Everyone is familiar with chlorine swimming pools. It is likely that your first pool experience and memory has something to do with a chlorine pool. However, it could easily be said that most people do not actually like chlorine. This is for many reasons. Chlorine stinks and it is irritating to the skin and the eyes. That’s why kids have to wear goggles when swimming in a chlorinated pool. It’s no wonder that people want to make the switch to salt water pools. However what are the pros and cons of salt water?
What is salt water?
The water in a salt water swimming pool is very different then the salt in the ocean. Salt water pools do not contain the same amount of salt as the ocean. The ocean is about 35,000 parts per million in salt content, where a salt water chlorinated pool is only about 3,000 parts per million. So all in all the water is very different.
The salt water in a swimming pool is not completely free of chlorine. Why not? Despite the general loathing of chlorine because of the general hazard it poses, chlorine does its job very well. It is an excellent way to purify and sanitize pool water. That being said, even salt water swimming pools do contain some chlorine. However, they contain much much less then the average chlorine swimming pool. How? Salt water pool systems create their own chlorine using salt through a process called electrolysis. The real difference is that you don’t have to add chlorine directly to the water.
Pros of a salt water pool
Salt water pools are very gentle on the eyes and skin. Chlorine levels are typically lower with a salt generator. People who are sensitive to chlorine often report fewer irritations when swimming in a salt water pool. Salt water is drastically safer then chlorinated pools, and does not pose the long term health risks involved with chlorine.
Salt water pools have this luxurious feeling. Comparably if you have a water softener in your home, you know that the addition of salt makes water feel smooth and silky to the touch. This is in stark contrast to chlorine that can be abrasive and itchy.
Salt water pools are all together low maintenance. It is as hands free as pool maintenance can get.
Cons of a salt water pool
The down side is that salt water pools are more expensive. Salt water systems require a large initial investment. Of course, with the money you’re saving on chlorine, the system could pay for itself overtime.
Salt water pools are potentially damaging to your other pool equipment. How? A process called corrosion. Corrosion deteriorates the materials salt water touches when it evaporates. Unless you invest in mostly or all aluminum equipment, you will have to beware of corrosion. One way to do this is by hosing off the areas around a swimming pool and the equipment frequently used in the pool.