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view of water cleaning items and chemicals for chlorine and saltwater pools

Which Will You Choose for Your Inground Pool?

An inground swimming pool is a great addition to your home when you have the space for it. But there are a lot of questions that go into considering pool ownership, like what type of inground pool are you going to opt for? Will you be filling your pool with saltwater or chlorine? What type of upkeep are you willing to accept?

In this article, we’ll explore saltwater vs chlorine swimming pool options giving you the information you need so that you can make the best choice for you and your family.


How Does a Saltwater Pool Differ from a Regular Chlorine Pool?

The simplest way a saltwater pool differs from a chlorine pool is that it uses saltwater in place of the excess chemicals chlorine pools rely on. However, most people confuse saltwater pools with seawater, and it is not. Saltwater pools do use chlorine, but just enough to disinfect, and most chlorine is produced naturally through electrolysis.

Pros of Chlorine

Here are a few positive points that chlorine pools have to offer in contrast to their salty counterparts.

Less Upfront Investment

Due to some maintenance costs, such as the generator and buying the chlorine, upfront investments on a chlorine pool are much less expensive to set up.

Uses Less Electricity

While saltwater pools require a special salt/chlorine generator to convert salt into chlorine, chlorine pools only need a pump to circulate the water in your pool, preventing dirt, bacteria, and algae from multiplying in the water. This also makes a chlorine pool a little more energy efficient in terms of electricity usage.

Repairs Are Less Expensive

Although chlorine pools require plenty of regular maintenance to upkeep in cleanliness, the repairs are often less costly, especially if you take good care of it. Chlorine is often fixture-friendly and doesn’t damage the walls of a pool as much as saltwater could. You could DIY most chlorine pool issues, but otherwise, you only really need a professional to come in every now and then to test the levels.

Cons of Chlorine

More Chemicals

Chlorine is 100% more chemical than its seawater-reminiscent counterpart. Chlorine chemicals aren’t natural and can also wreak havoc on your skin and hair, causing dryness over time. You may also be susceptible to long-term skin issues or face allergic reactions from the water, ending up with a rash or something potentially worse. Always be mindful when dealing with any type of chemicals, including chlorine.

Frequent Maintenance Required

Chlorine pools require consistent care in order to ensure that you’re killing excess bacteria. You will have to check on your chlorine content on a regular basis, as well as constantly add other chemicals such as balancing agents. You will also need to consider having a professional check in on your pool’s chemical composition regularly. Another thing to note is that especially important during the winter months is that chlorine needs to be properly stored.

Cost of Pool Chemicals

To reiterate the above, the cost of chemicals will add up, and your budget to care for your chlorine pool will be higher than anticipated.

To help you out, we’ve included a list of pool maintenance chemicals you must buy annually if going this route.

Pros of Saltwater

How do saltwater pools measure up against their chlorinated cousins? There’s plenty to love about them, and a few factors to consider, as well.

Less Maintenance

Though one may assume the opposite, saltwater actually requires a bit less maintenance. Because of the fact that saltwater pools rely on significantly less amounts of chlorine, they don’t need as much attention as a traditional chlorine pool would. Some may say that this is the greatest benefit of the saltwater pool, as it can go up to two weeks without intervention while maintaining its cleanliness thanks to the generator producing salt. Chlorine needs to be maintained every week on the week to stay fresh and clean.

Less Money Spent on Chemicals

Saltwater pools only use a little bit of chlorine. That’s it. No chemicals here, and it even shows in swimwear and swim gear. The heavy amounts of chlorine and chemicals used in a traditional pool will often fade swimwear, but a saltwater pool will spare its colour and lustre.

Gentler on the Skin

If that many chemicals are affecting your swimwear, imagine what they’re doing to your skin! It goes without saying that a well-maintained saltwater pool is much more gentle and clean on your skin and hair than a chlorine pool is. Salt even acts as a natural exfoliant and can leave skin looking a bit softer than before.

Fewer Chemicals

Through electrolysis, salt and water convert into chlorine, hydrogen and sodium hydroxide while water passes through the energized salt cell. It’s a fairly natural option in terms of owning a leisurely swimming pool, and only requires pH and alkalinity for the pool’s pH levels upon its opening.

Cons of Saltwater

Initial Cost

The upfront cost of a saltwater generator is pricy, and then having it installed is an added expense. You also have to buy the salt to set up the pool, which isn’t that expensive at $5 for a 40lb bag, but it adds up, considering the amount of salt you’ll need. Saltwater pools also use much more electricity than a chlorine pool does since chlorine pools rely on a pump, but the saltwater’s generator is more sophisticated. Though things might balance out considering you’ll be spending less on day-to-day chemical and maintenance needs, initial costs are an important factor to consider.

More Complex, Costly Renovations

Another difficult factor with saltwater pools is that when a problem arises, it may be more difficult and expensive to fix than it would a chlorinated pool. Chlorine pools are more straightforward and require less intricate maintenance and cheaper renovations and chlorine testing kits, but saltwater is more complicated.

Which One Should You Choose?

At the end of the day, having either a saltwater or a chlorinated swimming pool are options great options, but you’ll have to be vigilant about their upkeep. It’s what you think you can handle, taking factors such as budget and care into consideration.


But with whatever you decide, be sure to invest in quality parts like a great pump to keep your pool fresh, and don’t forget to ask the necessary questions or to turn to professionals whenever you need help.