Salt Vs Chlorine: Which Is Better?

Salt Vs Chlorine: Which Is Better?

The two most popular cleaning systems for pools are salt water and chlorine. But which is better? Each system has its advantages and disadvantages that you’ll have to consider depending on your individual preferences.

What caused the chlorine shortage of 2021?

Chlorine Pools

Chlorine is the more traditional and cost-effective option for pool cleaning systems. Store-bought chlorine is used to disinfect the water in the form of tablets, sticks, or liquid. Chlorine functions to kill and oxidize bacteria and germs and deter algae. You’ll have to add chlorine to your pool weekly and anytime it rains (since your pool’s chlorine levels will be lower from fighting off contaminants).

The Advantages of Chlorine Pools

  • Low initial investment, no generator required
  • No added installation or maintenance of a generator
  • No utility costs from running a generator
  • Easier maintenance (although it requires frequent chemical balancing)

The Drawbacks to Chlorine Pools

  • Chlorine pools can be irritating and harsh on the eyes, skin, and hair
  • Can cause allergic reactions in some swimmers
  • Requires regular maintenance, having to test the pool water and adjust chemicals weekly
  • The cost of pool chemicals can add up, averaging around $600 for a summer season
  • It can have a strong smell that may be unpleasant

Saltwater Pools

A saltwater pool is a gentle alternative to a chlorine pool. An electrolytic chlorine generator (ECG) separates salt in the pool water and generates chlorine using electrolysis. Electrolysis (for all the science nerds) is the chemical decomposition produced by passing an electric current through a liquid or solution containing ions. This means that a saltwater pool isn’t actually chlorine-free; it just makes lower levels of chloramines. Chloramines are a by-product of oxidation in the pool water and are the primary cause of eye and skin irritation and odour.

The Advantages of Saltwater Pools

  • Lower levels of chloramines translate to less incidence of skin and eye irritation
  • No chemical odour
  • Lower ongoing investment (chlorine for summer runs around $120 for a summer season)

The Drawbacks to Saltwater Pools

  • The salt can speed up the erosion of the pool
  • The initial investment of a generator is on the higher side, costing up to $2,500
  • Higher electricity bills from running the generator
  • Higher repair costs as the generators are more complicated and require professionals to troubleshoot any issues
  • Saltwater can ruin your landscaping and hardscaping

There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing the ideal pool cleaning system. If there is a dealbreaker like allergies or sensitive skin in your household, you might opt for the gentler saltwater system. Otherwise, it ultimately comes down to how much time and money you are willing to put into it.

If you need help deciding on your ideal pool cleaning system to suite your needs, feel free to reach out to us. Our team is always willing to help!