Saltwater pools first made a splash in the 1970’s with pools around the world. By the 1980’s, they found their way to the US market and have been gaining popularity ever since. Though chlorine remains the most common form of pool sanitizer today, salt water continues to be a common pool maintenance option and one you might like to consider. Here is everything you need to know about a saltwater pool.
How Does a Saltwater Pool Work?
Some people think saltwater systems are an alternative to having chlorine in the water. But, in reality, saltwater pools are an alternative way to create chlorine. Saltwater pools work by using dissolved salt to generate chlorine that then sanitizes your pool water. For the scientist in the room, salt is the naturally occurring compound NaCl, or Sodium Chloride. For the process of sanitizing your pool, the saltwater system separates the chlorine out.
What Are the Benefits of a Saltwater Pool?
- Less of a “chlorine” smell.
That chlorine smell that most people associate with pool water is actually the smell of chloramines, the by-product of chlorine when it sanitizes contaminants in the water. Saltwater pools, though, are known for not having this odor, thanks to lower chlorine levels and using naturally occurring chlorine.
- Gentle on skin and eyes.
For some people, a chlorine pool can bother them by causing itchy, bumpy skin or red eyes. However, pools with saltwater are known for being gentler and smoother, and therefore less irritating to the skin and eyes.
Additionally, contrary to what you may fear, pools with saltwater do not taste like the ocean. By comparison, a saltwater pool maintains around 3,000 ppm of salt, while the ocean is 35,000 ppm.
- Consistent chlorine levels.
Once put into motion, the salt generator produces and monitors the amount of chlorine in the pool. This prevents any fluctuations in the sanitizer levels and gives you peace of mind that the chlorine levels are accurate. Additionally, the salt added to the generator can continue to be used and reused, meaning there’s no need to add salt on a regular basis.
- No handling or storing of harsh chemicals.
With a chlorine pool, you have to be sure to properly handle the chlorine and store them safely. While this is not a difficult task, it is one you have to be mindful of and one that is not needed with a saltwater pool.
How Does the Cost Compare with a Saltwater Pool?
With a saltwater pool, the initial cost can be higher than a chlorine pool. Installing a new saltwater system including the generator and electrical set up can give some pool owners sticker shock. But after initial set up, the ongoing sanitizer costs are minimal. With a chlorine pool, initial set up costs are less but then require higher ongoing chemical costs.
However, keep in mind that the ongoing cost of a pool is more than the prices of chemicals. Saltwater generators run off of electricity which can increase your monthly energy bill. Additionally, the cost of repairs can be higher with a saltwater pool.
Is Saltwater Pool Maintenance Easy?
At first glance, it may seem like saltwater pool maintenance is easier. After all, the saltwater generator monitors the chlorine levels on its own. However, regular pool maintenance is very much still needed! pH levels can still get out of whack with a saltwater pool and need to be monitored and balanced weekly. Additionally, the salt cell must be cleaned on a regular basis, approximately every three months.
Plus, because saltwater generators use electricity, even minor repairs or problems often need a professional to handle it.
Contact A-Quality Pools Today!
Have more questions about saltwater pools? Contact our team at A-Quality Pools, your local pool experts for all of Tarrant County and beyond. We can help you determine what type of pool system is best for you and help with all your pool maintenance needs. Stop by our store in North Richland Hills today!