If you're in the market to convert your pool to a salt system, you might have a few questions about which type of system may be best for you. Typically this choice comes down to two options, your standard chlorine system or a saltwater pool system. Today we are going to be taking a closer look at the pros and cons of a saltwater pool system.
Here at Sea Breeze Pools, we are a "Total Hayward Partner" which means we are able to provide our customers with a 3-year warranty on all Hayward equipment instead of the standard 1-year warranty. Also, we are able to provide our customers with access to the installation of Expert Line Products, which are premium products NOT available online.
What is a Saltwater Pool System?
A saltwater pool system utilizes salt that is poured into the water to generate chlorine. How does it do that? The pool system does this through a process called electrolysis. When pool salt is poured into your swimming pool, there is an electrolyzer that is connected to your filtration system. The salt passes through the electrolyzer and disinfects the water and becomes active natural chlorine. Now that you know how a saltwater pool system works, let's dive into the pros and cons of them.
There are 3 main benefits of having a saltwater pool over a traditional chlorine pool.
First, saltwater pools are easier to clean and maintain than regular chlorine pools. The water treatment of the pool is automated due to the electrolyzer, so regular maintenance is less demanding. Also, the amount of salt needed is a much smaller quantity compared to the number of chlorine tablets a standard chlorine pool uses.
Second, they are healthier for swimming than typical chlorine pools. Because the salt is odorless and more natural, it doesn't irritate the swimmers who suffer from allergies or dry and itchy skin. Although we still don't recommend opening your eyes underwater unless you're wearing goggles.
Last but not least, saltwater pools are more environmentally friendly than their chlorine counterpart. Because they don’t require massive amounts of chlorine to be dumped into them, there is no need to store large amounts of the stuff in your garage or shed. Not only is it safer for your family, but it’s also better for the planet because it doesn't give off chemical pollutants that damage the environment.
Now that we have gone over the advantages, let's take a moment to look at a few disadvantages.
The first disadvantage is that saltwater systems are much more complex than your standard chlorine pool system. Normally if there is a sanitation problem for a chlorine pool, the solution is typically just to add more chlorine. If there is a sanitation issue for an electric saltwater pool system, some of the time it can require help from a trained technician. Saltwater pools can require some maintenance.
The next disadvantage is the initial cost for saltwater pools is significantly higher than your standard chlorine pool. Even though in the long run you are likely to save on the cost of cleaning materials, the up-front cost for installation of the saltwater system can run you between $1500-$2500, depending on the size.
The final disadvantage we are going to talk about is if a salt system is not maintained properly it could break down. The salt cell requires a cleaning and inspection every 3 months. If this maintenance is not done, you can potentially start building up scale inside the salt cell. When this happens, if the salt cell is left unmaintained for a long period of time the cell could go bad.
At the end of the day, the choice between choosing either a saltwater pool or a typical chlorine pool is not an easy one to make. If you’ve found this information to be helpful but would still like to talk to an industry expert about your options, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We would love the opportunity to help walk you through any questions you may have.
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