Chlorine vs Salt Water Pool FAQs

A cool, sparkling pool in your backyard is always a good idea when we live in Florida. If you’re in the market for a new pool, you have quite a few things to consider when it comes to design, size and costs. One of the big questions we get often is to understand chlorine vs salt water pool systems to keep the pool clean and maintained. To help make this decision easier for new pool buyers, we’re here to explain the pros and cons of chlorine and salt water swimming pools and give you a better idea of what you can expect from both.

Chlorine vs Salt Water: Which is Best for New Pool Buyers?

The Benefits of Chlorine Pools

When evaluating chlorine vs salt water on a cost basis, chlorine will win. Because you don’t have to buy a chlorine generator up front like you would with a salt water pool, a chlorine pool costs less at the start. Chlorine is also an effective chemical at killing pool bacteria on contact and keeping the water clear and sanitized. It also keeps algae in check and provides residual control against bacteria in Florida’s hot climate.

Advantages of a chlorine pool:

  • Chlorine pools cost less at the start.
  • Chlorine kills bacteria and controls algae.
  • Chlorine disinfects the pool water.
  • Chlorine continues to protect against bacteria long after it’s applied.

Disadvantages of chlorine:

  • You have to apply the chlorine yourself, which might be tedious as you measure out what the pool needs.
  • You have to monitor the chlorine levels daily.
  • Too much chlorine causes red eyes, itchy skin and discolored hair.

Salt Water Pools

The Benefits of Salt Water Pools

First, let’s be clear: Salt water pools contain chlorine. However, the chlorine comes directly from salt that is monitored by a salt water generator. Whereas you have to apply chlorine manually in a chlorine pool, a generator regulates the flow automatically in a salt water pool. Though a salt water generator increases the initial price of a new pool, it cuts down on maintenance costs over time.

Advantages of salt water chlorination:

  • The price of the generator pays for itself over time.
  • You don’t have to buy and apply chemicals yourself.
  • The generator regulates the salt and chlorine levels for you.
  • There’s less maintenance to deal with.
  • Salt water chlorination doesn’t cause red eyes, itchy skin or discoloration.

Disadvantages of salt water chlorination:

  • The salt water generator increases the pool price.
  • Accidentally leaving the generator running 24 hours a day may increase energy costs.

When trying to decide between chlorine vs salt water, please knkow that both chlorine and salt water swimming pools protect against bacteria and sanitize the water. With chlorine, you have to add the chemicals yourself and perform diligent maintenance to prevent algae growth. However, adding too much chlorine can lead to a pungent odor, red eyes and itchy skin. With salt water, the generator does the work for you and provides the same benefits without many disadvantages.

If you already have a chlorine pool and are interested in converting to salt water, read our Salt Water Pool Chlorination: Conversion From Chlorine.

If you are ready to speak to a design consultant about your new pool, please give us a call at 407-847-9322 or fill out our online estimate form.