Some people love saltwater pools. Others see no reason to have one and prefer a chlorine pool. So, is a saltwater pool or a chlorine pool the best choice for you and your family?

To answer that question, you need the facts! What’s the difference? Pros and cons?

In this article, we’ve broken down the great debate about a saltwater pool vs chlorine pool. Read on for the information that will help you make the decision!


The Difference Between Saltwater Pools and Chlorine Pools

Here are the basics about both types of swimming pools: 

Saltwater Pools

One surprising thing to know is that you can turn your chlorine pool into a saltwater pool pretty easily. It doesn’t involve investing in an entirely new pool. It does require purchasing a salt system, which is roughly $1500. It will then cost about $300 to have it installed. Then, all you have to do is add salt to the water.

There is a common misconception that the water in a saltwater pool is as salty as ocean water. That is a logical assumption to make, but it isn’t true. The salinity in the pool is only a fraction of ocean water. Salt levels in pools are about 3,500 ppm (parts per million), compared to the ocean which is about 35,000 ppm. So it is about 10 times less, but you may still slightly taste the salt in the water. 

The level of salt does have a softening effect that improves the feeling of the water on the skin. This low level softens skin and is more beneficial to the body than chlorinated water.

A saltwater pool is still sanitized with chlorine, but a different process is used than what is done in a traditional chlorine pool. Saltwater pools create chlorine through electrolysis using a chlorine generator. The generator moves the saltwater through two electrically charged plates, which then convert it to chlorine.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of saltwater pools:

Pros of Saltwater Pools:

– Owners report spending less on chemicals every year, with up to 50% savings.

– After setting up the chlorine generator, you will get consistent sanitation–even without a lot of maintenance. Enjoy blue, clear water more often.

– Saltwater pools are often preferable for those with skin sensitivities, allergies, or asthma.

– Saltwater pools don’t create chloramines, so there isn’t any caustic smell.

– People describe swimming in salt water as “soft” & “silky”, comparing it to being in a natural body of water rather than a pool.


saltwater pool vs chlorine pool | saltwater chlorine generator


Many fans of saltwater pools will agree that the softer water offers a better feel than in chlorine pools. This, for some, makes for a better swimming experience.

Cons of Saltwater Pools:

– There is an initial equipment cost for the salt chlorine generator; it will be about 4 season’s worth of chlorine for a typical chlorine pool.

– Salt in bulk is heavy (although inexpensive).

– The salt chlorine generator’s cell must be cleaned.

– Salt cells need replacement every 3-8 years. It costs about $1000 to replace a salt cell.

– The generator will not produce chlorine in water colder than 60 degrees.

– The salt can result in the corrosion of the pool fixtures and any metal furniture or fixtures around the outside of the pool.

– When the equipment fails it does not give any warning and your pool can quickly turn green from lack of chlorine. 


Chlorine Pools

Chlorine swimming pools are more prevalent than saltwater pools. People are familiar with them and how they work. Pool owners buy chlorine in some form to keep the pool clean. You measure the water chemistry and add the chlorine. Then you can swim!

Let’s look at the pros and cons of chlorine pools:

Pros of Chlorine Pools:

– The upfront costs for a season are lower.

– Chlorine pools can be kept just as clean as saltwater pools.

– Over time, chlorine pools are cheaper to operate than saltwater pools. There are a lot of equipment failures that happen with saltwater pools, which can become very expensive over several years. 

Cons of Chlorine Pools:

– The chemicals can become expensive over time.

– The chemicals can be dangerous when in contact with skin and eyes (especially if swimmers do not wait the appropriate length of time before getting in the pool after shocking).

– Maintaining the balance of chemicals in the pool requires weekly attention.


Pool School Videos Can Help You Make Your Choice


saltwater pool vs chlorine pool maintenance | saltwater pool vs freshwater pool


You can enjoy a clean pool with both a saltwater pool and a chlorine pool. Between the two, you will have to decide after weighing the pros and cons, as well as the maintenance outlay and costs and the kind of water you want to swim in.

Our series of 20 self-paced online pool maintenance videos will help you answer all the questions you may have about a saltwater pool vs freshwater pool and which kind of pool may be best for your family. Mike Steele has over 30 years of professional experience in swimming pool maintenance and is the man behind Pool School Videos. You’ll get professional solutions for all your pool needs like you won’t find anywhere else.

Pool School Videos offers easy-to-understand directions and you’ll find a video for all your pool questions. You will learn how to perform the most cost-effective solutions as you care for your swimming pool and how to prevent future costly problems. 

Another advantage of purchasing the videos is access to our private Facebook group. You can post specific questions in the group and we will respond within 24 hours!

Pool School Videos give you more free time to enjoy your pool with your family. Click here to preview our top 5 videos and meet the Pool Doctor, Mike Steele! Get started on Pool School Videos today!