You’re looking at a few homes to buy and apples to apples they are about the same. The one difference? One has a typical chlorinated pool, the other a saltwater pool. Or, maybe you’re looking to install a pool and have to decide which type. So what are the differences?
One main difference is cost
It is less expensive to install and maintain a saltwater pool. It requires fewer chemicals to keep it clean. The expense comes in when your wood decking and metal parts deteriorate due to the salt after a few years. The pool’s chlorine generator cell, the part of the filter that extracts chlorine from the salt to clean and sanitize the pool, also deteriorates after a few years and needs replacing.
Another difference is the health considerations. Typical pools use chlorine to kill off bacteria and keep the pool clean. the chlorine added to pools is highly concentrated and both added in high concentrations (called shocking the pool) and continuously fed through the baskets in the water return from the filter. In salt water pools, the natural process of electrolysis turns the salt into chlorine. It isn’t as concentrated, but does keep bacterial levels low. It also is lower in toxins.
Which is right
So which is right for you? It depends on your personal taste. If you are buying a home with a salt water pool, be sure to ask how old the parts are or how long it’s been since they were replaced. Of course, that’s a good question for a typical pool as well! No matter which you choose, just know that owning a pool takes work, but also provides years of fun.