Salt vs chlorine pool: It’s maintenance

Deciding between a salt vs chlorine pool? It’s worth considering the differences between the ongoing maintenance.

Chlorine Pools

Chlorine pools are one of the most common types of swimming pools because they’re what we’re used to and they’re considered easy to operate. Chlorine tablets are readily available and can be added into a floating disbursement device or into a pump unit.

However, chlorine pools will require constant surveillance to ensure the water and chlorine balance is correct at all times. Each time water is added or removed from the pool – typically via rain or evaporation – its pH can become unbalanced. Ideally, the pH should be maintained at 7.2-7.6.

Tablets can be added to correct the balance and reduce the risk of mildew, mould and bacteria built up. Compared to their saltwater counterparts, chlorine pools are considered more effective at preventing algae growth.

Read about the pros and cons of different pool types here

Salt water pools

To cleanse and sanitise a saltwater swimming pool, a salt chlorinator unit converts salt crystals into chlorine gas. This is soluble in water to maintain the salt-to-water ratio. As with chlorine pools, you’ll be required to maintain the correct levels when water is added or lost due to rain, backwashing, splashing or drainage.

Keep in mind, the salt content doesn’t disappear from the water through evaporation once it’s there. This explains why the initial up-front cost is typically more than chlorine, yet decreases significantly over time.

Salt chlorinators operate automatically and are cost-effective to run when compared to chlorine pools. This equipment typically lasts for approximately five years but will require periodic cleaning to remove the build-up of calcium deposits. One thing to note, the equipment and other metal parts of a saltwater swimming can require replacement earlier than chlorine pools due to salt corrosion.

Salt vs chlorine pool: Beyond maintenance

Chris Owen Design featuring Beauford®  flooring and Barrimah® walling

Check out a video all about pool maintenance here

There are more issues to consider than maintenance when deciding between a salt vs chlorine pool. Here are a few things you may like to consider before you make your decision:

Cost: saltwater pools typically cost more to install than chlorine, yet the running costs can be considerably cheaper.

Comfort: for many salt water is a preferred water choice as it is typically more pleasant to swim in for your skin, eyes and swimwear. Swimming in salt water can feel like you’ve swum in the ocean rather than smelling like chlorine. However, for some, the residue of salt doesn’t always appeal.

Reduced chemical exposure: as a natural product, exposure to salt is safe for adults, kids and pets. When deciding between the two water types, reducing exposure to corrosive chemicals is considered a plus.

Landscaping: salt water can kill plants in addition to robbing soil of nutrients.