When wanting to install a swimming pool, you quickly realize there are a lot of options. From pool style to shape, size, and materials, you truly have many options for your pool. One pool option that is growing in popularity in recent years is saltwater pools. Inground saltwater swimming pools use chlorine generators that react with salt to clean it instead of relying on high chlorine levels to accomplish the same goal. But, as with all types of pools, there are saltwater pool pros and cons.
Despite its name, inground saltwater swimming pools actually aren’t that salty. Saltwater pools use a chemical reaction between chlorine generators and salt to clean a pool, but the resulting water has 1/10 the salt of ocean water. So there’s no worry about swimming in a saltwater pool if you’re worried about the salt content.
A saltwater pool is also low in chlorine when compared to other types of pools. The chlorine generator converts salt into chlorine to clean the pool, which eliminates the need to add high levels of chlorine.
One unique advantage of a saltwater pool is it’s better for your skin. Chlorine is harsh on your skin, and the lower levels in a saltwater pool mean less damage to your skin.
Saltwater pools are incredibly easy and affordable to maintain. Chlorine generator systems moderate the chlorine levels in the pool and clean itself when needed, leaving you to enjoy your pool, not work on it. Maintenance also takes less money.
Unfortunately, salt is damaging to many systems. The permanent presence of salt, no matter how small, can eventually cause damage to lighting systems, liners, and concrete surfaces.
Salt is also extremely damaging to plants around the pool area. Backwash and wastewater from saltwater pools kills plants and dissolves nutrients in the soil. In a larger scale, this can lead to crop damage in some areas. For this reason, some municipalities actually prohibit saltwater pools, so be sure to check with your local government before deciding on this type of pool.
While saltwater pools require less maintenance, they require more electricity to run the chlorine generator. For example, a 20,000 gallon pool requires about 500 watts to power it, which can add substantially to your electric bill. The cost of electricity can cancel out any savings made on maintenance, and could possibly end up costing even more than chlorine pools.