Salt Water vs Chlorine Pool: A Deep Dive Into Your Pool Options

During the summer you have countless get-togethers with no way to entertain your guests besides plopping them down in front of a TV. Chatting with everyone is fun and you enjoy cooking out but you sort of feel bad that your younger family members are left bored on the couch. That’s why you’ve decided to have a pool installed! When you’re on the phone with the contractor they will give you a choice between salt water vs chlorine pool. What’s the difference and which one is better?

That all depends on your budget and personal tastes. Check out this guide to weigh the pros and cons of each.

What’s the Difference Between Salt Water vs Chlorine Pool?

Saltwater and chlorine pools work off of a completely different sanitation system. Saltwater pools sanitize by using an electrolysis system.

The water passes through something known as a salt cell and receives a small electric shock from the control box. From there the salt is converted into hypochlorous acid to sanitize the pool.

With Chlorine, you pour the chemicals straight into the pool. The filter breaks the chemicals down and keeps things sanitized. The problem is that chloramines are created as well which isn’t that great for the human body.

Pros of a Salt Water Pool

When it comes to choosing a saltwater pool vs chlorine pool, there is no right or wrong answer. They both have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. We’ll break down these pros and cons starting with the saltwater pool.

Not as Much Chlorine

Many are under the misconception that saltwater systems don’t use a single drop of chlorine which isn’t true. They do use it, just not near as much.

This means that you can open your eyes underwater without having to worry about chemicals stinging your eyes. It also means that you feel and smell less gross when getting out of the pool and your bathing suit can keep its bright colors since there aren’t as many chemicals present to fade it.

Easy to Keep Clean

Saltwater pools run off of a generator that stays on forever. This keeps everything clean which means less pool maintenance for you. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll still need to keep an eye on things.

The generator will keep the chemicals in your pool as balanced as it can but you still have to test the water on a normal basis to make sure everything is good.

You have to keep the filter and skimmer clean or it won’t function as it should. There’s also the matter of checking the salt cell every now and again to make sure it’s still working.

Cons of a Saltwater Pool

With all these pros, it’s hard to believe that there are any cons involved with having a saltwater pool. Nothing is perfect, however. You may run into a few issues.

They’re Expensive

You’ll get to save money on chemicals with a saltwater pool but that’s pretty much the only area where you get to hold on to your cash. The initial cost of the pool is pretty expensive and since the generator runs 24/7, you can imagine the electricity bill that you wrack up.


When salt builds it becomes pretty corrosive. This is bad news for your filter, pool lights, pool liner, and any other pieces of equipment. Of course, these things can be fixed but it won’t be cheap by any means.

Pros of a Chlorine Pool

While chlorine pools use more chemicals and you have to deal with burning eyes, you shouldn’t count them out. They offer quite a few benefits.


An above-ground pool that uses a chlorine-based system is much cheaper than one that uses a salt water system as far as investments go. They have a pump that circulates water pretty much around the clock but it still doesn’t use as much electricity as a saltwater pool.

The only offset is that you have to go to the store to buy chemicals more often but that’s a small price to pay considering all the money you’ll be saving in other areas.

Easy to Maintain

You have to test the water’s chemical levels and drop tablets in it but there’s very little maintenance involved besides making sure everything is clean and running properly.

Chlorine doesn’t do much corrosive damage to the skimmer, liner, pool pump, or other equipment so you don’t have to worry about replacing parts as often either.

Cons of a Chlorine Pool

Chlorine pools are cheaper than salt pools but they still use dangerous chemicals that aren’t good for our bodies. It also doesn’t do wonders for that pretty swimsuit you just bought.

Dangerous Chemicals

High amounts of chlorine can irritate a person’s skin and eyes. It gives off a strong smell that you may not want to carry around with you either.

The chloramines that come hand and hand with chlorine also aren’t good for you. You can manage the number of chloramines that you’re exposed to but it takes a lot of extra chemicals.

Faded Swimsuits

Bought a gorgeous bathing suit that you’re super proud of? You might want to avoid chlorine pools. Chlorine won’t damage equipment and pool lining but it will fade the colors in your swimsuit.

It does the same to pool noodles, floaties, and any other accessories that you forget to take out of the pool when you’re done swimming for the day.

If any of these cons are a deal-breaker for you, there are ways of converting above ground pool to saltwater. All you’ve got to do is talk to a contractor to get started.

Saltwater Vs Chlorine Pool: Which is Better the Better Option?

Saltwater vs chlorine pool? Which one should you choose to entertain your summer guests? It all depends on your budget and what you want out of your swimming experience.

Salt water pools don’t fade clothes and use fewer chemicals but they are much more expensive to maintain. Chlorine pools use a ton of chemicals but upkeep is cheaper. Weigh your options and start shopping today.

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