Saltwater Pools vs. Freshwater Pools

Saltwater Pools vs. Freshwater Pools

When you decide to set up a new swimming pool, you have the option of filling it with freshwater or saltwater. Both options are popular throughout the country, and they both come with their pros and cons. In order to figure out which option is right for you, you need to understand the difference between saltwater pools and freshwater pools. This guide illustrates those differences so you can determine what you want to use in your in ground swimming pool.

The Difference between Freshwater and Saltwater Pools

Freshwater and saltwater swimming pools both run off the same basic set of equipment. The only difference is the way the pools get the chlorine they need to kill bacteria in the water. For a freshwater pool, this comes from tablets or chemicals added to the water several times throughout the year. For a saltwater pool, the chlorine is produced through a chlorine generator – a special piece of equipment that releases chlorine gas into the water by breaking down the salt. This generator makes it so that you do not have to add extra chlorine to the system. It is already naturally in the water.

The Cost of Freshwater and Saltwater Pools

If you are concerned about the cost of a freshwater swimming pool or a saltwater swimming pool, you have to think about initial installation and long-term maintenance. The installation of a saltwater pool is more expensive than the installation of a freshwater pool, which is why many homeowners will opt for a freshwater pool from the start. However, the constant need to add chlorine to a freshwater system does make it more costly in the long run. There are other factors like corrosion that will change maintenance costs, but as a whole, saltwater pools require less money to keep running than freshwater pools.

The Smell of Chlorine

Since raw chlorine is added to freshwater pools, they tend to have a stronger chemical smell than saltwater pools. If someone swimming has asthma or a similar breathing condition, the smell of the chlorine in the freshwater pool may be too much for their body to handle. You cannot smell the chlorine in a saltwater pool, even though it is present. If you or someone in your family has a respiratory condition, it would be in your best interest to choose saltwater over freshwater.

Corrosion from Saltwater

Despite all of the benefits of saltwater pools, the one main drawback is the corrosion that the salt can cause the pavement around the pool to erode. The salt can also leave a residue on stone that is difficult to clean off over time. If you have underwater lights in your pool, the salt may cause damage to them over time, and it can lead to issues with pool equipment if the pool is not properly maintained. With proper maintenance and proactive repairs though, you should not have to worry about too much damage in your saltwater swimming pool.