Chlorine v Salt Pools – Factors to Consider
Once the bastion of resorts and hotels, saltwater pools are becoming a popular choice among property owners, and in some areas are overtaking chlorine pools in terms of ubiquity. If you’re torn between installing a saltwater or a chlorinated pool, you may wish to consider some of the following factors.
Upfront, installing a saltwater pool is typically more expensive than installing a chlorinated pool. However, over the longer term, saltwater pools are generally more economical, requiring less investment in chlorine and other expensive chemicals. General maintenance of saltwater pools will still require the purchase and use of some chemicals, such as muriatic acid, in order to ensure that the pool remains clean and sanitary. Saltwater generators must also run constantly in order to stave off algal growth; this can increase costs.
Saltwater pools are not entirely chlorine free, as they create chlorine from the salt that is present in the pool water. However, the levels of chlorine that are present in a typical saltwater pool are significantly lower than those found in a chlorine pool. Saltwater pools therefore are considered less drying on the skin, and usually cause less skin and eye irritation. They also tend not to have the cloying smell typical of chlorinated pools.
Despite their name, saltwater pools don’t have the levels of salinity that one might expect. In fact, the typical saltwater pool is significantly less salty than large saltwater bodies such as oceans, with less than one tenth of the salt levels. For this reason, damage to your pool from the salt in the water is less of an issue than you might think, although it still pays to be vigilant about cleaning your pool and purchasing salt-resistant components that won’t corrode from exposure to the salt in your pool water.
Once installed, a saltwater pool system is relatively low maintenance, and requires less hands-on treatment than a chlorine pool. While saltwater pools will require monthly acid-based wash-downs, this level of maintenance is typically much lower than that required by chlorine pools, which require regular monitoring, testing, and maintenance. As a point of comparison, regularly used swimming pools can require the addition of chlorine up to 3-4 times a week.
The choice between a saltwater or chlorinated pool is one that will depend on your needs as a pool owner. If skin sensitivity is an issue, or you dislike the smell of chlorine, then a saltwater pool may be the best choice for you. However, if you’re concerned about the relatively higher costs involved with running a saltwater pool, then a chlorinated pool might be more suitable.
If you’d like to know more about installing chlorine or saltwater pools in Melbourne, contact Salt Pools Pty Ltd