Saltwater pool vs Chlorine Pool

Saltwater vs Chlorine Pool

When it comes to building a swimming pool, many considerations should be taken into account. It is necessary to have a clear plan related to pool location, size, budget, and even water choice. In a matter of water system, saltwater vs chlorine pool is the most common options.

What are actually saltwater and chlorine pools? What are the difference and benefits of each pool water system? Knowing more information about saltwater and chlorine pool is necessary to help you make a decision as each of them comes with distinct characteristics. Check this out!

What Are Saltwater Pools?

Saltwater pools refer to pool that uses saltwater systems. As the name suggests, salt is added to the swimming pool. Hypochlorous acid is then produced by a generator to sanitize the pool through electrolysis process. Electrolysis occurs when the salt breaks down and passes electricity through the water.

There is a common misconception about saltwater pool that its salinity is as of ocean water. In fact, the salt content of saltwater pool is only one tenth of ocean water. In other words, the salinity is that of human tears. This allows the swimmers to open their eyes while swimming.

Another misconception about saltwater pool is that the water system doesn’t have chlorine. In truth, saltwater pools use low levels of chlorine. An addition of chlorine tablets or sticks are not necessarily needed. Instead, it is produced at a stable level.

What Are Chlorine Pools?

Chlorine pools are traditional swimming pools that use chlorine addition in higher levels. Chlorine tablets or sticks are commonly added to maintain its concentration in the water. The high concentration of chlorine helps protect you from germs, algae, and bacteria that are harmful to your skin.

Unfortunately, there are many issues associated with the use of high concentrated chlorine in swimming pools. Despite its low initial costs, chlorine pools can cause several health problems such as itchy and burn. You skin can dry out after swimming in a pool with chlorine system.

High levels of chlorine can cause unpleasant smell. The strong smell of chlorine can be disturbing, even before soaking your body in the pool. In addition, high concentration of chlorine can sting your eyes. It is not possible to open your eyes underwater unless you wear goggles.

Saltwater vs Chlorine Pool Comparisons


Saltwater pool requires high initial costs, which may take up to $1,800 for saltwater generator. The installation may take up to $500. Fortunately, the upfront cost is worth your money as you will need lower maintenance cost afterwards. The pool only takes no more than $100 per year for salt and chemicals.

Chlorine pools may be tempting for those having a tight budget. The initial cost is pretty low, approximately $100. But you should take the maintenance cost into account. Chlorine pools cost higher maintenance that ranges between $300 and $800 per year for chemicals.


Swimming pools with saltwater system offers you a wide array of benefits. As it contains lower concentration of chlorine, this pool is safer for your skin. Disturbing smell of chlorine is not present in this pool. Not to mention the low maintenance that helps you save more money.

Pools with chlorine system offers you several benefits. Chlorine pools are easy to maintain as problem can be handled by homeowners. It also uses lower energy since it does not require generator. In addition, chlorine water is considered safe for pool features.


Saltwater system uses salt addition, in which the generator will produce hypochlorous acid to sanitize pool water. The sanitation occurs due to electrolysis process resulted by the breakdown of salt.

Chlorine pools use traditional system that you need to add chlorine tablets or sticks regularly. It is necessary to check on the chlorine level to keep it safe for the swimmers. You can adjust chlorine dosage with the size of swimming pool.


Saltwater pool requires low maintenance. Using the most advanced systems, you can leave the swimming pool for two weeks and it will remain sparkling and clean. But when a problem occurs, you may need to call professionals.

Chlorine pools require frequent maintenance. You will need to add chlorine on a regular basis, commonly once in a week. Periodically, the pools also need shocks with highly concentrated chlorine to kill algae and bacteria. It also helps maintain the concentration of chlorine.

  • Is it dog friendly?

Saltwater pool is generally safe for dogs. Unlike chlorine pools, saltwater system contains lower levels of chlorine that makes it pet friendly. If you worry about its salinity, convince yourself that the salt concentration is one tenth of ocean water.

Most chlorine pools contain higher concentration of chlorine, making it dangerous for the dogs especially when they drink too much chlorinated pool water. It may cause vomiting, irritation and nausea. For this reason, chlorine pool is not advised for dogs.

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Saltwater vs Chlorine Pools: Pros and Cons

Both saltwater and chlorine pools have advantages and disadvantages. Before making any decision, it is necessary to inform yourself with the pros and cons of each water system. This helps you build a swimming pool that meets your requirement.

Saltwater Pros

  • Lower levels of chlorine
  • Safe for your swimsuits
  • Softer on your skin
  • Low maintenance cost
  • Requires lower maintenance

Saltwater Cons

  • Higher initial cost
  • Uses more energy
  • Professional technician is required for repair
  • Salt content can damage soil and pool features.

Chlorine Pros

  • Lower initial cost
  • Uses lower energy
  • Most repair can be done by homeowner
  • Safe for pool features

Chlorine Cons

  • Disturbing smell due to high levels of chlorine
  • High cost for regular maintenance (chlorine tablets or sticks)
  • Can cause skin irritation, dry out, and itch
  • Chlorine must be added and stored carefully
  • Water stings your eyes
  • Frequent and expensive maintenance

Saltwater vs Chlorine Pool: Which One Is Better?

The fact that saltwater contains lower levels of chlorine, it is considered better for your skin and health. It is also good for your pet, allowing you to chill off with your dogs during the summer. But if you need a traditional swimming pool that requires low initial cost, chlorine pool is a better choice.

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