Saltwater swimming pools first gained popularity in Australia, but have since spread to the United States and are becoming more popular with many pool owners. Is it a good idea for your pool? Take a look at the guide below and decide for yourself.
Don’t Fear The Salt.
Many people unfamiliar with saltwater swimming pools imagine them to be as salty as oceanwater, but that simply isn’t the case. A saltwater pool is ten times less salty than the ocean, so pool owners can rest easy: a well-built saltwater pool has less than 3,500 parts per million of salt, which means most swimmers won’t be able to detect it.
Know Chlorine Is Still Necessary.
Although salt water pool systems are designed to lessen the need for chemical treatments such as Chlorine shock, Chlorine is still necessary to protect the swimming pool from harmful bacteria and algae growth. In fact, the salt naturally produces Chlorine with the help of a Chlorine Generator (pictured at right).
A chlorine generator uses a complex chemical process to generate chlorine, but don’t worry, it’s easy for pool owners to use. If used and maintained properly, it will generate just enough chlorine to negate algae growth. Unfortunately, after periods of heavy swimmer traffic or excessive rain you will need to utilize shock chemicals. So, a saltwater pool doesn’t negate the need for Chlorine entirely, but rather minimizes a pool owners need to buy it and add it with regularity.
Think About The Cost.
Re-figuring your pool as a salt water pool will require initial costs that a Chlorine-based status quo will not, but be sure to take the long-term view. For example, the up-front cost of a Chlorine Generator will be hundreds of dollars, but it will help save money and time over the long-run because fewer chemical treatments are necessary. So before you make a decision one way or the other, think about how long you intend to continue using the pool.
Consider Your Skin.
Which is better for your skin – a Chlorine or Saltwater pool? Unfortunately, there is no widespread consensus. The answer is “it depends.” Some people react negatively to Chlorine through skin irritation or red eyes, and in turn find saltwater pools cleansing. Others are the opposite. PcPools recommends testing out both types before making any final decisions about what you are going to do for your swimming pool.
- PH levels of saltwater pools may fluctuate more quickly than those in a Chlorine swimming pool. So, while many saltwater swimming pool owners say it is easier to attain and hold targeted chlorine levels, consider that you may need to vigilant about checking these levels, and whether that is something you or your family are up for.
- The saltwater may stain the area surrounding your pool with salt rings, including any concrete or dark stones.
- Some swimmers find saltwater pools to be silky soft and clear, whereas others complain about the water feeling “sticky.” Again, test out both types before making your decision.
There is no one answer that works for every swimming pool owner. PcPools recommends reading, learning, and experiencing what you can so you can make the best possible decision for you and your family.