A person enjoying a pool with the words, "salt vs. chlorine pool."

Interested in having a pool installed on your property? If so, your next thought may be whether you should get a saltwater or chlorine pool. The best way to make an informed decision is by having a complete understanding of some key differences between these pool types and by choosing the right team of professionals to consult with. Here is what you need to know:

Saltwater Pools

Contrary to popular belief, saltwater pools do contain chlorine. Specifically, these pools use a process known as electrolysis to produce enough chlorine to disinfect the water itself. This process is completed through the use of a generator, which is installed as part of the pool system and plays the important role of monitoring, testing, and balancing the pool water’s chemistry.

Chlorine Pools

With a chlorine pool, you must manually add chlorine into the water. There is no generator or other part that will handle the water testing and chlorine distribution on your behalf. As a result, chlorine pools need to be tested and balanced weekly to ensure proper maintenance and sanitation.

Saltwater vs. Chlorine: Cost

Does a saltwater or chlorine pool cost more? It depends on how you look at it, as there are up-front installation costs, ongoing maintenance costs, and other related expenses to consider.

Installation Costs

In terms of up-front installation costs, a new pool will usually range between $11,000 and $36,000; the final price you pay will depend on several factors, including the pool type you choose. Since chlorine pools have fewer mechanical parts, they tend to be less expensive to buy and install than saltwater pools. On a saltwater pool, the generator alone can easily add $1,000 to $2,500 to your up-front costs.

Annual Maintenance Costs

On the other hand, saltwater pools tend to be pretty inexpensive from a maintenance perspective. It is not uncommon, for example, for this type of pool to cost less than $100 per year to maintain, plus applicable energy costs to run the generator itself. Every 2-3 years, however, a saltwater pool’s generator cell may need to be replaced to the tune of anywhere from $200 to $700.

Chlorine pools, by contrast, can cost anywhere from $300 to about $1,000 per year to maintain. Most of these costs are related to buying pool chemicals, such as chlorine.

Saltwater vs. Chlorine: Maintenance

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance pool, a saltwater pool may be your best option. These pools can self-maintain for up to two weeks and are very easy to add salt to when the need arises. They do, however, need the occasional shock treatment through the year along with making sure the generator’s cells are checked and cleaned a few times annually.

Chlorine pools require regular (sometimes daily) maintenance, which includes testing the chemical levels in the water and adding chemicals as needed to keep things balanced. To keep algae at bay, chlorine pools also tend to require more frequent shock treatments than saltwater pools.

Saltwater vs. Chlorine: Health and Safety

From a health and safety perspective, saltwater tends to be gentler on hair and skin. Plus, this water has no toxic fumes, although there is still some chlorine present. Chlorine pools can be a little harsher on the hair and skin, but as long as you keep the water properly balanced (and keep chlorine and other chemicals stored in a secure place), there’s nothing inherently dangerous about using a chlorine pool.

Saltwater vs. Chlorine: Pool Equipment Needed to Run

Saltwater pools require more equipment than chlorine pools to keep them running. In general, saltwater pools need all the same equipment as chlorine pools (including pumps and filters) in addition to generators. These pools may also need special equipment that is resistant to damage from salt.

With a chlorine pool, you only need basic pumps and filters. However, chemical controllers are available for chlorine pools that can save you some time and hassle when it comes to maintenance.

Saltwater vs. Chlorine: Recouping Investment

Overall, saltwater pools have a higher up-front cost to install. However, the operating and maintenance costs tend to be lower than that of chlorine pools over time. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you think you might sell your home down the road and are trying to choose a pool type that will yield you the best return on your investment.

No Matter What Type of Pool You’re Looking For, Liquidus Pool Services Can Make It Happen!

Whether you’re leaning towards a saltwater pool or a chlorine pool, the professional team at Liquidus Pool Services is here to help. Contact us today to find out more about our pool services or to get help in choosing the right pool type for your budget and lifestyle!