which is better: saltwater or chlorine?
Building a pool comes with way more considerations than you could have imagined. If you thought that once you figured out all those details and built your pool, you could just fill it up and take a dive in, we'll have to stop you right there. There's one more thing you must consider, the type of water you fill your pool with - saltwater or chlorine.
Saltwater vs. Chlorine pools…the face-off
Just because these pools are filled with saltwater doesn’t mean they have zero levels of chlorine. They just have lower levels of chlorine than a typical chlorine pool. Unlike chlorine pools, saltwater pools have chlorine being produced steadily than by the addition of chlorine tablets.
Also, ‘saltwater’ here is not the same as that of the ocean. The salt level is about one-third that of the ocean. The salt is added directly to the pool where a saltwater generator produces hypochlorous acid via electrolysis. This helps to keep the pool clean and can also get rid of algae.
These have been around for much longer, thus, are more popular. They have higher levels of chlorine than the saltwater pools because chlorine is frequently added to the water. Chlorine is added to the pools because it helps to fight germs and keep pool water clean.
To chlorinate pool water, you can add a variety of chlorine-based compounds such as chlorine gas, sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, and lithium hypochlorite. The active agent that does the actual sanitization is hypochlorous acid. The above compounds release this when they come in contact with water.
Pros and Cons of both pool systems
- It is gentler and softer on the skin due to the much lower chlorine levels.
- It contains enough chlorine to disinfect the water but not to fade swimwear and other materials.
- It requires less attention and work.
- Other than the initial cost, the maintenance expenses here are much cheaper.
- The initial cost is on the high side. A whopping $1,000 to $2,500 added to the cost of the pool.
- It requires the services of experts to set it up as it's a bit complex.
- Certain materials, such as heaters, liners, and fixtures can be corroded by the salt.
- The initial cost is low. It doesn't require the installation of generators and such, so you just have to pay less than $100 for the tablets and testing tools.
- There's no need for maintenance equipment so you can save costs on this end.
- You can control the distribution of chemicals in the water to suit your needs.
- It's easy to repair in case of damage. You can even do-it-yourself.
- Chlorine tends to be harsh on the skin, hair, and eyes.
- It can degrade your pool deck
- It requires regular checks of chlorine (and ‘shocking’) and manual top-ups.
- Most of the chemicals are dangerous so they need special care in storing them.
- The annual cost of maintenance and checks can get up to $1,000.
- And there you have it the differences between these two pool water systems. Most people go for the saltwater despite the much higher initial cost, because this is offset by the minimal future costs.
Ultimately, it depends on your needs. So, weigh the pros against the cons and decide which will be best for you. You could also schedule an appointment with us at Sunrise Pool Services to find out more.