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Salt Water vs. Freshwater Pools

Salt Water Pools And How They Work.

Salt water pools do have chlorine in them, but the chlorine level is typically lower in a salt water pool than in a traditional chlorinated one. The chlorine in a salt water pool isn’t actually added by you, but rather is created within a salt water chlorinator or salt water generator. The lower chlorine levels in salt water pools make it less likely for your skin to dry out.

Freshwater Pools And How They Work.

Freshwater pools are virtually the same besides the fact that in Salt water pools you have a salt water chlorinator put the chlorine in your pool for you, while in a freshwater pool you have to manually put in your chlorine for your pool.

Pros and Cons of Saltwater Pools.


  • Lower concentration of chlorine
  • Less likely to irritate your skin
  • Costs less in maintenance chemicals
  • Requires less frequent maintenance


  • More expensive to install
  • Uses more electricity which in turn could increase your electric costs annually
  • Repairs may require a professional
  • Salt water has the potential to damage your pool liner, pool lights, plants, and soil


Pros and Cons of Freshwater Pools


  • Less costly initial investment
  • Uses less electricity
  • Does not cause damage to your pool or anything outside of your pool


  • Higher concentration of chlorine
  • Chorine must be added to the pool manually
  • The higher level of chlorine may cause your skin to dry out and become itchy if used frequently
  • More frequent maintenance
  • Needs to be shocked more often


Overall Consensus

Besides the initial increased starting costs that come with a salt water pool, it is mostly personal preference whether or not you choose salt water or freshwater for your pool.

The cost debate between salt water and chlorine pools is very heated. It is cheaper to own a salt water pool up front and you will save money on chemicals each year. But does the cost advantage still exist three years down the road? After a few years, most owners of salt water pools find themselves replacing wood decking and metal parts, as well as a pool’s chlorine generator cell.

Greg The Pool Guy Chemicals