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The Pros and Cons of Salt Water Pools

Hazardous to handle and store, chlorine can irritate the skin and the eyes. It’s no wonder, then, that many people are opting for salt water pools, which offer some big advantages over traditional chlorinated swimming pools. However, there are also a few downsides associated with these modern pool systems. To decide which type of pool might be right for you, consider the pros and cons of each.

Salt Water Systems vs. Traditional Chlorinated Pools


If you don’t know much about salt water systems, the facts may surprise you. For one, they aren’t anywhere close to being as salty as seawater. In fact, they have only about one-tenth the salinity. Second, they aren’t completely chlorine-free. Instead, the system uses a process called electrolysis to create chlorine, which disinfects the water. Some other advantages and disadvantages include:



  • Because they have lower chlorine levels, salt water pools are much gentler on the eyes and skin.
  • Research indicates that salt water systems may be safer than chlorine pools, which force owners to store and handle unsafe chemicals. Likewise, studies suggest that regular exposure to heavily chlorinated swimming pools could pose long-term health risks.
  • Salt water pools also produce softer-feeling water, which many find desirable.
  • Because the salt cells produce enough chlorine as needed, the pools require far less maintenance when compared to traditional chlorinated swimming pools.


  • Unfortunately, salt water pools require a larger initial investment, making them more expensive than traditional pools.
  • Because they’re more complex, salt water pools often require experienced technicians even for minor problems.
  • Since salt can cause damage to certain materials, you may have to avoid using specific types of heaters, fixtures, underwater lighting, liners and even some types of masonry work.

Making a Decision

If you can afford the extra cost, a salt water pool can offer significant benefits you don’t get from traditional chlorinated pools. When it comes to making a choice, however, you should consider how often you and your family will actually use your pool, especially if you live in a region that enjoys fewer warm weather days.

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