Chlorine v Salt Water: which should you Choose for your Pool?


This debate has been raging for years. There are advantages and disadvantages in using both forms of pool stabiliser. Salt is added to saltwater pools which dissolves and purifies the water. The pH levels have to be regularly maintained, as well as the salt to water ratio. You must also have a salt chlorinator. For chlorine pools, chlorine tablets are added to the water via a floating distribution device or at the pump unit site.

Maintaining a saltwater pool

Saltwater pools cost less to maintain. There is no need to purchase chlorine, as chlorine is actually a by-product of the salt added to the pool water. It must be remembered that saltwater pools are not chlorine free pools. No harsh chemicals are used in a saltwater pool. If your pool needs heavy maintenance, it may take three to five days before the pool is usable. Saltwater pools are quite inexpensive to maintain and the upkeep of this type of pool does not take up much time. The saltwater runs through an electrical system which produces chlorine naturally.

The effect of saltwater

As salt is a natural product, it is much safer for the skin and hair. Swimming in saline will also not damage your swimming costume and will not cause your costume to fade. Saltwater will not cause irritation to eyes and this type of pool is the safer option for pets and people. People often think that a saltwater pool will resemble plunging into the ocean. They believe you will get the same very salty taste and after swimming, that you hair will be stiff with salt and your skin will crackle from dried salt flakes. This is all untrue.

Maintaining a chlorine pool

pH levels need to be checked to balance out the water. Because it is necessary to purchase chlorine tablets, this type of pool maintenance may work out more costly. However, in the event of heavy rain or even water loss, chlorine will keep a pool cleaner and clearer and prevent build up of scum on the waterline. Chlorine will clear up pool water much quicker than salt. Chlorine will clear a pool of harmful bacteria in one to two days.

The effect of chlorine

Chlorine kills bacteria living in the water. It also prevents mould build up and will kill mildew. However, it can sometimes leave a white residue, called chlorine flaking, on the skin. Chlorine can discolour and dry out your hair but if you have any type of head lice, the chlorine will kill them.

The type of pool maintenance you decide upon is entirely up to you. There are benefits in using salt, as well as benefits in using chlorine. For further information on what would be the best method to use, has a wealth of information for the novice, as well as the established, pool owner. This is a personal decision that needs to be chosen on the amount of time you have for swimming pool maintenance and what type of water you wish to be swimming in. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a maintenance free pool.

Kim Blair
Content Writer SF

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