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What Is The Difference Between Chlorine And Salt Water Pools

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What Does Aquascape Recommend

Salt Water Versus Chlorine In Pools

We at Aquascape Pools recommend a traditional chlorine system with a secondary sanitizer such as an ozonator. We have found these to be easier to maintain overall. It is easier to keep chemicals balanced, equipment in tip-top shape and isnt hard on materials overall. We do understand the benefits of salt water and will certainly install them at the request of the customer, however, the customer will be made aware that warranties on materials and equipment may be voided if it is determined that the damage is caused by the salt system.

Traditional Chlorine Pool: A Closer Look At Chlorine Tablets

Chlorine tablets have been the go-to pool cleaning tool for decades because they are effective when it comes to disinfecting pool water. Plus, they are easy to use and great at fighting germs, bacteria, and algae growth.

Chlorine tablets are tossed into an external automatic feeder or an in-pool floating disbursement device. Of the two, the external feeder is considered the most efficient system for pools. An external feeder works whenever the pump is on and causes water to flow over tablets so that chlorine disperses through the water. A dial allows you to adjust how much water flows over tablets, and therefore, how much chlorine reaches the water.

A floating dispenser involves tablets floating on the surface of the pool that dissolve as water floats over them. This system is better for small pools because it can leave areas in big pools without adequate chlorine coverage. Feeders need to be refilled once every 1 to 3 weeks.

What Are The Benefits Of A Salt Water Pool

5 Benefits of a Saltwater Pool

  • Saltwater pools are gentler on your body and clothing. Saltwater pools are gentler than traditional chlorine pools.
  • There is no harsh chlorine smell. You wont have that chlorine smell.
  • The water is softer. The water is softer.
  • You dont need to store chlorine.
  • They cost less to maintain.

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Which Is Better Chlorine Only Or Salt Water

Choosing to use either chlorine or a salt water system to clean and sanitise the water in your pool is an important decision. Both solutions ensure that your pool water is clean and safe for your family to swim in. The technology for a safe, affordable chlorine pool has been around for about 50 years, while salt water pools have only been around since the 1980s. But, there are pros and cons for each, and theres no stand-out better option.

To start with, salt water pools do actually have chlorine in them, that is what the Salt water Chlorinator does, it produces a chlorine gas that sanitises the water. Salt water generators create chlorine in your backyard pool as the salt is turned into chlorine gas and injected to the pool as part of the filtration process. So the chlorine found in a salt water pool isnt added externally by someone, but rather is created from chemical electrolysis that occurs within a salt water chlorinator or salt water generator that is part of the system. Because you can run more consistant lower chlorine levels, salt water pools can less harsh on the skin, hair and swimwear and can be preferred by those with children for these reasons.

The Science Of Chlorine Pools


A salt water pool isnt better than a chlorine pool because it IS a chlorine pool. Saltwater pools electrically convert the pool salt into chlorine. Its the chlorine that keeps the pool water clean just like the chlorine you buy in buckets.

Chlorine contains a chemical composition that helps kill bacteria and algae. Whenever chlorine is combined with water, it breaks down into hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite acid. These chemicals help destroy, or oxidize, bacteria, and other dangerous microorganisms to make water safer for personal use.

Chlorinated pools are much better at clearing up bacteria in the water than salt water pools. Chlorine also cleans pool water much faster than salt. Chlorine pools are extremely easy to maintain.

You may have heard in the recent news that Hurricane Laura in 2020 caused the BioLab factory, where chlorine pool tables are manufactured in the State of Louisiana, to burn down. Although this may result in slightly increased costs in southern states where pools are utilized year round, it is anticipated other products will meet the demands during a period of temporary shortage, if any.

Alternatives to chlorine include bromine, ionizers, and ozonators, though with each youll still need to use some chlorine. A fourth alternative is PHMB , which doesnt require the use of any chlorine. All four have drawbacks, including cost. Chlorine is relatively cheap.

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Salt Water Vs Chlorine Whats The Difference

One of the common questions that we receive from our customers here at Secard Pools & Spas throughout Southern California is what the difference between a salt pool and a chlorine pool is. A chlorine pool traditionally uses chlorine tablets to maintain chlorine levels in your swimming pool. A salt pool with a chlorine generator, generates chlorine from salt.

A common misconception is that a salt water pool doesnt use chlorine at all. If you remember those science classes from school, salt is made up of NaCl or sodium chloride. The salt system separates the two and generates natural chlorine. The two combine again back into salt for the process to repeat again. The advantage here is that there are no additional chemicals added to your pool which can cause all the usual complaints about chlorine such as dry skin, strong odor, discoloration of hair and irritated eyes.

From our customers in LA County to the Inland Empire we have had customers complain about eye irritation, itchy skin and light hair turning green from chlorine. None of these common complaints are actually from chlorine at all. They come from the added chemicals used to produce chlorine into a tablet or powdered form. Because the salt system is generating pure chlorine, your pool water will feel softer on the skin and you wont have the complaints about eye irritation or strong odor

Salt Water Vs Chlorine: Which One Is Better

When youre looking to obtain the right pool for your home, its important to understand the many differences between salt water pools and chlorine pools. When you select a salt water pool, youll be required to add salt to a chlorine generator, which will convert the salt into chlorine thats filtered into the pool. On the other hand, chlorine pools require owners to place chlorine directly into the pool water on a regular basis. Even though both pool types provide similar results and swimming conditions, there are some key differences that you should be aware of if you want to determine which option is better for you.

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You Dont Need To Store Chlorine

No more storing chlorine. Lets face it, storing and handling chemicals is a nuisance. Especially if you have young children or pets in the home, it can be dangerous to store chlorine. In general, saltwater pools do not use chlorine in its man-made form, as the generator will convert salt into chlorine. The exception to this is if your pools balance gets substantially off track. Most of the time though, storing and handling chlorine are not things you will need to worry about.

How Does A Saltwater Pool System Work

Salt vs Chlorine in your swimming pool

How Do Salt Systems Work? Saltwater systems have been becoming increasingly popular in recent years. They offer a number of benefits over a regular chlorine pool.

Saltwater swimming pools draw on dissolved salt in the water to generate chlorine. The salt cell or generator utilizes a process called electrolysis to break down or separate the salt also known as sodium chloride or NaCl in the water.

The chemical reaction created by electrolysis produces chlorine in the form of sodium hypochlorite and hypochlorous acid. These sanitizing / disinfecting / oxidizing agents are the same as chlorine commonly used in swimming pools in solid and powdered form. This means a saltwater pool is not actually chlorine free. It simply utilizes a chlorine generator instead of being dependent on chlorine added in other forms.

An important difference between a non-saltwater pool and a saltwater system is that saltwater pools have reduced amounts of chloramines. Chloramines are a by-product of oxidation or the breakdown of matter in the pool water and are the primary cause of eye irritation and a pungent chlorine smell. The reduced chloramines in a saltwater pool are one of the biggest advantages. The process of electrolysis oxidizes or eliminates chloramines in a much a similar manner as traditional chlorine shock.

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Salt Water Pool Systems

Salt water pools are notable for including a salt water generator thats designed to regulate and maintain the proper pool water chemistry. The generator works via a process known as electrolysis, which converts the salt thats placed inside the generator into chlorine thats distributed to the pool. This works by turning the dissolved salt into hypochlorous acid and sodium hypochlorite, the former of which occurs when chlorine is added to water. The generator will maintain the chlorine levels so that you dont need to measure the water chemistry as often. The standard chlorine levels for this type of pool are situated at 3,000-4,000 PPM.

  • Because of the salt corrosion, the pumps, filters, and heaters may eventually need to be replaced
  • You may need to upgrade to salt-resistant surfaces and parts

Is It Worth Converting To Saltwater Pool

Saltwater pools are cheaper to maintain in the short term: Annual costs to maintain a saltwater pool tend to be lower than annual costs to maintain a traditional chlorine pool. Theres no chlorine smell: The strong chlorine smell thats often present in a chlorine pool will not be a problem in a salt pool.

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Health Factors: Which One Is Safer

If theres one difference between salt water or a chlorine one its how the water feels against your skin. In the case of the former one, the water is gentler and lighter. Chlorine, on the other hand, makes the water harsher.

Those who support a chlorinated pool insist that since the chemical is used to keep harmful bacteria away, a little discomfort can easily be tolerated. The bigger picture of protecting the body from toxins is more important.

There is no denying that the chemical is known to cause dryness and itchy skin. Salt water chlorine is less concentrated and doesnt dry or irritate the skin as much. Its safer for clothes too. So less fading and deterioration.

As far as the typical red-eye effect that a pool has on you, both kinds of pools have been known to cause it. It could be because of the chlorine imbalance, excess chloramines, or simply dirty water. The trick is to keep your water free of all contaminants.

Our verdict:

  • May cause skin to itch or dry out

Salt Water Pool Vs Chlorine Pool: Pros Cons Comparisons

Salt Water Pools vs Chlorine Pools

If youre in the market for a new pool, theres a lot that youll need to consider when choosing a type of pool. The two main pool systems that you can select from include a salt water pool and a chlorine pool. The main difference with these pool types involves the amount of maintenance and testing that needs to be done with the water. When you select a salt water pool, the generator inside the pool will maintain the chlorine levels for you, which means that the water wont need to be tested as often. On the other hand, chlorine pools require you to manually add chlorine to the water on a weekly basis.

Before you choose a pool for your home, its important to understand how these two pool types differ if you want to make the right decision. Even though both pool types provide homeowners with numerous benefits, they work very differently.

This article will go into greater details about the pros and cons of these types of pools while also providing you with an in-depth comparison.

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Differences Between Salt Water Pools And Chlorine Based Pools

Salt water pools arent like the ocean difficult to swim in. Theyre just like a normal swimming pool, with the exception that they use a chlorine generator that makes use of a brine to make the chlorine that your pool uses.

There are two kinds of these: one has salt in the pool and the other does not. Simple as that. Both make use of chlorine to keep your pool disinfected just like the normal types of pools that most people are used to. In the event that you find yourself debating which kind of system to use for your pool, well there are lots of things to take into account. If you dont already have a local pool service to consult with, then read on below for some tips to help you out.

RelaxationSalt water takes the prize in this group. They use less chlorine than a chlorine pool, and the amount of salt is similar to that in a persons tears. Its a far more pleasant water to swim in for your skin, your eyes, as well as your bathing suits. Open your eyes with no pain!

PriceSadly, salt water pools are a bit pricier here. Fortunately, its not insanely pricey. The generator for the salt water pool prices around $1,000. Take away the expense of chlorine that youll save annually, though, and switch it out for about $20 a year of salt. A salt water pool creates its own chlorine, so you just need the salt.

No Need to Deal with ChlorineCutting back on the handling of a corrosive chemical is always a good thing. A salt based pool wins here.

How To Take Care Of A Salt Water Pool

Wish you had a salt water pool? Want to learn how to take care of a salt water pool? Youve come to the right place! Hayward is an innovator in salt water sanitization and an expert in salt water pool maintenance.

Haywards industry leading residential and commercial salt water pool systems turn your pool salt into a self-regenerating supply of pure chlorine for clean, clear, and luxuriously soft pool and spa water. Along with easy maintenance, its no wonder so many pool owners are converting their traditional chlorine pools to salt water pools!

Maintaining a Salt Water Pool

To maintain a salt water pool youll need to keep your filter, pump, and skimmer clean and in good operating condition. With salt water pools, you must inspect the salt chlorinator cell and replace it when needed. Test regularly for proper water chemistry to maintain clean, clear pool water.

Salt Water Pool Chemistry Tips

Using a salt water pool test strip, test your water for free chlorine, salt, pH levels, total alkalinity, stabilizer, and total hardness. Use our online Water Chemistry Calculator to help make those adjustments and balance your pool water.

Following severe weather or times where the load is increased such as pool parties, be sure to test again to maintain your pools water chemistry within proper levels. Once you have tested your pool, balance as needed.

Did You Know?

7 Common Salt Water Pool Care Concerns

2. Is a salt water pool easier to maintain?

4. Is a salt water pool, salty?

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Which Pool Is More Time

Besides easygoing annual costs, one major benefit of a saltwater pool is that they dont require tons of regular maintenance. The pool can self-maintain itself for up to two weeks, but after that, adding more salt isnt usually too time-consuming.

However, you should count on checking and even cleaning the cells in your salt chlorine generator a couple of times a year. This can require a delicate touch, but keeping those cells clean can help reduce how often you have to replace them.

With a chlorine pool, theres no generator that you need to maintain, but you will need to add chlorine to the pool on a weekly basis. Youll also have to keep any chlorine you buy in a separate dry area to avoid activating the chemicals until its time to use it.

Even once you do add the chlorine, youll have to keep an eye on the pools chemical composition. Traditional chlorine pools require other balancing agents, and you dont want to end up with water that has too much or too little chlorine in it. Homeowners usually monitor their pools chemical composition on a weekly basis, but sometimes even more than that.

Maintenance Of A Salt Water Vs Chlorine Pool

What is the difference between chlorine and salt water in swimming pools?

When you start looking at the time and effort it takes to maintain your pool, the saltwater pool beats the regular chlorine alternative. This is not to say that a saltwater pool is totally maintenance free no pool ever is. You need to add salt occasionally, this requires very little effort and you dont need to be too strict about how much salt you use.

The main difference when maintaining a saltwater pool, compared to a chlorine pool, is keeping your chlorine generator clean. A salt scale builds up inside the generator and this needs to be removed. Its essential that this is done properly and that the chlorine generator is not damaged in the process. For this reason, most people prefer to have their chlorine generator maintained by a professional.

When we start looking at maintaining a chlorine pool, the job becomes more arduous. A chlorine pool needs to be scrubbed regularly to remove algae. This requires draining the pool and scrubbing the walls and floors. You wont need to do this as often with a saltwater pool.

You also need to test the PH of your pool water regularly when using chlorine. An incorrect PH balance causes irritation of the eyes and skin. Not only do you need to check the PH level, youll usually have to add water softeners to combat the effects of chlorine on your PH balance.

Testing your Pool Water

Chlorine pools require regular PH testing, whereas saltwater pools only need initial testing to adjust the timer settings for the chlorine generator.

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