoning behind this is due to the fact that salt water pools something called a chlorinator which is a salt water generator the electrically converts the salt into chlorine. We know, MIND BLOWN!
Salt water pools come with many benefits when it comes to quality and maintenance but there is of course a fee associated with that. The upfront cost of one of these pools when compared to a chlorine pool can really add up and on the other hand, chlorine pools are not nearly the upfront investment a salt water pool is not to mention chlorine works with all pool types and pool equipment.
So let’s take a look into the two pool types and see what the big differences are and find out which one is the right choice for you and your needs.
Let’s Look At Salt Water Pools
Ok, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way again. Salt water pools are technically chlorine pools. Like stated earlier, a salt water pool has a generator that will electrically convert the salt into chlorine. Crazy right! Ok, so let’s take a look at what this means and how it works. Salt water pools have Salt Cells and within these Salt Cells the salt is transformed into chlorine. Science! So what’s really happening is the salt water pools are taking the water which needs to have a salt concentration of 3,000 parts per million (ppm).
Now this salt is circulated into the pools Salt Cell or Salt Chlorine Generator. As this salt water flow through the Salt Cell it is exposed to a direct current of low voltage electricity which make electrolysis take place. What happens during electrolysis is the salt is being broken down into hydrogen gas and hypochlorous acid. The hypochlorous acid will sanitize the pool and will turn back into salt after a duration of time. Way to go Science! The hydrogen gas will leave the pool in the form of gas bubbles.
Not so complex when you break it down but thinking its was some type of magic was cool too.
- Will eliminate the need for most other swimming pool chemicals
- Lower pool maintenance costs
- Produce nearly neutral pH levels
- Customizable setting for perfect levels
- Natural feeling water that is easy on the eyes and skin
- Initial investments can be costly
- Not friendly with all pool equipment like handrails over 6,000ppm (salt corrosion can take place)
- Periodical changing of the Salt Cell is needed
- Pool water splash out can create salt damage
Let’s Look At Chlorine Pools
Chlorine pools rely on added chemicals (chlorine) for pool sanitation. The chlorine is added to the pool in various forms which include liquid chlorine, shock and chlorine tablets. Chlorine has been used reliably for decades now due to its low price, ease of use and the fact that it is very easy for homeowners to obtain.
As a pool owner you have a few ways in which you can dispense your chlorine throughout the pool and two of those ways are through the use of either as automatic chlorine feeder or a floating chlorine dispenser. The ‘set and forget’ type chlorine dispensers can cost the pool owner anywhere between $50 and $200 depending upon the brand and size purchased. Hands down one of the most popular choices when it comes to chlorine tablets is the floating chlorine tablet feeder. These types of dispensers float around the pool which allows them to disperse chlorine throughout the pool relatively evenly. One thing you do need to pay attention to is to make sure that your floater doesn’t become stuck in one section of the pool for too long of a duration of time. It’s our recommendation that your try to keep the floater in front of the skimmer or near a return jet for even chlorine distribution and circulation.
- Can work with virtually all pool types
- Relatively inexpensive compared to other sanitation methods
- Chlorine can be added to water in a variety of different ways
- Constant chlorine maintenance is needed
- Each brand has slight variations which many not work well with one another
- More volatility in chemical levels
- Frequent purchase of chlorine will be needed for a constant supply
Our Conclusion On Which Is Better: Salt Water Pools vs. Chlorine Pools
It turns out that it’s completely up to you, the pool owner. There are pros and cons to each and it is up to you as an individual to determine which sanitation system is right for you. Many people don’t mind the upkeep associated with chlorine pools. Some even enjoy the process much like many people enjoy mowing the lawn or pruning the bushes. It’s a part of life that brings them a little enjoyment and peace. While other people enjoy the more ‘set it and forget it’ style of sanitation that a salt water generator gives them. They like checking in on their PPM levels from time to time but like the fact that they don’t need to worry about it on a day to day basis.
At the end of the day it is completely up to you to decide which style is right for you but we hope we have given you some of the needed information to help you make an educated decision.