If you haven’t read a lot about salt water systems, there are a couple of facts that may surprise you:
1. Despite the name, salt water pools aren’t anywhere near as salty as sea water (they have about 1/10 the salinity).
2. Strictly speaking, salt water pools are not chlorine free. Rather, these systems create their own chlorine using salt through a process called electrolysis.
With those two myths busted, let’s move on to the pros and cons of salt water chlorination.
Advantages of Salt Water Pools
Here are some of the benefits of salt water systems:
- Gentle on eyes and skin. Chlorine levels are generally lower with a salt generator.
- “Soft water” feel. Most people prefer this to the sometimes abrasive feel of chlorinated water.
Disadvantages of Salt Water Pools
Given those advantages, it would seem that salt water chlorination is the perfect solution to the many hassles of chlorine. Not so fast. Here are some qualities of salt water swimming pools that might make you think twice:
- More expensive. The initial salt water system requires a hefty investment which may total $5000 or more.
- Potentially damaging to pool accessories. There are reports of salt water systems damaging fixtures, heaters, liners, underwater lighting, and even masonry work. All of which depends on whether it is properly installed and maintained.
So, what’s the verdict? Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decide to go with a salt water system – make sure you have an experienced pool professional to take care of your water and your system!