Comparing Salt Water Pools & Fresh Water Pools

How do Salt Water Pools Create Chlorine?

Salt water pools largely use the same hardware as their fresh water counterparts. They contain a pumping and filtering system just like fresh water pools, however salt water pools also contain a critical piece of hardware – a ‘chlorine generator’. A chlorine generator uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, which is then mixed with salt. The salt reacts with the newly-split hydrogen and creates hypochlorous acid, chlorinating the pool and regulating pH. As the hypochlorous acid weakens, it reverts back to salt, where the process starts over again.

How do you Maintain a Salt Water Pool in Chicago?

In a normal fresh water pool, chlorine must be added weekly to maintain a safe pH balance for use. This can cause chlorine concentration to fluctuate wildly before and after maintenance. In a salt water pool, chlorine supply is kept relatively stable through the continuous generation process, which keeps your pool from reaching dangerously high chlorination levels. Despite the relative stability of a salt water pool, it is still important to regularly scrub and clean your pool to prevent algae blooms and bacterial growth.

Metal Corrosion

Both conventional fresh water pools and salt water pools pose a possibility of corrosion, especially when in contact with metals. Aluminum, copper, and stainless steel are most reactive and should be kept clean and monitored for any signs of rust or corrosion.

No Chlorine Odors

Due to the fact that they require regular replenishment of chlorine, fresh water pools can often have a very harsh chlorinated odor that may irritate asthma sufferers and others sensitive to smells. Because a salt water pool is constantly generating low amounts of chlorine at a constant level, there is never a heavy odor of chlorine.

Cost of Owning a Salt Water Pool

Salt water pools come with a slightly higher up-front cost of installation, but over the life of ownership, are often cheaper than owning and maintaining a fresh water pool. Salt water pools require roughly $1,000 in added installation cost due to the chlorine generator, and may increase electricity usage to operate the generator, but fresh water pools typically cost two to four times as much in monthly maintenance for chemicals and stabilizers alone.

Chicago Salt Water Pool Builders

If you live in the Chicagoland area and are looking for a reputable salt water pool builder you can trust, look no further than Sunset Pools & Spas. We've been building pools and putting smiles on faces across Chicago for over a decade. If you're ready for a new salt water pool, call Nick Luisi and the Sunset Pools & Spas team today!