Detailed Comparison about Saltwater vs Chlorine pool – Which Is Better

As a swimming pool lover, you are blessed with a backyard and planning to install a swimming pool. You have absolutely all the options open for you.


You can choose an in-ground swimming pool for your leisure parties or you love to dive deep into your pool and experience its entirety.


You can choose the shape as well. The rectangular shape is great if you like to take long swim laps or oval-shaped for your social get together. The choice is absolutely yours.

Type of Water

The most important choice that you have to make is which water type pool best suits you. Here you have two choices

  • Saltwater pool
  • Chlorine pool

Here we are going to give you a detailed comparison of saltwater pool vs chlorine pool to help you decide which one best suits your needs.

How are Saltwater pools different from Chlorine swimming pools?

It’s all about your own preferences and the factors that are important to you in decision making, both saltwater swimming pools and chlorine swimming have their own amazing features. We are going to discuss everything in detail that you need to know to make an informed choice.

Saltwater Pools


There are a lot of myths and misconceptions over the years that Saltwater pools do not have chlorine in it.  The saltwater pool has lower amount of chlorine as compared to a typical chlorine pool.

Chlorine Level

It creates chlorine at a steady rate so that no additional amount of chlorine needs to be added in form of tablets or chlorine sticks. We have to add Pool Grade Salt to the saltwater pool instead of chlorine.

Saltwater Generator

A saltwater generator needs to be installed. The purpose of this generator is to regulate and maintain the water in the pool. The sanitization is done by producing hypochlorous acid through the Saltwater generator by the process called electrolysis in which salt is broken down by passing through electricity and saltwater solution.

Salinity Level

One can think that as the name is saltwater swimming pool it might have seawater or salt content in the water compared with the sea but there is nothing like this.

The salinity level is way less than ocean water about 0.1 or one-tenth. It enables the swimmer to open their eyes underwater, stay swimming for a longer period of time without any eye or skin redness. On contrary, it gives the skin a soft effect after a swim.

You may need to shock the saltwater pool once in a while to avoid health issues.

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Chlorine Pools

Chlorine pools are a simpler form of pools. They are relatively lesser in cost of installation. Maintenance wise they are pretty standard.

Balancing Water

In traditional chlorine pools, the water needs to be sampled on regular basis. Balancing needs to be done on regular basis by adding liquid or tablets of chlorine. We need to keep a keen eye on pH levels. There should be no calcium hardness in water and alkalinity need to be adjusted.


Every swimming pool needs sanitization. All need the same substance but with the difference in chlorine. Chlorine pools generate more chloramine that is primarily responsible for eye redness, notorious chlorine smell, and respiratory infections.

Legal Details

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention provides us with all healthy measurements for chlorine in water for swimming pools. Chloramines are combined chlorine that is formed in water should be kept to a minimum level.

Saltwater Pools against Chlorine Water Pool: Battle of Being Better

Saltwater Pool Recommendation due to

  • Minimal Annual Maintenance Cost
  • Easier Regular Maintenance
  • Health & Safety Protocol
  • Return On Investment

Chlorine Water Pool Recommendation due to:

  • Lower Startup Cost
  • Lesser Electricity Usage
  • Chemical Balance

Swimming Pool Costing analysis

The swimming pools that are on the ground cost lesser than the ones that are being constructed in depth. The installation cost varies from $11,000 to $36,000. The type of pool you install determines the initial installation charges. For chlorine ones, its nominal amount of $100 but for salt water installation can range from somewhere between $1,000 to $2500 above your regular initial cost.

Saltwater Pool Expenses

The big setback you have to face in the installation of a saltwater pool is a saltwater generator. It will go to cost you around $400 and $1800. The cost of salt is very nominal. Pool salt costs $5 per 40-pound bag. And 400 to 1000 pounds will be needed, depending on the size of the pool.

This would aggregate to around $50 to $125 cost of salt. The overall cost sums up to $750 to $2425. This starts up cost may be balanced with the less expensive daily chemical requirement.

The saltwater pool requirement of salt and chemicals is less than $100 a year.

Chlorine Pool

The chlorine pool initial setup cost is low as mentioned above but its overall maintenance cost will be $300 to $800 per year in chemicals. During the warmer weather, more chemicals are needed to keep water at an acceptable pH level. More chlorine is needed for sanitization hence an overall increase in the chemical cost.

Electricity Cost

Warmer weather calls for more swimmers to get into pools so saltwater pools need to produce more chlorine that means that generators have to work overtime which results in two things.

The overall cost of electricity will increase and the generator cell that usually viable for 3 to 5 years might worn out rapidly than normal that adds the cost of $200 to $ 700 which is heavy on the pocket.

The saltwater generator needs to go the extra mile of 4 to 5 hours in the summer that counts up to 10 to 12 hours. $48 more than the traditional pump system.  Approximately 500 more watts of electricity are used in comparison with the regular pump in the chlorine system.

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The Saltwater system provides the greatest advantage when it comes to maintaining the pool. This system can stay crystal clear for at least 2 weeks without anyone cleaning it. It’s a very low maintenance system.

In contrast, the chlorine pool requires weekly maintenance. We have to add the required amount tablets or sticks made out of chlorine

Both the pool need regular chlorine checks so that one can analyze if they are in the regularly required zone and if not what amount of addition is required.

A saltwater generator box is used to adjust the amount of chlorine in the water but in chlorine pools, you have to physically add the required amount.

The chlorine pool is going to need regular and periodic Shocks. It’s the concentrated amount of chlorine that needs to be added to kick algae and different bacteria out. This is especially needed after heavy rain which increases the production of bacteria that turns the whole pool green if not chlorinated properly.

When it comes to saltwater the maintenance is not as simple as in a chlorine system. Once the problem arises you have to call in professionals to deal with any issues with the generators. Most chlorine issues in chlorine pools are easily solved using the testing kit and the right combination of the chemicals.

Generators have to examine properly in saltwater pools. They should be cleaned, inspected and removed every season.

Comparison Chart

Saltwater poolChlorine pool
Low Annual Maintenance CostHigh Annual Maintenance Cost
High Initial CostLow Initial Cost
High Electricity ConsumptionLow Electricity Consumption
High Salt valueHigh Chlorine value
Good health and safety measuresManually monitored chlorine can be harmful to skin and eyes

Which One Is Better

Just like every other choice in life, it’s very difficult to choose between saltwater and chlorine pool

One is low maintenance but the other has an edge in start-up cost. If you have deep pockets or you are opening up a resort for luxury travelers it’s the very obvious choice to opt for saltwater pools as they are self-cleaning and comfortable and don’t need much daily maintenance.

But if you just want a simple backyard swimming pool for family and some friends you can opt for chlorine pools as they are the cheaper option. You will be able to do the repair for wear and tear as time goes on. It will be easy to manage small expenses on contrary to big ones

So as I am a homely person with a medium pool budget I would prefer a chlorine pool so that I can manage all of its aspects including cost as per my budget. I will try to keep it clean and properly chlorinated and safe for me and my family and friends.


Also Check:


Is saltwater pool is better than chlorine water?
Ans. Saltwater pools are less harmful to the skin and eyes as they have a lower level of chlorine as compare to chlorine water pools. Basically, saltwater pools also contain chlorine but convert sodium chloride into active chlorine with a generator, so both pools have chlorine in them but saltwater pools have lower levels.
Do saltwater pools use chlorine?
Ans. Saltwater pools good in this way that you don’t have to add chlorine tablets to the saltwater pool but it does contain chlorine. The chlorine comes directly from the salt which is generated by a saltwater generator wherein the chlorine pool you have to add chlorine and also keep an eye on its quantity.
Do saltwater pools get algae?
Ans. The growth of algae is a big problem for both saltwater and chlorine as they spread quickly and need detailed cleaning once it gets out of control. The secret to preventing both chlorine and saltwater pools from algae growth is to maintain a proper chemistry level in the pool water. In order to clean the pool from algae is to remove algae from the pool, check its pH level, and use a vacuum for deep cleaning.
Disadvantages of having too much chlorine in the water?
Ans. Too much chlorine is very harmful to the human body. High-level chlorine in water can cause your eyes and skin damage and in some cases lung irritation which leads to asthma. So it’s really important to check the chlorine level before enjoying the swimming pool so you can enjoy swimming without any harm.
Do saltwater have ocean water in it?
Ans. There are many myths about the saltwater pool that it contains ocean water or the saltwater pool doesn’t have chlorine in it. All these misconceptions are false and the reality is that saltwater pools have added salt into it and with the help of a generator it converts sodium chloride into chlorine but the quantity is lower as compared to chlorine water pools. So the saltwater pool has less chlorine which is not harmful at all for the human skin and eyes.

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