Most of us are familiar with the standard chlorine pools. But while things have improved over the years, pool chlorine can still irritate your eyes and skin, smell unpleasant, as well as damage your hair. More and more people are asking us what we think of salt water pool conversion. You may have heard that a salt water pools are nicer than typical chlorine pools. There are definitely some nice things about a salt water pool, but such a pool still uses chlorine.
Before deciding if converting your chlorine pool to a salt water pool is something you want to consider, it helps to know exactly what a salt water pool is, and how it works.
What Exactly Is a Salt Water Pool and How Does It Work?
When you have a salt water pool, you, or your pool care company, adds salt to the water instead of chlorine. But don’t worry, your pool water won’t taste like salt. With a salt water pool, we add a salt cell or salt generator, into your pool’s plumbing system. When the salt water passes through the salt cell, an electrical reaction occurs between the electrode and the salt water results in the creation of chlorine. So, you are still using chlorine to sanitize your pool.
But since the chlorine produced in a salt water pool is naturally produced, higher quality chlorine, it doesn’t have the negative effects of typical pool chlorine, such as irritated eyes, that chlorine smell, and dry skin.
Pros and Cons of Salt Water Pool Conversion
The pros include:
- No need to buy or store chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, or pool shock chemicals. The expense of buying the salt cell pays for itself.
- No need to manually add chlorine. With a salt water pool system, you dial in your chlorine production, set it and forget it.
- No strong chlorine smell, irritated eyes or skin issues. All of those standard chlorine issues are due to something called chloramines. The chlorine in a salt water pool does not contain chloramines, so does not have the negative side effects. Salt water pools are much gentler on your skin.
The cons include:
- The initial expense of buying the salt cell (But remember, you won’t have the cost of buying all of the pool chemicals associated with a chlorine pool.)
- Periodic salt cell replacement every 3-7 years
We’ve laid out some of the basics for you, but if you have more questions about salt water pool conversion, check with a local swimming pool contractor in your area, or check with your neighbors to see if you know anyone who has a salt water pool, and if they like it. Heck, go for a test swim to try it out!