Salt Water Pool Over Traditional Chlorine Pools - June 1st 2008
Q. What would be the major benefits of salt water pools over traditional chorine pools? I am quite confused, since you still have to use chlorine (although not as much) with a salt water pool. It seems to me that a regular chlorinated pool is still the way to go. Are the benefits of a salt water pool (less chlorine) outweighing the considerable extra costs? Would there be a concern over the salt corroding the pool.
A. Salt-water pools have taken off in the last few years in both new pool installations as well as converting existing standard chlorinated pools to salt water systems. The benefit of a salt water system is they require less chemicals meaning easier on eyes and skin, softer water and easier maintenance. Keep in mind that salt-water pools are not actually free of chlorine and even though salt water pool maintenance requires fewer chemicals than chlorine pools, it still does require a balancing of chemical and salt levels. Salt-water pools use chlorine generators, a "salt chlorinator," so you are able to chlorinate your pool without the effects of regular chlorine - that cause the burning eyes and irritated skin for many pool users.
Saltwater pools are initially more expensive to install than standard chlorine systems however, continued operation costs over the next few years are less expensive than running a traditional chlorinated pool. Existing chlorine pools can be converted to saltwater by adapting plumbing to accommodate the chlorine. Costs to consider with converting are pump parts and chlorine generators that can be expensive. In the end, if you are looking to put in a new pool then I would go for the salt water but if you are looking to convert an old chlorinated pool then the benefits may not be worth the initial costs of switching over.