If you are putting in a new pool, you may be considering installing a saltwater sanitation system. But is a saltwater pool worth the extra cost? If you have an existing pool, you may also wonder if converting to saltwater is a good idea. You may have heard that saltwater pools are more expensive than a standard chlorinated pool. Not sure what to do? The pros at Fronheiser Pools have a lot of experience in this area and we are happy to share our knowledge. Let’s examine the pros and cons and, hopefully, your decision will be easier!
How Does a Saltwater Sanitation System Differ from a Chlorination System?
With a traditional pool, you must add chlorine or bromine to disinfect your water. A saltwater pool depends on an electrolytic chlorine generator to break the salt down and create a natural form of chlorine. The big difference is that the saltwater system creates just enough chlorine to keep the water clean. A chlorinated pool has a higher concentration of chlorine for sanitation purposes. If your pool operates on a chlorinated sanitation system, it requires frequent water testing and regular additions of multiple chemicals to achieve a proper balance and to maintain a high standard of cleanliness. On the other hand, a saltwater generator adds chlorine as needed and all you need to do is test the water occasionally and add more salt and appropriate balancing chemicals if needed.
Is There a Difference in the Swimming Experience: Saltwater vs. Chlorination?
Have you experienced itchy skin, red eyes, and damaged hair from swimming? Levels of chlorine that are too high in a swimming pool can cause this sort of irritation. A saltwater swimming pool’s water will feel softer to the skin and result in less irritating side effects. In addition, a saltwater pool will not have the unpleasant smell of chlorine. Swimming in a saltwater pool also feels more buoyant. Many people say they stay higher in the water and can actually swim faster.
What is the Cost of Installation: Saltwater vs. Chlorination?
A saltwater pool costs more upon initial installation than a chlorinated pool. A chlorination system is less expensive to install, whereas a saltwater sanitation system can have a higher initial investment. Also, the salt generator needs to be replaced every five years or so at a cost of $200 or more.
What is the Cost of Maintenance: Saltwater vs. Chlorination?
A chlorine sanitation system requires consistent water testing and the addition of multiple chemicals to balance pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine. Periodic shock treatments are required as are doses of algaecide. These chemical costs can add up each year. A saltwater sanitation system, on the other hand, costs as little as $100 per year for maintenance supplies. Keeping the pool sanitized requires far less owner participation with a saltwater system, also.
What’s the Bottom Line?
A saltwater sanitation system will cost more to install, but less to maintain. It will use fewer chemicals and may provide a more pleasant swimming experience. It may provide more long-term value in terms of resale should you sell your property. The lower cost of chemicals over time may help you recoup your initial investment. A chlorine sanitation system will cost less to install, but over time, the cost of chemicals will be more for ongoing maintenance.
Is a saltwater pool worth the extra cost? The expense may be more upfront, but overall will be less costly and time-consuming for you to maintain. The choice is a matter of personal preference, and the professional staff at Fronheiser Pools are here to answer your questions and provide you with products and service once your decision is made. Questions about whether a saltwater pool is right for you? Call us at (610) 845-2221 and we will be happy to walk you through all the details.