Cantor’s Corner: Pros and Cons of Salt Water Pools
by Gregg Cantor
Resident Expert, The Home Pro Show
President, Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
The Pros and Cons of Salt Water Pools
Most people don’t enjoy the smell of chlorine or the dry feeling you get after swimming even for a short period of time. If chlorine wasn’t effective in keeping swimming pools in good health, nobody would want it anywhere near their home. Irritated eyes and dry, scaly skin is not something that anyone enjoys.
For current and future pool owners, chlorine alternatives are a viable consideration, and salt water chlorination is by far the most popular. For the most part, there are great advantages with salt water systems, but there are also a few disadvantages. To help you effectively put it all in perspective, here is some background on salt water pools:
- The name salt water pool is a little misleading. They are nowhere near as salty as the ocean. (only about 1/10 the salinity).
- Salt water pools are not chlorine free. Rather, they create chlorine naturally using salt by electrolysis.
Now that you know the process, let’s discuss the pros and cons of selecting a salt water pool.
Advantages of Salt Water Pools:
- Gentle on eyes and skin because the chlorine levels are generally lower with a salt generator. People who are sensitive to chlorine typically report fewer irritations when using these pools.
- Much safer than chlorine. In tablet or liquid form, chlorine can be dangerous to store and transport. There are also studies showing chlorinated water may also pose a long-term health risk, which may not apply to salt water systems to the same extent.
- Salt water pools leave your body with a “soft water” feel. Your skin feels smooth and silky to the touch.
Disadvantages of Salt Water Pools:
- The initial investment for a salt water system is more, so there is more upfront cost. In most cases, the investment is recouped in few years because of the savings on chlorine and chemicals.
- It is more complex to maintain a salt water pool. With electronic salt water systems, most homeowners are not qualified to handle the pool maintenance.
- Saltwater pools are unforgiving. Without regular professional maintenance, algae can grow in a short period of time.
The verdict? Going by the sales numbers, the majority of people find the advantages of salt water pools to outweigh the negatives. If you can afford the initial investment, eventually the capital expense is recovered in the chlorine and chemical savings.
For any type of pools service, new pool equipment, or repairs, I recommend Payan Pools.